Maybe you couldn’t tell it immediately, but the reporter asking the most obvious question ever had just turned into a comedian.
“So how many hours have you spent preparing for the livestock show queen competition,” he asked.
In turn, 17-year-old Hayley Jackson swung around, her golden locks bouncing from underneath her newly-bejeweled cowboy hat, to ask her father that very same question.
He laughed. Hard.
Short answer: a lot.
Jackson — who said she spent nearly four hours a day over the past four to five weeks making preparations — got the ultimate return on her time investment Monday when she was named the 2013 Henderson County Livestock Show Queen. Jackson is a senior at Martins Mill High School and the daughter of Kakie and Jeff Cade and Hayden Jackson.
She was presented with the ceremonial crown, sash and saddle by last year’s queen, Harlie Burnett.
“All the hard work paid off,” Jackson said. “I worked so hard to reach this goal.”
It was a big day for Jackson, who also was awarded in two more categories — Poise, Beauty and Personality and and Western Attire. Jackson, a cheerleader and softball player at Martins Mill, is a member of Showstopper 4H, where she serves as vice president, and of the Martins Mill FFA and the National Junior Santa Gertrudis Association.
Staci Ann Hurt, a 16-year-old 10th-grader at Malakoff High School, was named Queen First Runner-Up. She’s a member of Malakoff FFA and is the daughter of Bonnie and Travis Elledge and Tommy and Brittani Hurt.
Brooke Berry, a 12-year-old 7th-grader at James L. Collins Catholic School in Corsicana, was named 2013 Livestock Show Princess. She is the daughter of Russell and Tanya Berry of Malakoff, and a member of the Ghostriders Young Guns, the Official Rodeo Drill Team of Texas.
Princess First Runner-Up was Kristin House, a 13-year-old 8th-grader at Athens Middle School. House is the daughter of Chris and Amanda House of Athens. She is a member of the East Texas Young Riders 4H Club and the Athens Riding Club.