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by Tumbleweed Smith

Tanya Harvey of San Antonio is winding up her reign as Miss Rodeo Texas. Her last day will be June 25. Her final appearance at a rodeo before giving up her crown will be at the Big Spring Rodeo June 16-18.

The past year has been a busy one for her. 'I've had a great time promoting professional rodeo,' says Tanya.

'I've traveled all over the country. I went to Calgary, to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs and of course the big rodeos here in Texas: Houston, Fort Worth and San Antonio.'

She took a year off from her studies to be Miss Rodeo Texas. She is a senior at A & M majoring in communication. After graduation she plans to attend law school at Texas University.

'I have a minor in statistics and economics. I'm hoping to go into environmental law. I have a strong agricultural background and I want to use the knowledge I have in that industry to do some work in Texas and Mexico. I'm bi-lingual in English and Spanish.'

The Miss Rodeo Texas Pageant is a scholarship organization. About 20 girls compete for the title. 'You have to win a preliminary pageant before you go on to the Miss Rodeo Texas contest. I was Miss Texas A & M. I competed with girls from all over the state in personality, appearance and horsemanship. You have to give a speech and go through several interviews with the judges. It's a weeklong competition. They really want to make sure you know rodeo and know how to ride.'

Tanya knows how to ride. She has a background of ranching and rodeo. She and her sister were active in youth rodeo and high school rodeo. They entered barrel racing, pole bending and breakaway roping events at rodeos all over the state. Her role at rodeos is sometimes more than ceremonial.

Besides making media appearances, she usually carries the American Flag in the grand entry, and occasionally is called on to help herd stock in the arena. Her job is not a paid position. 'I do get paid for some appearances, but it's more for the love of rodeo than anything else. I do get a ten thousand dollar scholarship that's given to me from the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.'

She is looking forward to sleeping in her own bed. She hasn't been home since the latter part of January. 'I've had a wonderful year and met wonderful people. I could not have asked for a better sport to represent and to promote than rodeo. It has grown to where it is one of the top seven sports.' Her favorite event to watch is bull riding.

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