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History

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.

2014 - Paige Nicholson, the second Mississippian ever to win the title of Miss Rodeo America. At the 2014 Miss Rodeo America Pageant, each contestant was awarded an educational scholarship. The 60th Anniversary celebration of the Miss Rodeo America Pageant was hosted by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. After 25 years working with Miss Rodeo America, Raeana Wadhams retires as their Executive Director effective December 31, 2014.

2015- Lauren Heaton was crowned Miss Rodeo America 2015 and is the first Oklahoman to receive this title!

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