Miss Rodeo New Mexico Jamee Middagh’s appearance at the Socorro County Fair and PRCA Rodeo is more than a gallop in the arena carrying the American flag; she does most of her work “behind the scenes” to promote her favorite sport.
Middagh attends New Mexico State University, majoring in animal science, and plans to become an equine chiropractor.
“I want to be an equine chiropractor and hope to one day open my rehabilitation center,” Middagh said. “Probably because I like horses a little more than people.”
Before embarking on a professional career, Middagh feels she has unfinished business in promoting the sport of rodeo, including acting as a beacon for young women who also hope to one day wear a rodeo crown.
“I always tell girls it’s important to be yourself. I mean, you have to start somewhere, and local titles are an amazing place to start,” Middagh said. I started at 18, but any age is fine, and be true to yourself and keep practicing and studying, studying and studying.
Young women representing Socorro in parades and events in the region competed in a pair of contests to win their titles. As City Ambassadors, they must demonstrate the ability to answer impromptu questions and have an excellent knowledge of SCFRA and Socorro County.
The goal for many young women is to one day wear the crown of Miss Rodeo New Mexico, where they will continue the groundwork established by cowgirls like Middagh.
“My main role is just to educate the general public about the sport of rodeo,” Middagh said. “Let them know it’s a tie-down rope and not a calf rope, which draws people’s attention to little babies.” They’re big calves, and I’m helping dispel any misconceptions.
Middagh’s rodeo career (barrels and breakaway ropes) has taken a bit of a setback as she works through her year as Miss Rodeo New Mexico, but it’s a sacrifice she’s willing to make to promote the sport. She still hits all the rodeos she can as a member of the NMSU team.
“My job is to connect rodeo to the general public, and I love that,” Middagh said.
With her sights set on winning the title of Miss Rodeo America, Middagh has experience on the national stage with two Wrangler National Finals Rodeo appearances in 2019 and 2021 as a sponsor standard bearer.