Rodeo Queen Looks Toward Photojournalism Career


Katie Rose Hill has been to Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and New Mexico in her first five months of travel as Miss Rodeo Arizona.

She has ridden in parades.


Katie Rose Hill, Miss Rodeo Arizona, recently spoke to members of the Payson Rotary Club about her experiences. With Hill is 4-year-old Sage Mathews.

She has posted the colors at rodeos.

She has answered the questions of civic groups and schoolchildren.

"Two weekends ago, I was home for the first time since May. I felt like I was missing something and should be somewhere," the 22-year-old rodeo queen said.

"I often get asked (by children), have I ever ridden on a bull?" she said.

The answer is no.

She spent an hour and a half this week in "the most delightful conversation" with a room full of Payson Community Kids.

She shared pictures with them and talked about her three quarter horses -- Tag, Cruiser and Boomer.

"Sometimes, I'll get a question and I have not the foggiest idea where it came from," Hill told Rotarians at their breakfast meeting the next morning.

"A boy asked me, have you ever trained an alpaca?" Hill said.

She told the boy, "I haven't, but there is always tomorrow."

Hill accepted her crown in Payson in May. Not only will her next seven months of tomorrows be busy, as she continues to promote the family sport of rodeo, but her college plans include the pursuit of a master's degree.

"I have been accepted at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism," she said.

She plans to pursue a career in photojournalism, although she admits, "I feel like I'm swimming upstream because I disagree so often with mainstream media."

Still, Hill "fell in love with journalism" in part because of an experience she had in a broadcasting class at California Polytechnic University and in part, because her grandmother, a writer, is her "hero."

Cal Poly has run a cat shelter on campus for 15 years. As Hill investigated, her story changed from being about the program that had helped 600 cats, to being about the woman whose passion for 15 years had been to feed the shelter's cats twice a day.

Hill enjoyed telling the story of what gave this woman's life meaning.

"Everyone has a path. I'm riding this wonderful ride and I will see where it takes me," Hill said.

Following her visit to Payson, Hill's next step was fund raising at her Prescott trunk show, Ropes, Roses and Rhinestones. She modeled the attire she will wear during the whirlwind week of competition for Miss Rodeo America in December.

The time she spends away from her family is the biggest challenge of Hill's exciting year representing Arizona.

Still, she said, "I would like to see more girls get involved in rodeo queening because of the positive impact on life it has. It's been a blessing."

Hill's Web site is:

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