It sure has been a very busy start to the year for our 2019 Royalty and we are 4 rodeos in to the season! Keep reading to see what our titleholders have been doing since officially taking over in February!
Miss ORA 2019, Haley Linder
Wow! How is it already June?! This year has been flying by! In January, I attended the Miss Rodeo USA pageant and was able to watch Heather Morrison be crowned. I also volunteered at the Dazzling Divas event for the Children’s Miracle Network. February was the official start to my reign at the ORA Awards Banquet. We had a royalty photo shoot with sponsor, Rockin Rodeo Creations. I loved hanging out with Alexis and Jacie and it made me excited for the summer ahead!
In March, Jacie and I rode in the Rolla St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It was a blast throwing candy to the crowds of people! Shannon and I made the trip down to Branson to our amazing sponsor, Montana Silversmith’s for a shopping spree. Wow, their jewelry does make a girl feel like a queen! At the end of March, Shannon, Meghan, and I made a trip up to Iowa for Heather Morrison’s coronation party.
April was super busy weekend after weekend! It started with an appearance at an enchanted tea party hosted by my talented photography sponsor, Amy Webber. The ORA Royalty had our own dinner party where we crowned the first ever Mrs. ORA, Ashley Jost. Then I cooked breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House with Cookin’ Crowns. April was also the kick off to rodeo season in Humansville! May flew by with rodeos in St. Clair and Desloge. St. Clair was extra fun as my family made the trip down from Chicago! June is full of rodeo weekends and I can’t wait! See you in Raymondville!
Until next time.
Miss Teen ORA 2019, Alexis Mantonya
Rodeo update here we come! So far being your 2019 Miss Teen has been crazy fun, it’s included getting thrown off and eating dirt at the first rodeo in Humansville! But, the Bronc riding judge scored me 72 points so what a win! Can’t forget the long road trips with my family to them that’s also a blast. Meeting everyone so far has been amazing and I can’t wait to continue building relationships with everyone that is apart of the ORA!
Jr Miss ORA 2019, Jacie Jost
I have been able to be involved in some pretty awesome things since I have become JR MISS. First I was able to get out in to my community and visit my local nursing home for Nail day during Nail day we painted nails and visited, also while I was there I was able to attend their Easter party. I enjoyed visiting with them and can’t wait to go back for another Nail Day.
Next was St. Clair rodeo where we started a Lollipop fundraiser. I enjoyed getting out into the crowd and visiting with everyone. St. Clair is where I received my chaps and I love them so much! Desloge Rodeo we did a tribute to the Military with the flags it was probably my favorite rodeo so far for this year.
At Desloge I was asked to come to Licking to the PRCA rodeo there to promote the ORA. I took the opportunity and went to Licking I had a weekend to remember. I was able to sign autographs and pass out handouts to promote the ORA rodeos. While I was there I was able to meet Miss Rodeo Missouri Kaitlyn Ayers. I was able to participate in Military night there as well and was able to carry the P.O.W flag. Kaitlyn and I pushed livestock together Friday and Saturday night. Saturday during the day I was able to be in town for the parade and activities while I was there I promoted the ORA and then Kaitlyn and I rode in the parade together.
Cant wait to see everyone soon!
Jr Miss ORA 2019
Our titleholders have been staying busy this year and we can't wait to see what else they accomplish this year. Follow all of their social media pages to keep up with their travels!
Miss ORA Pageant
It's week 3 of Titleholder Tuesday for our 2019 edition and we are headed west to the state known for it's potatoes! Not only does this titleholder hold her current state title, but she also placed in the Top 5 for Miss Rodeo USA 2018. Help us welcome, Sara Weekes, Miss Rodeo Idaho 2019!
How did you become involved in rodeo and rodeo queen pageants?
At 23 years old, with countless AQHA shows behind me, I made a basic error in one of my patterns. In and of itself, that wasn’t such a big deal, but I began to realize that it was partially a symptom of a change and shift in my passions. I knew for certain though that I had one more goal I did not want to pass up on: Miss Rodeo Idaho. I began researching and networking to find out what I needed to do to achieve that goal. My first title with a women’s rodeo association came later that year, and I began competing in rodeo events as well. 3 years after that rookie error, I stand here as Miss Rodeo Idaho 2019 – and am excited even more about growing my talents as a breakaway roper!
Why did you decide to run for Miss Rodeo Idaho?
After my passions began to shift away from AQHA showing, I found myself in conversation with a former Miss Rodeo Idaho. She asked me about my title goals, and I began talking about some of the local organizations. She asked, “What about Miss Rodeo Idaho?” and it gave me the spark to consider something I’d always dreamed about a little more seriously. Our conversation gave me the belief that ANYONE should be able to run for a state title
What has been your favorite appearance so far this year?
My favorite appearance this year has been State Title Holder Week in Florida. State Rodeo Queens are invited down to the sunny shores for a mix of hard work and fun. We were able to visit 14 different grade schools and educate their students on the 7 showcase rodeo events, as well as the local rodeo taking place that weekend. Some of our recreational activities included hog hunting, blueberry picking, and time at the beach. Conducted near the beginning of the calendar year, it was a great way to get a taste of what being a titleholder would be like the rest of the year: hard days, long hours, but a ton of fun.
How would it feel to be the first Miss Rodeo America crowned from Idaho since 1999?
Being crowned Miss Rodeo America would give me an overwhelming sense of honor and pride. There is so much sacrifice and dedication that goes into being the state queen and preparing for the national title competition – not only for me personally, but for my amazing board as well. Being able to represent Idaho and the Miss Rodeo Idaho board on the national stage would be an indescribable experience.
Do you feel the experience you received at Miss Rodeo USA will help you better prepare for competing at Miss Rodeo America? Do you feel like it will help you knowing what a national pageant setting is like?
The only thing that can really prepare you for competing at a pageant, is competing at a pageant! Practice certainly helps, but the Miss Rodeo USA taught me so much through the process of appearing on a stage in front of judges and interacting through speeches and interviews. The Miss Rodeo USA pageant and Miss Rodeo America pageant share several similarities, such as bringing together contestants from all around the country, demonstrating horsemanship skills, and participating in interviews. I’m certain that experience helped better prepare me for Miss Rodeo America.
What appearance are you looking forward to the most this year?
The Snake River Stampede is what I look forward to the most this year. It’s my home rodeo – I have been attending this rodeo since I was a little girl, and was even fortunate enough to be on the Night Light Team, the Snake River Stampeders. To be a part of this production as Miss Rodeo Idaho is truly a dream come true, and in my own back yard!
What is something you've already learned while being Miss Rodeo Idaho that you didn't know before you held the title?
One of the most important life lessons that I’ve learned is that while you may have a plan, you need to be prepared when things don’t go as you expected. In the rodeo industry, things aren’t always set in stone, and you have to be flexible while traveling. During one trip, I flew in to Oklahoma City a day and a half early for an event due to a scheduling error. Instead of becoming upset or wasting that time, I took the opportunity to visit downtown Oklahoma City as well as the memorial and museum for the Oklahoma City bombing. If things had gone as planned, I would have missed out on the breathtaking opportunity to learn about such an historic event.
You attended the Miss Rodeo America Pageant last year as Miss Rodeo Idaho Lady-In-Waiting. Do you think you got an inside look at the pageant that will better help you prepare? What was that experience like?
I highly recommend attending a pageant as a guest before you compete in that pageant. Being able to attend the Miss Rodeo America pageant as a Lady-In-Waiting gave me the chance to see what each of the different settings and scenarios might be like when I compete. I also had the opportunity to meet most of the other state queens that I would be sharing the next year with. It was an absolutely priceless experience, and I was able to cheer on Miss Rodeo Idaho compete!
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone just starting out in the rodeo queen industry?
The biggest piece of advice I have to someone just beginning their time in the rodeo queen industry is to study, study, and more studying! I know that most people say that, but it’s more than just studying rodeo knowledge. You also need to educate yourself on speaking patterns, modeling, current events, and even your role models and heroes. I also firmly recommend you attend clinics. These are a great place to ask questions, understand the “why” behind what we do, and get to know your fellow sash sisters while immersing yourself in the world of rodeo. Please feel free to reach out to any State Queen throughout the year – we are more than happy to help. All of us were in your shoes at one point in our journey, and we want to ensure the future of rodeo.
Thank you Sara for taking the extra time out of your busy schedule to interview with us! We are excited to continue watching your journey towards the Miss Rodeo America Pageant!
Until next time,
Miss ORA Pageant
Photos Courtesy of Sara Weekes
This week we are sticking to our neighboring states and traveling south to the Natural State! Our special guest titleholder this week holds a special place in our hearts here at the Miss Ozark Rodeo Association Pageant as she was our 2019 pageant Special Guest and Emcee. That's right we're talking about Bayleigh Warren, Miss Rodeo Arkansas 2018!
How did you become involved in rodeo and rodeo queen pageants?
I became involved with rodeo and pageants because of my mom. My mom was Miss Rodeo New Mexico 1979. As a little girl, I saw all of her pictures and clothes and asked many questions. Also, she directed the queen pageant at the Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo in Claremore, Oklahoma & the flashy clothes definitely made me want to be a part. Competing in rodeo also came from mom. She competed in high school, college and professionally. I have always had a competitive nature and a love for horses, which continues to fuel my desire.
Why did you decide to run for Miss Rodeo Arkansas?
My decision to run for Miss Rodeo Arkansas came easily. I had an amazing scholarship at a college in Arkansas and quickly took advantage of that. It was by far the best decision I have ever made! I have had a phenomenal year, I have been blessed with a great board through the pageant and memories and friends to last me a lifetime!
What was your most memorable experience during your reign as Miss Rodeo Arkansas?
I have so many! The most exhilarating moment was making my fly-by at Cheyenne Frontier Days! Each of my experiences were spent with each of the state queens who have become some of my best friends through this experience!
If you could sum up your entire experience as Miss Rodeo Arkansas into three words, what would they be?
Grateful, Memorable & Unique
What was the inspiration behind your wardrobe that you wore to Miss Rodeo America and what was your favorite piece?
My wardrobe was inspired by diamonds! Arkansas is the only state in the country that has a diamond mine where you are able to come mine and keep the diamonds that you find. With this, I wanted to do something different. Each year, the young woman representing Arkansas uses some sort of a Razorback theme at MRA. While I love the Hogs, the diamond mine was something I wanted to showcase! My favorite piece was either my fur coat I wore to the back number ceremony or my beautiful white dress I wore to coronation! Both of these, among the majority of my clothes, were made by Sherry Smith!
What was your favorite part of competing at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant?
The Miss Rodeo America pageant was the week of a lifetime! As crazy as it sounds, my favorite part was having the time to spend with each of the titleholders one final time before our year was over. For those that don't know, we aren't able to have our phones during the pageant. It was somewhat nice! We were able to soak up that time and really absorb the joys of each moment. That is something that doesn't happen often in the technologically advanced world we live in!
If you had the chance to compete again, would you and is there anything you would do differently?
I absolutely would not do anything differently. I knew the material, I shocked myself on my knowledge, I rode well, I spoke well and the modeling was great! I knew I studied a large amount, but I shocked myself on things I was able to recall during the moment! I competed very well and I stayed true to myself. I have always said that there is no way I can pretend to be who I am and I wanted to just be me and have fun! I definitely did that!
For girls that are preparing for national pageants, most of them aren't sure what to expect when they get there or how to study for everything. What advice would you give to girls getting ready to compete at the next level?
What I would say to girls competing at national levels learning what to study is learn it in small portions. My mom has always told me, "You can only eat an elephant one piece at a time." Do not try to cram material! Study for months or years leading up to the pageant, ask questions to those who know the material or those involved in the sport. You will be surprised the amount of insight you gain!
What does life look like for you after the crown?
Life after the crown is exciting! I am finishing college this semester! I will graduate with a Corporate Communication degree. I am also in real estate school, which I am ever so excited about! I have gone back to working my younger horses and in due time, I'll go back to competing, but my degree and career are of the upmost importance! I love being able to spend time with my family and friends and being able to talk about my experiences this last year with them is something we all love!
What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to the next girl who is crowned Miss Rodeo Arkansas?
To the next girl crowned as Miss Rodeo Arkansas, have fun! Do not take one moment for granted, because this year will fly by! Most importantly, be yourself! Don't try to be something you aren't, I promise, people will love you for it!
I have personally loved getting to know Bayleigh during her year as Miss Rodeo Arkansas and having her as a guest at our pageant. We know the future is bright for you and we can't wait to see what it holds for you!
Until next week,
Miss ORA Pageant
Photos Courtesy of Bayleigh Warren Facebook