Being a rodeo queen isn’t all glamor and glory; now more than ever, holding a title also calls for grit and guts. Hats off to Anne T. Reason and her editorial team for their straight talk to potential candidates and their parents in this book of tips for rodeo queen wannabes.
The challenges of a modern-day queen competition and reign are well documented here. Some 40 years ago, rodeo queens didn’t have to recruit sponsors, but back then blouses didn’t cost $3,000 and queens usually only owned one pair of $1,000 chaps, not several. Now they not only have to ride, dress, and speak well, they must write a business plan, communicate their equity, and build relationships right from the start.
The book offers tips from former rodeo queens, judges and other experts, who do an excellent job of discussing the realities of the competition and of managing a year-long reign. From budgeting for clothing and travel expenses to understanding the characteristics of various queen committees and rodeos, candidates can learn a great deal about the process. There’s also straight talk about the importance of rodeo royalty understanding that their behavior, language, and dress reflects upon their sponsors and title.
While the book offers solid advice, its organization can be problematic. The tips come from a variety of sources whose stories aren’t blended. This results in repetition and misplaced information. Also, some terms in the 36-page glossary are so simplistic they should never have been included. (It’s hard to imagine a queen candidate who doesn’t know what a mare or gelding is, what PRCA stands for, or the parts of a saddle.) And the 16 pages of basic equine knowledge is better suited for a book specifically focused on horses.
But kudos to these experts for being honest about pageants and associated politics. Despite its flaws, this handbook offers useful information on how the quintessential queen can translate her hard-earned knowledge into a memorable reign.
Also available as an ebook.