From advocacy to horsemanship, Miss Rodeo Kentucky is more than a beauty pageant 

As the 2021 Miss Rodeo Kentucky begins, we set down with last year’s winner Kelsey Danielle McCrite to learn more about what it takes to be a rodeo queen. Kelsey hails from Murray, Kentucky where she grew up on a small family farm, showing horse, swine, beef and boer goats throughout her youth. Now the rodeo takes most of her time, which helped her earn the title of Miss Rodeo Kentucky. 

What made you want to be a rodeo queen?
I wanted to become a rodeo queen so I could be an ambassador for the sport of rodeo. I’ve been competing for most of my life but I had never been on the public relations side of rodeo. As a rodeo queen, you can have the best of both worlds. You get to be an advocate in and out of the arena.

What does it take to win the crown?
It takes dedication to win the crown. You have to set that goal and not let anything stop you.

What type of work do you do as the rodeo queen?
As a rodeo queen you have many jobs. You promote the sport of rodeo so you must be knowledgeable in all aspects of the sport. Networking and promoting your state is also part of the job. You become a role model to girls who want to be a rodeo queen.

How did you get involved with the rodeo?
I got involved in rodeo at the age of seven. I grew up on a small family farm and we always had horses. I asked my parents if I could learn to ride and they took me to riding lessons. I started competing within a year and I haven’t stopped since. I competed in youth rodeos, the NHSRA junior high division, NHSRA, and NLBRA. I continued into college and currently compete in the NIRA as well as some semi-pro and IPRA rodeos.

For those not familiar with the Miss Rodeo pageant, what do you think would surprise people the most?
I think most people would be surprised with how knowledgeable rodeo queens have to be. Contestants must be knowledgeable in the rodeo world as well as in current events. It is also important to be knowledgeable with horses and be skilled riders.

Learn more on the Miss Rodeo Kentucky website.