December 5-14, 2024


The Kennadee of Kindness

Aug 8, 2023

The Kennadee of Kindness

Kennadee Riggs, Miss Rodeo America 2023, is spreading the message of kindness during her journey

Since earning the title in Las Vegas as part of the 10 days of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo®, Kennadee Riggs has been on the go-go-go, with no letup in sight until she relinquishes her title in about four months to the new Miss Rodeo America.

Miss Rodeo America 2023 Kennadee Riggs

Riggs encapsulates the country & Western and rodeo lifestyle in pretty much every way one can and is an excellent ambassador. She grew up on her family ranch in Queen Creek, Ariz. and has been involved in ranching and rodeo for as long as she can remember. Treating others as you wish to be treated has always been part of her family’s DNA.

“Before the West was even won my family was on horseback,” Riggs said on the final night of the Wranger NFR in 2023. “It’s always been in my blood and that’s really the only way I can describe it. It’s innate. I was born with it, and I love rodeo and that way of life.”

A major part of that rodeo culture is to honor veterans and fallen soldiers who mean so much to America. Memorial Day 2023 as Miss Rodeo America was extra meaningful for Riggs.

“My first time presenting these colors as Miss Rodeo America was at the Wrangler NFR and the crowd stood for this flag because it stands for our fallen soldiers who so courageously gave their lives to protect ours,” Riggs posted on the official Miss Rodeo America Instagram page. “We honor these Christ-like sacrifices not just on Memorial Day, but every time we look at this flag.”

With Riggs’ help and her generous spirit, the Miss Rodeo America social media pages have grown. The Instagram page has more than 83,000 followers and each post receives hundreds, if not, thousands, of likes and comments.

The social media platforms, and the “On the Road with Miss Rodeo America” segments that air on The Cowboy Channel and the new Cowgirl Channel, are perfect to share her message and thoughts. 

Miss Rodeo America says hello to the crowd!

Very close to her heart is the “Kicking Up Kindness” campaign that was created by her Nana, the late Julee Brady. Nana Brady, a co-founder of the Cowgirls Historical Society, wrote a column in her local paper in Arizona about kind deeds that were reported by “kind deed detectives.” Riggs spreads the kindness message along her journey because she embodies the spirit and it honors her Nana.

“Growing up, it’s easy to take for granted the things you have every day,” said Riggs, who also hosts the podcast “The Kindness Journal.” “But being in this position where I get to share, verbally and through kind deeds, my lifestyle that I love so much and didn’t really see before, that’s when it really hits home and makes things a little more real.”

Riggs also believes it is an honor to represent the country & Western culture nationally and internationally. Riggs recently announced in fluent Spanish that she will be attending the historic Festa do Peão de Barretos Aug. 26- Sept. 2 along with The Cowboy Channel and The Cowgirl Channel. The mega rodeo event is held annually in San Paulo in the city of Barretos.

“This made me so emotional (to announce),” Riggs posted. “I am so excited to invite you all to follow along with me in just a few weeks to Brazil. This is a very big piece of my heart and I can’t wait to share it.”

Among her many stops in 2023 was the Reno Rodeo where her family roots run nearly as deep as they do In Arizona. Her great great grandfather, Harry Frost, was the Reno Rodeo President in 1963 and his daughter, Odile Frost, was Miss Reno Rodeo in 1950.

“All the women in my family have followed in her footsteps and there is even an award given every year at the Reno Rodeo pageant in her honor,” Riggs said. “It was so special for me to be there in Reno as Miss Rodeo America.”

Kennadee poses with the mountains as her backdrop for one of her first photoshoots as Miss Rodeo America.

Riggs believes she is not only living a dream as Miss Rodeo America, but she is fulfilling the words of wisdom her parents instilled in her.

“My parents always taught me that we are given this life and given this opportunity to use our talents for good,” Riggs said. “It’s up to us to find what those talents are and to use them for good causes. I guess I just found my way into rodeo queening that exact way. I wanted to use my gifts and talents for good … when you come into the Western lifestyle, and the rodeo world especially, you see people who stand for patriotism, faith, and kindness. You see people who value the worth of a handshake and integrity. Those are all things that I hope I can preserve as we go into the future”