Miss Rodeo Colorado competes in Las Vegas

Ashley Baller is former Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo Royalty Attendant

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Ashley Baller, former Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo Queen’s Attendant and the 2022 Miss Rodeo Colorado, recently competed at the Miss Rodeo America pageant in Las Vegas and took the third runner-up spot among 28 state rodeo queens competing for the crown.
 
Taking place over eight busy days, the Miss Rodeo America Pageant is held along with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo each year. The women compete in several categories including horsemanship, speech, written test, personality and appearance.
 
For Ashley, 2023 has been a wild year. As she began her state reign at the start of 2022, the Elbert County News sat down with her to learn about her, the ins-and-outs of being Colorado’s rodeo queen, and her plans for the year. Now a year later, Ashley spoke with the Elbert County News on Dec. 12 about her time as Miss Rodeo Colorado and her experience at the 2023 Miss Rodeo America Pageant.
 

What was the Miss Rodeo America pageant like for you?

It was really hard. I was over prepared for everything and aced everything. I was really proud of myself. I was proud of all the work I put in. Overall, it was a cool experience. Every single aspect of the pageant I left feeling great about. My overall goal was to go into the pageant as prepared as possible and be in the pest place I could.
 
As for the pageant week, you’re only getting four hours of sleep a night, if that. You are pushed to your limits and there are tons of highs and lots of lows. It was so fun. It was a really great way to close out the year. One of my favorite parts was that I got to room with Miss Rodeo Louisiana. She is one of my favorite people.
 
My favorite category to compete in was the speech. I love the speech part. I felt fierce and bold and proud. I also loved my outfit for it.
 

How do you feel about being in the top five at the Miss Rodeo America pageant?

Top five for me is not important. For me, I learned who I am through this whole process. I worked so hard to walk away with my confidence. I appreciate the acknowledgment, but any one of those women could have been standing there. The placings have nothing to do with anything. If you focus so much on the placing, then you lose sight of the journey, and who you are, and your own self-worth. My concern was, `I don’t want to walk away hurt.’ I wanted to learn how to lose. For me, it was fun, but what really drives home was that I worked hard and stood up there with great girls.
 

When we talked back in January, you were just getting started with this crazy adventure. What has the past year been like for you?

It’s been beautiful in every way possible. It has been beyond perfect. I put 31k miles on the truck. I feel accomplished. I squeezed everything out of this year. It’s been the most amazing experience in the world.
 

What are your future plans after your reign ends as Miss Rodeo Colorado?

I am excited for the job hunt and career hunt. The sky is the limit for me! I’ve worked very hard on setting myself up for career success. My two big life goals were working for the American Quarter Horse Association and becoming Miss Rodeo Colorado. I also hope to attend university in Spain for my master’s program.
 

Is there anything you want to make sure that the people of Elbert County know?

I want to send huge hugs of gratitude to the community and everyone that has left a mark on my life this year. They’ve made a huge impact.
 
To read Ashley’s January interview with the Elbert County News, visit elbertcountynews.net/stories/miss-rodeo-colorado-loves-western-lifestyle,387329.
Ashley Baller, Miss Rodeo Colorado, Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo, Elbert County, Colorado

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