Hello again! I promised to continue telling you about my quest to win the Miss Rodeo Barrhead title last week and I do my best to keep my word. To pick up where we left off… After the application process began the competition. There were 7 judged components of the competition including your written application, a written exam (composed of knowledge based questions related to horsemanship, rodeo and the town of Barrhead), ticket sales, horsemanship, public speaking, modeling and personality. I had no idea where to begin! I had 500 raffle tickets to sell, a 3-5 minute formal speech to write, a reining pattern to learn and figure out how to put one foot in front of the other in a straight line without falling on my face! Oh my goodness! I tried not to panic at the thought of this and immersed myself in preparation. I started selling my raffle tickets to friends and family and attended a couple rodeos I was competing at as a queen contestant.
One of which was Smoky Lake Rodeo, where the committee was very accommodating when I explained my desire. They asked me to carry the Canadian flag during grand entry and announced that I would be walking through the stands selling raffle tickets. I appreciated their generosity and made a point of speaking to committee members about returning as royalty the following year to do grand entry and sell 50/50’s. I hope that we are able to make this happen!
Public speaking would be our first judged event so I prepared and practiced my speech daily. When it came time for the big day I was so nervous I forgot my cue cards at home and was left with my full speech on a piece of paper. I knew it well and figured it would be better if I just went by memory instead of searching for my spot on the page. Ultimately this cost me because I got so nervous that I rushed through it missing key points and ending abruptly without a flowing conclusion. As I writer I had created an excellent speech, as a terrified contestant I made myself sound like a babbling idiot. By the time I took my seat again I was near tears. I was so disappointed with myself! Friends and family that had come to support me assured me that I had done great but I knew in my gut that I had screwed up. But there was nothing I could do now but work extra hard in the rest of the competition to make up for it. On the bright side I nailed my impromptu questions! I could not have done better – in my opinion anyways.
At the end of the competition you receive your judges sheets with scores and comments and though I did not win the public speaking portion of the competition I learned where I could improve for next time. I had not began my speech with a formal greeting, something I just didn’t realize was expected. I also would have benefited from taking a chill pill and remembering to breathe! Though the judges were kind enough to not say that.
The lunch provided as part of the affair was delicious thanks to our “queen daddy” Dallas Fitzgerald. And his and Brenda’s efforts and time were the cornerstone for the event. Without them and all of the work they do during the competition, the pageant would not be possible and I am once again feeling blessed to have such a strong support system from our coordinators. Through the whole process they were our rock, that binding force that kept us grounded. And I know I speak for the other contestants as well when I say we are extremely grateful to have them on our side.
I hope you enjoyed the latest installment and will check back next Monday for more about the competition and the horsemanship portion! Thanks for reliving the experience with me and until then, walk with your head held high and your ambitions in the sky!