Sisters Halle, Josie and Adeline Robinson live on a farm in Kansas, surrounded by horses and other animals. When they were younger, they loved watching local rodeos, dreaming of the day they’d be old enough to compete. All that changed as soon as they saw the rodeo queen and princess.
These young ladies carry the flags, hair flying as they gallop around the arena. They also represent rodeo out in the larger community and help with other rodeo tasks, such as pushing the cows where they need to go and assisting with the clown acts and children’s mutton busting competition.
The sisters saw this as a way they could be involved in rodeo right now. Oldest sister Halle led the way, and now all three sisters have rodeo titles!
A Tale of Three Sisters
Halle, now 19, is a college sophomore in Oklahoma. She competes on her college rodeo team and also serves as Jayhawker Rodeo Queen. Josie, 16, is Miss Rodeo McCracken Queen, and Adeline, 14, is Miss Rodeo McCracken Princess.
Josie doesn’t remember a time she wasn’t riding. Her love is barrel racing. Adeline preferred the family’s goats to horses until she was around 9. Then she started to see there were more possibilities for riding besides barrel racing like her sisters.
“When I was about 9 or 10, I figured out there were more things I could do with a horse,” Adeline says. “That’s when I started to get more into horses. I do a lot of show stuff like western pleasure, ranch rail and trail.”
In addition to competing, the sisters spend a lot of time practicing.
“At home, we’re exercising the horses and working on stuff like patterns and your horse’s mind,” Adeline says. “When you have a day off, you can go trail riding. Around our house, we’ve been everywhere we can go.”
Josie adds, “We have too many horses to count!” Personally, Josie has four American Quarter Horses, and Adeline has two.
Becoming a Rodeo Queen and Princess
Big sister Halle was the first to enter a rodeo pageant; Josie and Adeline followed three years ago. Typically, the youngest contestants can enter the Little Miss division, the next age group is for Princess, and older teens or young adults can try out for Queen.
“When you go to a pageant, you have to compete in things like horsemanship, modeling a western outfit, giving a speech, and having an in-person interview and a written test,” Adeline says.
For someone who is naturally shy like Josie, things like public speeches may seem scary. But she’s worked to overcome this fear, and the pageants are helping her in school and are also great practice for college and the working world.
“We get to travel to different rodeos and help the rodeo move along smoothly,” Adeline explains. “We get to go to other pageants to help and go to different events like EquiFest. We represent our title and what rodeo is all about. I like to see the looks on people’s faces when I tell them I’m a rodeo queen and what we do. They’re like, ‘Wow, I thought they just rode around and waved.’ And I like to show them what rodeo queens really do. I like to be a part of rodeos because we used to go watch them when we were little. Then we found out we could be a part of them.”
“My favorite part of being a rodeo queen is running flags and pushing cattle,” says Josie. “I think it’s really fun to be involved in the rodeo, and I’m not old enough to compete in it yet.”
Future Goals and Advice
“As far as rodeo queening goes, I want to it as long as I can because I think it’s fun,” Adeline says. “Maybe eventually I’ll try for Miss Rodeo Kansas.”
Josie is considering trying out for the rodeo team when she gets to college.
If you think you might want to try and become a rodeo queen or princess, Adeline and Josie have some great advice. First, locate rodeos in your area. Then, find out if they have queen or princess programs. Some local horse show circuits also have these opportunities in the form of color guards.
Once you locate a queen or princess competition, find out what is involved in competing. Then you can start to prepare.
“Be confident,” Adeline advises. “You can do anything if you’re confident in the rodeo queen world.”
A friend of hers forgot one part of an answer during her pageant interview, but she answered confidentially anyhow, so the judges probably didn’t even notice!
“Even if you don’t win your first few pageants, keep trying,” Josie says. “It shows you have dedication and really want to do this. Don’t give up.”
Both girls hope to see more young people getting involved in this fun activity.
“Don’t be scared to try!” Adeline says. “We’d like to see more people trying it. It’s a lot of fun.”