Four Will Vie For 2006 Rodeo Crown, Title



Miss Rodeo Arizona, Inc. has approved the final contestants who will compete for the crown of Miss Rodeo Arizona 2006 in Payson this weekend in the Silver Crown Rodeo Showdown Pageant. The four contestants will convene from all across the state on Friday May 19 to compete in a number of judged events including horsemanship, speech, modeling, appearance, personality and rodeo/horsemanship knowledge.

The 2006 contestants are from Fort Mojave, Vail, Chino Valley and Queen Creek.

Crystal Killian, 22, is from Chino Valley. From a fifth generation ranching family, she has achieved four rodeo queen titles, most recently the 2005 Miss Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Queen. This led to her appearance in the Prescott Women's Magazine featuring leading women in rodeo. She also participates in the Arizona High School Rodeo Association and the Christian Women's and Central Yavapai Barrel Racers Associations. Other involvements include equine and steer showing and livestock and horse judging.

Killian also volunteers at the Tucson Heart Hospital and Amity Ranch of Tucson. She plans to further her degree in health science by continuing her education in cardiology.

Emma Morgan, 20, is from Fort Mojave. At the age of 11, Morgan took home her first rodeo royalty title as Mohave Valley Riding Club Princess. The following year she was crowned queen and was inspired to work toward the city title. Morgan was selected Miss Bullhead City Pro Rodeo Queen in 1999 when she was only 14 years old. She is currently serving as Kingman's Andy Devine Days Pro Rodeo Queen. She is employed as a surgical assistant for a periodontist in Bullhead City and is studying for a degree in dental hygiene.

Elizabeth Scott, 21, is from Vail. Taking the show ring at age 4, she found a passion for competition and went on to win several championships at Arabian shows, qualifying for the AQHYA World Show, and receiving top scores at the APHYA World Show.

Scott was crowned the 2004 Sierra Stampede Rodeo Queen and 2005 Turquoise Circuit Queen. She has graduated from the Arizona Institute of Equine Massage Therapy and Kinesiology and is currently attending Pima Community College.

Natalie Uptain, 22, is from Queen Creek. While attending high school, Uptain was very active in the equestrian world, winning buckles and prizes in barrel racing, pole bending and team penning.

She has held the titles of Gilbert Days Rodeo Queen 2003, Cave Creek Fiesta Days Rodeo Attendant 2004, and Flagstaff Pine Country Pro Rodeo Queen 2005.

A true history buff, Uptain is currently attending Ottawa University where she is majoring in secondary education with a minor in history. Her other interests include riding, camping, fishing, dancing, reading and coaching young rodeo queens.

Miss Rodeo Arizona 2005, Amanda Jenkins, will be crowning her successor at the pageant coronation ceremony Sunday, May 21.

Jenkins competed for the title of Miss Rodeo America in Las Vegas last year, winning the prestigious horsemanship competition and first runner-up.

She has traveled more than 28,000 miles during her reign this past year, sharing the values of rodeo and the western way of life with schoolchildren, senior citizens, families and many others along her journey.

The pageant

The pageant is being held the same weekend as Payson's Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo. Rodeo performances start at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20 at the Payson Event Center.

The theme of the 2006 pageant is "In the Pink -- Arizona Style" to go along with a promotion of Wrangler, one of Miss Rodeo America and the PRCA's important sponsors. This year Wrangler is supporting breast cancer awareness and research with the slogan "Tough Enough to Wear Pink." The objective of "TETWP" is to rally the rodeo industry around a cause that touches many of the sport's competitors, families and fans.

The following pageant events are open to the public:

Friday, May 19

1 p.m.: Horsemanship competition at Payson Event Center

6:30 p.m.: Informal modeling; introduction speech; questions in current events and rodeo knowledge at the Tonto Apache Tribal Activity Center

Saturday, May 20

10:30 a.m.: Fashion show, state speech and silent auction at the Tonto Apache Tribal Activity Center

Sunday, May 21

9 a.m.: Presentation of awards, scholarships and coronation at the Tonto Apache Tribal Activity Center

For ticket information or more details regarding the Miss Rodeo Arizona pageant, please call (520) 378-3717.

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