Archive for Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Miss Rodeo Kansas’ busy schedule includes stints at Shrine Rodeo

May 24, 2011

Alyssa Morrison knows how to wear a crown.

Not the kind of crown worn by British royalty, but that of a rodeo queen.

The Bonner Springs woman holds the 2011 Miss Rodeo Kansas title. She was crowned in August of last year, and between then and this December, she will have driven 35,000 miles as the “first lady” of rodeo for the state.

In the next two months, she’ll be at rodeos in Tonganoxie, Abbyville, Strong City, Garden City and North Platte, Neb., and after that, “July and August are non-stop. I won’t be home for the month of July,” she said.

On her way to the state queen title, Morrison, 22, spent a year as Miss Shrine Rodeo for the Tonganoxie event. It was the third pageant she had won.

Her first queen title came at age 13, in her second attempt at the Miss Johnson County 4-H Princess title. At that young age, she had to overcome her nerves.

“In every single picture, my hands are clenched because I was so nervous,” she said.

Since then, she’s won the Miss Johnson County 4-H Queen title, the Shrine Rodeo title, and her current position as state queen.

“Every time you compete in a rodeo pageant, you learn more about yourself and who you are and how to handle yourself in a public setting,” she said.

The cowgirl graduated summa cum laude from Mid America Nazarene University in Olathe this May with a degree in science and nursing. She has a job waiting for her at Kansas University Medical Center, which she will start this fall, after she spends the summer as ambassador at pro rodeos across the state.

She will be in Tonganoxie for the three days of the 2011 Shrine Rodeo, May 26-28, and with the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds only a 10-minute drive from her house, it’ll be the closest rodeo she’s been to all year.

“I consider it my hometown rodeo,” she said. “I can sleep in my own bed and bring my own horse, and I don’t even have to pack.”

This December, she’ll pack her bags when she spends eight days in Las Vegas at the Miss Rodeo America pageant, representing Kansas.

Alyssa Morrison will ride in the grand entry and be available to sign autographs at the Shrine Rodeo. For more information, visit shrinerodeo.com or call (913) 362-5300.

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