By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)
What could possibly top a first-generation student’s graduation ceremony? Fulfilling her nearly life-long dream of becoming Miss Rodeo Colorado might do the trick. That is the story of Hailey Frederiksen (B.S., ’19), an animal science major and expert in horsemanship.
The Frederiksen family lived in Platteville, Colorado, during her early years, moving to Wellington last year. She grew up riding horses and attending rodeos. Her father, Trevin, competes in team roping; she and her mother, Megan, are barrel racers. Hailey started dreaming about being Miss Rodeo Colorado when she was nine years old. Crowned the Johnstown Saddle Club Princess when she was 12, she met the reigning Miss Rodeo Colorado, which made her even more focused on the dream of gaining that title herself.
The first stage of Miss Rodeo Colorado competition is a preliminary one-day pageant in April, which is filled with activities. There are personal interviews with questions designed to test contestants’ knowledge of horses and the Greeley Stampede, which is the home rodeo for Miss Rodeo Colorado. Next is demonstration of public speaking skills, including answering questions and giving impromptu speeches. The third stage is modeling “western casual” and “western trendy” outfits. The final activity is a demonstration of horsemanship skills through a reigning pattern.
As a result of their performance in the preliminary pageant, Frederiksen and three other contestants moved on to the final competition held at the Greeley Stampede. This was a four-day competition involving similar activities to the preliminary pageant but also including sponsorship visits and participation in activities at the Stampede. The contestants were rated on personality, appearance, and horsemanship. Hailey Frederiksen was named the winner.
Her official title is “Lady-in-Waiting,” as she will be crowned Miss Rodeo Colorado at the National Western Stock Show in January. Her official duties in that role will include representing the sport of rodeo and the agriculture sector of Colorado at a variety of events, including rodeos in Colorado and other states, as well as other appearances. The number of these events and appearances makes the Miss Rodeo Colorado position a full-time job.
While at CSU, Frederiksen got involved in the Animal Science Department, serving as a steward. Among the duties of stewards were to help recruit incoming students and participate in department functions. She says the position allowed her to “get to know the faculty and create great relationships.” When she signed up for commencement regalia rental, she chose the Grad Pack Alumni Association Membership option, as she “wants to be an active alumna!”
So, what is next for this young alumna? She plans to compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America. That involves a nine-day pageant at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at Las Vegas in December, 2020.