TO EDITORS, NEWS DIRECTORS: Print quality photos (cutline information is
available at the end of this news release) are available for download
through the Miss Rodeo Kansas link on the page at
Kan. -- Life as Miss Rodeo Kansas 2013 begins for Kara Hackney on Jan. 1, which
is when she officially becomes Kanas rodeo's queen, as opposed to "lady in
a Hays senior at Fort Hays State University, is Miss Rodeo Kansas for 2013, a
title she won at the Miss Rodeo Kansas Pageant at the Dodge City Roundup PRCA Rodeo
in August, which is the final stop on the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, said
Hackney. The Kansas pageant has been held there so long, said Hackney, that
people associated with the pageant call it "the home of Miss Rodeo
how cool is it to be Miss Rodeo Kansas?
she said, "it's pretty surreal, because I have worked toward this since
2003, when I ran in my first rodeo pageant, and it's just now finally sinking
in that I am at the level I have been working toward for nearly 10 years."
then she sums it up: "It's really exciting, and I feel really blessed for
is now 21, a college student majoring in communication with a minor in
agriculture. The academic career is on hold, though. She won't be able to get
back to that until at least spring 2014, because a scholarship comes with the
Kansas rodeo crown, but she can't use it until her reign as Miss Rodeo Kansas
ends next year.
if all goes well at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant in December 2013 in Las
Vegas, that will be pushed back to spring 2015, because duties as Miss Rodeo
America will intervene.
Hays State, she said, has been "great" working with her on a leave of
absence so that her FHSU scholarships will be waiting for her when she is done
being a rodeo queen was not necessarily a prediction that would have come out
of that first pageant at age 11, but, she said, "I was determined to be a
rodeo queen one day regardless of the results that day!"
was actually my eleventh birthday, the Ellis County Rodeo Pageant," she
said. "I didn't win that year, I got Second Runner Up. It was definitely a
learning experience. I knew how to ride a horse, talk to people and take care
of horses, and that I wanted to be a part of rodeo, but that was about it."
had spoken to audiences before, and the microphone cutting in and out "didn’t
faze me a bit."
modeling was the thing that needed the most polish," she said. "I had
attitude and enthusiasm, but grace? That came later with practice."
horsemanship competition was also hampered somewhat. "I had an old roping
horse who didn't like to back up. He was about 20 years old or something, but
he was a great old horse anyway. Red Rock was his name."
the modeling competition, she walked down the runway, smiling all the while,
did her turn at the end, then went on into the crowd, where her mother was busy
videoing the proceedings. She was done. Except she wasn't. "Mom very quietly
whispered to me, 'Get back up there! You have to wait until they are done
talking about you.' She said this very sweetly with a smile, but I think she
was probably giggling inside at me."
she went back up on stage and stood there because she didn't know what else to
do. "But I still won the speech-modeling category, so that was pretty exciting,"
she said. "I'll never forget that day."
for the record, she won that pageant the next year and became the 2004 Ellis
County Rodeo Princess.
Miss Kansas Rodeo competition was a four-day affair. Contestants are judged in
four categories. Horsemanship tops the list for highest point value, followed
in descending order by knowledge, personality and appearance.
horsemanship, she had to ride one set pattern and one freestyle pattern, both
on horses she had never ridden before. Other individual events were a personal
interview, an interview over rodeo and horsemanship, a speech competition and
an impromptu rodeo knowledge question, a written test on rodeo knowledge, a
style show, and a current event question session.
duties as queen of Kansas rodeo will be mainly as an ambassador in travels
across the state and nation. Her main job at the rodeos will be to sign
autographs, interact with the crowds and build relationships with communities
and the public. She will help with the production of many rodeos through such
duties as carrying sponsorship flags and pushing cattle out of the arena on horseback.
She will also be called on to speak in schools and at other venues to promote
rodeo, agriculture, animal welfare, Kansas and agriculture.
extent of the travel and responsibilities mean that a large part of her duties
is raising funds through sponsorships. In addition to travel, the year requires
a large wardrobe and preparation for the national pageant.
to certain states is assured, Colorado, for the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and
the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame inductions in Colorado Springs, to the Ram National
Circuit Finals in Oklahoma City, to the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne,
Wyo., and at least once to Canada for the Calgary Stampede in Alberta.
will certainly be other states, too. Traditionally, individual queens invite
the others to events in their states, which could theoretically result in
travel to as many as 25 to 30 states.
2012, she said, 31 states have rodeo queens. "There's even a Miss Rodeo
New York this year, which is pretty cool. And a Massachusetts. And a
Maine." But, usually, 25 to 30 states have rodeo queens.
looks forward most to the people she will meet. "I will get to see a lot
of places and experience a lot of things that I would never have been able to
without this opportunity, but it's the people who leave the most lasting
impression on you," she said.
you're in the limelight like this, you're able to have such an effect on people's
lives that you can't as an everyday person. You are really able to affect
people in a positive way and reach out to them."
credits her coursework in communication studies and in agriculture at FHSU for
helping her to prepare for the competition. Her reign as Miss Rodeo Kansas will
also, she said, advance her career."I'm looking forward to meeting people God will place in my path who will
be able to lead me to the next step in my career," she said.
want to thank the people who have helped me to get to this point, since I have been
rodeo queening consistently for almost 10 years. There's a lot of people who
have influenced me and taught me."
make the difference in whatever you do," she said, listing her family, the
Miss Rodeo Kansas board and the people of the Dodge City Roundup as people who
helped her along in her path.
most importantly," she finished, "I want to thank God for this
official coronation as Miss Rodeo Kansas will be Saturday, Jan. 5, in a
ceremony in the Unrein Building on the Ellis County Fairgrounds. In addition to
the coronation, the evening includes a flat iron steak dinner and a silent and
live auction. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door for adults, $12 in
advance and $15 at the door for children 10 and under. All proceeds will help defray
the expenses of serving as Miss Rodeo Kansas. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dinner
will be served beginning about 6:30 p.m., and the live auction will follow. The
silent auction will be conducted throughout the evening.
arrange to donate auction items, to contribute funds, or to RSVP for the
coronation benefit, contact Hackney by email to email@example.com or by
mail to P.O. Box 11, Hays, KS 67601. Checks should be made out to Miss Rodeo
Photo information: Photos
are from Kara Hackney. All photos are from the Miss Rodeo Kansas competition.
portrait is the contestant photo used for publications and for the photogenic
photo on horseback, taken at the Dodge City Roundup after she was crowned, is her
first run as Miss Rodeo Kansas.
gown photo is from the modeling portion of the pageant style show.
the winner's photo, she is pictured with her mother, Barbara Rupp, her brother,
Slade Hackney, and the Miss Rodeo Kansas saddle.