The reign of the 2020 Burnet County Rodeo Association Court is almost complete for Contessa Emma McCurry (front), Sweetheart Landrie Hampton Hogue (back, left), Princess Worth Evans, Duchess Haylee Mays, and Queen Kori Gilliland. Courtesy photo
The annual Burnet County Rodeo Association Scholarship Pageant is accepting applications from girls ages 4-18 for five spots on the rodeo court.
“Since 1966, Burnet County has been represented by a rodeo queen,” said pageant director Lynda McBryde. “If you can ride a horse — no specially trained horse needed — you can compete for a title. We believe anyone in any age group deserves the ability to participate.”
Parents can pick up applications at Relentless, 1807 U.S. 281 North, and Blair’s Western Wear and Boutique, 2501 U.S. 281 North, both in Marble Falls, as well as the Burnet Chamber of Commerce, 101 N. Pierce St. in Burnet.
The deadline to return applications to Relentless is Wednesday, May 5.
The court has five positions:
queen, ages 16-18
duchess, ages 13-15
princess, ages 10-12
sweetheart, ages 6-9
contessa, ages 4-5
The pageant is 9 a.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Burnet County Rodeo and Fairgrounds, 1301 Houston Clinton Drive in Burnet, and is open to the public. The 2021 court coronation is Saturday, May 15, during the Burnet County Rodeo.
To be eligible, participants must either live in Burnet County, have parents who pay Burnet County taxes, or attend a school located in Burnet County.
Contestants will be evaluated in a number of categories, including fashion and western wear, rodeo and equine knowledge, horsemanship, interview skills, congeniality, and a few more.
Part of the pageant includes competing in a horsemanship pattern.
“It’s a basic rein pattern,” McBryde said. “Any girl can do this. If you ride a horse in a pattern, you can do this. For the littlest girls, normally, they ride the horse and their dad or grandpa leads them in a smaller pattern. If they don’t ride a lot, it’s OK. Their parents or grandparents are going to lead them. It’s very safe and controlled.”
Contestants must wear hats, boots, and belts during the pageant’s style show.
Once the queen’s reign and verification of her good standing with the rodeo association are complete, a $1,000 scholarship will be sent to the Texas university, college, or trade school she is attending.
McBryde has been the pageant director since 2007.
“It has been a joy and a pleasure to watch all these young ladies mature into wonderful women,” she said. “Every little girl deserves a shot to follow her dreams. The Burnet Rodeo Royalty represent the Burnet County Rodeo Association at events, functions, and parades both locally and throughout the state,” McBryde said.