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Meet the Member Laramie Dearing
story by Lily Weinacht
Laramie Dearing of Paradise, Texas, is the 2019 Miss AJRA. The 16-year-old and her family have been involved in the AJRA since 2015, and her love for rodeo and the organization inspired her to try out for the title this year. “I’ve always been a part of the rodeo queen world since I was 8 and it brings me joy to interact with the contestants and people interested in rodeo,” says Laramie. “The AJRA has been around since 1952 and it’s an awesome organization. What’s cool about it is that it’s built on Christian principles, and it’s really neat to be involved with these contestants while keeping God first.”
Along with competing in the queen competition, Laramie entered the breakaway roping at the AJRA Finals, as well as carrying flags in grand entry, working gates, and a myriad of other jobs. “I love traveling and seeing places, and one thing I enjoy a lot is serving others. I’m a firm believer that we were put on this earth not to be served, but to serve, and as a rodeo queen it’s important to smile at people and to serve in the rodeo as well,” says Laramie. She has also held titles as Miss Texas Junior High Rodeo Association, Miss Jim Bowie Days Junior Miss, and Miss Chisholm Trail Princess, while next year she is running for Miss Texas High School Rodeo Association. “I’ve grown fond of every category, but my favorite by far is horsemanship. As an ambassador for the sport of rodeo, a rodeo queen represents not only glam but grit. I think every woman who wants to be a rodeo queen should possess those skills.”
Laramie’s horsemanship skills started with her parents, Rodney and Venita, who have both competed in roping and raised Laramie and her 14-year-old brother, Kreece, in the rodeo environment. “If I had a role model, it would be Pam Minick,” Laramie adds. “My mom and her were on the rodeo trail together, and I admire her for being a woman who speaks about rodeo and sheds lights on the positivity rodeo brings and the opportunities given.”
Kreece and Laramie also teach riding lessons together to students ages 2–60 and beyond. They focus on the fundamentals of both horse care and horsemanship, spending several hours a week on lessons while also practicing for their own events. Laramie is working on team roping at home, and Kreece competes in all of the AJRA roping events as well as chute dogging. A 7-year-old gelding, Jelly Bean, is Laramie’s roping horse, and he carried her to The Junior American this winter. He also helped Laramie win the breakaway roping this year in the North Texas High School Rodeo Association, and was named the NTHSRA Horse of the Year. “The Junior American Semi-Finals was really cool and I got to see a lot of talented women compete. I’m hoping to go back there next year to rope again,” says Laramie.
A junior at Paradise High School, she is a cheerleader and an active member of 4-H, FFA, and UIL. She enjoys public speaking, debate team, persuasive and informative speaking, parliamentary procedures, and the radio team. This June at the 2019 NJHFR, Laramie also worked as a student commentator and reporter for Ride Pass. She loves writing and English, and is taking college history and English classes this semester. “I love football, and I’m hoping to attend Texas A&M University and pursue broadcast journalism as a sideline reporter,” she explains. Laramie also enjoys working at her church and spending time with her family, and she’s looking forward to the upcoming AJRA season. “I’m hoping to invite more people to come experience what we’ve all experienced and love, so that’s my goal as Miss AJRA.”