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Rodeo queen loses crown because she's a mother

Posted: 11:27 PM, Apr 05, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-07 00:42:42Z

A Las Vegas rodeo queen has been stripped of her crown because she has a son.

Heidi Vega won this year's Miss Rodeo Helldorado, but then pageant directors found out she was a mother. It states clearly on the pageant entry form that contestants can never have been married or pregnant.

Vega admitted she should've read the fine print closer and that she's not looking to get her crown back. She just thinks it's time for a change.

It wasn't easy on Vega to lose the title.

"I stayed in bed all day [Monday]," she said. "It was heartbreaking."

Jim Buell, the sponsorship chair of Las Vegas Helldorado Days, said it was unfortunate that the committee had to disqualify her. Buell said Vega was a very deserving winner.

The rules that restricted Vega have been in place for decades. In the realm of rodeo, tradition seems to rule all.

"It might be old-fashioned, but nonetheless, that is the rule," Buell said.

Just because something's always been done a certain way, that doesn't make it right -- that's the question Vega is now setting out to explore.

"I think times are changing and it needs to start maybe changing with it or open up another possibility for other people to compete," she said.

Vega believes if rodeo needs to be passed on to the next generation, it doesn't make sense to exclude parents from rodeo pageants.

For the moment, the question of whether to change these rules isn't really up to the Helldorado Days Rodeo.

The ultimate goal of the pageant winner is to go on to state and national pageants.

Those larger competitions have the same exact rules, so Helldorado Days has to stay consistent in order to give their winner a chance at the greater prize.