Big boots to fill: Freshman student at DSU wins Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show

Big boots to fill: Freshman student at DSU wins Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show

Written by DSU student Amanda D’Aniello

Lindsey Miller loves rodeo. No one can deny that. She’s been riding horses since she could walk and participating in the sport since age four. She started youth rodeo at age 11 and gave it her all. Her efforts have paid off in the numerous buckles she’s won at various rodeos and barrel races. After years of practice and growth, she won the title “Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show” this year and the Dickinson State University community couldn’t be more proud of this Blue Hawk.

A lifelong North Dakotan, and lover of rodeo, Lindsey is a wonderful role model for women and girls across the state, a fantastic representative of our school, the sport of rodeo, and agriculturalists all over. She’s currently a freshman majoring in agricultural education, with a minor in agricultural business. All that studying came in handy as the self-described “major planner” prepared herself for the Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show.

In preparation for the competition, Lindsey rehearsed her speech tirelessly. She says, “I wrote my speech months in advance and said it to whoever would listen. Ask my roommate and students in the ag department – they heard it numerous times!” Then, she quizzed herself on hundreds of agriculture and equine facts to be sure she had the breadth of knowledge required for this competition. She also practiced riding unfamiliar horses in anticipation of the horsemanship competition. Linsey explains, “Rodeo queens do more than just look pretty. We are cowgirls first and that is why horsemanship is one of the biggest categories we are judged on!” In addition to the horsemanship competition, participants also competed in appearance and personality categories of the pageant. These categories were judged based on her speech, an interview and two outfits which she modeled for judges. Lindsey’s knowledge of all things agriculture came in handy, along with her warm, bubbly personality and natural beauty. In the end, her hard work paid off, and she was selected as the best representative of the cowgirls of the State of North Dakota. Upon winning, Lindsey felt excited, proud and just a bit nervous. In her own words, she said, “Being Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show is a big deal and I knew I had big boots to fill.”

For her hard work, the winner receives a load of goodies. These goodies include chaps, a buckle, a sash, a headstall, a wild rag and a crown. She also received a scholarship to aid her in funding her higher education and the opportunity to help the organization by traveling and promoting the Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show. To help her do that, she was also gifted a horse trailer to use for the duration of her travels and for the year during which she holds this title.

Lindsey advises future participants to just start somewhere. She says, “To be good at anything you need to just dive head in and work your way up. Nothing comes from being complacent! Just start and give it all you got!” She’s gracious enough to share her secrets to any cowgirl interested in reaching out to her personally. Afterall, her favorite part of these competitions has been the people she meets along the way, about her fellow competitors she says, “Nothing brings me more joy than spending time with my sash sisters while we represent the greatest sport on dirt – rodeo!”

Now that she’s won the winter show, Lindsey will be competing in the Miss Rodeo North Dakota main show. Miss Rodeo North Dakota is open to women ages 18-26 in the State of North Dakota. This competition started in 1955 to promote “communities, the western lifestyle & economies, and participating supporters.” The winner must demonstrate “abilities to communicate and relate to the public, their familiarity with current events and agriculture, and the drive to make a difference among her peers.” The whole DSU community will be rooting for her as she continues to make us proud!