With curls in her hair, a sparkling crown on her head, and reins in her hands, one Arizona Cowgirl is making a major impact in the world of rodeo and rodeo queening. Say hello to your 2018-2019 Arizona High School Rodeo Queen, Miss Annabelle Hampton!
Casa Grande resident, Annabelle Hampton is nothing short of a super-star when it comes to the world of rodeo. As the current Arizona High School Rodeo Queen, this multi-talented horsewoman is breaking all stereotypes and proving that rodeo queens are just as talented in the rodeo arena as they are in areas such as public speaking and modeling.
As a senior at Alpha Omega Academy, Annabelle is dedicated to academic and rodeo excellence. With a knack for working hard to achieve her goals, Annabelle has seen a great deal of success. So much so that Annabelle is a two-time National High School Rodeo Finals Qualifier in Goat Tying and Pole Bending. Annabelle was also a top 5 finalist at the 2018 NHSR Finals Rodeo Queen Pageant where she placed 1st in the categories of Horsemanship and Speech.
For the past six years Annabelle has been an active member of the Arizona High School Rodeo Association and the Arizona Junior High School Rodeo Association where she competes in Pole Bending, Barrel Racing, Goat Tying, Breakaway Roping and Team Roping. With such prowess in the rodeo arena, Annabelle is grateful to the National High School Rodeo Association that is paving a path for young rodeo superstars such as Annabelle, to achieve their goals and dreams.
When Annabelle isn’t participating in rodeos or queening activities, she is passionate about sharing her love of rodeo with the younger generation of cowgirls and cowboys. Volunteering her time, Annabelle loves teaching young children how to ride horses, rope, and tie goats. With a love for her western heritage, Annabelle cherishes the great honor of giving back to the sport and community that she holds dear to her heart.
I had the honor of speaking with Annabelle and getting the behind-the-scenes of her experiences as a NHSR competitor and as the 2018-2019 Arizona High School Rodeo Queen. Check out her answers below!
As the Arizona High School Rodeo Queen, do you have a favorite quote, motto, or platform that you carry with you along the rodeo trail?
Something that I carry down the road with me is Matthew 5:14-16. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” This has been my favorite scripture for many years. I want to share God’s light with others and I want to give glory to God in everything I do.
What has been your favorite experience thus far as the Arizona High School Rodeo Queen and what are you most looking forward to?
Being the Arizona High School Rodeo Queen has been an amazing experience. My favorite part so far was competing at Nationals against 43 other contestants for the National High School Rodeo Queen title. I learned so much and the friendships I made with the other state queens will last a lifetime.
Not only are you a rodeo queen, but also a talented equestrian! Please share with us how you prepare yourself and your horses for the events you compete in.
I compete in Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying, Breakaway Roping and Team Roping. Keeping my horses legged up and performing at their best is one of the most important things. To do this, I work my horses every day and do a lot of slow work. Nutrition is also very important, it is good to keep your horses on a very regimented feeding program. Along with keeping my horses healthy and in shape, it is very important to keep myself healthy and in shape as well. Rodeo is just like any other sport, you have to be physically and mentally prepared. To physically prepare myself for the rodeos I do a lot of running and work on footwork, as well as breaking things down to do every step correct. Mind game is a big factor in rodeo and it is very easy to overthink things. For me I try to not think at all. By this time, it is all muscle memory so before my runs I just tell myself to make a run and I remind myself that smooth is fast.
Why is being a rodeo queen important to you?
Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to be a rodeo queen. I know how much I looked up to them when I was younger and I wanted to set a good example for the next generation. Seeing the kids smiles at the rodeo performances or at the special needs rodeos is what fills my heart the most. Being a rodeo queen, I get to represent one of the best sports and be an ambassador for rodeo. I think that it is very important to inspire the next generation because they are the future of rodeo. Being a rodeo queen is important to me because I get to preserve the western heritage and share my love and passion for the sport with others.
What was your experience like competing at Nationals?
The National High School Rodeo Queen Pageant is the largest rodeo queen pageant in the world. 41 states were there, as well as Australia, and Canada. I had the time of my life and I will forever cherish the memories I made on that trip. Last year at Nationals was the busiest week of my life. While I was competing for the National Queen title, I was also representing Arizona in Goat Tying and Pole Bending. I am so thankful to all of the people who helped me prepare before the pageant. I knew that I had to bring my “A” game to nationals and it took a lot of hard work. The speech category is my favorite part about the pageant. Getting to say my speech, “Guts Glory and my Rodeo Family” on that big stage is something I will never forget. At nationals, all of my hard work paid off and I won the Horsemanship and the Speech category of the pageant and ended up 3rd attendant.
What advice would you give to younger cowgirls who want to be rodeo queens?
I think the biggest thing some girls do not think about is that you can be a competitor and a queen. Just because you are a Team Roper or a Goat Tyer does not mean that you cannot be a rodeo queen. If you want something and set your mind to it, you can achieve anything. Another thing that young girls face today is negative people. The best advice I could give to anyone running for queen is to not listen to the negative things people have to say. Surround yourself with other positive queens and when it comes to pageants always give it your all.
Cowboy Lifestyle Network would like to congratulate Miss Annabelle Hampton on her various successes as a National High School Rodeo competitor and as the 2018-2019 Arizona High School Rodeo Queen! We cannot wait to see where your rodeo and queening journey takes you!
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