Chapman prepares for Miss Rodeo America Pageant
“The biggest thing that I’ve learned is not to worry; it will all work out in the end,” said Shelby Chapman, the reigning Miss Rodeo Iowa, summing up the wisdom she’s gained in her near one-year stint in the challenging role.
“It’s been a balancing act,” she said, remarking that she’d learned the importance of time management after holding down two full-time positions this past year. She has been working as a field staff member for Tri-Oak Foods and has traveled 30,000 miles around the state and the country as the reigning Iowa rodeo queen.
“I’ve had so much fun this year. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and meet new people every day — those are two of my favorite things,” Chapman said, adding that she also had a chance to attend some of the best rodeos in the state and country.
Now, she’s gearing up to go the distance and compete against 33 other state queens for the chance at the Miss Rodeo America title. The 62nd annual Miss Rodeo America pageant is Nov. 27 through Dec. 4 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jefferson County residents will have a chance to send Chapman off during a dinner and fashion show at 5 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.
Attendees will get a sneak peak at Chapman’s Miss Rodeo America Pageant wardrobe, enjoy dinner catered by Sweet ‘N Saucy BBQ and participate in a live auction.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children 12 and under are free.
Chapman said she’s looking forward to representing the state of Iowa, and she hopes to bring home the crown, which would make her the first Iowan to achieve the goal.
As the first female field staff member hired at Tri Oak, Chapman is accustomed to being the first.
If she wins, Chapman will travel the country for 340 days.
“I would love to do it. It would bring so much recognition to the state, and it would inspire cowboys and cowgirls to know that they can do anything,” she said. “That’s why I want to do it; I want to inspire people.”
Chapman’s goal is to inspire others to believe in themselves.
“You can do anything you set your mind to,” she said. “I just did it because I wanted to do it — I just made a decision.”
Although she’s worked hard during the last year, Chapman said she couldn’t have done it without support from others.
“My year wouldn’t have been possible if not for Korwin Hinshaw who owns Hinshaw Trailer Sales in [Richland]. He donated a horse trailer for me to use; it was basically a house on wheels. I just had to have a place to plug in. TriOak Foods worked around my busy rodeo schedule, and Caylee Johnson of Picture Perfect Cuts took photos documenting my year,” she said.
Chapman said her parents are also very proud and supportive of her accomplishments.
“My dad said, ‘I hope you come home with the rodeo America title,’” she said. “My stepmother is also very proud of me.”
For more information or to purchase tickets to Chapman’s send off, go to www.missrodeoiowa.org.