Titleholder Tuesday is officially back for the Miss Ozark Rodeo Association Pageant! We can't wait to share some amazing interviews from incredible titleholders we have had the pleasure to chat with this year!
This week we are headed to our neighboring state where the Wizard of Oz is popular and there is No Place Like Home. Help us welcome from the Sunflower State, Miss Rodeo Kansas 2019, Brooke Wallace!
How did you become involved with rodeo and rodeo queen pageants?
At age 18 I was watching the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo in Abilene, KS and loved watching Miss Rodeo K-State and Miss Rodeo America in the arena. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. I thought to myself that being a rodeo queen looked like a lot of fun and something that was right up my alley. Later that year I started attending Kansas State University where I joined the rodeo club and attended the Miss Rodeo K-State clinic. I caught the rodeo queen bug and the rest is history. I have had a lot of help along the way especially from my aunt Sara who had experience in the rodeo queen world because my cousin (her daughter) had been a rodeo queen!
Why did you decide to run for Miss Rodeo Kansas and what previous pageant experience did you have before you competed?
I have held the titles of Miss Rodeo Junction City 2015, Miss Rodeo K-State 2016, Miss CPRA 2017, and now currently Miss Rodeo Kansas 2019. I decided to run for MRK because I have really enjoyed being a rodeo ambassador throughout the years. It is more to me than carrying the American Flag or getting to wear a crown. I truly love the sport of rodeo and stand for everything it represents. I love being a role model for younger generations and being able to meet new people and show them everything this great sport has to offer. Running for MRK was never not an option for me especially after the first year I competed for the title. I came back with even more of a desire to hold the title of Miss Rodeo Kansas.
I have loved seeing your designs on contestants for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant last year, what inspired you to start making rodeo queen clothes and will we see some of your own designs on the Miss Rodeo America stage again this year when you compete?
I started sewing in high school by making my prom dresses which lead me to pursue a college education in apparel design at Kansas State University. I was inspired to make clothing for rodeo queens because I was one myself. I plan to make my entire wardrobe for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant this coming December and have already started design and thinking up some unique and new things to bring to the stage this year!
For girls who are struggling putting together a wardrobe, what is a staple piece you believe every rodeo queen should have in their closet?
Even though I have the ability to sew whatever I can dream up I will never pass up a bargain. I am serious when I say you can be a rodeo queen on a budget. I started out with blazers and skirts that I found for less than $10. A piece I feel that is a great investment is a vest because you can mix and match different colored shirts under it and get a totally different look.
Do you have a platform you will be promoting during your year? If so, what is it and why did you choose this platform.
My platform is "Dream Bigger!" Everyone knows the saying dream big but when I say dream bigger I am promoting the idea of reaching just past what you think is possible. When we set our goals high it can sometimes be hard to reach them but in the end after a lot of hard work we can be rewarded by the outcomes of our goals. When I visit schools and talk to groups throughout this year this is something I try to promote in hopes that I can inspire anyone at any age to go out and chase those dreams. This platform comes from my late cousin DJ, who was a rodeo queen and always had big goals and dreams.
What is one piece of advice you have learned during your rodeo queen journey that you would want to pass on to someone who is just starting out in the industry?
Treat every title like it is your last! I don't care if you are a county queen or Miss Rodeo America, always put your whole heart into what you have worked so hard to earn. I have always treated each of my titles like it was the biggest rodeo queen title there was to get and by doing that I truly enjoyed every single moment and was able to go to many places and meet so many people! With this attitude and mentality you will represent your rodeo with the best of your ability and be a great representation for the girl that earns the crown after you.
What appearance has been your favorite so far this year and what are you most looking forward to during the remainder of the year?
As a state queen you get the opportunity to go out of your state to bigger rodeos across the country which has truly been a great experience. My favorite trip so far was when I went to Colorado for the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, Cowboy Downhill and WESA Market. If you haven't yet seen the video of my wiping out on the slopes you are missing out on a good laugh! I look forward to the "Daddy of 'em all" and going to Cheyenne Frontier Days to fly down the side of the arena as fast as I can go. This is a memory most state titleholders say you definitely don't want to miss out on.
A lot of people don't realize the amount of time that state titleholders spend on the road making appearances not only in their respective states, but across the country as well. How do you balance your rodeo queen appearances with work, school, etc?
I chose to not have a full time job and schooling because I knew that I would want to have a very packed schedule and go to as many places as I could in 2019 but some state titleholders are able to do it all. You just have to know your limits and what you can handle. I am fortunate to have completed schooling already and I only work part time in the spring and summer at a therapeutic riding center which is very flexible with my schedule. Staying organized is also very important. I have a spreadsheet for about everything so that keeps me on track and a daily calendar with lists of what needs to get done is another one of my hacks.
What is one item you must pack with you for every appearance?
Besides my sash, crown and buckle I won't go anywhere without my sunflower socks. I have worn sunflower socks to every appearance I have made as Miss Rodeo Kansas! I have around 20 pairs now which gives me plenty when I am gone for long trips.
What is your quote or motto that you live by?
"When you can't find the sunshine be the sunshine!" I am definitely a glass half full kind of person and always try to find the positive in every situation. This saying just goes to show that whenever you are faced with hardship and negativity who have to change your mindset and look for the sunshine!
We can't thank Brooke enough for taking the time out of her busy schedule to interview with us! We are looking forward to seeing how the rest of her year plays out and that awesome wardrobe she is designing and creating herself. Remember to always follow your dreams and "Dream Bigger!"
Until next week,
Miss ORA Pageant Director
Photos Courtesy of Brooke Wallace