Written by Lacie Koford
Western Wasatch Contributor
Silver State International Rodeo Queen, Emma Howell, just recently started her reign for the 2020-2021 year this past July, however, this achievement wasn’t always something Emma thought she would always be a part of. As a child, she tried a variety of activities including dance, tumbling, softball, and basketball, but through those experiences, she found that she just never developed a passion for any of it. The Howell family had a tradition of attending the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo every year, and when Emma was about 7, attending one of those rodeos, she knew immediately that she wanted to be involved in what the girls in the glitz and glamour were doing. More than the glamour, she saw the girls at the rodeo enjoying time with their horses and enjoying interacting with the crowd. She knew she wanted to be a part of that world.
Emma’s father grew up with horses and they had a couple horses when she was little, but it never grew into a lifestyle for the family. After Emma showed interest in doing more with the rodeo, her parents bought her a horse to share with her older brothers. She quickly found out that the previous owner of the horse was heavily involved in queen contests and used the horse to compete with. She finally convinced her parents to let her try a queen contest and she has loved it ever since.
Queening is full of many amazing opportunities and experiences, but Emma’s favorite part is being able to lead by example to younger girls and be a positive role model for them. She said that some of these younger girls are like Emma, in that they haven’t been exposed to rodeo events or queening, so she loves showing them what’s possible and helping them get started. She also loves being able to be involved in competitions. The thrill of working hard and knowing her hard work has paid off by competing is worth the time and effort put forth. Emma has since moved on from that first horse that her parents bought her and is now on her third queen horse. She’s in the process of training him and loves learning from the trainer what she can do to help her new horse learn what he needs to do.
One of Emma’s most memorable moments in queening was when she attended her first high school contest. She remembers being very nervous about meeting the other participants because she was worried they might not be nice and accept her as a freshman. All those worries were laid quickly to rest when she met the other girls and found them all to be incredibly supportive and accepting of her. Emma counts these girls as many of her close friends and keeps in close contact with many still and knows she will have lasting friendships for years to come. Right now, Emma is looking forward to competing in the Utah state queen contest, then she’ll face two more contests during the fall season, and four more during the spring season. The year will end, along with her reign, when state finals come around next summer.
Outside of her busy schedule as queen, Emma loves to participate in a variety of outdoor activities. She loves going boating and particularly loves to go to Bear Lake, she loves hiking and swimming, and going on adventures with her two older brothers, who make sure she has plenty of hair-raising adventures. In high school, she is part of the FFA organization and is on the horse judging team at Fremont High School. She’ll be starting her junior year there this fall and is excited about setting new goals and continuing to reach for goals she has already set and worked hard on.