Many contestants have no idea of what to expect when they win their first rodeo queen title.

Most of the time they are so caught up in competing for the title that they don't think about the commitments that follow the coronation. These commitments involve not only time but more often than not, money.

There are rewards for winning a rodeo queen title but with these rewards there are many associated expenses in holding the title.

Most rodeo queen contests will present the winner with some very nice prizes. You will find that most contests will present prizes not only to the winners, but the attendants and to winners of the individual competition categories. There are no set rules on prize distribution for most contests. It is usually up to the coordinator or committee to determine how the prizes and awards are given.

Rodeo Queen on a horse

There is nothing wrong with asking the coordinator before you enter a contest what the prizes will consist of, especially when there is a expensive entry fee.  Many contests will award nice participation gifts to all contestants.  There are a number of standard prizes that are presented at most rodeo queen contests.

Buckle - There are very few contests that do not present the Queen with a beautiful custom-made trophy buckle. The buckle generally will have the name of the rodeo or association that sponsors the contest engraved on it.

Tiara/Crown - This can be a "traveling" crown or tiara, meaning one that is passed down to the next title holder. In some cases the queen is allowed to keep her crown. You will find that in most state contests that the crown is usually a "traveling" one due to the unique design and expense of having it made.

Chaps - In almost all of the contests, when chaps are provided they are "traveling," due to high cost of having them made.

Horse Trailer - At some contests the Queen is given the use of a horse trailer for one year. At the end of the year she is given the option of purchasing the trailer at a reduced cost. For many titles, queens will purchase a trailer at cost from a dealer and then has her sponsors donate towards the cost to have their names printed on it. Most dealers and manufacturers are happy for the advertising and will work with the Queen as a sponsor. It has become the trend for many queens to have their current title on their trailers. This can be done with decals or with magnetic signs. Often local sign companies are willing to donate the printing for the advertising.

Saddles and Tack - All of the state contests and many other local contests will present the winner with a trophy saddle. In some contests the saddle does not always go to the queen. There are many contests that present the saddle to the "over-all point" winner or for the horsemanship award. This is up to discretion of the contest director and board. Most contests will also give breastcollars or other tack items for awards.

Banner - You will usually receive at least one banner with your title. Many larger contests will provide a "wardrobe" of banners that have been passed on from year to year. It is nice to have banners that complement your outfits. If you want additional banners it is usually at your own expense.

Clothing and Accessories - A few companies and businesses will donate clothing to the queens but it is not anything that is guaranteed. Wrangler does sponsor a wardrobe for the national title holder and is very generous to many rodeo queen pageants.

Jewelry and Other Gifts - You will find that depending on the sponsors or the amount of money available for gifts that this can vary from contest to contest.

Scholarships - A few contests will provide a scholarship with their title but this totally depends on the committee.

Once a title is won there are many expenses that come with representing the title.  A major portion of the expenses are paid by the titleholder herself. 

Photography – A new queen will need pictures with her new crown and banner. Some rodeo queen contest coordinators will arrange with a photographer to have a publicity photo shoot done for the new queen. With many titles this is must provided by the titleholder.

Tearsheets or Autograph Pads - In most cases the queen will be required to have a tearsheet prepared with her new crown and title so she can sign autographs for the rodeo fans. It is also a great way to "advertise" for her sponsors. They can purchase ads to go on the back and this will help pay for the tearsheet expenses. Some contests have rules regulations concerning sponsor representation and may require permission from the coordinator before they have them made. Most state titles will have the tearsheets sponsored or donated. In most cases there are generally no rules as to size, color or content but should be approved with the coordinator.

Traveling - At the state level the girls try to raise enough money through sponsors and fundraisers to take care of personal traveling expenses. The rodeo or contest board might help with some of these expenses. They will usually pay a mileage fee, but it isn’t very generous. Most girls will usually stay with local hosts to cut costs. Traveling can be a very expensive part of queening because most local titles do not have a travel budget. Occasionally if a queen is invited to attend an event or rodeo the expenses will be paid by the organization inviting them.

Competing for Higher Ranking Titles - Once a queen has won a title it is usually a stepping-stone to a higher-ranking contest. The local contests will generally expect their queen to represent their title at a state pageant.  Most local contests will usually pay the entry fee and the queen is expected to provide her own sponsor fee. This is about all of the help they will receive towards competition expenses unless they have a fundraiser to specifically help the queen represent their title at the higher contest.

Clothing - Titleholders are expected to look like queenly at all times. They are required to be in their crown and banner when traveling and representing. This requires a large and expensive western wear wardrobe.  This is perhaps one of the biggest expenses of holding a rodeo queen title.

Family Expenses - There are entry fees that are typically charged at many queen functions and rodeos.  Parents and family members will usually be expected to pay their own way. Occasionally you will find a rodeo or event that is happy to have a queen in attendance so they will give complimentary tickets to visiting royalty and family.

Coaching - Just because a queen has won a title doesn’t mean that they know it all! They need to keep preparing, especially if they are going on to compete for a higher title. Now that they have won a title everyone expects more of them and they really need to hone their skills and knowledge. Most girls will pay for a private coach, personal physical trainer, and horse trainer to help them improve their skills. Queens need to be in the best physical condition possible so need to go to the gym on a regular basis if possible.

Horse - When holding a title, rodeo queens will find that they are traveling so much that their horse gets neglected. If they don't have a family member or friend that can keep him rode down, they might have to board their horse with a trainer. This will keep him in top riding condition.

Being a rodeo queen is expensive and a contestant could go out and buy a saddle for a lot less money than it takes to compete.  But, there are so many rewards that come with participating in contests and holding a title! Most rodeo queens find there are many doors opened to new opportunities and career directions for them. The positive experiences, unforgettable memories and new friends that are made sure outweigh the expenses!