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KHS grad named Miss North Dakota Winter Show...

For Lindsey Miller, hard work, dedication, focus and experience does pay off.

3/17/20 (Tue)

For Lindsey Miller, hard work, dedication, focus and experience does pay off.

Miller, a 2019 graduate of Kenmare High School, was crowned Miss North Dakota Winter Show queen at the Winter Show in Valley City March 7. She is the daughter of Steve and Denise Miller of Flaxton.

“Being Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show has definitely been a dream of mine,” Miller said. “Also, it has been a lifelong goal of mine to one day be Miss Rodeo North Dakota and winning Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show means I qualify to run for Miss Rodeo North Dakota at the Badlands Circuit Finals in Minot in October. So winning was definitely a dream come true and one step closer to an even bigger dream.”

Miller, who is now a freshman at Dickinson State University competes in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and breakaway roping.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“Many people think rodeo queen pageants are just like beauty pageants, but they are not,” she said. “At a rodeo queen pageant and particularly at the North Dakota Winter Show, I rode two horses I had never ridden. I did a 10-minute personal interview with my judges, I also said a 3-minute memorized speech, answered two impromptu questions, modeled two different outfits and did a public interview in front of an audience.”

She added, “Lastly, I carried a flag in the PRCA Rodeo Performance Grand Entry as well. I did all of this while being judged by a panel of three judges. As rodeo queens, we are mainly judged on horsemanship, personality and appearance with horsemanship being the highest category. After all, rodeo queens are cowgirls first!”

Anybody would prefer having their own horse, at a state level, Miller said you are unable to compete with your own horse because the judges want to test how well you can ride, thus they have you ride unfamiliar horses.

“Over the past three years of rodeo queening, I have ridden at least 20 different horses from different stock contractor companies to local rodeo committee members,” Miller said. “My favorite would have to be the buckskin I rode as Miss Rodeo Ashley 2019, in Jamestown at the Roughrider Finals. I ended up buying him  and enjoy riding him along with my barrel horse Bleu.”

She enjoys riding her own horses in her free time, rides in local rodeos across the state and sometimes carries flags with her mounts.

“However, to travel as a rodeo queen and get to as many appearances as I do, it is much easier to borrow horses from people who are at the rodeo,” she said.

Miller has had a lot of influence to get where she is now. A number of people have played a part in her success and she said they know who they are.

She added her parents have been her main influence.

“Many, I mean many have influenced this recent win of mine,” she said. “It truly takes a village to be a successful rodeo queen. However, my main influence would have to be my parents. They have supported me through this entire rodeo queen journey so far and without them I would not be anywhere near where I am today. They are constantly there for me, may it be holding horses or driving me to and from appearances, so that I can catch a few extra hours of sleep.”

A humble Miller doesn’t give herself enough credit. Studying agriculture education with a minor in agriculture business, she was on the Dickinson State University’s President’s List for the fall semester.

And, she’s been participating in rodeo since she could walk. She rode horse with her mother and soon joined 4-H at the age of 4. She started rodeo queening at age 15.

As a result, Miller has built up quite a portfolio in rodeo, pageants and academics. 

Until March of next year, she will represent the North Dakota Winter Show at various rodeos and equine events across the state. It’s going to keep her busy, but she doesn’t think it will interfere with her studies at Dickinson State, at least not yet.

“This will not have any impact on me at Dickinson State and I will continue to be an active, studious college student,” she said. “However, while I am in Dickinson for the remainder of the school year, I will be attending some of their events and unless I win Miss Rodeo North Dakota in October, I will continue to go to school here in Dickinson. If I win Miss Rodeo North Dakota, I will take the spring semester of my sophomore year off to fulfill my reign.”

Miller said her next step is to take a long nap.

“Joking aside, my next step will actually be to get head shots taken and autographs made as my first official appearance as Miss Rodeo North Dakota Winter Show 2020,” she explained. “Hopefully, I will be in Minot at the Magic City Madness event put on by Abrahamson Rodeo Co., March 20-21.”

In a year, Miller will crown the new queen, but in the meantime, there is lots to do.

She will travel across the state representing the Winter Show, the sport of rodeo and the farming and ranching way of life. She will carry flags and sign autographs at rodeos, but will travel to schools and give presentations, sign autographs at businesses, ride in parades and even judge a kuchen contest, as she pointed out.

It is also part of her contract that she run for Miss Rodeo North Dakota at the Badlands Circuit Finals in Minot in October.

Could those appearances include a trip back to her high school?

“I would love to stop in Kenmare for one of my appearances and will be reaching out Dr. (Tim) Godfrey to hopefully schedule a school visit soon,” Miller said. “If there is anyone who would like me to attend an event or at their school, please feel free to reach out to me. I generally put about 15,000 miles on a vehicle traveling across the state and would love to get everywhere and anywhere I can.”

Leading up to the Winter Show, Miller took a break from social media so she wasn’t distracted about “who” and focused on her own talents.

A successful Virgil Hill was like that in the boxing world. He didn’t watch tapes of his opponents to be distracted, instead focused on his talent as a middleweight boxer.

Perhaps getting away from the social media distraction was the answer for Miller.

“I was definitely surprised to win, but I knew I had worked hard to win,” she said. “Once I was crowned, I was super excited. But to be honest, it is still slowly setting in that I won.” ... 

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