For the first time ever, a Miss Enumclaw Pro Rodeo will be representing her fair city in the Pro West Rodeo circuit this year.
The position is filled by none other than Kristin Sturdivan, who you can see bring in the American flag as the rodeo kicks off this Thursday, Aug. 22, around 7 p.m.
Sturdivan, a Plateau resident, has been volunteering and competing at the Enumclaw rodeo for the last three years, though her passion for riding goes much father back.
“I started riding at a super young age,” she said in a recent interview. “I was super into Western Pleasure and all the performance aspects of riding, and then I think everyone hits that, ‘Oh, I need to go fast and have fun and run and be wild,’ and [I] started gaming and doing a lot of barrel races.”
While Miss Rodeo positions normally involve some tryouts, the Enumclaw Pro Rodeo committee nominated Sturdivan to the position last March in order to kick things off.
“We’re growing, and we thought we needed to be represented better at the other rodeos during the year,” said Kathi Ruvalcaba, the committee’s queen coordinator.
The Pro West rodeo circuit has more than 60 rodeos, and Sturdivan helps out at most, if not all, of them.
“I run in their grand entry, I do mutton busting, or run flags, or run cattle,” she said, adding that she also visits schools and fairs, as well as do media interviews. “I’m an ambassador of rodeo — I’m trying to educate people on agriculture, on rodeo and western culture.”
And although she’s not allowed to compete while she holds a title, Sturdivan believes her role as Miss Enumclaw Pro Rodeo is key to encouraging others to get involved in rodeo culture.
“I think that we have a stronger character build when we encourage people to go outdoors and be active and be healthy and make a relationship with an animal, as opposed to just social media,” she said.
In fact, outside of her rodeo and royalty duties, Sturdivan owns and runs Russell’s Ranch in Buckley, a therapeutic riding center for kids with disabilities.
Though Sturdivan can’t put her competitive rodeo skills to use, she is in the running to move up through the royal ranks, from Miss Pro West, Miss Rodeo Washington, and finally, Miss Rodeo America.
The process is not unlike traditional beauty pageants.
“There’s speeches, there’s modeling, there’s horseback riding, and horsemanship and knowledge,” Sturdivan said, adding that this has been a great opportunity to bond with her horse and meet other like-minded women. “It’s been such a great time to just really spend time with my horse and friends and other queens, really engaging with people from around our state that are interested in the same things.”
Also like in beauty pageants, Sturdivan needs to have a platform that she promotes through her work as Miss Enumclaw Pro Rodeo.
“My rodeo platform is ‘#PlantKindness,’” she said. “When I travel around, I’ve been giving other queens a flower and when I’ve gone to talk to schools, I’ve take a flower to the school… grow it, and make something beautiful. It’s all in your hands.”
If you’d like to meet your local rodeo queen, Sturdivan will be signing autographs before and after the rodeo.
To learn more about how to try out for next year’s Miss Enumclaw Pro Rodeo title, email firstname.lastname@example.org.