Seventeen-year-old Mae Allicock is the winner of the Annual Rupununi Rodeo pageant, where her indigenous wear, a first for the event, set her apart from the other contestants and guaranteed her this year’s Rodeo Queen crown.

The event, which took place on the lawns of the Takutu Hotel and Bar in Lethem, attracted hundreds of people from all over the country and more from Brazil, who are visiting the region for a weekend of rodeo-related activities. The pageant had three segments, introductory segment, the beachwear segment and the Rodeo ‘Cowgirl’ outfit display segment.

During her introduction, Allicock, who is a receptionist at the Surama Eco Tourism Lodge, took advantage of her home village (Surama) being one of the main tourist attractions in the hinterland and highlighted its rich indigenous culture, wildlife and food.

Mae Allicock showcasing her Indigenous cowgirl outfit at the Annual Rupununi Rodeo pageant, held at the Takutu Hotel and Bar in Lethem. (Department of Public Information photo)

In the beachwear category, she strutted a stunning custom-made swimsuit, hand-knitted by one of the locals, while in the Rodeo ‘Cowgirl’ outfit category, she showcased another culturally inspired custom-made piece, which represented the garb indigenous cowgirls would have worn in past generations.

This is the first time a contestant has worn an indigenous cowgirl outfit since the beginning of the pageant.

Her consistent usage of the culturally-themed outfits set her apart from the other six contestants, who all wore modern-themed outfits, which one attendee described as “a coastlander’s or foreigner’s way of dressing for rodeo events.”

Regardless, according to sources, it was a very “tight” competition between Allicock and first runner-up, Faylaika Charles. Pricilla La Cruz was named second runner-up.

Allicock, who was sponsored by Darmendra and Denise of Annai, walked away with $125,000, in addition to a cosmetic gift set, a makeup tutorial course, a floral bouquet and a trophy, while Charles and LaCruz walked away with $60,000 and $50,000, respectively, along with a cosmetic set each.