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West Jordan Journal

First-generation cowgirl wins Miss Rodeo 2018

Aug 31, 2017 06:28PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Carly Peercy was named Miss Rodeo Utah 2018 after competing against eight other girls for the title. (Adam Salazar)

By Jessica Parcell | [email protected]

Carly Peercy was 5 when her dream of becoming Miss Rodeo Utah was born.

Peercy was named Miss Rodeo Utah 2018 on July 24 at the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo.

Peercy said the next months will be a preparatory period of “lady-in-waiting” for her and McKenna Hales, Miss Rodeo Utah 2017. During this time, Peercy follows the current Miss Rodeo around to learn the ropes of all the things she will be doing when she officially takes over the title at the start of the new year.

“Basically, it’s just six months to prepare for your following year as Miss Rodeo Utah,” Peercy said.

She said the role of Miss Rodeo means that she is an ambassador for professional rodeos as well as for the Beehive State. Peercy said one of her goals as Miss Rodeo 2018 is to educate people about rodeos, agriculture and everything about the Western way of life.

“Something unique about me is I’m a first-generation cowgirl,” Peercy said. “So, I kind of started this new tradition in my family, and it was kind of something that inspired me at the age of 5, and I’ve just kept with it.”

The newly crowned Miss Rodeo said she’s had many role models and other people that she looks up to that supported her in her goals and efforts to get to where she is today. She wants to inspire the younger generation to follow their dreams.

She never thought her dream of becoming Miss Rodeo Utah was possible, but over the years she discovered that with faith, determination and hard work, anything is possible.

Peercy said that her first queen title was in 2013 as Miss West Jordan Rodeo Queen. She said that inspired her to keep going which led to her title as first attendant in Miss Rodeo Oakley pageant and first runner-up in the Wilderness Circuit — a pageant that represents Utah, Nevada and south Idaho.

She said that first year consistently winning first runner-up helped her realize something vital to her success in the pageant world.

“If you weren’t a queen without the crown, then you’re never going to be a queen with the crown,” Peercy said.

Her biggest struggle throughout the Miss Rodeo Utah pageant was not being able to hug her parents. Peercy said that at the beginning of the pageant they take away all the girls’ cellphones and anything that can be used to connect with life at home.

She said her role as Miss Rodeo Utah requires a lot of travel, and pageant organizers wanted to make sure the girls could operate and be independent from their ties at home.

“They kind of seclude us during the week of Miss Rodeo Utah,” Peercy said. “They want to make sure you’re independent and you can do everything by yourself.”

Throughout the pageant, parents are still allowed to come and watch and support their daughters in the pageant, but personal contact is not part of that support system. She said that it’s challenging, but it really pays off in the end to see who can and cannot do without their parents.

Lana Peercy, Carly’s mother, said that throughout most of the pageant she was all right with the separation because Carly was one of the older queens, but there is always that feeling of anticipating the unknown.

“There’s always that part of being a mom,” Lana said. “You want to know if she needs any help.”

Peercy said the pageant is mostly like any other beauty pageant except their talent is riding horses. The contestants perform three different horsemanship patterns, one of which is performed on another contestant’s horse.

“At the end of the week we do a freestyle pattern on our own horse where we can show off our abilities and our own talents in a two-minute pattern,” Peercy said.

She said that her motto has always been, “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough.” 

“If you want to do something, then do it,” Peercy said. “There’s so many opportunities out there in this world that we live in. It just starts with asking and trying.”