Miss Rodeo Arizona is celebrating "Women of the West" at its 2004 scholarship pageant which will be held May 21 through May 23 in conjunction with the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo in Payson.
Miss Rodeo Arizona 2003, Heather Freeman of Williams will be turning over her crown to one of three contestants who will be named Miss Rodeo Arizona 2004. The contestants for this year's pageant are: Tamara Clause of Sierra Vista; Amanda Jenkins of Gilbert; and Laura Tinsley of Tucson.
The first contestant, Tamara Clause, daughter of Hal and BJ Clause, is representing the Pat Hughes Sierra Stampede as the 2003 Queen.
Tamara is currently attending the University of Arizona where she is majoring in communications. She is in the Honors College and on the Dean's List.
Tamara has been riding since childhood and has been involved in many different clubs and associations, competing in western and English riding, as well as timed events. She has won eight Arizona State 4-H horse show championships since she began showing at the age of 8, along with many county championships. Tamara has also held the title of Sierra Vista Riding Club Youth Rodeo Princess in 1995 and 1997 and 2001 Rodeo Queen.
When she is not riding, Tamara's other hobbies include basketball, running, kickboxing, drawing, painting, reading and traveling.
The next contestant, Amanda Jenkins, daughter of Joseph and Julia Jenkins, is representing the Cave Creek Fiesta Days Rodeo. Amanda is currently attending Arizona State University majoring in recreation and tourism management.
Amanda and her horses have achieved honors as Arizona State 4-H Champion in pleasure riding and barrel racing, and as AQHA State Champion in both Youth and Open divisions, qualifying twice in speed events for the AQHYA World Show in Forth Worth, Texas.
As a member of the Arizona High School Rodeo team, Amanda competed in barrel racing and pole bending as well as promoting rodeo as the Arizona High School Rodeo Queen.
Amanda proudly reigned as the 2002 Cave Creek Fiesta Rodeo Queen.
Along with her equine activities, Amanda has worked with special needs children through the 4-H program and as a volunteer at the Thomas J. Pappas School for the homeless.
The final contestant is Laura Tinsley, daughter of Sally Camp, who is representing the Tucson La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo.
Laura currently attends the University of Arizona, working toward her Bachelor of Science degree in race track industry.
Laura has taken part in many activities including the Central Arizona College Rodeo Team and the Marana High School Prom Committee. She has volunteered with the Tucson Women's Symphony Orchestra, visited children's and veterans hospitals, participated in Love of Reading Week at local schools, and spent time at senior citizens centers. Laura organized a clothing and food drive for local homeless and abuse shelters, and helped with the Down's Syndrome Buddy Walk and Race for a Cure. She has also spoken to Lions Clubs, acted as a chaperone at a Christmas Ball for mentally/physically disabled persons, was a horse leader for the Sombrero 4-H club and spoke with the REACh (Rodeo Education and Children) Program.
In her spare time, Laura enjoys breakaway roping, barrel racing, target shooting, fishing, baking, crafting/sewing, swimming and drawing.
To capture the coveted title of Miss Rodeo Arizona, a contestant must excel in three major categories: personality, horsemanship, and appearance.
Once crowned, Miss Rodeo Arizona 2004 will serve as ambassador for Professional Rodeo, the western way of life, and Arizona. She symbolizes the beauty, talent and integrity of rodeo. She will travel thousands of miles across the United States, riding in parades and rodeos, appearing at sponsor events, schools, autograph signings, radio and television interviews and other state pageants. She will also represent Arizona at the Miss Rodeo America pageant held in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev.
For more information about attending this year's Miss Rodeo Arizona pageant, or for more information about Miss Rodeo Arizona, please visit www.missrodeoarizona.info.