2022 Cowgirl Queen, Elivia Papcun

Fair | Clip
Aug 17, 2023 | 5 min

Meet Elivia Papcun, 2022 Cowgirl Queen, who shows what it takes to win the coveted title.


My name is Elivia Papcun. I am an equestrian and I have a passion for horses. I went to my first horse show when I was eight with my first horse that I had ever had, Chicken. We didn't really know what we were doing. I even went in with my hat on backwards. Somehow I still got 2nd place in a pretty big class and from that moment on I was just hooked. 

Chicken has grown up with me for the past 8 years. It feels like I've had her forever. She is the best horse. She tries so hard every time. She loves to show and I could never be where I am today without her. In 2021, my new show horse BB suffered a leg injury and I had to pull Chicken out of the pasture to compete. I was determined and she was determined and I took her to 2021 Youth World. She was a 15-year-old mare that had not had much training in two years and we were somehow top 10 in the nation for that class. 

Winning the 2022 Iowa State Fair Cowgirl Queen Contest was very special and dear to me. My grandma and mom both competed in that competition. And also in June of 2022 I had a very bad horse accident. The doctors had told me that it was going to be at least six months before I could even think about riding again. But I won the Cowgirl Queen Contest two months later because I was so persistent and so determined to get out of the hospital get started with physical therapy. I was a little bit scared, but I was just so happy to be there with Chicken because we had been together for 8 years and we've been through so much together. 

My current show partner BB is a young horse that I am moving even further up in competing with. We travel around the country doing shows together and she is still young, and has a few things to learn, but she is very talented, very athletic and great-minded and I have no doubt that she will take me to the top in the future. It's very rewarding when you've worked really hard and you bring home a national title or world title. My next step from here is to ride on a D1 and CAA Equestrian Team and I am working really hard to achieve that goal. One way that I help prepare myself for college and getting to learn what it's like to be a college equestrian is riding on a team. I ride through an organization called Youth Equestrian Development Association or YEDA and I absolutely love YEDA. I love my team. Throughout my sport and my life I've had to overcome many challenges. Not just with horses, but with injuries and tough times. I love horses. I love what I do. And I really believe that if you love it, you're doing it right. God has given me an amazing life and so many amazing opportunities. Not only with my horses but in all areas of my life and I'm so thankful for that. I cannot wait to see what the future will bring for my equestrian career and I am so excited to continue my passion.