Veteran pageant runner-up captures Silver Spurs banner

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Samantha Roberts named Miss Silver Spurs and Ryleigh Tyson named Little Miss Silver Spurs

Two talented young women from Osceola County have been chosen to represent the rodeo community for the next year.

Samantha Roberts, a 19-year-old Kissimmee resident and Osceola High graduate, was crowned Miss Silver Spurs 2008 on Tuesday night at the Silver Spurs Arena. Ryleigh Tyson, a 9-year-old from Hickory Tree Elementary, followed Wednesday night and was crowned Little Miss Silver Spurs 2008.

Both events led up to the 120th Silver Spurs Rodeo of Champions at Osceola Heritage Park. It began Friday, and events continue at 2 p.m. today.

As the rodeo queen, Roberts will promote the Silver Spurs Riding Club through community events and speaking engagements. The nine Miss Silver Spurs contestants were judged in areas such as congeniality, being photogenic and horsemanship.

This was Roberts’ first big win in a series of rodeo pageants throughout the state. Until Tuesday, Roberts had begun to grow accustomed to placing second. She has been a member of the Miss Silver Spurs court for the past three years and was first runner-up in Miss Teen Rodeo Florida in 2006 and Miss Rodeo Florida in August. In both state contests, her highest marks came in horsemanship and congeniality.

“I’m sorry, this just really hasn’t sunk in yet,” she said after being crowned. “I’m really looking forward to meeting new people this coming year and really getting out into the community.”

In the fall, Roberts plans to pursue an associate’s degree at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville and then transfer to the University of Florida and become licensed as a veterinary technician.

“I was able to job shadow a local vet and have been around horses and other large animals all my life,” she said. “It’s what I know I would be good at doing.”

Roberts is the daughter of Phil and Regina Roberts. Members of her court include first runner-up and horsemanship recipient Ricki Rae DeAngelis from St. Cloud second runner-up Shannon Dore from St. Cloud; and Miss Photogenic Emily Moore from St. Cloud.

Ryleigh was a first-time competitor and said that her favorite part was meeting the other girls. She hopes to claim the title of rodeo queen when she is older.

“I think it’s important to educate people about the rodeo community, and I want to get out there and do that,” she said.

Her court includes first-runner-up Kaitley Shirah, second runner-up Kyndall Brown, Miss Congeniality Katie Solomon and Photogenic Alicia Cordero.

Ryleigh is the daughter of Clay and Teri Tyson of St. Cloud.

All Miss and Little Miss Silver Spurs contestants must reside in Osceola County.

For information on the winners and rodeo events, go to

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