Giddy up! And say hello to Rodeo Royalty, Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede Georgia Leib and Miss Katie Kitsap Kaia Whisnant, at the Kitsap County Fair.
Twenty-year-old Georgia Leib, got her start in rodeo in 2017 after being a spectator for years.
“I was encouraged to run by Victoria Wischnesky, who had been a princess for the 2016 Thurston County Royalty Court, which was my local rodeo. So I ran and actually won in 2018 then ran for Kitsap County this year,” Leib said.
Prior to pursuing rodeo royalty, Leib had been riding horses in both the English and Western styles.
“The biggest difference between the two riding styles is the style of the rider and tack for the horses. Western riding is more gritty and has its roots in ranching and roping, while English is more about grace,” Leib said.
One of the requirements of being a rodeo queen is informing and educating people about rodeo as well as participating in community service initiatives.
“As a rodeo queen you are serving as a bridge between the spectators and participants of the sport and are actively educating people on all the aspects of rodeo from the athleticism of the sport to the care of the animals,” Leib said.
“You also need to participate in volunteer opportunities. One of the things I’ve enjoyed participating in is the Farmer Days activities at the fair which introduces kids with special needs to farm life and rodeo,” Leib added.
Outside of her duties as Miss Kitsap, Leib thrives on knowledge. She recently graduated from South Puget Sound Community College and will be attending Central Washington University in the Fall to major in Marketing.
Also, she probably knows more about diesel trucks than you do.
“I was kind of a tomboy growing up and I would watch my dad fix up his truck and I learned from him how to do it. When I was 16 and my mom asked me what kind of car I wanted, I told her I wanted a truck, so I saved up my money and bought a 1997 Ford F150 extended cab. I loved driving that thing around town,” Leib said.
Another one of Leibs duties is to serve as a mentor and provide encouragement to the next generation of rodeo queens like 7-year-old Kaia Whisnant.
Whisnant is Miss Katie Kitsap 2019 and has been riding horses and ponies since she was just two years old.
Whisnants grandparents used to run the Thunderbird Rodeo Benefit, and in 2014 she was crowned the princess of the event, since then Whisnant has been all about the rodeo.
When asked how she describes rodeo to her friends at school in Bremerton, Whisnant said, “ I talk about riding horses, barrel races, bucking bronco’s, pole racing and other rodeo stuff.”
Whisnants favorite part of rodeo is watching the barrel races, its something she wants to do when she gets older.
Her least favorite part is watching the bucking broncos.
“It looks like it hurts the cowboys,” said Whisnant.