Everyone loves the pretty girl that hot laps the arena decked to the nines in gems smiling and waving. But do they know just what it takes to get there? Emma Cameron is a veteran of rodeo queen pageants, and she walks us through her accomplishments and how she rose to her success.

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In 2016, Emma Cameron was the runner up at the National High School Rodeo in the Queen contest. However, Emma didn’t give up. She had another year and she went to work. In 2017, her dreams were made a reality after winning the individual categories of horsemanship, interview, written test, appearance, personality, and impromptu speech, where she was then crowned Miss National High School Rodeo.

The difference between the two years was experience and mental game. She studied and went the extra mile by attending clinics, studying the industry, and even taking ballet classes to help with her modeling. “When I went back, I didn’t watch anyone else’s patterns in the horsemanship or watch my video. I didn’t want to overanalyze my performance before moving on to the next round,” she says.

After winning the national title, the work only doubled and the doors opened up for her. “When it was all said done, I traveled over 50,000 miles that year representing the NHSRA. When you’re a rodeo queen, you have a platform to make a tangible connection between the fantasy of the West and the life people live everyday,” Emma explains. She traveled the nation, went to the National Finals, and got to meet everyone along the way.

Being a representative of the Western industry is something that Emma prides herself in. “When you grow up in the sport of rodeo, the magic we experience everyday is sometimes overlooked because it’s just our life everyday,” Emma explains. “When you are a rodeo queen you get to share that magic with other people in ways you sometimes don’t even realize until years down the road, and to me that is so special.”

She has made it a point to share the Western legacy with her everywhere she goes. Emma attended Cornell for college and decided to put her career on pause until multiple people on the East Coast asked her to make appearances at rodeos and put on clinics.

That shaped Emma’s college experience and created a new side career called “Royal Coaching”. Royal Coaching is where she helps high school girls prepare for pageants and succeed in their dreams much like she did.

In 2021, Emma graduated from Cornell University and started working as a Commodity Risk Management Analyst for a commodity marketing company headquartered in Kansas City. “I see financial sustainability as equally important to environmental sustainability when it comes to the agriculture industry, and I am really grateful to have a job working directly with producers to make that a reality for their business,” she says.

Today, she is preparing to compete for Miss Rodeo New Mexico this coming fall, which would qualify her to compete for Miss Rodeo America in 2023. Preparing for that is going to be a new experience, as it’s a different rule book for her to learn and a larger scale to compete on. “When I coach people, I tell them I want to see the same person in their preparation and real life as we will see in their competition and once they achieve their goal. That is how I aim to be too.”