Fredriksen crowned rodeo’s First Lady
Miss Rodeo Colorado Hailey Fredriksen was crowned as Miss Rodeo America 2022 on Sunday, Dec. 5 at the South Point Hotel and Casino. The Colorado State University graduate from Wellington told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the first order of business following the intense pageant was beef.
“I had an 8-ounce filet mignon. I told my parents, ‘I want a big, juicy steak,” Frederiksen said, while noting she didn’t get any more carried away than that. “No drinks, no drinks. I was starving, my parents asked me what I wanted, and I said I want steak. You know: Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.”
Since 2020 saw so many rodeos and events cancelled, Fredrickson took to social media to promote agriculture through weekly book readings that drew a large audience online. It was a chance to meet her goals of representing and educating people about rodeo, agriculture, and the Western lifestyle even when the arenas were all dark. Through her Miss Rodeo Colorado Kids’ Corral, she was able to read accurate agriculture books to the hundreds of kids who logged on. She also taught fun lessons about agriculture and included guest speakers. Several of the books Fredriksen included, coincidentally, are those The Fence Post selected as part of the Reading on the Ranch program. With rodeos back in full swing, she has been on the road representing the state and the sport across the country.
The Landstrom’s Black Hills Gold crown is accompanied by more than $20,000 in educational scholarships and prizes including a wardrobe of Wrangler jeans and shirts, an assortment of Montana Silversmiths jewelry, and a selection of Justin Boots.
In addition to the title, Fredriksen earned the Appearance Award, and was the recipient of the Zona Vig Digital Scrapbook Award.
This year, 31 contestants represented their states in the week-long national pageant consisting of a horsemanship competition, a written test on equine science and rodeo knowledge, extensive interviews, extemporaneous speaking, and a fashion show. The top five contestants — from Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Idaho, and Oklahoma — each answered a question about how she would implement advice given at the PRCA Luncheon from guest speaker, Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, during her reign as Miss Rodeo America 2022.
Joeli Walrath of Ashton, Neb., finished as third runner-up at the 2022 Miss Rodeo America Pageant.
“All the early mornings and late nights are so extremely worth it,” Walrath said. “Just to be standing on this stage is a dream come true for every single one of us. We have all talked about our journeys getting here, dreaming of the Miss Rodeo America crown and state crowns, so just being here and being able to represent the great state of Nebraska and having my support system here the entire time. Thank you all for getting me here, and I appreciate all of you.”
Walrath received a $6,000 education scholarship from the Miss Rodeo America Foundation, a Top Five Buckle from Montana Silversmiths and other prizes.
Miss Rodeo South Dakota Martina Loobey, who was a top 10 finisher and the winner of the horsemanship portion said her faith helped her through the pageant, especially during the horsemanship competition.
“When they called my name as top 10 I was so proud, then while we were waiting for category awards and they called me for horsemanship, oh boy did the flood gates open,” Loobey said on social media. “You see, that was the category that I struggled with the most my entire queen career. I had so many people that would make me feel bad for how I rode instead of trying to help make me better. I just had to find the right coaches and I was able to ride like I never had before. I’m so proud to be able to walk away with that saddle.”
Loobey said Callie Enander, Miss Rodeo North Dakota, was a huge influence on her and helped her become a better horsewoman.
During Fredriksen’s reign as the official representative of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, she will travel around 150,000 miles and appear at nearly 100 rodeo performances, as well as making appearances at schools, civic groups and other special events in order to educate the public and create awareness about the sport of rodeo, its sponsors, and its opportunities. She will also serve as a spokesperson at a variety of promotional events and model in commercial advertisements for western clothiers, publications, sponsors and other service providers to the western industry.
As Miss Rodeo America 2022, Fredriksen began her duties by attending press conferences immediately following her coronation and will spend the remainder of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo attending appearances with Miss Rodeo America 2020-2021, Jordan Tierney of South Dakota. She was introduced for the first time in the Thomas and Mack Center during the sixth performance of the WNFR on Tuesday, Dec. 7.
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