About the Miss Rodeo America Organization
The Miss Rodeo America organization and pageant competition exists for the purposes of selecting a young lady to serve as an official spokesperson for the sport of professional rodeo and providing educational opportunities for those young women who compete in the pageant.
Miss Rodeo America travels some 100,000 miles during the year of her reign, appearing at nearly 100 rodeo performances, as well as appearances at schools, civic groups and other special events, educating the public and creating awareness about the sport of rodeo, its sponsors, and its opportunities.
Talented, beautiful, and well-spoken, Miss Rodeo America is the ideal ambassador to represent and promote America’s Original Professional Sport – rodeo – serving as the official spokesperson for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. She also takes on the role of model and spokesperson in a variety of promotional events and commercial advertisements for western clothiers, publications, sponsors and other service providers to the western industry.
We encourage you to come out and meet Miss Rodeo America when she makes an appearance at a rodeo or event near you and join Miss Rodeo America in supporting the great western rodeo tradition.
The annual Miss Rodeo America Pageant hosts beautiful and talented cowgirls from across the country. These hopefuls – having already spent a year as reigning queen for their representative states – converge for a weeklong competition in late November/early December to select one deserving young woman to reign as Miss Rodeo America for the coming year.
These energetic cowgirls are judged in the major categories of personality, appearance, horsemanship and rodeo knowledge & presentation, demonstrating her skills in public speaking, personal interviewing, horsemanship, knowledge of rodeo and general equine science, current event awareness, photogenic qualities, visual poise, and overall professionalism.
The pageant is a glamorous prelude to the famous Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the PRCA’s year-end championship event also held in Las Vegas in December.
BEAUTY and SMARTS
In addition to conducting the annual pageant competition, the organization administers the scholarship program. Providing educational opportunities to young ladies competing in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant is a major focus of the organization.
We have a rich tradition and a distinguished alumni of past Miss Rodeo Americas, many who continue to contribute to the organization, the sport of professional rodeo and our western lifestyle, long after their reign.
Rich in history and western tradition, the Miss Rodeo America organization relies on its faithful sponsors and an tireless volunteer membership to maintain the integrity and continued success of Miss Rodeo America. Please join us – either as a member at some level or as a business sponsor.
A Brief History Of Miss Rodeo America
1955 —The concept of Miss Rodeo America is developed by a group of gentlemen, organized under the name of International Rodeo Management (IRM). The first pageant is held in Casper, Wyoming.
1956 —The Pageant moved from Casper, Wyoming to Chicago, Illinois and is held in conjunction with the International Dairy Show.
1957 —The pageant is held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California .
1958 —The Pageant is relocated again, this time to Las Vegas, Nevada.
1974 —The pageant moves to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where the National Finals Rodeo also moves. Miss Rodeo America is crowned at the Cowboy Hall of Fame.
1975 —Miss Rodeo America celebrates her victory at the Myriad in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
1976 —The first of ten Miss Rodeo Americas is crowned in the Jim Norick Coliseum at the Oklahoma City State Fairgrounds.
1980 —"Beauty & The Beast" Wrangler Bullfight concept first originates with the Miss Rodeo America Pageant in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
1985 —The pageant follows the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) and moves back to Las Vegas, Nevada.
1989 —The National Finals Steer Roping at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma, is the site for selecting Miss Rodeo America. The pageant is produced for television and aires on the National Network. A business manager is hired to manage the affairs of the organization and the business operation is relocated from Springdale, Arkansas to Pueblo, Colorado.
1990 —The Miss Rodeo America Pageant returnes to the "City of Lights", Las Vegas, Nevada.
1992 —The business operation is re-incorporated in the State of Colorado as Miss Rodeo America, Inc., and officially recognized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as the sole entity to select Miss Rodeo America each year. Wrangler presents the Miss Rodeo America Pageant with a check in the amount of $30,000 for educational scholarships. These funds are the beginning of the Miss Rodeo America Pageant Scholarship Program, which Wrangler continues to support.
1995 —The Pageant celebrates its 40th Anniversary. Miss Rodeo America and Miss Rodeo America Pageant contestants were featured in the opening ceremony of the 1995 National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The American Quarter Horse, Docs Keepin Time (star of the movie "Black Beauty") and trainer Rex Peterson, make an appearance at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant.
1997 —Miss Rodeo America is included on the web site of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
1998 —Miss Rodeo America, Inc., goes online with website (www.missrodeo.com).
1999 —PRCA Contract Act Of The Year - Entertainer, Mr. Jerry Diaz and his American Quarter Horse, Grano de Oro, perform during the Miss Rodeo America Pageant Fashion Show & Dinner, at the Flamingo Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. The Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation receives its 501 (c)(3) status from the IRS.
2000 —Brandy DeJongh, Miss Rodeo America 2000, traveles to Paris to promote professional rodeo, America, Miss Rodeo America sponsors, the Western way of life, and a photography book by Lisa Eisner entitled Rodeo Girl.
2001 —Tara Graham, Miss Rodeo America 2001, rides in the Presidential Inaugural Parade, riding with Senator Conrad Burns' entourage from Montana. Tara participates on NBC's "Weakest Link" game show in November. As the guest of Wrangler, Tara is the first Miss Rodeo America to attend the Country Music Awards in Nashville, TN.
2003 —Pageant activity headquarters moves to the Orleans Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, Nev.
2005 —The Pageant celebrates its 50th Anniversary and crowns Selena Ulch as the 50th Miss Rodeo America. A major rebuild of the Miss Rodeo America web site by MRA sponsor, Bonefrog Creative, is completed in the fall.
2006 —Arizona cowgirl, Amanda Jenkins, stepped into the saddle and immediately won the hearts of everyone as she completed the year as Miss Rodeo America 2006. Amanda replaced Tressie Knowlton from Colorado, who was released of the prestigious title in July of 2006 by the Miss Rodeo America, Inc., Executive Board of Directors. Las Vegas Events, Inc., made a one time contribution to the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation in the amount of $10,000 to be presented, under the guidelines of the Foundation, to Amanda Jenkins, Miss Rodeo America 2006.
2007 —Ashley Andrews became the second North Dakotan to receive the title when she was crowned Miss Rodeo America 2007. Tracy Damrell from Evans, Colorado was elected to the position of President of Miss Rodeo America, Inc., for the 2007- 2008. Trish Fulcher continues as President of the MRA Scholarship Foundation.
2008 —Kansan, Amy Wilson, was crowned the 53rd Miss Rodeo America at the 2008 Miss Rodeo America Pageant. She is only the second Kansan in the history of the pageant to hold the title. The organization continues a positive growth pattern as the exciting desert oasis of Las Vegas, coupled with the electrifying events of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo; compliment the beauty, talent and integrity of the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. For today's rodeo fans, it's difficult to imagine the world of professional rodeo without her: her charm, her ability, and most importantly, her knack for turning rodeo spectators into rodeo fans.
2009 —Maegan Ridley of California won the title of Miss Rodeo America 2009. A temporary exhibit at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado SPrings commemorated the 55th Anniversary of the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. Tracy Damrell was re-elected as President and Debbie Dilley was chosen as the new President of the MRA Scholarship Foundation. They both served terms in 2009 and 2010.
2010 —Kelli Jackson became the the first Miss Rodeo America to hale from the state of Mississippi.
2011 —Not since 1985 had the title of Miss Rodeo America been won by a South Dakotan until McKenzie Haley arrived in Las Vegas and was crowned Miss Rodeo America 2011. Tracy Damrell continues as MRAI president and Kelly Baxley from Texas is elected as President of the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation for 2011. The 57th Annual Miss Rodeo America Pageant is showcased in the "City of Lights," Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2011 Pageant dates change to coincide with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the Pageant moved to MGM Grand Hotel, Home of the Champions, to hosts the 2012 Pageant.
2012 —Mackenzie Carr is the first Oregonian to win the title of Miss Rodeo America. Tracy Damrell remains President of Miss Rodeo America, Inc. and Kelly Baxley continues as President of the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation. The Pageant returns to the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino as the host hotel for the 2013 Pageant.
2013 —Chenae Shiner became the 5th young lady from Utah to receive the title of Miss Rodeo America. Frances Bendele, from Hondo, Texas was elected to the position of President of Miss Rodeo America, Inc. and her brother Glenn Klaus, was elected to the position of President of the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation. This is the first time a brother/sister duo has held these positions at the same time! The 2014 Miss Rodeo America Pageant returns to the "Home of Champions" at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino as the host hotel.