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On the Trail with Hailey Frederiksen
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Hailey Frederiksen, Miss Rodeo Colorado was crowned Miss Rodeo America 2022 on December 5th. The eight-day Miss Rodeo America Pageant was held at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. The pageant was last held in December of 2019 due to Covid. Like many of the 32 queens across the country, Hailey, from Wellington, Colorado, represented the Centennial State for two years. She is the sixth Miss Rodeo Colorado to win the coveted Miss Rodeo America title, last won by Tara (Graham) Rowe in 2001.
Hailey grew up in the saddle; she ran barrels in gymkhanas and jackpots. Born and raised in Platteville, Colo., she was in 4H for 11 consecutive years showing market and breeding swine. “I was a pig gal,” laughed the 24-year-old. Through 4H, she learned responsibility, stewardship, and an appreciation for what farmers and ranchers do on a 24/7 basis. “A lot of our family friends and neighbors are farmers and it drove my platform to be an advocate for agriculture – which I did through my reign as Miss Rodeo Colorado.”
Hailey started competing in dance in high school and had to make the tough choice between horses and dance. She picked dance and went through the ranks of competitive dance at the studio –which included a trip to Las Vegas to compete. “Even though dance is as far away from western as you can get, it taught me stage skills and confidence which is so important when competing in queen contests.” She switched her focus to Poms team. “I discovered I enjoyed that, so I transitioned into competing with my Poms team. We placed third in state my senior year.”
Hailey’s first queen title was as had held one title previous as the 2009 Johnstown Saddle Club Princess. She spent the year traveling with her mom’s old barrel horse. “Puffy had a mind of her own, but she took very good care of me.” The pivotal moment in that reign happened at the Estes Park Rooftop Rodeo, where Hailey met the reigning Miss Rodeo America (Megan Ridley Hollinder) and the reigning Miss Rodeo Colorado (Audra Dobbs McNicolaus). “I wanted to be just like both of them and here we are.”
She went to college at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., and realized how much she missed her roots. “Until you take a step back do you appreciate what you were able to grow up with,” she said. It was during her junior year in college (2018) she held her second queen title as Miss Rodeo Deer Trail. “That began my journey back into queening.” She rode a 4-year-old mare that her mom was working on making a barrel horse. “Honey was a rock star with flags, parades, and everything.”
She tried out for the crown of Miss Rodeo Colorado twice (2018, 2019). “I knew I was going to be there,” she said. “Not winning fueled my passion to do better and win.” The critique from the judges was at the end of the day they didn’t know who Hailey was. “I worked hard the next year on being genuine, passionate and inquisitive … they must have seen the change, because they picked me the next year and again this year, as Miss Rodeo America.”
During her two year reign as Miss Colorado, she spent the first year traveling to rodeos outside the state of Colorado. “When Covid first hit, we didn’t travel. My first rodeo back at it was Woodward, Okla., in June. Those small rodeo committees appreciated having us there.” She traveled with Miss Oklahoma, Miss Idaho, and Miss Kansas. “Putting ourselves out there helped us fulfill our obligation to represent rodeo and the western way of life.” She also created a Kids Corral, producing a video every Wednesday at 10 am. “I posted more than 40 videos of me reading kid’s books or interviewing rodeo personalities like Justin Rumford and Shali Lord. I interviewed my farrier, my vet and even did some kids crafts, I had a lot of fun with it and it kept me present as Miss Rodeo Colorado.” She plans to continue the Kids Corral as Miss Rodeo America.
She is quick to attribute her win to her parents. “They have been there for me the whole time – I might be the one on center stage, but this title is as much theirs as mine.” Her parents instilled in her to work hard for whatever she wanted. “Everything I’ve put my mind to requires a bunch of work, When I was a dancer, I wasn’t flexible, so I had to work at it. I never had the best animals in 4H, but I knew if I worked hard and walked my pigs every day I’d get to where I wanted to be.”
Megan and Trevin have been the biggest supporters of Hailey. “Dad works in oil and gas, and mom is a stay-at-home mom. She taught yoga and fitness ever since I was a baby, but her main job was being a mom.” They were both home quite a bit and helped Hailey with horses and whatever she needed. “I barrel raced growing up, but my dad put a rope in my hand and now I’m team roping with him. My dad taught me a good lesson when I’d get frustrated; there’s always going to be another steer in the pen.” He just finished the arena at their new place east of Wellington and now they can rope whenever they want, picking from any of the five horses that they own.
Trevin has always believed in Hailey and told her before the competition. “Honey this crown does not define you – all those that love you know you don’t need to bring that crown home.” Trevin designed and built the two carts that carried all her very carefully picked out wardrobe for the competition.
She spent many hours preparing for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. “I am very OCD – and organized. I’d been packing for pageant for at least a month. I had all my outfits – 15 garment bags on one rack, and 17 pairs of Justin boots and 7 Greeley Hatworks hats on the other cart, a suitcase and a duffle bag. All in one trip. Appearance is one of the major categories of the pageant. “It tells the story of you – it took a year to figure out what I was going to wear. I worked with countless designers getting the clothes I needed for pageant. You only have 8 days to impress those judges.” The part of the pageant that she really enjoyed was the interviews. “We don’t get much one on one time with the judges. Those interviews were only 15 minutes.”
Her first stop as Miss Rodeo America is the National Western Stock Show, where she will make appearances every day for 16 days. Then she’s off to Lake Charles, Louis. Her schedule is filling up. “She is worthy of whatever God has planned for her,” said her mother, Megan. “There’s no wrong or right – you pray it works out for the good – be healthy and happy is all we can wish for her.”
“I can’t wait to see what lies ahead and the opportunities that will be available to me … I’m thrilled to see where life takes me next.”