Most queens are born into royalty, but for two of Crossett’s former PRCA Rodeo queens and the newly crowned reigning queen, that is not the case.
The title of Miss PRCA Rodeo isn’t an inherited throne, and wining the horsemanship portion of the queen contest does not come without significant knowledge about horses and riding skills. For cowgirls who are raised around horses, people might consider them born into rodeo, but the Crossett PRCA royals have proven that coming from a rodeo family isn’t a requirement.
“I didn’t have horses until I was old enough to do my own thing,” said Ellie Johnston, 2016 Miss Crossett PRCA Rodeo.
Johnston, along with 2016 Teen Miss Ashley Hollis of Hamburg, and the reigning 2017 Miss Crossett PRCA Rodeo, Amy Ferguson, all said they were not born into rodeo families.
“I fell in love with my neighbor’s horse and I wanted to ride,” Ferguson said. “I got my first horse when I was 14.”
Hollis didn’t get her first horse until she was 11, and even then she barley convinced her parents to buy it.
Hollis said she begged for a horse even after breaking her arm in an accident with one. Her parents were very hesitant for her to get into rodeo.
“I kept begging my doctor and my parents to let me ride again,” she said. “The doctor finally told my dad he had to tell me something because I was ready to be released.”
Hollis said she feels she appreciates rodeo and horses even more because she knows what it’s like to not be able to ride.
“I think people take for granted growing up in a rodeo family and being able to go out in their back yard and ride anytime they want to,” Hollis said. “I wanted to ride so bad, but I didn’t have a horse.”