Traditional by-law remains a part of Miss Rodeo Queen Competition that doesn’t allow married women or mothers

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ABILENE, TX (KRBC)-Rules for the Miss West Texas Fair and Rodeo Queen pageant trickle down from Miss Rodeo Queen America into Miss Rodeo Queen Texas. And there is one by-law that some claim is more “traditional.”

Since the Miss Rodeo queen competition’s inception, a by-law states that a contestant may not have been married, have had a marriage annulled or have a child (and in some regions, be pregnant).

Whitney Hicks was presented her crown as a high school senior back in 2005.

“I grew up around horses all my life,” said Hicks. “I come from a farming, ranching family.”

With all the glitz, glam and spurs in between, she became Miss West Texas Fair and Rodeo Queen.

“Just be yourself,” said Hicks. “Don’t try to be something that you’re not. It’ll show.”

According to Hicks and Taylor County Executive Director Rochelle Johnson, the pageant is more rigorous than you may expect.

“The judges can ask them questions about the rodeo and about the PRCA rules, so it’s more than just a beauty contest if you will,” said Johnson.

“You have to have a decent or to you know a very well set of horsemanship skills because you are riding when you represent the West Texas Fair and Rodeo,” Hicks said.

Over the past fifty years some elements of the pageant have changed bust most rules have remained the same. We asked Linda Ebest, the state and national director of Miss Rodeo Queen Texas about the competition’s rules, including the inability for mothers or married women to compete.

“In the title it’s Miss,” said Ebest. “M-I-S-S. It’s not Mrs. So that is the difference there.” 

And, according to Ebest, having a child outside of a marriage may not reflect the values of the organization at this time.

During the interview with Ebest on Wednesday we asked, “If a rodeo queen was pregnant, do you think she is still a role model?”

Ebest answered, “Well, you have to look at it from the standpoint if she’s married or not–I would think.”

Hicks gave her thoughts on the rule.

“I don’t think it has a deciding factor,” said Hicks. “I don’t.”

However, Hicks said she does she a point in the ability to travel during one’s reign considering this rule.

“So personal experience not being married, not having children for me and being the traveler that I am–that for me would be the one thing that I would see that would actually benefit you is to have never been married or be currently married or have a child,” said Hicks.

Ebest said there have been talks about adding more Mrs. Rodeo Queen competitions in the future which allow married women to enter, but she said the Miss Rodeo America and Miss Rodeo Queen Texas rules are not changing any time soon.

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