Kaneohe woman named Miss Rodeo Hawaii
KANEOHE (May 12, 2010) – Taylor-Marie Wong, 25, of Kaneohe has been named Miss Rodeo Hawaii 2010. As such, she will serve as the state's official representative at the national Miss Rodeo America pageant in Las Vegas this December, highlighting Hawaii and its rich Paniolo heritage.
First runner-up is Stephanie Denault. In the event that Wong is unable to fulfill her responsibilities as Miss Rodeo Hawaii, Denault will step in.
An Accounting major at Windward Community College, Wong also works full time at IMS, Inc., and looks forward to sharing her lifelong love of rodeo. "I've been rodeoing for most of my life," she points out. "This gives me a wonderful opportunity to represent Hawaii on the mainland, meet the rodeo queens from other states and build relationships with them. My goal is to represent Hawaii to the best of my ability."
Wong plans to focus specifically on Hawaii's rich Paniolo history. "The Hawaiian Paniolo heritage has a special and unique meaning to the people of Hawaii," she says. "This is our 'cowboy culture.' It is widely respected and cherished by the people of Hawaii, in part because the Paniolo, or skilled cowboys, have contributed many things to our local culture. These include the guitar and ukulele, as well as a lifestyle of hard work and a commitment to a tight-knit family unit."
"As Miss Rodeo Hawaii, I'm looking forward to sharing both my love for our rich Paniolo heritage and my passion for rodeo."
Wong is a member of the Hawaii Women's Rodeo Association and a past member of the Hawaii High School Rodeo Association, the Hawaii American West Barrel Racing Association and the U.S. American West Barrel Racing Association.
Judges for the Miss Rodeo Hawaii competition were Roxanne Prito, Maui, former director of the Hawaii High School Rodeo Association, a member of the Makawao Roping Club Auxiliary, the Piiholo Roping Club Secretary, the Makawao Rodeo Show Secretary and an award-winning barrel racer and avid horseman; Tami Deever, former Queen Coordinatior and judge of the Hawaii High School Rodeo Association, Ambassador member of the Miss Rodeo America, Inc, former Miss Mooreland candidate and rodeo queen contestant in Oklahoma, and a graduate of Oklahoma State University; Mearl "Vernie" Cooper, national advisory council delegate to Miss Rodeo America for the state of Hawaii, former director of the Miss Rodeo Washington program, and a sought-after consultant to local rodeo queen pageants in Central Washington State.
The Miss Rodeo Hawaii program is affiliated with the Hawaii Women's Rodeo Association, Lu Faborito, president. Sponsor for the 2010 competition was Claudette Joseph of the Diamond J Ranch in Waianae.