This week we are staying in the Show-Me State for another Missouri titleholder! We would like to introduce you to this year's featured Titleholder, Miss Rodeo Missouri 2018, Ashley Bauer! Ashley is going to tell you some about her year so far and what she hopes to accomplish at Miss Rodeo America in December.
How did you get your start in rodeo and rodeo queen pageants?
When I was three years old, my parents blessed me with a little pony named Checkers...and that is when the equine addiction began! I had Checkers for a couple of years before I began showing horses at age eight. I started rodeo queening when I was about ten years old. I competed in my local rodeo queen pageant in Warren County. It took about three or four pageants before I earned my first title as Warren County Rodeo Queen in 2008. I then earned my second title as the Troy Rodeo Queen 2013 my senior year of high school. I went off to receive my Undergraduate and Masters degrees from William Woods University (2012-2017) before I began my rodeo queen journey to Miss Rodeo Missouri (MRM). I competed in October of 2017 and was named Miss Rodeo Missouri that same year. It all truly started with a little girl's dream of being a queen, helping out at rodeos, and riding horses every chance she could.
Why did you decide to compete for Miss Rodeo Missouri?
With a little push from some close friends of mine, I finally decided that it was the right time to compete for the title of Miss Rodeo Missouri near the end of my Masters program. I am so grateful that I decided to run because it truly has been an amazing ride! I had always followed the journey of Miss Rodeo Missouri from afar, but finally decided that it was my time to try out for the title and give it a shot. In addition to rodeo queening, I was named the Warren County Rodeo Queen in 2012 and was Miss Missouri State Fair Queen in 2013. It was an honor to represent my hometown and put my 4-H and FFA skills to the test in these pageants. I believe it is my showing, agriculture, FFA, and 4-H background that prepared and pushed me to the title of MRM.
What has been your favorite appearance so far as Miss Rodeo Missouri?
I can honestly say that choosing just ONE favorite appearance would be a nearly impossible task! I have many favorite memories such as...
My very first Missouri PRCA rodeo as Miss Rodeo Missouri was in Poplar Bluff. Our first task of the evening was to help with the mutton busting. I remember one little boy lost his boot when he fell off of his sheep. When I ran over to pick him up and dust him off, I remember the look on his face when I went to help him put his boot on. He looked up at me with almost tear filled eyes, in pure awe, as if he had just seen an angel. We got his boot back on and ran back to the fence to his family. I will never forget the look on that little guy's face.
My first out of state appearance as MRM was in January in Denver, Colorado. I was able to help at the National Western Stock Show and was blessed to attend the WESA market. At market, I met many of the top name brand ambassadors and received so many welcoming words to my year. I was also able to meet many of my fellow state queens and hear about their queening experiences. What a trip!
One of my other favorite memories was most recently in Licking, MO. It poured sideways rain in one of the performances. That did not stop the mutton busters or calf scramble kiddos. I remember hoisting up those muddy kids back over the fence to their parents after the scramble was over. I have never heard so many giggles and children laughing about how they "lost their boot(s) in the mud!"
The rodeo queen industry is dying and each year less girls are competing in pageants. Do you think it's important for the state pageants to work with all local pageants throughout the state to get more girls interested in competing and why?
I think it is extremely important for all rodeo queen associations to work together to increase the number of participants in local and state pageants. There are various factors as to why the number of girls competing has declined, but I believe a majority of the reason is the fear of the unknown. The fear of speaking, cost, wardrobe, lack of time, etc. I recommend anyone wanting to get involved in the rodeo queen world to start out at a local pageant to gain some experience and build your confidence. I also recommend following other title holders on social media to learn more about fashion, rodeo knowledge, and all of the opportunities available in the rodeo queen world. Do not hesitate to do your homework!
What is one thing you have learned that you didn't know when you competed while being Miss Rodeo Missouri this year?
One of the best tools I have learned throughout my year as Miss Rodeo Missouri is how to network. The power of kind words, a good hand shake, and a genuine smile is huge! Hand written thank you notes are most certainly NOT a thing of the past. I know that it is my job to respect and encourage those around me to be the best version of themselves, and in return, have them hold me to the same standard. I am an ambassador for the Professional Cowboys Rodeo Association (PRCA) and it is a privilege to be able to help at rodeos and various charity and fundraising events.
What is your goal going into Miss Rodeo America this December?
Going into Miss Rodeo America, I will put my rodeo knowledge, public speaking, and horsemanship skills to the test and represent my state in the best way I can. I want to make my home state of Missouri proud. I am blessed with an amazing team of friends, family, sponsors, and believers, that I will not let down! I am extremely excited for the speaking and interview portions of the pageant. I LOVE meeting new people and learning about their lives, and I cannot wait to meet everyone at MRA!
If you could sit down and have dinner with any former Miss Rodeo America, who would it be and what would you ask her?
If I could sit down and have dinner with any former Miss Rodeo America, I would like to sit down with Lisa Lageschaar. Her passion for rodeo, ambitions as Miss Rodeo America, and welcoming attitude immediately fueled my excitement for my year as Miss Rodeo Missouri. If I could ask her anything, I would ask her "What are three pieces of advice that you would offer to state titleholders in pursuit for the title of Miss Rodeo America? What is your favorite memory as MRA? How did you prepare your wardrobe for the MRA competition and maintain throughout your year? Do you have any tips and tricks to offer to queens wanting to compete but who may be afraid to take the first step? What is one of your favorite memories from your years as a rodeo queen?" I think we could honestly chat all day!
If you are even considering competing in a rodeo queen pageant, just do it. There are so many opportunities that come along with it whether you win or not. Ashley talked about some of the opportunities she's been given this year.
Thank you Ashley for taking the time to do this blog interview with us!
Until next time,
Miss Ozark Rodeo Association Pageant
Photos Courtesy of: Ashley Bauer
**Miss Ozark Rodeo Association Pageant is coming up on October 20, 2018! Deadline is this Saturday on September 8, 2018! Contact me if you are interested in competing!**