Windsor native aiming for Miss Rodeo Colorado title | MyWindsorNow.com

Windsor native aiming for Miss Rodeo Colorado title

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

Doc, a "snotty sorrel gelding," was the reason Alex Hyland fell in love with horses.

When Hyland was a little girl, she loved to ride him bareback in the pasture. And even though some of his habits — like trying to run back to the barn every chance he got — made riding him challenging, that challenge gave her confidence.

The 22-year-old Colorado State University graduate is now competing for Miss Rodeo Colorado, something she said she could not have done without learning to be confident through rodeo competitions and training Doc to behave.

Her challenges with ornery horses aren't over, however. Jaz, Hyland's current horse, was chewing on his reigns, tossing his head and trying to take a nibble out of her leg Wednesday morning.

“Back then I was a shy, huge tomboy little girl and rodeo queening really helped bring out my personality and really helped with my confidence.” Alex Hyland

But Hyland said the feeling of growing with her horses makes the struggles worth it, and she hopes her horsemanship skills will serve her well as she competes for Miss Rodeo Colorado.

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Passions for horseback riding, rodeos and agriculture have driven Hyland to compete for the title, and she is now one of seven finalists.

Hyland is no stranger to rodeo queen competitions. She previously served as the Greeley Saddle Club Princess when she was 12 years old, then the Greeley Saddle Club Queen in 2010, and the Rooftop Rodeo Queen in 2012.

Even her first competition, Hyland said, changed her goals and helped her discover a calling.

"Back then I was a shy, huge tomboy, little girl, and rodeo queening really helped bring out my personality and really helped with my confidence," she said.

Her mom told that story, as well, in a book called "The Snarly Haired, Barefoot, Little Cowgirl Who Dared to be Queen."

Hyland and her mom, Nancy, also have shared a love of riding, and said they enjoy spending time on the trail together.

Now that she has overcome her shyness, Hyland plans to utilize the skills she gained while studying mass communications at CSU to promote rodeos and agriculture.

"Being able to bring people into the world of agriculture would just be amazing," she said.

When she was the Rooftop Rodeo Queen, Hyland said she learned how exciting being part of the world of rodeo can be for people who haven't lived that life.

"I was able to see my passions of rodeo, agriculture and horses through the eyes of people who don't get to see that every day," she said. "And that really gave me a deeper appreciation for that."

If she is chosen for Miss Rodeo Colorado, Hyland said she will focus on being a storyteller, reaching a new demographic to bring people into the world of rodeos and agriculture.

"I think she (Miss Rodeo Colorado) needs to be used as a marketing tool, not only for the PRCA but for the Greeley Stampede and rodeos, agriculture and horses," she said.

Miss Rodeo Colorado at the Greeley Stampede

Miss Rodeo Colorado events during the Greeley Stampede, according to the MRC website, are as follows:

Tuesday, June 27

4 p.m. – Introductory Dinner in the 4-H Building

6:30 p.m. – Autographs – Greeley Stampede

Wednesday, June 28

9 a.m. – Horsemanship – Main Stampede Arena

5:20 p.m. – Autographs – Stampede

6 p.m. – Parade in the Park

7 p.m. – Rodeo and Queen’s Run

Thursday, June 29

12 p.m. – Speeches, Media Interview & Lunch – Greeley Country Club

Friday, June 30

4:30 p.m. – Doors open for Coronation & Fashion Show – Union Colony Event Center

5:30 p.m. – Fashion Show begins

For more information about the Miss Rodeo Colorado Competition, or for tickets to events, go to missrodeocolorado.com. For more information about the Greeley Stampede, got to greeleystampede.org.

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