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Searcy woman named Miss Arkansas USAPublished December 13, 2015 at 12:00 a.m.
Abby Floyd is a busy young woman. During the past few months, she has won a state title, received her real estate license and accepted a marriage proposal.
Floyd was crowned Miss Arkansas USA 2016 on Nov. 1 at the Arend Arts Center in Bentonville. She will represent Arkansas at the Miss USA Pageant sometime in 2016.
“The date of the pageant has not been announced yet,” Floyd said during an interview at the Searcy home of her parents, Ricky and Kim Floyd. “It usually is in the summer, but all we know right now is that it will be aired on national TV.
“Until then, I will be traveling Arkansas, making various appearances as Miss Arkansas USA and preparing for the national pageant.”
Floyd, 19, currently lives in Fayetteville, where she is a junior business major at the University of Arkansas. She plans to take some time off from college as she prepares for the national pageant.
“I just got my real estate license,” she said with a smile. “I hope to work in the market soon.”
She also recently became engaged to Tyler Wilson, former Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback who spent some time in the NFL. Wilson now works for ESPN Radio in Fort Smith.
Floyd said she and Wilson met in Nashville, Tennessee, while he was playing for the Tennessee Titans.
“With this crazy pageant schedule, we can’t get married as long as I have the title,” Floyd said with a smile. “He’s very supportive.”
Floyd made one of her first appearances as Miss Arkansas USA 2016 on Nov. 21, when she was introduced on the field during the Arkansas Razorbacks football game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
“That was really awesome,” she said.
Floyd appeared most recently as the grand marshal of the Searcy Christmas parade on Dec. 5.
Floyd said the Miss Arkansas USA Pageant was a three-day pageant held Oct. 30 through Nov. 1. There was no preliminary competition.
“We competed in evening wear, swimsuit and interview,” Floyd said, adding that there was also an onstage interview for the top five contestants. She won the photogenic award, as well as the evening-gown competition.
Although contestants are not required to have a platform or critical issue, Floyd has one that is near and dear to her heart — the American Association for Cancer Research.
“Both of my grandmothers had cancer,” she said, “and my dad has also been affected by it.
“I want to raise awareness about cancer and promote early screenings.”
Floyd is not new to pageants, although she has not been competing for too many years.
“I was Miss Teen Arkansas 2013,” she said. “I had competed for that title the year before and came back and won it.
“I also competed in the Miss Arkansas USA pageant last year and came back and won it this year.”
As the winner of the Miss Arkansas USA Pageant, Floyd received a prize package that includes cash, a wardrobe, travel and a scholarship offered through a partnership with Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
While Floyd has only been competing in pageants for a few years, she knows a thing or two about competition. She grew up riding and showing horses.
“I still try to find time for that,” she said.
Floyd competed in American Quarter Horse Association horse shows in the halter and western-pleasure classes. She won an American Quarter Horse Association Youth World Championship with a yearling halter mare in 2012 and went on to win a 2013 AQHA Reserve World Championship with the same mare.
“I was not at all interested in beauty pageants growing up,” Floyd said. “I just liked to play in the dirt and play with my horses.
“Then when I was about 14 or 15, I began to be interested in pageants. That led to more modeling opportunities.
“I’ve done professional modeling for Dillard’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gordmans and T.J. Maxx. And I’ve been on the TV show Nashville. My [modeling] agent is from Nashville [Tennessee], and she arranged a walk-on spot for me.”
Floyd models for the Block Agency in Nashville.
Preparing for pageants, Floyd works with a trainer five days a week and has an interview coach as well.
“It takes a village to get all this together,” Floyd said.
Floyd will soon start to assemble her wardrobe for the Miss USA Pageant. She works with Laine Bryant at the Royal We pageant boutique in Conway.
“Laine does everything for me,” Floyd said. “She has ever since I started doing pageants.
“It can take up to six months to order something and get it in.”
Floyd said her family and friends have supported her in all of her endeavors.
“My family and friends have been such a blessing throughout [the Miss Arkansas USA 2016 Pageant] process,” she said. “My parents have always been behind me and let me chase my wildest dreams.”
Floyd has an older brother, Austin Floyd, 23, who lives with his wife, Tessa, in Searcy; and an older sister, Audra Wray, who lives in Searcy with her husband, Kyle, and their sons, Krews, 5, and Kole, 3.
Floyd said she looks forward to the Miss USA Pageant and what opportunities may come her way.
“Let’s just see what happens,” she said.