Rodeo Queen takes dedication, passion

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Meagan Wright was crowned 2009 Miss Rodeo K-State Saturday at the 53rd Annual K-State Collegiate Rodeo.

Wright, sophomore in kinesiology, said she had been preparing for the pageant since November. She said it was “a long-haul,” but completely worth it.

“I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders, and I feel like I am honestly on top of the world,” Wright said.

For contestants competing for Miss Rodeo K-State, preparation for the pageant can take several weeks to a couple of months. The contestants have to prepare themselves in many ways, from learning general rodeo knowledge to finding the right outfit.

“I needed to study current events, rodeo knowledge, modeling, interview do’s and don’ts and make a speech on my favorite rodeo event,” Wright said.

Another queen contestant, Bobbie Jo Horocofsky, freshman in animal science, said it took her about one month to prepare, but she probably should have started back in December or November to make sure everything was ready.

The Miss Rodeo K-State pageant consists of a written test, horsemanship, a closed interview, modeling and giving a speech.

Jenae Skelton, 2008 Miss Rodeo K-State Queen, said to prepare for a rodeo queen pageant, the rodeo queen must be knowledgeable. Contestants not only have to know the general rules of a rodeo, but also have knowledge about K-State history, the K-State Rodeo Club, horsemanship and current events.

For Skelton, becoming rodeo queen had always been a goal. She said she knew K-State had a rodeo team but didn’t realize they had a rodeo queen. She said she thought it would be great to become Miss Rodeo K-State.

Wright said she heard about the pageant from Skelton and she immediately knew she wanted to be a part of it because of her love for rodeo. Wright said she planned on barrel racing with the K-State Rodeo team earlier this year, but ended up not being able to compete due to medical set backs. That’s when she decided to run for rodeo queen.

“I went on the search for a way to still be involved in and represent the K-State Rodeo team in a positive fashion,” Wright said. “It’s too hard to live without once it’s in your blood.”

Horocofsky said she decided to run because ever since she was little, she has wanted to be the rodeo queen.

“I grew up in Manhattan, and it would mean a lot to be the rodeo queen for my hometown,” Horocofsky said.

Skelton said a rodeo queen is a representative of the university and the K-State Rodeo Club and rodeo in general. Some of the duties include pushing calves around the arena, running flags with sponsors, holding the American or Kansas flag at the beginning of the rodeo and mingling with the crowd.

After being crowned queen, Wright said she also wants to try to get the word out about the K-State Rodeo Club in addition to carrying out the queen’s regular duties.

“We put on one of the best rodeos in all of our regions,” Wright said.

Skelton said one of her favorite parts of the rodeo is being introduced as a Miss Rodeo K-State and having people know who she is.

“I bleed purple so I love sharing my enthusiasm with other fans,” Skelton said.

Though it took much time and work, Skelton said it is very sad to leave the title.

“It was the most fun title I have had mainly because it’s the biggest and most well-known,” Skelton said.

For Wright, being crowned rodeo queen was a goal she set for herself, and she said it felt good to see it through.

“In college, it’s not very often that you start a big project and then finish it the way you want to,” Wright said. “This is exactly what I wanted.”

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