From crowns to briefcases: The life of former Miss Silver Spurs
It all started back in 1960 when the Silver Spurs Riding Club created the title of Miss Silver Spurs (MSS). This rodeo royalty was created to select a local young lady to be an ambassador for the Silver Spurs Rodeo. Their job includes attending community events and traveling to other rodeos throughout Florida. For nearly 60 years, we have seen many changes in Miss Silver Spurs standards, from the western wear to variations in the crown, and even the arena in which the event is held.
But holding the title as Miss Silver Spurs isn’t simply about riding horses, getting to dress up or wearing a tiara. Reigning as Miss Silver Spurs is about serving as a role model to those within the rodeo world, and preparing for future endeavors. On the blog, we spoke to several former Miss Silver Spurs queens to hear what their biggest takeaways were during their reign.
Learn valuable professional skills
The Miss Silver Spurs Pageant incorporates an interview and an on-stage speech to help establish public speaking skills. Learning these lessons at an early age helps to empower young women to have the confidence to excel during a presentation in school or an interview for a job. Former Silver Spurs Queen Sheila Shirah Kitaif (2011) has further reinforced this point by explaining how the Miss Silver Spurs pageant has equipped her to enter the workforce, “[By] learning how to present myself and allow complete strangers to see my personality, knowledge, and assets within a 5-minute time frame,” she got to develop real-world job interview skills. Through competing in a local rodeo queen contest, you are able to practice and hone skills that are vital to your professional career as you grow into adulthood.
Build lifelong friendships and professional relationships
Throughout the pageant, contestants build lifelong friendships with people from all walks of life. In February, Miss Silver Spurs and her court host “Queens Week,” a week-long promotional event for the Silver Spurs Rodeo. Miss Rodeo America, Miss Rodeo Canada, state titleholders and many high school rodeo queens travel to attend. Tihler Browning Franey, Miss Silver Spurs (2013) and the current Co-Chair of the Miss Silver Spurs Pageant attributes time spent at Queens Week to many of the friends she has. She states, “I built some of my strongest friendships through entering into this world and community.” The pageant was built on the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s passion for the sport of rodeo but has, in turn, allowed small-town citizens to grow their community far beyond the city limits.
Build confidence that will help you tackle any situation
“If I were to give aspiring rodeo queens advice on competing and fulfilling their year, I would advise to be yourself. The hair, jewelry, and makeup are fun, but being you and being comfortable in who you are is the most important thing of all,” says Caryn Arnold Williams, Miss Silver Spurs (2001). Similar to competing in rodeo events, stepping into the spotlight of being a rodeo queen can take a lot of courage. The Miss Silver Spurs Committee is dedicated to helping young women grow the skills needed to be successful in the pageant with weekly practices leading up to the event. Committee members are also available during practices to help with delivering speeches, researching relative topics, and critiquing personal interview skills, all of which transcend into real-world skills needed for success.
In the end, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Competing in this pageant provides lifelong friendships, the opportunity to represent rodeo’s largest association, and helps expand skills used in the professional world. Casey Crowell Baker, Miss Silver Spurs (1994) and current Miss Silver Spurs Pageant director says, “Do it! You will learn so much about yourself, you’ll find your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll find your voice, a little travel, meet so many people, and you will love promoting rodeo along with so many other great people who share the same passion.”
We’ve mentioned only a few of the benefits young women within our community can experience from competing for the title of Miss Silver Spurs. For more information, check out our event schedule to learn when you can see these future female leaders in action or when you can apply for the next Miss Silver Spurs pageant!