UNDERWOOD, Iowa — The crown is staying in western Iowa.
Kara Telfer of Underwood was recently named Miss Rodeo Iowa 2013 during a four-day competition in Fort Madison that took place in conjunction with the Tri-State Rodeo.
Telfer will take over the title on Jan. 1 from 2012 Miss Rodeo Iowa, Rachel Burton, who is from Irwin.
The contestants were involved in extensive interviews over rodeo knowledge, current events and equine science, and competitions in events such as prepared and impromptu speaking, horsemanship, three interviews and a written test. They were also judged on their appearance, personality and photogenic quality.
Telfer is the daughter of Jim and Angie Jensen. She is a senior at Creighton University and will graduate in May 2013 with a degree in biology.
She said she did not grow up in a rodeo family, but she did attend local rodeos, and she has been riding horses since age 6.
“I started doing rodeo queen pageants when I was 15 because I loved how exciting rodeo was and wanted to be more a part of it,” she said.
Telfer said the competition for Miss Rodeo Iowa was difficult.
“You never know what you're going to be asked in an interview or impromptu question,” she said.
One part of the horsemanship portion of the event required the contestants to ride an unfamiliar horse.
“Even though the horsemanship portion was difficult — in part because of the strange horse — it was the most fun for us, because we are on our horses, and it is always fun to try out a new horse,” she said.
Next year Telfer will travel more than 25,000 miles throughout the state and country promoting the sport of professional rodeo, animal welfare, agriculture and the “western lifestyle” in Iowa.
She said during her traveling she hopes to share her knowledge of and passion for horses and rodeos to help people better understand them, and enjoy them as much as she does.
“I really look forward to traveling,” she said. “It's so fun getting to meet new people, and I really hope I can make it to the Calgary Stampede and the Cheyenne Frontier Days, because there is so much history at those rodeos, and I think it would be amazing to represent Iowa there.”
After graduating from Creighton, Telfer said she plans to attend veterinary school.
Growing up around agriculture, she has always enjoyed caring for animals — especially horses.
“It's just a really interesting career, because not only are you helping improve the lives of animals, but you are also helping and educating the owners, and even promoting the health of the communities,” she said.
Telfer will be honored in January at a Coronation Celebration in Underwood, which will include a meal, silent and live auctions and the official crowning. She will wrap up her reign in December 2013 competing in the Miss Rodeo America pageant in Las Vegas.