What History Taught Me

Taylor Wong, Miss Rodeo Hawaii

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Miss Rodeo America is just like the Miss USA pageant without bikinis.

The pageant itself consists of a reining pattern, written tests about all aspects of horsemanship, impromptu questions from the judges, professionalism and AmeriCup rules and regulations. You should see the book they sent us—you could knock someone out with it!

As a rodeo queen I want to open more doors and opportunities for rodeo in Hawaii. Since we’re on an island, it’s a lot harder for the kids to travel to rodeos, than it is for the rodeo competitors on the mainland. I’d love to help kids get more chances at competing on the mainland.

Paniolo heritage is the pride and history of ranching in Hawaii, full of the aunties and uncles who paved the way for the future generations to come, while instilling old traditions along with the new ones we bring to the sport.

Aunties and uncles aren’t blood-related aunts and uncles. In the paniolo culture, it’s a sign of respect to refer to elders that way. The horse community is small in Hawaii, so everyone is close and knows each other.

My favorite mountain trail ride is in the Ka’a’awa Valley, which offers breathtaking views of the Kualoa Mountains and the Pacific...

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