Southern named second runner-up to Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas

Southern+competes+in+the+Horsemanship+event+at+the+4-H+Grounds+in+Dodge+City%2C+KS.+She+represented+the+Newton+Saddle+Club+as+their+Rodeo+Queen+during+2015-16.

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Southern competes in the Horsemanship event at the 4-H Grounds in Dodge City, KS. She represented the Newton Saddle Club as their Rodeo Queen during 2015-16.

Senior Haley Southern has been involved with rodeo for as long as she can remember, but she recently made the decision to run for Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas in a pageant that took place on Aug. 3-6. Southern received second runner-up.

“I decided to run for Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas because I really love the sport of rodeo, and I love sharing it with people. As a rodeo queen, you’re an ambassador for the sport,” Southern said. “Therefore, it’s your job to help inform people about your rodeo and just about rodeo in general. A lot of people don’t truly understand what rodeo is really about and I love being able to educate them.”

Southern was first introduced to the rodeo royalty world last year, when she won her first title as the Newton Saddle Club (NSC) queen.
“When I first became NSC queen I really wasn’t expecting it to lead me to this, but the joy I get out of being able to interact with others and talk to people about my favorite sport was a really big push (to run for Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas),” Southern said.

Southern had considered running for the position, but was not fully committed until the director of the pageant contacted her and offered her an application.

“To prepare for the pageant I studied everything, got outfits together, practiced modeling and rode a lot of different horses,” Southern said. “The studying was the hardest part because there is just so much information to know. Between general horse knowledge, which includes anatomy, to rodeo knowledge, to Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association knowledge. On top of getting ready, I also had to get ready for my county show, help put together the Newton rodeo, and try to have a social life.”

There are many different tests the pageant judges base their decision on, and Southern had to be prepared for all of them.

“At the pageant you go through several different things. You have to take a written test, then you have to do a horsemanship pattern and a queen’s run on a horse that you’ve never ridden before. You also have a personal interview and have to give a speech. Then, to wrap it up you have to model at the fashion show,” Southern said.

Recent graduate Jayden Stinchcomb, who is also involved with pageants, recalls how passionate Southern has always been when it comes to rodeo.

“When I first met Haley I could tell rodeo really meant something to her. Whether it was saddling up her horse, walking around talking to people, helping at fun shows, carrying the flag, or even signing autograph sheets, I knew she was all about rodeo,” Stinchcomb said.

Even though Southern received second runner-up, she maintains a positive attitude and plans to continue pageants.

“(The results of the pageant weren’t exactly what I wanted, but the girl who won is more experienced and more prepared than I was,” Southern said. “Unfortunately, I will be too old next year to be able to try again. But, I can wait a few years and try for Miss Rodeo Kansas.”

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