story by Lindsay King If Andee Jo Haden has anything to be proud of, it’s the barrel horse she’s made out of her gelding Superman. […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Charity Pulliam
story by Lindsay King
The newly crowned Miss ACRA Charity Pulliam from Marland, Oklahoma, is no stranger to rodeo or queen pageants. In fact, rodeo queen pageants drew her to the sport in the first place when she was only five years old. “I went to the Miss Rodeo Oklahoma coronation fundraiser for Ashley VanHoesen where I was asked if I wanted to be in a rodeo queen pageant. That is what got me started essentially,” said the 19-year-old Oklahoma State University freshman. From there, she took home the sweetheart titles from the Marland Roundup Club and the Miss Rodeo Oklahoma pageant. She actually competed in the sweetheart division alongside her idol Taylor Spears, Miss Rodeo Oklahoma 2018. “Watching her go from one title to the next in Oklahoma and on a national scale has been amazing. Knowing that we both come from small towns and that she is able to accomplish such big dreams has motivated me to do the same.”
In 2016, this motivation led Charity to one of the longest rodeo queen pageants out there today – Cavalcade. It’s the largest amateur rodeo in the world and comes with a whole slew of unique aspects for the queen pageant. “There is actually no speech portion of the contest, but there are two horsemanship patterns. All of the girls will do a horsemanship pattern in the beginning of the week and then the top five girls will do another pattern to be judged on. Going into the finals, the top five girls actually know their score and where they rank in the five.” This pageant is also open to anyone over 13 years old, no matter if they are married or have children. It is truly one of a kind. Charity was crowned at the 70th annual Cavalcade rodeo.
Of all the categories in a rodeo queen pageant, the impromptu portion is what Charity works the hardest at. “There is nothing more nerve-wracking than drawing a question that you might not know the answer to. They can range from questions about the association board to what your opinion on a political topic might be.” The breadth of knowledge a rodeo queen is required to retain is something Charity admires of all the queens she’s met in her lifetime. It is also an area she works hard on, no matter if she is preparing for a pageant or not.
Charity sights attending rodeo queen clinics – Queens in Jeans and the Royal Review Rodeo Jackpots – as ways she has advanced her own skills. She also credits Brandon Baumgarten with improving her speaking and interview skills while helping Charity find her purpose and true love for the sport of rodeo. “My riding trainer (Sam Smith of Ponca City) has taken my riding to the next level, so I could ride more difficult horses. He has influenced me a lot and taught me a ton about the horse industry.”
Charity has gotten most of her riding experience from competing in a plethora of events through 4-H and open shows. However, her favorite event is the reining. When it comes to rodeo events though, she anticipates watching the steer wrestling and saddle bronc riding the most. “My favorite event is the steer wrestling, probably because I want to learn how to do it one day. I think jumping off a horse to wrestle a steer looks like the best thing ever.” She credits this desire to the fact that many people tell her she can’t do things because of her height. Standing at 4-foot, 11-inches, Charity doesn’t let her stature or the opinion of others stop her. “I am just excited to see how I can serve this association, what I can do for the board and the contestants and how I can represent the ACRA to the best of my abilities.”