Rodeo Queen Sisters
RODEO QUEEN SISTERS
“My name is Megan Taber and I am 16 years old.”
“My name is Moira Taber and I’m 20 years old.”
“So, we are both rodeo queens, and I’d say that a fair number of siblings do it, but I think we definitely take our own spin on it,” said Megan Taber.
Moira and Megan Taber grew up on their family’s place just outside of Shoshone, and taking the kids to the local fairs and rodeos was a regular event.
“Moira of course admired the beautiful queens at every rodeo she ever went to and she wanted to be just like them,” said Amie Taber, Moira and Megan’s mom.
“Those girls were so kind to me and I just looked up to them, they were such an inspiration. Really that’s what sparked it for me, and then come to find out later on that my mom did rodeo queening when she was younger, and the growth that she experienced through that, it was something that I really wanted to get into,” said Moira Taber.
“At the time Moira was terribly shy, she wouldn’t speak to strangers, she had a very difficult time talking to people, carrying on conversations, and that is one of the foremost important roles of a rodeo queen is to interact with the public, interact with the audiences,” said Amie Taber, Moira and Megan’s mom.
“I was so shy as a kid that she knew that for me to want to do this I had to want it enough to be willing Vto give up that shy and be willing to put myself out there in front of people and let them get to know me. So, it became a deal that we made, she I will let you do this and I will support you 100%, but you’re going to bring your side of it. You’re going to have to become an extrovert, put on your extrovert boots is what she used to tell me,”said Moira.
“Moira started when she was 11 years old running for the Lincoln County Fair and Rodeo title. Megan being 4 years younger grew up in the sidelines of the programs. She ran for her first title, Hailey Days of the Old West Pee Wee Queens when she was 9,” said Amie Taber.
“Moira was running for the teen queen title, and she looked at me and she said Megan, they have a pee wee queen title. Would you like to run for it, they need some more girls,” said Megan. “I lost it. I was like I want to do it so bad because watching her, I had kind of watched her from the passenger seat kind of grow. I mean I was pretty little but I could still see the change in her and I was like, that looks like so much fun.”
“Megan is much more outgoing. She is more comfortable speaking with people probably because of growing up on the sidelines of queen competitions since she was very young,” said Amie.
Rodeo Queen competitions are judged on the contestant’s horsemanship, often 50% of the total score. Plus…
“They’re judged on their public speaking skills, they’re expected to think on their feet and be able to answer intelligently and informatively on a broad range of topics from horse health, rodeo industry, equine industry, current events, politics, etc.” said Amie. “Rodeo queens are judged on appearance, but it is most definitely not a beauty contest.”
Idaho rodeo queens have done well nationally, with Kylie Whiting from Star, Idaho being crowned queen of the National High School Finals Rodeo this past summer, and Miss Rodeo Idaho Nicole Jordan finishing as First Runner-Up in the Miss Rodeo America just last month in Las Vegas.
Moira is the reigning Miss Sunbelt Ag Expo and is competing this month for the Miss Rodeo USA title in Oklahoma, and Megan was just crowned Miss Teen Rodeo Idaho.
“We’re complemented constantly on people that get around our daughters on how well they can speak, how well they can conduct themselves in a public setting. You know put them up on a stage in front of a lot of people, even I do not like to be in that position, and you know I am a heck of a lot older than they are. But they’ve conditioned very well, and they can think on their feet, and they can speak very well with clear and concise thoughts,” said their father,” Darren Taber.
And do you think going through these competitions has helped develop that?
“Absolutely, not a doubt in my mind about that.”
How proud are you guys when you see them up there?
Laughs – “Pretty darn proud.” “My eyes leak quite a bit.”
The sisters they hope to inspire young girls the way they were inspired.
“Something that’s always mattered to me is being able to be a really good role model,” said Megan. “Encourage younger people and just really give them that inspiration.”
And horses have been part of their lives since they were young girls. Moira started riding when she was just four, and Megan… even younger.
“We had Megan on the back of a horse with me when she was just 3 weeks old, and she has not slowed down since,” said Amie.
“I would say that it’s just such an intrinsic part of our lives. We both grew up doing it, like we have ridden almost every single day of our lives since we were little.,” said Moira
It teaches you a lot about non-verbal communication, about partnership and about learning from somebody else, because there’s nothing you can do that will not have a consequence when you are on a horse. And it’s so essential that you understand that working relationship. I think riding teaches you so much about balance and life.”
“One of the other big things that riding gives us is a sense of patience and a sense of peace. I mean when you are on a horse that feels everything you feel, you can’t get excited,” said Megan. “You have to be very calm, you have to center yourself. And I think that helps bring peace into other parts of your life. We can have that moment where we step back and just bring everything calmer.”
“Exactly. My horse actually came, both of my horses 2,000 miles across the country to college with more for that reason, because I’m just better when I have that space of peace to return to,” said Moira.
Moira is studying biological science and ag business at the university of Georgia, and she plans to pursue a PHD in epidemiology. Megan is deciding whether to study forensic science or agricultural chemistry, or maybe both.
“I would say that my queening experiences through high school set me up very well for applying to scholarships going into college. I was actually the recipient of my district Farm Bureau scholarship as well as the state Farm Bureau scholarship, and that really helped me expand my horizons and be able to go to school out of state to be able to come back to Idaho to really become the kind of contributing member and citizen that I want to be,” said Moira.
“I think that queening has offered me an entirely new path in life to grow upon, and I’m really excited to see where it takes me.”
For the Voice of Idaho Agriculture. I’m Paul Boehlke.
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