Miss Rodeo Fort Smith Pageant. Photo by Shaylee Barber/Arkansas Bureau Federation

30 younger girls gathered on the Hero’s Arena in Natural Dam, Ark. on February 11 and 12, 2023 to compete within the inaugural Miss Rodeo Fort Smith pageant. Crowns, chaps, buckles and sashes lavished the grounds for the two-day competitors.

Chin up. Shoulders degree. Control the reins. Most importantly, smile and have a darn good time on the market. Pageant contestants of the first-ever Miss Rodeo Fort Smith rehearsed for weeks main as much as the competitors. A neighborhood pageant originated for native toddlers to teenagers, Miss Rodeo Fort Smith set the muse for contestants to expertise rodeo enviornment life, and for almost all of them, contact with horses. This yr’s winners have been Queen Carissa Webster, Teen Jaydah Releford, Princess Skyla Burton, Sweetheart Stella Smith, and Little Miss Cataleya Reyes.

The Miss Rodeo Fort Smith pageant was produced by Fort Smith native Ja’Dayia Kursh, the primary Black rodeo queen of Arkansas. The up to date cowgirl began driving horses at age six and competing in rodeo pageants by age 13. She earned the crown of Miss Rodeo Coal Hill of Arkansas in 2017 and have become worldwide information by 2019. The full-time cowgirl reserves private time to boost funds for native initiatives related to growing youth engagement in agriculture.

Kursh created the Miss Rodeo Fort Smith pageant to eliminate the stigmas related to varieties of pageants. Kursh aimed to recast the aggressive scene right into a sisterhood for newer generations of contestants. One based on friendships. One that alleviates mother and father and cowgirl from having to go too deep into household pockets simply to take part.

“This pageant has opened up a world I by no means knew about or knew was doable to take part in,” mentioned Jaidyn Burrell, a 17-year-old senior. Burrell rounded out 30 contestants for the extravaganza of nation western style, horsemanship, and the fundamentals to proudly owning stage presence. Each represented the historic Wild West city of Fort Smith – 14 miles, give or take, from the sector.

The metropolis of Fort Smith pitched in to advertise the occasion with billboards plastered round city and involvement from the Fort Smith Mayor. Fort Smith’s first Black mayor and fellow native George McGill topped every of the winners. McGill thinks the pageant helped reinforce the city’s long-standing agriculture and cowhand heritage. Learn extra concerning the 2023 Miss Rodeo Fort Smith pageant here.

Justin Boot Prints is a gathering place for folks leaving their mark on the western business. From nation music superstars to agriculture college students to welders, Boot Prints is the place Justin Boots celebrates the heartbeat of the western way of life: on a regular basis folks residing extraordinary lives. Follow Justin Boot Prints here.

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Justin Boots is a model of western footwear that was based in 1879 by H.J. Justin. The firm is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and produces a variety of shoes for each women and men, together with cowboy boots, work boots, and informal sneakers. Justin Boots is understood for its high-quality craftsmanship and use of premium supplies, and has a status for being a trusted model within the western footwear market. For extra info, go to

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