Alabama vs Auburn is one of the most well known college football rivals and let me tell you, this week's titleholder delivered her State Speech at Miss Rodeo USA with that in mind. We are chatting with Miss Limestone Sheriff's Rodeo 2017 and 1st Runner Up to Miss Rodeo USA, Heather Bundy! Heather shares with us what it was like to take her final trip to Oklahoma City to compete for the title of Miss Rodeo USA and what she has planned for the future.
How did you become involved in rodeo and rodeo queen pageants?
I became involved in rodeo queening back in 2011 because Karen Moore out of Athens, Alabama told me it would be something that I would really enjoy. My first pageant I didn’t place but my second one I took first runner up and never looked back.
Who inspired you to compete for Miss Rodeo USA?
This year my grandfather is the reason I was inspired to go compete for the Miss Rodeo USA title. I had gone two previous times to the Miss Rodeo USA Pageant and brought home scrap book winner and that was it. Last Christmas my grandee passed away but he always told me I was his Miss USA rodeo queen no matter what the judges said. He admired how I would continue to work hard and try again even if I wasn’t the pick of the judges. I had recently said I wouldn’t rodeo queen again and just hang it up. It hit me, I wasn’t finished. I wanted to be able to say I had at least placed at such a high level before I hung my crown up. So I tightened my sash and hit the road running to give the 2018 Miss Rodeo USA pageant my 110% all.
What was your goal going into Miss Rodeo USA besides winning the title?
My goal going into Miss Rodeo USA was to be the best me that I possibly could and give my whole heart for the sport I love. I wanted to be the most prepared that I could be so that I could set back and enjoy the week of competing.
What has been your favorite part of being Miss Limestone Sheriff's Rodeo Queen this past year?
My favorite part of being Miss Limestone Sheriffs Rodeo Queen this past year has been gaining a whole new family. I hosted a Jr Rodeo and I was overwhelmed with the love and support from the people who volunteered to all the contestants. They mean it when they say the title of Miss Limestone gives you a whole new family that want you to succeed with or without the crown.
What are your plans for the future after you give up your title? Is there another trip to Miss Rodeo USA planned?
My plans for the future after I give up this title is to finish my business degree at Athens State University and move to Paradise, Texas. Out there I plan to get a job and work for about a year and then move back home to Alabama. Once I move back I will see where life takes me, I currently run our family farm where I give riding lessons and board horses. I also have been working at a day care full time. I hope that my future career involves horses and children. I would love to grow our family facility into a large enough business that I could do that and not have a second job. I do not plan to run for Miss Rodeo USA again.
ou placed first runner up to Miss Rodeo USA, what was going through your mind during crowning and when your name was called?
As they were calling out the placings out in the Jim Norick arena my heart was pounding I was just hoping they would call me out as a placing contestant. When they called my name as first runner up I was beyond excited, I had finally placed at a national level with some of the toughest girls I had ever met.
,What is one piece of advice you have been given during your rodeo queen journey that you would pass on to other contestants looking to compete?
One piece of advice I have been given during my rodeo queen journey that I want to pass on to other contestants is, always be the best you that you can be. Don’t let someone else determine your happiness. I personally have dealt with some people trying to crush my spirit as the title holder of Miss Limestone. They felt I wasn’t good enough to hold the title and they made sure everyone knew it from the moment that crown got placed on my hat. At first I got upset and even a little mad then I realized if I let this ruin my year then they would be right. So instead I ignored the ugly comments I placed that crown on my hat and set out to be the best Miss Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo I possibly could be! And I DID, this year as Miss Limestone I have held a Jr. Rodeo with over 58 contestants, a barrel race with close to 60 horses competing, traveled to 23 of the 50 states, held three parties for my sash sisters so we could all get together and play games and have fun away from rodeo queening, kept my blog up to date, met some wonderful people, made memories to last a life time, placed first runner up at a national level pageant and had the time of my life doing what I love. If I would have let the negativity towards my abilities as Miss Limestone knock me down, I would have let so many wonderful opportunities slip away!
Sometimes all it takes is just one more try to reach a goal that your working towards. While Heather didn't bring home the crown from her final rodeo queen pageant, she accomplished a goal of placing at the national level. If you've never had the chance to watch the Miss Rodeo USA pageant, you truly don't see how competitive these girls are and how hard the judge's choice is. They all prepare for so long and work hard at placing in the Top 5, making this a huge accomplishment!
Thank you Heather for taking time to do this interview with us! We greatly appreciate it!
Until next week,
Miss ORA Pageant
Photos courtesy of: Heather Bundy