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