There is no substitution for preparation. That’s it. That is the whole story on how to be successful at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, and all others. You have to put in the time and work, because glitz and glamour will not cover up your mistakes if you are not completely prepared.
Personality, in my opinion, is the category that picks the winner. People around you can feel your personality. It’s your warmth and positive energy toward people. Your personality can be felt at arm’s length, from the fashion show runway, and from the arena floor. How do you practice “personality?” This is something you can’t put on a flashcard. Before the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, a wise mentor told me,” find out what your judges love.” Everyone likes to talk about their dogs and their grand kids, if they have them. Connecting on a personal level on something other than rodeo makes you feel like a friend to them. When you meet a judge or a fan, let them tell you about themselves. There is a reason you have two ears and only one mouth. This is particularly helpful at pageants like the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, where you really get to know your judges. I am convinced that MRA can be won and lost at the breakfast table.
I encourage you to do some critical thinking about your preparation strategy. If you were a judge, what would you look for? I think about the duties of being a title holder. Someone who is personable, approachable, fun, and mature is who I would want to represent my organization. Most titles involve riding at rodeos, sometimes on multiple unfamiliar horses. In my mind, you literally cannot serve as a rodeo queen if you are not a comfortable and experienced horseman. I would choose a winner based on who I would want interacting with the public for my organization and one that was a confident rider.
Countless times, I have watched girls spend so much time and money on their appearance, and far less time on studying. Please remember, your outfits usually cannot win the pageant, but your mind always can.