The journey to becoming Miss Rodeo America |

The journey to becoming Miss Rodeo America

Story by Robyn Scherer, M.Agr. | Ft. Collins, Colo.
Photos courtesy of
Miss Rodeo America contestants perform for the crowd during the coronation ceremony.

Little girls dream of riding their horses in pretty shirts and a sharp, crisp hat with a crown on it. Becoming a rodeo queen is a dream come true, and those who continue to pursue the circuit are all vying for the same goal: becoming Miss Rodeo America. The Miss Rodeo America title was won by Chenae Shiner, Miss Rodeo Utah. Shiner also claimed top honors in the appearance and photogenic categories.

The Miss Rodeo American pageant is held each December during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev., and women from 30 states make the journey to compete for the title and the crown. Cassidy Cabot, Miss Rodeo Colorado 2012, was one of those competitors.

While she wasn’t crowned queen, she was named the second runner-up. Cabot, who is from Bayfield, was named Miss Rodeo Colorado in July of 2011, after the four-day pageant that is held in Greeley as part of the Greeley Stampede.

Cabot is the daughter of Deena and John Cabot, and attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, where she majored in art business. During the Colorado competition, Cabot won the appearance and photogenic titles during the pageant.

Cabot will end reign as Miss Rodeo Colorado December 31. Sarah Wiens of Sedalia, Colo., will take over as Miss Rodeo Colorado during a coronation ceremony Jan. 17 in Denver, during the PRCA rodeo at NWSS.

Wiens was the winner of the horsemanship and personality awards, as well as the written test during the competition held last July. She is the daughter of Thomas and Diana Wiens.

According to the Miss Rodeo Colorado organizers, “Miss Rodeo Colorado is the ideal western American young woman. She symbolizes the youth of Colorado who wish to further promote the sport of rodeo and our western heritage.”

Another contestant at the pageant was Kimberly Kuhn, Miss Rodeo Wyoming 2012. She earned the title of Miss Rodeo Wyoming in August of 2011 at the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo in Douglas. Kuhn captured the speech, photogenic, appearance and personality awards on her way to the title, and has served the past year as an ambassador in the state for the sport of rodeo.

“I really enjoyed my fellow contestants. We worked really well together. That was neat for a competition. I loved being there and representing Wyoming. That was the neatest part for me,” said Kuhn.

She continued, “I was glad that I did as well as I did. I was able to be myself and represent Wyoming. To me it is about education and about being a true western woman, and embracing who you are.”

The 22-year-old daughter of Pete and Vicki Kuhn, Kimberly Kuhn is a fifth generation rancher. She served as the 2011 Sheridan, Wyo. Rodeo Queen before becoming Miss Rodeo Wyoming. Kuhn graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture Business with a minor in Finance.

While at UW, she was a member of UW Rodeo Team, Delta Delta Delta Sorority, SPURS Honorary, Ag Ambassadors, and recipient of the National Western Stock Show Scholarship. Kuhn is a member of the Wyoming Rodeo Association and the Big Horn Basque Club.

Kuhn served in 2009 as Cheyenne Frontier Days Miss Frontier, and was a leader of the CFD Dandies whom she traveled with for four years as a Goodwill Ambassador. Kuhn has earned her Gold Congressional Award and served as an FFA officer while also receiving the Star in Agriculture Placement Award, according to the Miss Rodeo Wyoming website.

“Miss Rodeo Wyoming symbolizes the youth of our state who wish to further promote the sport of professional rodeo and the great western way of life. Miss Rodeo Wyoming is the ideal western-type American girl who represents her state, believes in our western heritage and works hard in promoting these values during her travels. While spreading good will for her community, her state and the sport of rodeo, Miss Rodeo Wyoming garners experiences that lay a solid foundation for her future,” the website states.

The Miss Rodeo Wyoming Association was formed in 1977. The objective of the Association is to support, promote and guide the lady who reigns as Miss Rodeo Wyoming. The Association assists Miss Rodeo Wyoming in organizing a coronation benefit held in the hometown of each Miss Rodeo Wyoming to raise funds for her reigning year. A clinic for young ladies interested in rodeo queen competitions is also conducted by the Association. The coronation, clinic, and miscellaneous fundraisers conducted by the Association and sponsorship donations fund travel, wardrobe, and expenses for Miss Rodeo Wyoming. A scholarship fund has been established and each queen is awarded a scholarship upon the completion of her reign.

Kuhn will end her reign at the end of the year as well, and Holly Kennedy will officially take over. The Miss Rodeo Wyoming pageant was held in Douglas, Wyo., August 13-17, 2012, during the Wyoming State Fair, and Kennedy was coroneted on October 20, 2012 at the WyoTech West Laramie Campus in Laramie, Wyo.

The Miss Rodeo America pageant events lasted from Dec. 6 to 12 and took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The competition included fashion shows, speeches, horsemanship and written tests.

Contestants were judged in the major categories of horsemanship, personality, and appearance, competing in the areas of public speaking, personal interviews, modeling, photogenic and rodeo/equine knowledge. Contestants were eligible for $53,000 in scholarships at the 2013 Miss Rodeo America Pageant.

Shiner is looking forward to seeing all aspects of rodeo while traveling across the country as Miss Rodeo America 2013, especially her hometown rodeo.

“To represent this rodeo family as an ambassador would be my greatest honor,” she said.

“The Miss Rodeo America organization and pageant competition exists for the purposes of selecting a young lady to serve as an official spokesperson for the sport of professional rodeo and providing educational opportunities for those young women who compete in the pageant,” according to the MRA website.

Each year, Miss Rodeo America will travel some 100,000 miles during the year of her reign, appearing at nearly 100 rodeo performances, as well as appearances at schools, civic groups and other special events, educating the public and creating awareness about the sport of rodeo, its sponsors, and its opportunities.

Miss Rodeo America serves as the spokesperson for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and will serve as an ambassador for the sport of rodeo.

She will also take on the role of model and spokesperson in a variety of promotional events and commercial advertisements for western clothiers, publications, sponsors and other service providers to the western industry.

Contestants were eligible for $53,000 in scholarships at the 2013 Miss Rodeo America Pageant. “In addition to conducting the annual pageant competition, the organization administers the scholarship program. Providing educational opportunities to young ladies competing in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant is a major focus of the organization,” the website states.

Miss Rodeo America, Inc. — an organization developed in 1955 striving to provide a quality Miss Rodeo America competition, enrich the lives of contestants and each year select a qualified young lady as Miss Rodeo America to serve as a goodwill ambassador promoting the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Western traditions. ❖

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