Representing Roots ‘N Boots Queen Creek is nothing new for Codi Ross. It’s something she has done as a member of the royalty court since the inaugural rodeo in 2011, when she was crowned princess, and later junior teen queen and teen queen.
“This is my 14th year in royalty,” the 18-year-old said during a phone interview. “I love being able to travel to rodeos across the state and country and see all the girls and meet new people and represent Roots ‘N Boots rodeo.”
A queen’s duties increase as she climbs each rung of the royalty ladder, she said.
“The responsibilities get better. I was a princess at the first Roots ‘N Boots. I was 12 or 13 at the time and I was just expected to make appearances at rodeos. Then as teen queen, organizers expected me to have more speaking abilities and make more appearances.
“As the queen, I’m responsible for the whole court,” she continued. “I work with the queen coordinator to make sure we all match, that we get places on time and we’re prepared for that event. If something goes wrong, I need to be there and care for the other two girls. Now I’m responsible not only for myself.”
Rodeo fashion has changed during her 15 years in queening, she said.
“When I was little, it was really colorful and ‘floofy’ — big shoulder pads, the whole shirt was nothing but sequins,” Ms. Ross said. “Now we’re more modern and elegant. We don’t have to be so traditional. We can wear summer dresses and different color hats.”
Ms. Ross said she enjoys representing the town of Queen Creek outside the community and at local events.
“We do a ton of stuff with the town, like the pancake breakfast and parades, attend town council meetings and appear at grand openings,” she said. “We’re not just rodeo queens. We’re all over Queen Creek year-round.”
The new rodeo queen calls Queen Creek’s growth amazing.
“The town has grown and what’s expected of us has grown, too,” Ms. Ross said. “The town has been amazing and supportive of all we do.”
Ms. Ross, who has seven horses and has been riding since childhood, said she especially enjoys answering questions about Queen Creek’s equestrian community.
“With its ranches, boarding stables and Queen Creek Wash, which is beautiful to ride horses in, the Queen Creek rodeo is a huge draw. It’s a really neat town. When Horseshoe Park (and Equestrian Centre) was new, people asked, ‘What does it look like?,’ ‘Is there a lot of room?’ and questions like that. Now that it’s one of the biggest equestrian facilities in the state, people want to know what events are taking place there.”
Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre, 20464 E. Riggs Road in Queen Creek, is home to Roots ‘N Boots Queen Creek. It takes place annually in early March.
This year’s event will take place March 15-19 with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo, vendors and carnival March 17-19, according to the event website at http://rootsnboots.org/.
The new Roots ‘N Boots queen resides in Casa Grande where she attends Central Arizona College. She finished her reign as the 2016 Miss Teen Rodeo Arizona and is excited to begin representing Roots ‘N Boots and the town.
“Queen Creek is just a great community to work with. The Roots ‘n Boots committee and Friends of Horseshoe Park are amazing and supportive,” Ms. Ross said. “It’s definitely been one of my most memorable places to work with. This is my first time to hold all the queens positions at a rodeo and I love it so much I keep coming back.”