My Outlook: Lauren Heaton

 

Written by Bethany Marshall in the July 2014 Issue

Lauren HeatonWhat is your favorite part about being Miss Rodeo Oklahoma?

Traveling across the country and state promoting a sport that I love and that helped make me who I am today.

Do you participate in the sport of rodeo?

I grew up rodeoing. I competed in barrels, poles, goat tying, and any other event my mom would let me enter. Currently, my job as Miss Rodeo Oklahoma is more about educating the audience and helping the rodeo committee—having experience and a thorough understanding of the sport has been crucial.

What is your favorite rodeo event?

Team-roping! Most of the rodeo events include two to three variables; the team roping includes five: the header and heeler, both of their horses, and the steer. That’s a lot of variables to make come together smoothly and quickly—the pros can do it in around four seconds, I think that’s really impressive.

What all have you been able to accomplish as Miss Rodeo Oklahoma?

This honor has provided many opportunities. I was invited to the White House to meet the President. I was asked to present the awards at the Western Heritage Awards—the Oscars of the western world—as well as share my love and passion of rodeo, and Oklahoma’s heritage around the country.

What inspired you to try out for Miss Rodeo Oklahoma?

I’ve always wanted to be the type of woman who would be a respectable role model for young girls, and Miss Rodeo Oklahoma gives me that opportunity. She is grounded, well-spoken, easy to talk to, educated and well-versed on the rodeo and western world.

Why is Western heritage important to you?

It’s who I am—I come from five generations of farming and cattle ranching on our land in Northwest Oklahoma that we claimed in the Oklahoma Land Run in 1893. Oklahomans are incredibly blessed to have such rich western heritage in our state. I believe our people are some of the hardest working, well-grounded people in the country. I’m extremely proud to be an Oklahoman.

How did you first become interested in rodeos?

I was four, and once I learned that rodeo meant getting to be competitive, ride horses and spend weekends outdoors, I was sold.

What is something even avid fans don’t know about how rodeo is produced?

Rodeo is the only professional sport to include animals, therefore the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association takes extreme precautions to make sure every animal is well taken care of—they’re how the cowboys and cowgirls make their living, so they’re top priority.

Do you have any other hobbies?

Baking. If I ever decided to not pursue a career in PR, I’d open a bakery. I’m also an avid fan of yoga and dance, which makes the yoga studios around Edmond my favorite places.

As Miss Rodeo Oklahoma, you have quite the expansive Western wardrobe, are your clothes custom made?

Probably 70% of my clothes are custom, which are made by a handful of designers across the country. But, the benefit to the rodeo queen world branching into more trendy styles recently is that it allows us to put a unique twist on the trendy western styles out there today. Filigree in downtown Edmond has been my go-to boutique for the trendier western styles rodeo queens love to wear.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

I’ve been to 15 countries around the world and lived in New York City and London, but Oklahoma will always be my home. They call us Oklahoma strong for a reason—we’re like no other state or country in the world, and I couldn’t be more proud.

What’s next for you?

I’ll finish my year out by competing for the title of Miss Rodeo America, in Las Vegas, during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Whatever the outcome, I look forward to utilizing my advertising and public relations degree in the western industry.

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