Tuesday, Dec. 1:
The day kicked of with personality interviews, one of the most important components of the entire competition. Miss Rodeo America contestants dressed in business formal attire and only the judges knew what kind of questions would be asked and what kind of responses were most desirable. All of the 33 contestants outwardly exude the heart and spirit of the Western world, and the personality interviews confirm that they live and speak it.
In general, judges seek a young woman who embodies the legacy and title of the MRA crown. Miss Rodeo America is professional, well-spoken, ambitious, hardworking, goal-oriented and can represent the sport of rodeo with style, grace and intelligence.
The girls broke for lunch to spend time with the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation, the nonprofit foundation that has raised more than $100,000 this year to support the educational endeavors of MRA contestants. At the end of the pageant, every girl will receive at least $1,000 in scholarships. At lunch, they had the opportunity to personally thank the board members and hardworking people behind the foundation.
Afterward, personality interviews continued until the late afternoon. The girls then returned to their rooms to prepare for the most formal event of the entire pageant, the Hall of Fame Gala presented by Montana Silversmith. The event was open to the public, which allowed the state queens to showcase the class and elegance of true Western women and MRA.
Some contestants were outfitted in classic, full leather gowns, others were not. Every dress was unique to each girl, many specially designed just for them. During the event, the girls spoke for 30 seconds on their most memorable experience as state queens.
Hall of Fame inductions concluded a long Tuesday. Two new members were inducted into the Hall: Tom House, a photographer and videographer who has documented MRA for over 40 years, and Lolly Klug, who has volunteered her time and energy to MRA also for about four decades.
Wednesday, Dec. 2
The girls had to turn on their cerebral senses quickly on Wednesday. Extemporaneous speeches were the first event of the day, and the girls were given five different, extremely open-ended topics they could choose to speak on. They had 10 minutes to prepare one-and-a-half to two-minute speeches topics like:
- “true western living”
- “what is your inspiration?”
- “durable, dependable, tough”
- “Attention to detail”
Horsemanship interviews followed, during which contestants answered rodeo, equine, sponsor and other types of questions.
At the end of the night, all 33 girls had the honor of being the first group of MRA contestants to attend the PRCA Awards Banquet at South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. The special, annual event announces committees of the year, stock contractors and bucking stock of year, and more. The MRA organization and contestants were all extremely grateful to share the evening with the PRCA and their friends.
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