She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25
That's the Bible Verse this week's Titleholder lives by! From our neighboring state of Iowa, this week we have Heather Morrison, Miss Leon Rodeo! I met Heather in Oklahoma City this past January where she was competing for Miss Rodeo USA and I truly enjoyed watching her, not to mention she is one of the most down to Earth people you will ever meet! Heather walked away with a Top 5 finish as Second Runner up for her first trip to Miss Rodeo USA! I hope you learn a lot from Heather this week!
How did you become involved in rodeo and rodeo queen pageants?
I first became involved in rodeo when I was a senior in high school. The local rodeo had become PRO and they were going to have their first ever rodeo queen pageant. My sister and I had heard of it and decided to place a bet, whoever placed higher in the pageant would not have to do farm chores for an entire month! Of course that was a bet we were willing to wager! After the pageant I had decided that I loved the sport and all it had to offer and I was hooked from that point on.
Having previously talked to you at Miss Rodeo USA, you mentioned that you were a small town farm girl, what advice would you give to girls who think they can't compete in pageants because they aren't girly enough?
Never let anyone put words or ideas into your head that don't follow your heart. I was always told I was not good enough or that I didn't come from a rodeo family and would never be able to make it as a rodeo competitor or as a rodeo queen. I am living proof that that is incorrect, I have won four rodeo queen titles, placed in the top three at a national level, and have been a strong rodeo competitor when competing. You should always give it your best, sometimes us "small town farm girls" are very smart and most of the time we have been taught that hard work and dedication will take you further then most other things, and to never give up!
Why did you decide to compete for Miss Rodeo USA?
Miss Rodeo USA was not my dream, in the beginning anyway. I was going to be Miss Rodeo Iowa, that was my dream, that's what I had worked so long for! I had requested my application for Miss Rodeo Iowa and had soon realized that I had not kept up on the age requirements and had just missed the mark. Although I was devastated my coordinator for the title that I held at the time mentioned Miss Rodeo USA. Of course I had no clue what it involved or how I was ever going to make that happen, but just then I realized that I could do anything that I had set my mind to. I enrolled into the Miss Rodeo USA clinic, made the trip to Oklahoma, learned everything I could in those three days, and started my journey to a new dream! Not only did the Miss Rodeo USA title become my new dream but it also opened many new doors for me, I met so many wonderful people that I still talk to on a daily basis! I couldn't have asked for a better what I like to call a "blessing of a curse!"
What was your goal at Miss Rodeo USA besides winning the title?
Of course I wanted to win the title of Miss Rodeo USA! Eleven other girls, that's how many I competed against at Miss Rodeo USA. That was the most I have ever competed against in my life! I was a little intimidated sure, but I was not just going to lay down and be trampled on. So on the way down to the pageant I told my mother that I had just refused to let myself place any less then top five. I had worked so hard and so did she, my mother had spent the last several weeks designing and sewing my wardrobe for Miss Rodeo USA. I had placed it into my head that I was going to know all that I knew going into it but that was not going to stop me from pushing myself to do my very best in every event that came about throughout the week and so I did just that!
A lot of girls are intimidated to compete at the national level because they don't think they are good enough. What advice would you give them?
Well I know exactly how they feel! I was told by several people from all over that I was not good enough, I didn't have the last name, the right horse, or any horse at all, I didn't have the money or the wardrobe, and I didn't have the right title, or even come from the right state. Don't ever let any of the above notions or even anything else step in your way of your dreams. You only have one life, one time to shine and live it to the fullest so why not do it now! My mother made most all of my wardrobe for USA, what she didn't make I borrowed and that didn't make or break me at a national level. I have worked my whole life for all I own, in fact I worked three jobs before I left for USA but that's what I was willing to do to make my dreams happen. I don't own my own horse and to be honest I haven't owned my own horse in almost two years and the last two rodeo queen titles I have won were on borrowed horses. There is no obstacle for those who are determined to follow their heart! I hope that you don't give up on yourself for obstacles that may get in your way for just a brief moment in your long life!
What was your favorite moment from Miss Rodeo USA?
The entire Miss Rodeo USA pageant was a thrill of a lifetime. I was so blessed and I am still so honored that I was able to go and to be apart of that! If I had to choose just one moment from the entire week there that was my favorite I would have to say that it would be when all of us girls were standing behind the shoots waiting to go into the arena to soon find out who would wear the enviable crown. Even though we were all so tired and our hair had just finally been perfected after all the practiced we had that week there was a smile on every single girls face that stood behind the shoots. The committee smiled, the contestants, and even the rodeo staff was gleaming with joy! If there was a picture to capture that moment I would hope that someone would put that in a magazine as it was well deserved!
How did it feel to win 2nd Runner Up?
Wow, to be honest I am still in shock! I have never felt more accomplished or more rewarded in my life. Of course I had told my mother that I was not coming home with out top five but never did I actually believe that I was going to do it! When they named miss Sara Weeks third runner up, my first thought was "OH NO! I didn't place." I had thought that so many of the girls would place higher then me and of course we really had no idea as there were so many parts of the pageant that we did not get to see. Once my name was called I was jumping with joy I remember Garrett Yerigan (the announcer) says "2nd- runner up goes to Miss Leon Rodeo" and my feet had literally came off the ground as I threw my arm in the air to let everyone know that that was me! My hard work and dedication, my three jobs, my sponsors, and all that I had worked for had finally paid off!
Wow! What an incredible journey Heather has been on within rodeo queen pageants! This is a reminder that hard work and dedication is truly what is takes to reach your goals in life. As unfortunate it was that Heather just missed the mark for competing and hopefully becoming Miss Rodeo Iowa, something good came out of it and that was being 2nd Runner Up to a National Title.
We can't thank Heather enjoy for taking the time to do this interview with us because we truly appreciate it and I hope you girls who are reading this learned something and are inspired to keep on competing no matter what the obstacle may be!
That's all for this week's addition of Titleholder Tuesday!
Until next time,
Miss ORA Pageant
Photos courtesy of: Heather Morrison