Las Vegas, NV — A sixth generation cowgirl from Arizona, Kennadee Riggs has been crowned Miss Rodeo America 2023. Miss Rodeo South Dakota was named 1st Runner Up, followed by Miss Rodeo Washington, Miss Rodeo Colorado and Miss Rodeo Louisiana.
“Rural America is indeed a very small sector of the world’s population, less than 2%; and even less than that makes up the rodeo industry. But although we are small, we are very mighty,” Kennadee said in response to her final competition question.
“As Miss Rodeo America, I’d be so honored and excited to continue my platform on Kicking Up Kindness by interviewing people behind the scenes and showing the world the good that exists in this industry. There are so many traditional values that the world is hungry for that are found in rural America.”Kennadee Riggs, Miss Rodeo America 2023
Raised in a western family with women who have been riding horseback in parades and rodeos for over 120 years, Kennadee is an advocate for rodeo and the western lifestyle and a great example for young cowgirls. A journalism student at Arizona State University, she works for the Arizona Farm Bureau and Cowboy Lifestyle Network, is a member of the Cowgirls Historical Foundation and values promoting kindness and joy, especially in the western industry. She has also spent time as a missionary in Brazil and speaks fluent Portuguese!
“As a sixth generation Arizonian and cowgirl, Kennadee is thrilled to have this amazing opportunity to contribute to the family legacy,” said Shanda Riggs, Kennadee’s mother. We commend all the remarkable competitors from the pageant this year! We feel honored that Kennadee will be the one gifted the opportunity to be an ambassador for the wonderful sport of rodeo, and we are excited to see her use her platform of Kicking Up Kindness along the way. The world needs more rural stories of rodeo and more stories of good in the world! Kennadee will do both in her role as Miss Rodeo America and encourages each of us to uplift our own spheres of influence by infusing daily acts of Kicking Up Kindness.”
The Miss Rodeo America Pageant, held annually in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, brings reigning state rodeo queens to Las Vegas, NV to compete in appearance, horsemanship and personality categories for the MRA title. However, the pageant offers contestants so much more with a long list of awards and scholarships, with each contestant walking away with no less than a $1,500 scholarship! Sponsors including Bex Sunglasses, Wrangler, Landstrom’s Black Hills Gold, Montana Silversmiths and more ensure contestants are awarded some of the best prizes the western industry has to offer.
“Through the Montana Silversmiths jewelry and the coveted Miss Rodeo America buckle, each piece uniquely reflects their style and personality as they wear the West their way,” said Judy Wagner, Montana Silversmiths Chief Marketing Officer. “We are honored to work with these smart, talented cowgirls who elevate our messages as advocates and spokespersons for pro rodeo, sponsor partners and the western lifestyle. We are stronger together because of Miss Rodeo America.”
During her year-long reign, Miss Rodeo America travels around 500,000 miles across the country representing the sport of rodeo, agriculture and the western industry. Miss Rodeo America 2022, Hailey Frederiksen, has spent the past year doing just that, and now turns her crown over for Kennadee to do the same.
“Opportunities: this is what this year is all about, and it’s not just the one year you’re under the crown and sash,” Frederiksen said during the MRA coronation. “If there is one thing I could tell that lucky lady to do, it’s to take advantage of those opportunities.”