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Photos: 28 glamour girls add beauty to the brawn of the bull riders

The Miss Rodeo America Pageant fashion show at The Orleans on Dec. 1, 2010.
Photo: Tom Donoghue/

Miss Rodeo America Pageant: Fashion Show

Unlike the Miss America and Miss USA pageants, the all-American beauties who participate in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant endure five around-the-clock days of intense physical competition.

It began with horsemanship at the equestrian center at South Point, where the 28 contestants performed rope work and riding skills for the judges. Then followed the personality interviews by the judges, and contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was added to judge yet another category: photogenic qualities.

“These are real all-American beauties,” Tom told me. “They really are standouts and very committed to the rodeo circuit. They all speak eloquently and handle themselves beautifully."

Last night was the first real public showcase for the women and their rodeo costumes in a unique fashion parade. With the circus as the theme, last year’s winner, Kelli Jackson from Mississippi, played ringmaster “under the Wrangler Big Top” at The Orleans, while a puppet master and a bird magician provided entertainment.

The glamour girls face additional competitions today and tomorrow before the winner is crowned Saturday at The Orleans. Check out Senior Editor John Katsilometes’ pageant story in The Kats Report: Kats Goes Cowboy posted yesterday on

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  • If their goal was to compete with Broadway musicals while adding their signature Cirque style, then they succeeded!

  • Like any Biafra show, it was part punk-rock concert, part political rally and part performance art.

  • The festival assembled arguably its best lineup in years, yet most of the finest achievements were completely ignored.

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