Alma native, Jessica Chitwood, will compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America in December.
Chitwood grew up riding horses.
“Well I've always had horses,” she said. “I've loved horses forever and my mom was a rodeo girl.”
Chitwood is the current Miss Rodeo Arkansas. The title allows her to travel to rodeos across the country.
“This year in fact I’ve been all across the country from Washington DC to Cheyenne, Wyoming. I've been up to Minnesota or Texas, New Mexico. I've been everywhere,” said Chitwood.
The Miss Rodeo America pageant will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I'm really excited,” said Chitwood. “I get to go out there and compete with 31 other women.”
The judges look at everything from appearance to speech, modeling, personality, and how well contestants ride a horse.
“I'm usually trying to calm myself down and just remember this is supposed to be fun,” she said. “I'm supposed to go out there and be myself and that's what's gonna matter.”
Chitwood rides a horse named Merlin several times each week for practice. “He’s kind of got an attitude every now and then,” she said. In Las Vegas Chitwood will ride a horse provided by the rodeo company.
Chitwood likes to sparkle. She competes in rhinestones, leather, and a pair of traveling chaps warn by Miss Rodeo Arkansas winners in the past.
Chitwood is competitive. She hopes to leave Las Vegas with a title. “I’m gonna walk away with a smile on my face no matter what,” she said.
Chitwood is competing against other Miss Rodeo America contestants for the people’s choice award. You can vote for Chitwood by liking her picture on Facebook. To vote click here.