BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Outfitted in a beautiful blue gown and an eggshell-colored cowgirl hat, the newest member of the 2017 Rodeo Court wasn’t quite finished getting dressed.
So her uncle, and long time rodeo pageant supporter, Bob Britton, came up and adorned 12-year-0ld Kami Eaves-Fedler with her crown as the newest Miss Junior Rodeo Iowa to complete the ensemble.
Eaves-Fedler’s coronation celebration was held at the BPOE Elks Lodge #374 Sunday afternoon in front of about 50 family and friends. She is the daughter of David and Trish Fedler of Fort Madison.
In 2011 Miss Jr. Rodeo Iowa was established to allow younger girls to learn the ropes of representing the rodeos.
Eaves-Fedler is engaged in a lot of work, including school, that is representative of a rodeo queen including a membership in the local saddle club, gymnastics and dance, she helps with local Relay for Life events that benefit cancer research, attends vacation bible school and helps with the Fort Madison theater group, Old Fort Players.
She also tends to three cats, three dogs and a horse Maggie.
She said her future may hold becoming a physician and working for Justin Sports Medicine, an offshoot of the Justin Boots Company.
Running for the title of Little Miss Rodeo was a learning experience as Eaves-Fedler overcame the anxiety that goes with pageant competitions.
“I ran for Little Miss Rodeo,” she said. “I didn’t win because at that age I was nervous about doing things. I just kind of stood up there and didn’t do anything,” she said.
But this time went a bit differently as Eaves-Fedler prepared a speech on the rodeo and had to have a dress made.
She said she decided in June last year they she wanted to give the pageant another shot.
“Well, I’ve never really ran for a title before, besides the Little Miss Rodeo, and I decided, ‘Hey why not do this, it’s the last chance at this age.’ she said.
But she was quick to recognize the help and support she received and seems to be quickly overcoming her stage fright.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to represent the State of Iowa, the sport of rodeo and I look forward to traveling,” Eaves-Fedler told the group. “None of this would be possible without the individuals and businesses that were generous enough to show their support. And a special thank you to Mom and Dad and uncle Bob because without their love support and checkbooks none of this would have happened.”
Eaves-Fedler’s mother Trish said the pageant has been a part of her family’s life for a long time.
“It’s been quite a road for Kami as far as getting her prepared for the pageant. She was very nervous about the public speaking but it seems today she’s getting over that,” her mother said.
“Being a rodeo queen is a big process. There’s a lot you have to go through. I think it’s good the pageant has this division. It meant a lot to have her Uncle Bob crown her.”
She said she’s glad her daughter has the opportunity to work through the introductory level of the pageant as the Miss Junior.
“She was unsure of it and it’s very overwhelming so at this level they can bring her along at a bit of a better pace for her,” she said.
“This is our rodeo family and we’ve very proud to be a part of it. Uncle Bob helped bring this pageant to this area and he believes in it wholeheartedly. So we’ve all grown up around this pageant.”
As part of her reign, Eaves-Fedler will travel to five or six events during the year and, of course, the Tri-State’s Rodeo here in Fort Madison.