Rodeo Committees, Stock Contractors, Sponsors, etc interested in booking Miss UPRA
contact UPRA Queen Director Linda Chase at 903.850.7247
The night of November 18th of 2017 changed my life completely. That night I became your 2018 Miss United Professional Rodeo Association and put before me was one of the best years of my life. What a journey this has been! From traveling to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductions in Fort Worth, to dancing with rodeo clowns in Crowley, Louisiana, to watching the most breath taking views that God created on early, Durango, Colorado mornings, I have cherished every second of my reign. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to travel to all six of the UPRA sanctioned states: Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana, Arkansas and even Georgia! Over these great states I made approximately 121 appearances and traveled over 21,777 miles!
This year has been filled with learning, friendships, and growth. All of the past queens who have held the coveted title of Miss UPRA have learned things over their year representing the United Professional Rodeo Association, so I’d like to add to that legacy by sharing a few things I’ve acquired. Everywhere I went while representing the UPRA I learned something new, like always bring your spurs, always hold on tight when you’re in the back of the barrel truck, eyelash glue works just as well as super glue, Reinen Coy Champion loves pretty rodeo queens, that it’s always a good day when you unintentionally color coordinate with Kody Gray, and that a team of burro-drawn carriages makes the most fun you’ve ever had on a parade route! Or better yet, when National Champion says you can ride Hughie! Out of all the experiences I’ve had, I loved all of them, but there have been a few that genuinely stood out to me.
My favorite rodeo was the 71st Annual Humble Rodeo and, let me tell you, it was the smoothest flowing rodeo I have ever witnessed, and it has a wonderful cause. The Humble Rodeo BBQ and Cook Off is a non-profit organization that donates proceeds to the Humble Education Foundation and it changes lives. At the rodeo, I had the pleasure of meeting Adam Foster, David and Ashley Ainsworth, and Doug Butcher himself. This group truly welcomed us like family. We had so much fun together visiting schools with Snippy the rodeo clown, doing countless sponsor visits, and even meeting Tracy Byrd! The next queens who visit Humble will truly be treated like royalty. Adam was so outgoing and helped us queens with whatever we needed, whether it be a hat shaping, or just when 2018 Miss Teen UPRA, Dixie Tabb, gets to feeling hangry. The friendships I made in Humble will last a lifetime.
Throughout my year I was able to be a part of many notable events like the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame where we had the opportunity to meet countless rodeo athletes who have shown excellence within the rodeo industry, or getting formally invited by Miss Rodeo America 2017, Lisa Lageschaar, to attend the National Little Britches Rodeo Association Queen Luncheon. Perhaps one of my most memorable experiences was being a part of the rodeo association that brought rodeo back to the State Fair of Texas after nearly thirty years. The State Fair of Texas in Dallas was where the first National Finals Rodeo was ever held and I can’t express how humbling it was being in an arena where world champions once stood.
Another memory I’ll cherish was posting the colors at the Fort Worth Stockyards Championship Rodeo. Every time I think of the entire audience on their feet cheering as “I’m Proud to be an American” blasts throughout the coliseum as Ole Glory flies past them, I get chills. Rodeo is composed of elements that are so dear to our hearts as Americans. Elements like faith, family, and friends. At every UPRA sanctioned rodeo you attend you’ll be able to see these values in everyone, even the children.
At the New Boston rodeo, a little girl about three years old kept eyeing me, so I promptly went over and asked her if she wanted an autograph and instantly she lit up. She had found a friend in me. This sweet girl had asked me, “Why do you have a crown on your head?” I simply replied, “because I’m a rodeo queen.” Then I saw the spark in her eyes as she exclaimed, “Are you a princess like Cinderella, Snow White, Tangled, and Frozen?!” Amazed at her innocence I told her that I was and I let her try on my crown. You see, it’s not the crown that makes you a queen, it’s your kindness that does. These younger generations are our future of rodeo and they idolize you, especially as a rodeo queen; so the new 2019 queens, I encourage you to take time and invest in that younger generation. Stop and engage with them because they’ll forget your title but they’ll never forget the kindness that you shared with them. Always be humble and kind. Set an example because others are always looking up to you and there’s truly so much goodness to find in people, especially children.
The Lord has truly blessed me through all these experiences and friendships. Lane Frost once said, “I never get tired of traveling… there are good people everywhere.” Throughout my year as Miss UPRA I couldn’t agree more. There are good people everywhere like the ones who are behind the scenes. My year wouldn’t have been possible without the people I have in my corner. Jerry Hill, the UPRA President, is always working hard behind the scenes. I greatly appreciate all the work you have done in the rodeo industry because it gave me the chance to represent a prestigious association while helping me grow in many ways. Linda and Hollice, I can’t imagine what my year would have been like without you. I enjoyed all the laughs, company, and late night ice cream time I got to share with you. I can remember at the beginning of my reign you insisted that my year is what I make it, and with your help, my year hasn’t been anything less than a dream come true. You’ve done so much for me and I appreciate the endless hours you volunteer into this pageant because you’ve helped to make my reign everything I’d hoped it to be and more. Dee and Dixie, where do I even begin. I’d be lost if it wasn’t for you. I’ve learned so much from you and had so many fun memories. Dixie, you’ll always be my little red and thank you for giving me so much laughter. You truly made our year unforgettable. You have so much potential and I know you have a bright future ahead of you! Mama and Papa, Wow! We finally made it! Thank you for investing so much into my dreams and believing in me. I would not be the woman I am today without each of you. I love y’all so much! To all the rodeo personnel and contestants, thank you for teaching me tons about the sport of rodeo. I’ve enjoyed watching all your success throughout my year.
This is not farewell, this is closing a chapter, that has shaped me into a confident young woman. I am ready to start a new and exciting chapter in my life and although there may not be a crown on my head...there will always be one in my heart. I’d like to end this with a verse from the bible.
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last.
But WE do it… to get a crown that will last forever.”
- 1 Corinthians 9:25
I will forever and always be your 2018 Miss United Professional Rodeo Association
am officially seven months into my year as the 2018 Miss UPRA! So far it has
been a wild ride and I’ve been holding on tight and cherishing every memory that
I’ve made along the way. Last time I visited with you I thought I had a full
schedule, but now we’ve got the pedal to the metal and I’m averaging about three
appearances a week! It’s such a blessing to have a fun-filled schedule and I
can’t wait to tell you all about it!
First off, I’d like to say a big thank you to Judy Wright, the owner of Millwright Marketplace and Flowers in Archer City, Texas. Mrs. Wright was kind enough to host a Miss UPRA meet and greet which gave my home town the opportunity to come and meet me personally. It was such a great time filled with family, friends, sash sisters and surprise flowers! Millwright knew exactly how to make this rodeo queen feel special. I’m so grateful for the supportive businesses in my hometown who encourage their youth to follow their dreams, their kindness speaks volumes about my community. If you’re ever in Archer City, Texas stop by Millwright and see what they’re all about. I guarantee you’ll find unbeatable Texas hospitality!
The month of March held one of the most amusing rodeos during my reign. At the 5th Rodeo in the 2018 Kickoff Series held in Crowley, Louisiana, Miss Teen UPRA and I were kept busy. We not only had the privilege of doing our queen duties at the rodeo but we were invited by Jay Bergeron, the rodeo producer, to a crawfish feed! Cajuns sure know how to cook crawfish. Let me tell ya, I was in heaven. But the Crowley trip even gets better. The highlight of this adventure was when Miss Teen UPRA and I had the opportunity to be in the clown’s act. At the time, we didn’t necessarily know what we were getting ourselves into but we soon found out that we’d be competing against each other in an exclusive Carson Kitaif Professional Rodeo Entertainer dance act! It was hysterical! I’m surprised that I actually kept my composure while showing off my best dance moves in front of an entire rodeo audience… blind folded! If you need a laugh you should check out the dance video on the Miss UPRA Facebook Page, then head on over to the Carson Kitaif Professional Rodeo Entertainer Facebook page and hit like. He definitely has a gift when it comes to entertainment and he’s a pleasure to work with as well!
Next we headed to Midland, Texas to the Permian Basin Spring Stampede Pro Rodeo.
At the rodeo I had the pleasure of meeting the 2018 Permian Basin Spring
Stampede Rodeo Queen, Shawna Sullivan and got to catch up with Miss North Texas
Fair and Rodeo Teen, Grace Minter. We all teamed up together and ran sponsor
flags during the rodeo, made sponsor visit runs, threw t-shirts and Frisbees off
the barrel truck, and had a few autograph signings with the Man in the Can,
Ronald Burton. What was interesting about this trip was that Comic Con, a comic
book convention, was held at the same event center as the rodeo; so we got to
see cartoon characters and superheroes on our commute to the rodeo which made
Midland all the more memorable.
The most memorable appearance I’ve made as Miss UPRA was to Hooves and Halos in Winnsboro, Texas. Hooves and Halos is a non-profit organization that serves as a ministry to special needs children, adults, the elderly, nursing home residents, kids in crisis (foster, CASA, Children’s Advocates), prisoners’ children, veterans’ children or basically anyone who needs them. This ministry offered recreational activities and equine programs that are tailored to the unique needs of children and adults with challenges. Everyone who attended the play day was able to enjoy roping lessons, horseback riding, mechanical bull rides, hay rides, barrel train rides, petting zoo animals, clowns and balloon animals, face painting, tons of games and prizes and so much more. The folks were brought in from all over by the school bus loads and we were proud to escort them in by horseback for an unforgettable adventure. Through such a simple and meaningful event, they opened doors for families and welcomed members of the community to come and have good-hearted fellowship with one another. It was a prime example of Christ’s unconditional love and such a blessing to be a part of. I’d like to encourage you to follow the Hooves and Halos Facebook Page as well to see some of the wonderful things they are doing within their community.
In April, I had the honor of attending the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductions in the legendary Fort Worth Stockyards. It was so humbling to hand out awards to several rodeo extraordinaires who excelled in the sport of rodeo and hear their stories. The event wouldn’t have been possible without Don Howell, the Immediate Past President for the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. The day before the inductions he hosted a meet and greet where we got the privilege of meeting several distinguished rodeo athletes, I was in awe. Mr. Howell exudes such kindness and it made the overall experience so enjoyable. Mr. Howell is very thoughtful as well, he requested that past UPRA titleholders attend the meet and greet and enjoy the festivities. I was so excited to have Colleen Crumpton, Ashlyn Williams, Jocee Neal, and Lisa Lageschaar, Miss UPRA 2012 and Miss Rodeo America 2017, come and enjoy the day with us. There’s nothing quite like celebrating rodeo history while being a part of the sisterhood of UPRA titleholders, it was absolutely humbling.
Now that rodeo season is picking up its pace, I’ve been able to represent at multiple rodeos that include: Crowley, Midland, Graham, Glen Rose, Fort Worth, Conroe, Sulphur Springs, Lampasas, Winnsboro, Lindale, Durant, Brownwood, Wichita Falls, Mount Pleasant, Nocona, and Comanche. The Brown County Rodeo in Brownwood, Texas was a wonderful rodeo because I had the privilege of meeting Miss Rodeo Texas, Tianti Carter. Tianti is the perfect role model for many rodeo queens, including myself, it was such a great opportunity getting to work alongside her. The Wichita County Mounted Patrol Rodeo was such a fun filled Rodeo as well. I love attending hometown rodeos because I get to catch up with all the local rodeo queens from my area, and I get to catch up with Johnny “Backflip” Dudley too. It’s always a great show when Johnny does the entertainment. Speaking of entertainment, Johnny let Miss Teen UPRA and I create our own entertainment when he gave us permission to jump in his clown barrel! It was hysterical! I still don’t know how Dixie and I managed to fit in there but it’s safe to say that I can check that one off the bucket list!
My next appearance will be at the Archer County Rodeo Queen Luncheon, Tuesday, June 19th. This weekend I’m off to Mexia, TX followed by Gainsville, TX, then Taos, NM for Rodeo De Taos. Soon after, I’ll be representing in Teague and Bowie, TX. The first week of July kicks off the UPRA Cowboy Christmas Series and you can catch up with me by checking the Miss UPRA Facebook Page for my upcoming appearances throughout the series. Immediately after Cowboy Christmas I’ll be attending the National Little Britches Rodeo Association Luncheon held on July 8th, in Oklahoma City, OK. If you’d like to know the other rodeos I’ll be attending check the Miss UPRA Facebook Page for weekly posts on where my next appearances will be. I hope I’ll come to one near you!
These past seven months have been exceptional and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my reign as the 2018 Miss UPRA has in store. If you haven’t yet, you can “like” the Miss UPRA- Miss United Professional Rodeo Association Facebook Page to stay updated. You can also find me on Instagram “miss.upra” and on Snap Chat “missupra”. I look forward to meeting each of you along my journey as Miss UPRA!
P.S. The 2019 Miss UPRA Pageant is drawing near! If you’re interested in vying for the coveted Miss UPRA title, please reach out to me! I’d love to help you get started!
“She does not know what God has planned but she does know HIS plan NEVER fails.”
-Morgan Harper Nichols
2018 Miss UPRA