A half-dozen beautiful young women will be in Payson this week focused on a contest for a crown — or two.
The Miss Rodeo Arizona Pageant is in the Rim Country for the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo.
The event will take place Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19 when coronation ceremonies will be held at 8:45 a.m. at the Best Western Payson Inn.
There are four women seeking the title of Miss Rodeo Arizona and two who want the crown for Miss Teen Rodeo Arizona.
There are four contestants for Miss Rodeo Arizona 2013: Halle Fry, Candice Hill-Crouch, Taci Shaffer and Brittney Truman. Two young women will compete for the title of Miss Teen Rodeo Arizona 2013: Brigitte Kennison and Page McGiffin.
Miss Rodeo Arizona contenders
Halle Fry is almost an Arizona native. She and her family came to Arizona when she was barely a year old. First living in Mesa, she was given a horse for her fourth birthday and started riding lessons.
She competed in English and western riding shows and gymkhana. Eventually she was able to join 4-H and continue her training and love for anything “horse.”
When Fry was 12, her family relocated to Snowflake. There was not much opportunity to participate with show horses, so she joined the National Barrel Racing Association and excelled in the competition.
Fry’s first title was that of Navajo County Rodeo Junior Teen Queen First Attendant and that hooked her on rodeo. She has since served as Show Low Deuces Wild Rodeo Queen (2011-2012) and is currently the Navajo County Rodeo Queen.
After graduating from Snowflake High School, she attended Arizona State University. She is currently a senior at ASU and majoring in electronics engineering technology and is on the Dean’s List.
She hopes to return to the White Mountains upon graduation to work in the alternative energy field.
Candice Hill-Crouch, daughter of Alex Crouch and Rebecca Hill, grew up on her family ranch in Tucson.
Graduating from City High School in 2008, she went on to earn a certificate of study in veterinary assistance from Pima Community College. She is now a student at the University of Arizona where she is earning a bachelor’s degree in business financing.
Her love of horses comes from a lifetime of riding. She has participated in hunter/jumper riding, 4-H events; showing horses on the national level, and rodeo competitions. She holds numerous all-around championship honors from both local and national contests.
Through 4-H, Hill-Crouch learned many valuable skills: volunteerism, philanthropy, public speaking and advocacy. She represented Arizona in 2006 at the 4-H National Congress in Atlanta, Ga. And was one of five state ambassadors to travel Arizona promoting 4-H programs, along with advocating youth education, animal welfare and farming to the U.S. congressional delegation.
Taci Shaffer, former Miss National High School Rodeo Queen, climbed aboard her first horse at the age of 2 and has since aspired to become Miss Rodeo America. Growing up, she competed in 4-H, Junior Rodeo, FFA and High School Rodeo.
She graduated with high honors in cosmetology and makeup artistry, with a master’s in aesthetics. She is the owner of Shimmer Me Sexy Spa and founder of Beyond Beauty. She is dedicated to helping others feel confident and beautiful and has a passion for health and fitness. Shaffer is a certified fitness instructor and enjoys teaching Pilates, yoga, body sculpting, boot camp fitness and cycling classes.
She hopes to some day be a television host and has a rising modeling career.
As time allows, she enjoys barrel racing, traveling, shopping and competitive running. Shaffer also volunteers weekly with Hoofbeats for Heart, a therapeutic riding program for the mentally and physically challenged.
Brittney Truman is a Marana, Ariz. resident and has been involved in rodeo her entire life. She runs barrels in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and continues to rope with her father and uncles. She is an active member of the Cowgirls Historical Foundation, which focuses on the preservation of America’s western heritage.
Truman is heavily involved in the western industry both in and out of the saddle. Currently, she runs the Coors Rodeo Endorsee Program, which has a heavy emphasis on the Walmart Rodeo Program and promotions. In 2010 and 2011, she held the title for Scottsdale’s Miss Parada del Sol rodeo queen; and as the 2012 Miss Turquoise Circuit rodeo queen, Truman traveled the country as the official representative of rodeo within Arizona and New Mexico.
Miss Teen Arizona contestants
Brigitte Kennison is the daughter of Brian and Sylvia Kennison and a sophomore at Show Low High School.
She has been riding horses since she was 18 months old and has won many national and world titles showing horses.
Participating in the world of rodeo, Kennison has competed in barrel racing for the past three years. Her first rodeo royalty title was that of Show Low Deuces Wild Teen Queen in 2011-2012 and Navajo County Teen Rodeo Queen for 2013.
She will graduate from SLHS in 2015 and plans to attend Colorado State University to study animal science with the goal of becoming an equine veterinarian as well as a horse trainer.
Paige McGiffin is from Tucson. She enjoys barrel racing and roping, camping and fishing.
She has been part of the Tucson Rodeo all her life as her parents are active participants in the event, working in the arena.
She has won awards with her horse through the American Quarter Horse Association and 4-H.
McGiffin is a member of the Southern Arizona Barrel Racing Association and the Cowboys and Cowgirls Barrel Racing Association.