CORVALLIS, Ore. – An Oregon State University student is back from the national Miss Rodeo America competition, representing her home state well. Corvallis native Nicole Schrock rounded up second runner up at the annual pageant.
“We’re all lined up on our podiums,” Schrock said. “Almost kind of like the Miss Congeniality movie. It was kind of similar to that. We’re all lined up and then they announced top ten.”
And then the top five. And then came an impromptu question.
“I was shaking so bad,” Schrock said. “It was just a relief to get through it and know that I did well.”
Schrock first got involved in the rodeo pageants when she was a senior in high school.
“In 2007 I was the Benton County Fair and Rodeo Queen and then I went on to become the 2009 Sweet Home Rodeo Queen, followed by the 2010 Miss Northwest Pro Rodeo Association” she said.
In August of 2012, she was crowned Miss Rodeo Oregon for 2013.
“It was a great experience not only being Miss Rodeo Oregon but being the first girl from Corvallis to be Miss Rodeo Oregon. It was just a great opportunity to kind of shed some light on the organization to a new fan base and to a new community.”
And this past December, she went to Las Vegas to compete nationally. But riding horses wasn’t the only thing that helped Schrock get second runner up.
“In the contest they have different parts of it where they’ll do impromptu questions,” she said. “Where they’ll pull personality questions or rodeo questions or current event questions. So you also have to be up to date about what’s going on in the world and what’s going on in your community.”
Schrock says there is a misconception about rodeo queens. During the competition, no outside help is allowed – including hair and makeup.
“There’s nothing to worry about – other girls bringing their own coaches and that sort of thing. It’s just the work you put into it and getting the chance to showcase that. And for me it’s important to portray that we aren’t beauty queens, but we are ambassadors for the sport.”
She says the Corvallis community has been great, from sponsorships to cheering her on at the shows.
“It’s been great to have such phenomenal support,” she said.
Schrock retired her crown on Tuesday, the last day of 2013. Now, she is working as a horse trainer at a barn outside of Lebanon while finishing up her degree at Oregon State University. But that is not going to keep her away from the rodeo atmosphere.
“So for me I’ll still find a way to stay involved in rodeo,” Schrock said. “I volunteer with the local rodeo committee at Benton County. I mean I love rodeo. It’s such a great sport. So family oriented. I’ll continue to be involved one way or another.”
As a rodeo queen, she spoke with community members and kids who are interested in the rodeo or who have questions for her.
“Riding horses was really intimidating for me. Horses, full sized horses, they scared me. And so in overcoming my fear in learning how to ride, I learned that I loved it.”
As an ambassador, she especially liked talking to kids.
“I like talking with kids who are afraid of horses or afraid of public speaking because I’ve been in their shoes. It was really great to get to reach out to the community that way. So that’s why I kept doing it and that’s probably why I’ll miss it, but I’ll find a way. I’ll find a way to still be involved and do what I love.”