FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Aside from the heart-pumping competitions that comprise the Old Fort Days Rodeo, there are the people behind the scenes that help coordinate, promote, and make the event run efficiently and effectively each year.
One of them is Bayleigh Warren, who has been a part of this rodeo for nearly a decade.
This year, the 23-year-old is Miss Rodeo Arkansas. It’s a title she earned in March of this year.
Since Warren was a kid, she has been immersed in the Western lifestyle.
She grew up on a ranch, and her family owns a cow-calf operation.
As the 2018 rodeo queen, she represents the Natural State and promotes the sport of rodeo throughout the country. It’s a role and responsibility that Warren says she takes very seriously.
“This is a lifestyle for the cowboys and cowgirls who travel. This is their lifeline. This is how they make their money. This is how they earn their living. Our animals are crucial to us. Our animals mean everything to us, and I think as rodeo queens, it’s important to get that word out to people,” said Warren.
Currently, Warren is gearing up for the Miss Rodeo America pageant in December.
She says she has six coaches to help her prepare for the different elements of the pageant. Over the next six months, she will be studying about the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) , practicing horsemanship skills, and creating a standout wardrobe.
The prestigious pageant is in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada from December 2-9.