Representing Prescott Frontier Days®, Inc. World’s Oldest Rodeo as an ambassador and educator
By Yvonne Gibbs
Today’s rodeo royalty has come a long way from waving to rodeo crowds and posing for photos with adoring fans. Today’s queens serve in multiple roles. They are ambassadors to the sport of rodeo, they demonstrate athleticism on horseback and act as role models to the upcoming generation of cowboys and cowgirls. They educate the public on the sport of rodeo and serve as public speakers who help preserve America’s Western heritage.
Last year, Prescott Frontier Days®, Inc. proudly introduced its 2022-23 Miss Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Queen, Isabella Jenkins, who goes by Bella. She started riding at age eight, and competing in local gymkhanas at age nine, gradually honing her exceptional horsemanship skills to compete in barrel racing and pole bending.
She currently attends Chandler-Gilbert Community College on a volleyball scholarship, majoring in agricultural communications with plans to become a rodeo sports broadcaster. In addition to school, her new job involves working with children who have autism, and she finds the kids to be challenging, loving, and amazing. She tells us, “Every day with them is an adventure – I am never sure who is learning more, the students or me.”
Bella looks forward to representing the World’s Oldest Rodeo over the next few months throughout the state; between rodeos, parades, and royalty pageants, she’s booked almost every weekend. In February she’s in Queen Creek, Arizona for the Roots N’ Boots Royalty Pageant, and she will represent Prescott Frontier Days at Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo in Apache Junction. In March, she travels to Kingman for Andy Devine Days, then on to Scottsdale Rodeo/Parade del Sol. The next weekend, she will be at Roots N’ Boots Pro Rodeo in Queen Creek. The last weekend in March she will be at the Cave Creek Rodeo.
The Prescott Frontier Days’ Royalty Pageant is held the last week in April. In mid-May, Bella travels to Payson for the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo. She’ll attend the Miss Rodeo Arizona pageant in mid-June, followed by a brief appearance at Flagstaff Pro Rodeo…and then it’s rodeo time at Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo! In between these engagements, she plans to schedule school visits; an important part of her platform is to educate and engage the youth of Prescott in rodeo – they are the future of rodeo.
With invaluable service to their rodeos, dedicated rodeo queens like Bella play a significant role in promoting not only our World’s Oldest Rodeo but also the Western heritage and communities which make it possible.