The Miss Rodeo America Pageant recently took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, right before the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Last year, the Miss Rodeo pageant celebrated their 60th anniversary, making 2015 the 61st year of its existence. As many young talented cowgirls competed for the coveted crown, they were judged in three major areas that included their appearance, personality, and horsemanship. Along with this, they fought to show their skills and knowledge of rodeo and presentation, public speaking, personal interviewing, general equine science, current event awareness, photogenic qualities, visual poise, and overall professionalism.
The winner of the competition was and is selected to be an official spokesperson for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, who creates awareness for the sport of rodeo, its sponsors, and its opportunities. The Queen also serves as an educational mentor for other young women who compete in the pageant. Each contestant reigns queen for an entire year in their representative state hoping to be the one deemed Miss Rodeo of all America in 2016. The Cowboy Lifestyle Network is pleased to announce that the winning cowgirl for 2016 is Katherine Merck from Spokane, Washington and the first queen from Washington to have won this title.
Katherine Merck is a law student at Gonzaga University in Washington and for her, being crowned Miss Rodeo America was a dream come true. Surprisingly, Katherine did not start riding horses until age 11 when she participated at a YMCA Camp. It was later in life that the idea of becoming a rodeo queen ignited within her after attending Cheyenne Frontier Days. She has postponed law school graduation for a year to fulfill her aspirations and duties as Miss Rodeo America, and with $25,000 in educational scholarships for winning Miss Rodeo America, Katherine plans to use the scholarship to attend the University of Washington law school’s Master of Laws in Taxation program. It is her goal to be able to assist farmers and ranchers with estate planning and water rights.