GUYMON, Okla. – If there were any positives for Hailey Frederiksen that came with the pandemic, it was a chance to revisit some of her favorite stops as Miss Rodeo Colorado.
She held her position through 2020 and 2021 before earning the ultimate prize, being named the 2022 Miss Rodeo America during the pageant held in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo this past December.
That allowed her two years of trips to some special events, and one of those was the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. For several years, the volunteer committee that produces the annual event has hosted visiting queens and made them feel right at home.
Frederiksen has been part of the pageantry each of the last two years and will return for this year’s rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 6; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 8, at Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena.
“When us girls travel out of state, there’s so much those committees and the people in those communities do to organize,” Frederiksen said. “For me, Guymon is on top of that list for its true hospitality. They have so many things for us girls to do. They have all of our meals planned out for us, and they’re all paid for to make sure all of us are taken care of.”
Most of all, it’s the family atmosphere that draws her and others to Guymon every year. There have been years with more than a dozen visiting queens in Texas County, touring the schools, meeting rodeo fans and promoting rodeo to the community.
“The Stoneciphers graciously host us at their home,” she said of Ken and Sherry, both of whom are directors with the committee who have had the queens stay at their residence for many years. “Miss Becky Robinson was the director for us and did so much.
“When I saw Guymon wasn’t on my original schedule, I knew I had to do something to remedy that. It wasn’t just about coming back to the rodeo; it was about me coming back to Guymon as Miss Rodeo America. I couldn’t be more honored. It’s been a while since they’ve had Miss Rodeo America at their rodeo, so I hope to make it worthwhile to them.”
The last time was in 2015 when former Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Lauren Heaton returned to her roots and held court at Hitch Arena. The return of Miss Rodeo America comes because of one young woman’s passion for the people that helped her realize her aspirations, and many live in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
“Oklahoma has a special place in my heart,” Frederiksen said. “When COVID hit at the beginning of my reign as Miss Rodeo Colorado, Oklahoma still went on with rodeos and didn’t cancel much. We all talk about people opening their homes to us, being kind and generous. Everyone in Guymon was absolutely that to us girls.”
Because of the pandemic, there were no new state pageants, and the Miss Rodeo America pageant was canceled in 2020; all members of rodeo royalty kept their titles for a second year. South Dakotan Jordan Tierney held the Miss Rodeo American tiara twice as long as most others before passing it along to Frederiksen.
“Winning the Miss Rodeo America pageant has been a dream come true and so much more,” she said. “I’ve met Miss Rodeo Americas throughout the years, and I just looked a them and could imagine that being myself. I find myself pinching myself to see if this is real. I still can’t believe it.”
There’s a beauty in Frederiksen’s voice to go along with the God-given beauty she carries. There is a passion for teaching others about the Western way of life and about her experiences growing up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. Being a rodeo queen is more than a pretty face; it takes good horsemanship, grace and knowledge of rodeo and the Western lifestyle.
“I believe I’ve put in the work for it,” Frederiksen said. “It’s a lot more than hair, makeup and rhinestones. We’re cowgirls. I tell young girls who want to do this, ‘Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.’
“Growing up in the Western lifestyle has taught me this work ethic, has taught me this passion. I couldn’t imagine living any other way.”
Therein lies a big reason Miss Rodeo America wanted to return to Guymon for Oklahoma’s richest rodeo. She identifies with the people that make a living in the Panhandle’s rugged terrain.
It’s almost like home.