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Hill Country Rodeo Queen Goes National

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Many little girls dream of living life as a princess. As the years roll by, that dream fades for most girls. But for one Texas Hill Country girl, the dream of attaining royalty never paled.

Hill Country Rodeo Queen Goes National

Photo: Facebook/Bailey-Grace Synder

Bailey-Grace Snyder of New Braunfels isn’t that much different from other Texas cowgirls. She loves her horses and she loves competing in rodeos, but she wanted something more. So in 2013, she threw her hat in the ring and competed in the Comal County Rodeo Queen contest. She won. And continued to win. She entered and won the Region 6 Rodeo Queen contest and then earned the title of Miss Texas High School Rodeo Queen.

Hill Country Rodeo Queen Goes National

Photo: Flickr/Matt Owen

This past July, Snyder and her family hit the trail traveling from Texas to Wyoming so Snyder could participate in the Miss National High School Rodeo Queen contest. Contestants come from 43 US states, plus five Canadian provinces and Australia.

Claude Mullins, a Texan educator and rodeo lover, created the first state rodeo competition in 1947 in Hallettsville, Texas after noticing that kids gathered together daily to participate in rodeo activities. He decided it would be fun to organize a competition that would produce a state champion like other high school sports.

By 1949, other states had climbed aboard the rodeo bandwagon starting their own state-wide rodeo competitions. Hallettsville played host to the first national competition that same year. Here, the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA), a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of sportsmanship, horsemanship, and character through the sport of rodeo, was born.

Hill Country Rodeo Queen Goes National

Photo: Facebook/Texas High School Rodeo Association

Since 1950, cowgirls from around the nation have participated in the NHSRA’s rodeo queen contest. Judges evaluate the rodeo queen contestants in eight categories: modeling, personality, appearance, personal interview, prepared speech, impromptu speech, written test, and horsemanship. On July 23, announcers did not call Snyder’s name as the winner. Instead, the title went to Opal Harkins of Montana. Synder finished in 18th place out of 44 competitors.

Hill Country Rodeo Queen Goes National

Photo: Facebook/Texas High School Rodeo Association

But Snyder’s okay with that. She knows she has a lot to be proud of in winning the Texas title and representing her state at nationals. In an interview with the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, Snyder said of her time in Wyoming, “Meeting new people from other states is really cool.” Her biggest takeaway: “I’ve learned a lot about talking to people,” she said. “I think that will help me later in life with personal job interviews, and that’s a skill I will use forever.”

What’s next for Snyder? High school graduation and then college at Tarleton State University where she will study sports medicine and tryout for the school’s rodeo team. The future looks bright for Snyder and we couldn’t more proud of this Texas Hill Country sweetheart.