Miss Rodeo North Dakota Ashley Andrews had goals of beating cancer and winning the Miss Rodeo America crown. She accomplished both.
Andrews, 21, was crowned Saturday at the 52nd annual Miss Rodeo America Pageant in Las Vegas, beating out competitors from 28 states in categories such as horsemanship, personality and appearance.
She said her cancer has been in remission since Aug. 9, following months of chemotherapy. “I have a clean bill of health,” Andrews said in a telephone interview Saturday.
She said the experience made her stronger, mentally and physically.
“Everything in life happens for a reason,” she said. “Something good always comes from every bad situation.”
Andrews, the youngest of six children, grew up on a farm and ranch in Bowman in southwestern North Dakota. Her parents, Bob and Rita Andrews, and her siblings went to Las Vegas to watch the competition.
Andrews will become the ambassador of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and attend more than 100 rodeos during the year, said Sue Lynn Perry, a spokeswoman for the competition.
A junior majoring in public relations and communications at the University of Mary in Bismarck, Andrews will put college on hold during her reign as Miss Rodeo America.
As winner of the pageant, she receives a $10,000 scholarship, western apparel and other prizes.