NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-- The Miss Rodeo and Teen Rodeo Nebraska Pageant kicked off Sunday afternoon with the horsemanship competition at the Buffalo Bill Arena.
“This morning the girls had an orientation, the teens and the miss, they had a written test and this is the first big part of the contest, horsemanship, which is a huge part of their score,” said Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2014 Gina Jespersen.
Each contestant had to ride their horse in a set pattern, answer a question and run the arena with a flag.
Four girls are competing for Teen Rodeo Nebraska. This year two riders were competing for Miss Rodeo Nebraska they had to switch horses and ride a freestyle pattern. The current Miss Rodeo Nebraska says they do this for a reason.
“They do that exactly for the purpose of what they are doing all year. Often times when people come to rodeos they think why cant that girl [ride] or that horse is being naughty and it’s their horse. No, often times it’s not your own horse so we need to see how well they can ride,” said Jespersen.
The pageant takes place over the next three days. The winner will travel all over Nebraska and other states promoting Nebraska, agriculture as well as high moral and ethical standards.
In December, Jespersen will compete for Miss Rodeo America; she says she’s excited to have a new lady in waiting.
“The new queen will actually take over in January; I will have a new lady in waiting. That’s so exciting because I know what it felt like last year to have the whole six months to prepare to take over, so I’m excited for who ever is going to be the new Miss Rodeo Nebraska,” said Jespersen.
On Monday the girls will have a speech competition at the Mid Plains Community College Theatre, this event is free to the public.
On Tuesday a style competition will take place at the Quality Inn, this is a ticketed event.
Miss Rodeo and Teen Rodeo Nebraska will be crowned on Wednesday, these events are separate and require a ticket.