A Sweet Addiction to Hairspray & Horses

“You have to love travel, wear more makeup than a clown, and have a sweet addiction to hairspray,” Carolyn Hunter quips about the requirements for becoming a Rodeo Queen. But it’s much more than that.

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Carolyn, the Sedro-Woolley WA Rodeo Queen and her sister, Amanda Hunter, Miss Pro West Rodeo. These young ladies are not just pretty faces. They are both expert horsewomen, have a great deal of poise, and stand as an example for young girls.

The competition for Rodeo Queen is not a beauty contest. Carolyn and Amanda explain that every contestant has to perform a specific horsemanship pattern on their own horse plus ride a newly-assigned pattern on a horse they’ve never ridden. They also answer a slate of oral questions and take a written test on horse and rodeo knowledge, submit to a personal interview, and deliver a prepared speech. Some pageants last just one day and others are a week long, Carolyn says.

Girls can compete in other towns or states for the title, depending on each rodeo association’s guidelines. Amanda says she was an Oregon queen at one time. The title and job is for one year.

The Hunter sisters, who were raised with horses,started out in 4-H, competed in barrel racing and gymkhana. They got into the Queen arena after an older sister qualified as a Rodeo Princess in 2000. “We tried out too, won a couple,” Carolyn says, and they were hooked. Twenty-two-year-old Amanda has been competing since she was 18, and Carolyn, 20, has been involved since she was 15.

The job does require a great deal of travel. “We are the PR agents, the face of the Association,” Amanda says of her position with the Pro West Rodeo Association. “But I get to hang out with the competitors (at rodeos) and have a good time.” She travels mostly in Washington, but also some in Oregon and Idaho.

Carolyn is the “promoter and sponsor for our own rodeo (the July 4th Loggerodeo in Sedro-Woolley), so we speak at various organizations and attend other rodeos (throughout the state).”

When she retires her crown, Amanda plans to return to her studies in anthropology and environmental/geography at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

Carolyn is a Skagit Valley College graduate and a teacher education student at Western Washington University in Bellingham. When her reign is over, she wants to compete for Miss Rodeo Washington and Miss Rodeo America.

“I’ve always related to horses,” she says. “I don’t know what life would be like without them.”

See Amanda’s bio and photo at the Pro West site.

Advertisements

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/a-sweet-addiction-to-hairspray-horses/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Golly, I can’t believe how YOUNG those two sisters are, and they’ve already accomplished so much! Good for them!

  2. It is good to hear and understand that all ‘beauty’ contest are based on more than just looks. I wish both ladies all the best now and in the future. Having met and spoken with the ‘Girl of the West’ here in Colorado, I know they are both great representatives of the sport know as rodeo and women of the West.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: