History of Beauty Pageants in Rodeo

By the year 1955, there were around 600 rodeos taking place in the country, and this was also the year that the concept of Miss Rodeo America was developed by the International Rodeo Management. Gas rationing and other restrictions from WWII put a financial dent on the rodeo in those days, so women's ranch events began replacing the most expensive acts with barrel racing and beauty pageants. The first pageant was held in Casper, Wyoming, but later moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1956 and was presented the same time as the International Dairy Show. The Pageant moved around to various cities before settling in Las Vegas, NV in 1985, along with the National Finals Rodeo. Today, there are 3 nationwide pageants in the US. They include the Miss Rodeo America, Miss Rodeo USA, and the National High School Rodeo Association Queen Contest. Being a Rodeo Queen today isn’t just about the looks. These women have represented their rodeo/association/region for at least 12 months, have extensive knowledge of rodeo, have skills in western style horse riding, and must be a proficient public speaker.