Real Life Rodeo Queen Secret Number 7

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Katy broadcasting behind the scenes during the 2013 Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Real Life Rodeo Queen Secret #7.

Sometimes I’m afraid of what happens next.

What happens when the crown comes off and I’m just, me? I’ve got an education and I have past work experience but will it be the same when I’m done? This is what I’ve been working towards my entire life – so what do I do after my biggest dream has been realized?

What do you do when the way you are is no longer matched with a crown and banner? Some queens even feel lost after their year is over and have trouble letting go of the person they were.

Having a crown sitting upon your head can empower you to move mountains, so what happens when it’s gone?

When I think about these fears, I think about what I’ve seen become of past rodeo queens. These women have to be so strong to hold a title that comes with all the pressure and stress that can possibly be packed into a one-year reign.

When I think about my fears of what will happen after I wake up from this dream, I look towards these women that have gone before me that now have bright futures and amazing careers.

I talked with one of those very strong and resilient young women, Taci Shaffer, who recently gave up her crown as Miss Rodeo Arizona 2014. Taci grew up in Utah and, after competing in pageants unsuccessfully for five years, began winning titles including Utah High School Rodeo Queen and then went on to win the title of National High School Rodeo Queen. She then moved to Arizona, chasing the sunshine she’d always fantasized about living in, and won Miss Rodeo Arizona 2014.

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Miss Rodeo Arizona 2014: Taci Shaffer represented the state of Arizona as the 2014 Miss Rodeo Arizona. Photo by Dream Catcher Images

Just a mere four months ago Taci returned from competing for her very own life’s dream: becoming Miss Rodeo America.

After finishing as first runner up, a heart break no doubt to be so close to realizing a dream and coming up just shy, I had to interview her to see where she went from there?

“Ever since I could remember I wanted to be Miss Rodeo America. I worked very hard for that goal for a very long time. Anytime I went into a competition I knew there would always be a chance of not winning, and that’s always been okay with me.

I try to put everything in God’s hands. I feel so blessed to have that knowledge that God has a special plan for each of us. In that moment when Lauren (Miss Rodeo America 2015) and I were holding hands waiting to hear the results, I knew it would be her name called. I had this feeling, and I was okay with that.

I feel way too blessed to be where I am in my life and I’ve gotten so much out of being a rodeo queen. It has shaped me into the woman I am today, a woman who believes in herself and follows her dreams. To me, that belief in itself is the greatest of all accomplishments.”

What are you doing now?

“These past couple months have been a huge transition for me. Before my reign as Miss Rodeo Arizona, I had been travelling all over the U.S., I worked mostly in sales and marketing, and also traveled as a makeup artist. I have also been modelling for the past five years doing print, promotional and spokes modelling.

I started my own brand, ‘Beyond Beauty Brand’, and I have been working a lot more on this now that I have time. I am a cosmetologist, makeup artist, master esthetician and fitness instructor, so it has been a way to combine my passions and talents into one major goal. I really want to focus on ‘Beyond Beauty Brand’ and help people see the beauty they hold. Right now it’s a complete marketing business, but at some point I want to have my very own makeup and clothing line.

Also, I became a television host for the new show “Strappin In”, by Rodeo Athletes. So I just got back from filming our first segments at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. One of the reasons I continued to [compete for] rodeo queen and compete at America was because I wanted to be a television host for the sport of rodeo. So that opportunity came about almost right after the pageant, it almost felt like that’s why I didn’t win, so that I could take advantage of my dream job, being a host for rodeo!

I’m also thrilled about all the scholarship money I received from the pageant and will be enrolled in school by next fall. I’m having a rough time deciding exactly what to study with all these exciting opportunities ahead, but again that is something that will be answered with time.”

How will being a rodeo queen influence you throughout your career?

“The skills I gained as a rodeo queen will help me tremendously throughout my life and career. It taught me a lot about determination and try. I was able to achieve my best in so many aspects because it challenges you to be the best ‘you’ that you can be. Competing in pageants allows an opportunity to find inner strength and courage that we all possess. It has given me the chance to discover my strengths and perfect them, realize my weaknesses and transform them into strengths.”

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Katy interviews 2013 Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Bull Riding Season Leader Tanner Girletz.

I’ve found there are many stories just like Taci’s. Stories of rodeo queens that go on to something they have an extreme passion for, the infamous ‘dream job’ that we all search for.

After my year as Miss Rodeo Canada 2015 is over I plan to work in the sport where I am happiest, rodeo. I hope to continue to advance my skills and give back to this sport by creating media opportunities for contestants and broadcasting at rodeos across Canada, and someday all of North America.

So when I look at the big picture, I don’t see a woman that feels lost without a crown on my head, but someone who still lives each day dedicated to the sport I cherish, and that’s my happy ending to this fairytale.

I’ll end with the message I sign on autograph sheets for hundreds of little girls that believe in princesses and fairytales…

“Always wear your invisible crown.”

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