Miss Rodeo USA Kirbi Allen of Springdale will be appearing in all three performances of the Sallisaw Lions Club Rodeo Thursday through Saturday.
Her first appearance will be in the rodeo parade, carrying the American flag, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
"I consider Sallisaw like my home," Allen said Thursday afternoon. She explained she has been in the Arkansas-Oklahoma area all of her life and has relatives in Fort Smith.
Allen is the 26-year-old daughter of Charlie and Theresa Allen and a University of Arkansas graduate. She obtained her degree in Agricultural Communications in May 2014 and hopes to put her entrepreneurial skills to work in the future with one of her numerous business ideas.
As Miss Rodeo USA 2015, Allen will speak throughout the year about her platform "Putting One Foot in Front of the Other." Developed from personal experience dealing with juvenile arthritis, her platform sheds light on childhood health issues that present physical, as well as emotional, obstacles. Through encouraging words and actions, Allen wants to educate and inspire the countless individuals affected by juvenile arthritis and other health related complications. "I had great doctors and great insurance. Not everybody has that," Allen said. "I want to give back to those who weren't as fortunate."
She also knows she is a role model for youngsters. "I remember what it was like to be that little person who looks up to the young lady with the crown on her hat. I know it is 100 percent important to be a role model."
Born into a rodeo family, Allen said her father rode bulls and her mother was Miss Rodeo Arkansas in 1977. "I think we are the only mother-daughter (rodeo royalty) duo," Allen said. She added her mother is her inspiration, and, "My mother is the glue that holds it all together."
Allen also did some barrel racing and competed in the show pen too, in western pleasure and reining. She doesn't get to ride her own horse as much as she likes, because she must fly to appearances. Her next is in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, next weekend. Consequently the rodeo producers must provide her with a horse.
"Hampton Rodeo (Company) will provide me with a horse this weekend. His name is Willie. I call him Willie the Wonder Horse." Allen is grateful for Willie, and has ridden him numerous times before in other rodeos. "It's nice to ride a horse you know."
Allen concluded, "I am thankful to be a part of such a wonderful Lions Club rodeo and what they do for the community."
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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