SIXTEEN DAYS OF REIGN Miss Rodeo CO keeps busy throughout entire NWSS
Most of the 600,000 plus visitors to the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) may see only glimpses of Miss Rodeo Colorado during its annual 16 day run. Sarah Wiens of Sedalia, Colo., is 2013’s Miss Rodeo Colorado, and the personable cowgirl took time from her schedule to describe her stock show experience and what it was like to represent Colorado at the historic venue.
Q: As Miss Rodeo Colorado, how excited were you to be a part of the NWSS?
Sarah Wiens: I was so excited. I’ve grown up going to the stock show every year with my family, numerous times every year. Being able to see the stock show from behind the curtain, so to speak, was absolutely fascinating and it was an experience that I will never forget.
Q: They had you doing something there every day?
Sarah Wiens: Oh yeah. They kept me busy there the Thursday of the parade all the way through the very end (laugh). I am an ambassador for the sport of rodeo and in cases like this, I was essentially an ambassador and representative of the NWSS, so I was doing things to help the stock show even when I wasn’t on the stock show grounds (like visiting schools, Children’s Hospital, etc.). I bet I talked to 5,000 people and that could be low (laugh). There were so many cases where I had a giant school group waiting for me to get off my horse and go talk to them during the rodeos.
Q: What was it like having all those people wanting to talk to you?
Sarah Wiens: It was pretty surreal at first. I kept asking former Miss Rodeo Colorado’s when it actually hits you that you are Miss Rodeo Colorado. For me, it was probably about the 10th rodeo performance. It still doesn’t feel real sometimes; I’m still kind of easing into the role and understanding it is mine. It was more than exciting to have kids want to talk to me and have people want to take pictures of me.
Q: How did it feel to be a part of the rodeo performances, with the big crowds at the NWSS?
Sarah Wiens: It made me very proud. It was really neat to come out carrying the Colorado flag and being around a place that is filled with so much history in the state and also just within my family. It was amazing.
Q: What was it like the first time you carried the Colorado state flag in the arena?
Sarah Wiens: It was really emotional. The first time I went out, Leon Vick (NWSS Rodeo Manager) had planned it so my younger sister was going to be the National Anthem singer. That was a pretty special moment, being out there, just having her out there with me, and it was my first time out.
Q: How much of an adrenaline rush was it to gallop full speed around the rodeo arena carrying the sponsor flags?
Sarah Wiens: It was a blast (laugh). It is a huge adrenaline rush. In the past a lot of girls have gotten dumped or bucked off, so that’s always in the back of your mind. If I slip off this saddle or my horse stumbles, I’m going down in front of all these people (laugh). I like to think of myself as a decent horsewoman, and if that’s the only glimpse a big crowd gets of you, they don’t think you are much with horses.
Q: Was there a challenging aspect to being Miss Rodeo Colorado at the NWSS?
Sarah Wiens: There was one day, I think it was the last Friday, I had to be at the Brown Palace Hotel with the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion steers. That was kind of a formal event, so I was in a nice suit and then I went straight from there to an afternoon rodeo performance and then to the Junior Livestock Auction for a little bit and then back to another rodeo performance. Having those days where events are so close together and you’re constantly changing clothes and changing your environment and the role of what you’re doing changes so drastically, that was a challenge. But it is still a lot of fun.
Q: Was it enjoyable helping the mutton busters during every rodeo?
Sarah Wiens: Oh gosh, those kids are such a riot. They say some of the funniest things. I got a chance to kind of interview some of them before they went out. Some of them are scared to death and others are former mutton busting world champions and they are the first ones to tell you that (laugh). It’s a really neat experience.
Q: Any favorite memories from your stock show run?
Sarah Wiens: I would say the Colorado vs. The World rodeo, especially the finals performance (Saturday January 12th). It was such an experience to stand next to Roger in the announcers booth and introduce Team Colorado as my team and then run down to the arena floor and interview Mary Walker and Luke Branquinho. That just doesn’t happen in the life of a rodeo queen and I am so beyond blessed that the people at the stock show thought I could handle something like that.
Q: Do you feel like you experienced a good quota of rodeo for the beginning of the year?
Sarah Wiens: I do! The stock show is one of those things Miss Rodeo Colorado is so lucky to be a part of. A lot of other (state rodeo queens) don’t get to see that many rodeos their whole year, let alone in the first two weeks of their reign. I’m pretty lucky to have been part of that. The people who work there are unbelievable, whether it is volunteer security or the guys way up at the top. We all have the same goal and I think that is why the stock show is so amazing. ❖
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