Cheney's LaValley earns Spokane rodeo queen title
By JAMES EIK
Macy LaValley is an Eastern Washington University student by day, but in 2013, she is also Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo.
With the title, she will be visiting several surrounding counties for their events, along with many around Spokane itself. This past weekend, she was in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, although things are just getting started. LaValley said after May, nearly every weekend will be spent at a different event, whether it’s the Spokane Lilac Festival’s Armed Forces Torchlight Parade or the Cheney Rodeo parade, she’ll be busy.
LaValley, a Cheney resident, is currently in her sophomore year at the university, and hopes to double major in sociology and criminal justice. She has been involved with the 4-H Club for quite some time, spent three years in the pony club and has been to several local shows with her 8-year-old horse, Chex. She also isn’t a newcomer to the rodeo, previously holding titles of Miss Spangle Harvest Fest 2009 and Miss Cheney Rodeo 2011. In the past four years alone, she has participated in seven pageants.
After representing Cheney in 2011, she decided to stick with a local pageant. The pageant for Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo was held Jan. 26.
It all started in 2008, when she went to a rodeo event and was immediately hooked.
“I saw the queen that represented Cheney that year, and I was like, ‘Mom, that’s so cool, look at her,’” LaValley said.
From there, she became immersed in the rodeo world and then added the pageantry side of the lifestyle. And for LaValley, rodeo is more of a lifestyle than a sport.
“Cowboys don’t work two jobs, usually,” she said. “This is their job.”
That dedication continues, even as rodeo participants get older.
“We still have cowboys working in our rodeos that were there in the beginnings,” she said. “And that is a really cool thing that only rodeos usually have. You don’t retire, you just find a different aspect of the rodeo that you work in, whether it’s announcing or just helping the bull riders or setting up barrels. You’re never done with rodeos.”
Contestants in the Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo pageant were judged on six areas: personal interview, prepared speech, written rodeo knowledge test, modeling, horsemanship, and an impromptu response.
In the days leading up to the pageant, LaValley and Chex worked on different routines, ensuring patterns were correct. For her prepared speech, LaValley chose a simple, but endearing concept: the life of a cowboy hat.
Her speech, which was really more of story, detailed how a young boy and his father walk into a store, purchase a cowboy hat and take it down the rodeo road. The speech was given from the hat’s point of view, detailing what it saw, the bonds developed and how it was passed on from one generation to the next.
At the core, the rodeo is all about family. Building a family between those helping out, the riders and the community. LaValley’s speech drove that point home.
While she admits professional rodeo sports aren’t in her future, LaValley is excited to pursue a career as a behavioral analyst, and hopes to work for the FBI. In that career, and just like the busy past four years of pageant competitions, her parents are among her biggest supports.
“I owe a big thanks to them,” she said.
James Eik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.