Allyson Butler is only weeks away from competing in her first pageant.
“I am super excited for this amazing opportunity, and a bit nervous, too,” said the 18-year-old woman from Cottage Grove who recently graduated from eAchieve Academy.
The National American Miss (NAM) State Pageant will be held Aug. 1-2 in Madison. NAM is a natural beauty pageant where being age appropriate is celebrated.
Butler’s platform is “Gentle the Wild,” which focuses on her love of horses that began on her ninth birthday.
“I loved to train horses of all sorts and eventually got my first horse in 2016, Scarlett,” she said.
Scarlett is a chestnut mare thoroughbred who raced when she was younger.
“In 2017, my trainer told me about Extreme Mustang Challenges,” Butler said. “I was so curious, so I went home and did some research. Extreme Mustang Challenges are horse competitions all over the United States and Canada. You send an application to the Burro of Land Management, and if you are accepted, you will pick up a wild mustang horse from the nearest holding facility.”
Youths 9-18 get a 1- or 2-year-old mustang. Adults get any age.
“Once you are home with your mustang, everybody gets 90-100 days to gentle it and train it,” Butler said. “Adults need to be riding it by the competition, and youths will only do in-hand obstacles and handling. I have done four mustang challenges and will continue to do them.”
Butler owns a gray thoroughbred mare she uses for jumping.
“Doing Mustang Challenges make me feel so good knowing I am getting these horses out of the wild and giving them the best home,” she said. “During my years of competing, I have met so many amazing people from all over. Pageants are great to help me gain confidence in the ring and with the horses.”
Butler is seeking sponsors to place ads in a yearbook that will be distributed nationwide. Money raised will be used to cover Butler’s expenses in competing in the pageant.
Questions can be directed to Butler at 608-949-2209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.