Meet the Member Libby Berger
story by Lindsay King Third generation rodeo competitor 13-year-old Libby Berger from Udall, Kansas, has a need for speed. “Barrels or breakaway roping is my […]
story by Jackie White
There are moments. Little slivers of time when a person makes a decision that seemed insignificant, but ended up making history. This October the Central Plains Rodeo Association Royalty Ambassador Pageant will reflect on one such moment; the moment the Miss CPRA and CPRA Princess titles were created, and 20 years of wonderful titleholders. The year was 1997; Julie Fuller had the idea to create a royalty pageant to help boost ticket sales to the Central Finals Rodeo. It was the first year the CPRA Finals were going to be held at the Kansas State Fairgrounds and the association wanted to fill the stands of their new home thus, the Miss CPRA and CPRA Princess Pageant was born. The very first Miss CPRA Amanda (Erwin) Guthrie and CPRA Princess Amy Prather set the tone for future titleholders, a standard each young lady following them would strive to surpass. As Amanda and Amy’s year wound down and CFR 1998 was approaching Ms. Fuller decided that she wasn’t going to continue being the director for the pageant. Amanda (Erwin) Guthrie decided she wasn’t going to be the one and only Miss CPRA, so with the help of her mother Gaye Erwin, the program lived on. It grew larger and greater than either woman ever imagined.
Amanda went on to be the first Miss CPRA to win a state title, being crowned the 2000 Miss Rodeo Kansas, raising that bar of excellence even higher. This achievement has been accomplished by seven more Miss CPRA titles holders, most recently by the 2016 Miss CPRA Hannah Neuenschwander when she was crowned Miss Rodeo Kansas 2017. In 2012 Miss CPRA Rachel Bergren of Purcell, Oklahoma went on to win the 2013 Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Pageant, sweeping all categories. She continued on to the Miss Rodeo America Pageant where she placed in the top ten winning special awards along the way. Three former CPRA Princess winners have gone on to hold the title of Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas, most recently the 2013 CPRA Princess Krissie May was crowned the 2017 Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas.
Throughout the years the CPRA Royalty has become a family of sorts; a sisterhood really. In the last twenty years the pageant has had two sets of sister win CPRA titles in the same year; first in 2004 with CPRA Princess Allyson (McCall) Lister and Little Miss CPRA Addyson McCall, then again in 2016 with CPRA Princess Ashlynn Stamper and Little Miss CPRA Emily Stamper. Two sets of sisters have been crowned Miss CPRA: 2003 Shaunna Chartier and 2006 Jo (Chartier) McCullough, then in 2004 Stephanie (Sanderson) Dinges crowned her sister 2005 Tianna (Sanderson) Chartier. We’ve also had two families with three daughters hold CPRA titles; 2006 Little Miss CPRA Hannah May, 2008 CPRA Princess Brittany May, 2013 CPRA Princess Krissie May, 2010 CPRA Princess Taylor Forrest, 2011 Little Miss CPRA Kylie Ast, and lastly 2014 Little Miss CPRA Laci Ast.
The CPRA Royalty Ambassador Pageant is truly unique, not just because of the young ladies who have held the title, but because of all the young ladies who dream of holding this title. The CPRA program accepts contestants from Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Oklahoma. An educational program at its core, the directors strive to make each contestants experience something fun and re-memorable. They want girls to gain knowledge, confidence and skills they may need to achieve their goals and dreams in and outside of the rodeo arena. Their goal is to make every girl who competes feel like a winner in the end, even if one of the coveted CPRA crowns isn’t placed atop their Milano Hat.
This year the CPRA Royalty Ambassador Pageant will celebrate its 20th anniversary with the help of many long time sponsors. Without the continued support from Grace in LA Jeans, Wyo-Horse Jewelry, 3D Belt Company, American Heritage Equine, Garroutte Products, Kelly Herd Fine Jewelry, Mayatex Inc, Milano Hats, Corral Boots, Miracle Corp. Products, Davis Manufacturing, Murcielago Fragrances, Old West Boots, Rustic Ironwerks, San Saba Equine, Rustic Ironwerks, Schwab Trucking, Long’s Western Wear, and many more this program wouldn’t be possible.
If you are in the Hutchinson, Kansas area September 30- October 2nd, come on down to the Kansas State Fairgrounds and witness the CFR first hand. If you’re not able to join us in person, be sure to follow the CPRA Royalty Pageant on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Wishing all the contestants of the 2016 CFR and the CPRA Royalty Ambassador Pageant the best of luck as they once again set themselves on a path to make rodeo history.
Thank you for all you do for the CPRA and the CPRA Royalty Ambassador Pageant. We greatly appreciate all your support.
CPRA Royalty Pageant Director
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