Way up in the Pacific Northwest from the “Evergreen State” is a first generation cowgirl that calls Poulsbo, Washington home. My name is Crystal Hart, your Miss Rodeo Washington 2017. I am the proud daughter of Eddie and Cherie Hart. I have an Associate of Arts Degree, Massage Therapy license and a diploma in Hotel, Restaurant and Event Management. After the completion of my reign I will be returning to college to obtain a Bachelors in Graphic Design.
I grew up in a very active household with my 3 siblings Cassie, DJ and Dylan. Playing year round basketball, participating in equine 4-H, band, running start and many more activities to keep me always on the go. There has always been that one moment that I felt was my tipping point propelling me into becoming your Miss Rodeo Washington 2017. When I was in 7th grade, ASB elections came around and I went home and told my mom I was going to run for ASB office. She was shocked as I was never one to want to be in the spotlight or the first to jump into a leadership role. My mom kept asking me questions, like “you know you will have to make a speech in front of the whole school, right?” and to all of her questions I replied “yes I understand what I have to do” with a very determined attitude. Although I did not make it onto the ASB board, it was the point in time that I realized that I was more than capable of directing my own path.
Pageants became a way to challenge myself while representing organizations that I love at the same time. I have competed in 12 pageants, winning 6 of them while that seems like a good 50/50 chance at winning it took me 3 tries at the Miss Rodeo Washington Pageant. Returning to the pageant I really had to dig deep and find my tenacity on why I wanted to run a third time. There it was staring me in the face, on my application I had written Washington is my home, and rodeo is my sport, and I can’t think of a better way to combine my love for both, than to become Miss Rodeo Washington!
I am a firm believer that things happen when they are meant to! This past year after the Miss Rodeo Washington pageant, I purchased my first reined cow horse from a stable in Ellensburg, Washington called High Country Training. Even though I have been riding my whole life, I started learning a completely different way to ride that was foreign to me and at different times felt like I was almost starting from scratch. But every week I would make the 3-hour drive to Ellensburg for two days of lessons from Kim Witty and Portia Mccutchan. I competed in the Northwest Reined Cow Horse Association this past year and with the help of my trusty steed Hazelnut we took it in stride. Going to my 3rd show in Pasco, Washington during the middle of summer with smoldering heat. I felt like Hazelnut and I were really clicking and working great together. At the end of the show, I had done it, I had finally won my FIRST BELT BUCKLE! After the show season had ended I got a letter informing me that I had qualified for the National’s in Texas. Competing this year has been put on hold, but will definitely be revisited.
Opportunities and experiences are what you make them, one of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou and she said “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty” Nobody is born a winner or champion or even Miss Rodeo America but with a little grit and tenacity we can all become the best versions of ourselves and become our own beautiful butterfly.
I hope to see everyone down the rodeo road!