OURAY COUNTY – A quartet of girls comprising the Ouray County Rodeo Royalty recently traveled to Denver to showcase their western spirit at the National Western Stock Show.
Rodeo Royalty from across Colorado have been a part of the NWSS since 2004, with the goals of promoting the stock show and the western way of life – particularly pertaining to youth and rodeo.
But this was the first time that the current Ouray County Rodeo Royalty (including Queen Brynne Skalla, Queen’s Attendant Alexis Darcy, Princess Hunter Gentery and Princess’s Attendant Emersyn Gentery) had a chance to join in the fun.
Decked out in their official royalty garb, which as Emersyn Gentery described it, typically includes a western shirt and jeans “with some extra bling,” boots, leather sash, Ouray County Royalty belt buckle, a sparkly tiara on a cowboy hat, “and of course a big smile!”, the girls greeted visitors, passed out ribbons, assisted with seating at events, recruited kids for rodeo games like stick horse races or mutton busting, and encouraged future rodeo princesses.
"I loved the 'royalty clinic' where we showed wide-eyed little girls, decked out in their rodeo best, the basics of a royalty contest,” said Hunter Gentry. “It was also fun to sign autographs!"
While at the stock show, the girls also took advantage of the opportunity to promote the Ouray County Labor Day Rodeo. "I was amazed how many folks approached us and commented how Ouray County was one of the most beautiful parts of Colorado,” Darcy said. “We encouraged them to come back and enjoy our Labor Day Rodeo."
The girls worked long hours at the stock show, but the experience was rewarding. “I hope we were able to inspire others,” Skalla said. Her favorite memory? “The smiles on all the little girls’ faces.”
The Ouray County Rodeo Royalty traveled to the stock show under the auspices of the Ouray County Rodeo Association, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the area's rich ranching heritage. For more information, visit the OCRA website developed by Queen Attendant Alexis Darcy, ouraycountyrodeo.com.