by Susie Sims
||Moe takes a break from posing for pictures to grab a snack. He is shown with his owner, Adrienne Borden, Miss Rodeo Mississippi 2006.
Adrienne Borden, who calls Lawrence County home, recently won the title of Miss Rodeo Mississippi 2006.
With the win, the Mississippi State University junior qualified to compete in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant that will be held in Las Vegas, NV, in November. The pageant will be held during the National Finals Rodeo.
Borden, 20, began competing in local pageants around the Lawrence County area just a few years ago. She won several titles including Senior Miss Limestone County Sheriff’s Rodeo, Junior Miss Rodeo Alabama, Miss Sipsey Rodeo, and Miss Rodeo Alexandria.
For winning the Miss Rodeo Mississippi title, Borden earned several prizes. When Borden makes appearances at rodeos, she wears her prizes from the pageant. "I received my buckle and matching crown, as well as a saddle, chaps, and a banner," she recalled. When promoting other events, Borden wears a leather dress.
What It’s All About
Though some may think Borden won a beauty pageant, her title comes with a lot of responsibility.
Good communication skills are a necessity since Borden spends much of her time speaking to the public at both large and small events.
"During the year I travel to promote different events," Borden said. "My main goal is to promote the sport of professional rodeo." She sells the sport by speaking at various functions and schools and by giving television and print interviews.
|Miss Rodeo Mississippi 2006 Adrienne Borden with her prize saddle. In the background is her horse, Moe, who travels with her to events where she promotes the rodeo association.
At rodeos and other events she acts as an ambassador for the sport, generating interest in all aspects of rodeo. "I love working the rodeos," said Borden. "I love meeting people."
She particularly likes meeting young girls who are captivated by her fancy clothes. "The little girls are so sweet," Borden said. "They have stars in their eyes when they see me all dressed up."
What It Takes
Competitors in the Miss Rodeo Mississippi pageant were judged in several categories, including horsemanship, personality, and appearance. It took Borden and her family several months to prepare for the event, which was held Sept. 31-Oct. 1, 2005.
Just collecting the clothes required for the competition can take several weeks. "To compete we had to wear Wrangler jeans and a sparkly arena blouse," Borden said. "We had to wear a leather dress for the interviews."
During the interview portion of the competition, Borden was quizzed on her personality and her knowledge of horsemanship. She also gave a three minute speech on the state of Mississippi.
The competitors drew for horses in the horsemanship category, meaning they did not ride their own horses.
Preparing For Vegas
Borden is already preparing for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant.
||Miss Rodeo Mississippi 2006 Adrienne Borden with her horse, Moe.
In addition to the regular aspects of the competition, Borden must prepare a scrapbook from the past year. Her scrapbook is made of tooled leather and must be at least three inches thick.
Borden is also gathering clothes to wear at the event.
Though this will be her first and only time to compete in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, Borden is no stranger to the event. "I went to the 2006 pageant as a Lady in Waiting," said Borden. "I was able to preview the competition."
Miss Rodeo America rules state that competitors may only enter the national pageant once. Competitors must have a state title to qualify.
If she wins the national title, Borden will receive a trophy saddle and belt buckle, a wardrobe of western wear, and a $10,000 educational scholarship.
The national competition began in 1955 with only nine participants. The event was designed to educate the public concerning professional rodeo and to showcase the sport.
For those interested in competing in Miss Rodeo events, Borden suggested starting at several local events, which are not as extravagant as the state level of competition. She said winning on the local level can help build a sponsor base to assist with the more formal events.
"I couldn’t compete without my generous sponsors," Borden said. "It takes a lot of money to compete and to travel to events. My sponsors make it all possible."
A Family Affair
As she travels to her many events and rodeos, Borden knows that she will always have company. "We go with her to almost every event," said Borden’s mother Lisa. "If not us, then her grandparents."
When attending a rodeo, Borden must bring her own horse, Moe, to the event to ride during the grand entrance.
Borden said she is sometimes asked to carry sponsor flags during her rides around the arena.
A Life Outside of Rodeos
While at Mt. Hope High School, Borden competed in livestock shows, as now does her younger sister, Lily.
Even though her rodeo duties keep her busy, Borden has other responsibilities. The MSU junior is busy preparing for veterinary school. She is currently in the Animal and Dairy Sciences program at the Starkville, MS, school.
The Borden family relies on the Lawrence County Exchange in Moulton for performance beef feed and for the Horizon line of horse feed. The family also outfitted its barn with stable and tack supplies from the Co-op.
Susie Sims is a freelance writer from Haleyville.