Monday, June 29, 2009

Chinook and Augusta Rodeos

Mike Gurnett's photography skills in Augusta
Libby, Jourdan, and I in Augusta

Kiddie Rodeo Cowgirls

They don't call it Chinook for nothing

This weekend I attended the Bearpaw Roundup in Chinook and the Wildest One Day Rodeo in the World- Augusta. In Chinook, I attended a barbeque and two nights of rodeo with awesome Brookman livestock. Sam, Jourdan, and I braved the wind with some heavy flags and had a lot of fun helping out at the rodeo. We also put on a kiddie rodeo each night before the rodeo and had some very adorable girls hang out with us. They were so cute and really excited to learn about all of the events in rodeo. I got a really great picture of all of the girls during the kiddie rodeo that I am pretty psyched about. It was only a little staged!

I am a huge fan of Augusta. It is probably my favorite town in Montana, so I was ecstatic to head there on Sunday for their famous little rodeo. My first summer out of high school I worked for an outfitter up Benchmark and attended the Augusta rodeo. It was fun to be back. I signed autographs at Latigo and Lace, which is an excellent place to find books, art, jewelry, and anything western! Before the rodeo, the town was full of people from all over the world- including England and the Czech republic. The stands were packed. I was so happy to be riding a really cool horse. The Robertson family from Augusta let me use one of their horses and he did great. I love riding different horses! That family has always been a huge help to me and even welded my old horse trailer last year when I pulled into town losing parts. They are wonderful people and an awesome rodeo family. The rodeo went well and the American Legion really outdid themselves with a fun, exciting rodeo. It was awesome to work with Libby Gurnett (Miss Big Sky ProRodeo Princess), Jourdan Han (Miss Big Sky ProRodeo Queen), and Aspen Allen (Little Miss Big Sky ProRodeo Roundup). They did a great job and everything went smoothly. I leave early tomorrow for Cody, Wyoming and I am excited to start my "Rodeo Queen Christmas". It is a lot of driving and rodeo performances packed into few weeks. I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July and enjoys a great rodeo somewhere across our beautiful state!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Belt Rodeo and Geraldine Fun Day

Sam and I on our lovely steedHHaving a sugar break

Jourdan and I before the parade

I had a great first rodeo weekend in the treasure state. Jourdan Han, Miss Big Sky Pro Rodeo Roundup, and I started off our day at the tiny community of Geraldine. We rode in the parade
and then helped out with the goat rodeo. The little kids pulled ribbons off of the goats' tails and the older ones tied a ribbon on their tails. The adults actually headed and heeled the goats. It was good practice for all of those aspiring team ropers out there. It was great to meet up with Angie Hucke, who coordinated the goat rodeo. She has an adorable baby and very nice family. Jourdan and I then drove to Belt to meet up with Sam, Miss Teen Rodeo Montana and her family to get saddled up and ready for some rodeo action. I cannot say thank you enough to the Manley's who let me use Billy both nights for the rodeo. He is an amazing horse and his stop was perfect for grand entry carrying the American flag. I am so excited to ride him again this summer. It was great to see the O'Neil family and have Jennika pack a flag in grand entry. Thank you so much to the O'Neil's for their support! Well Belt was interesting because of all of the rain we encountered. We got poured on. I didn't let it rain on my parade though. I had a fun time laughing at Sam when her jaw was chattering nonstop as we were clearing out the arena. It was a little chilly, but not much stops a rodeo in Montana. Although the weather was extreme, I had a great time. Any day that I'm on the back of a horse I like to consider a great day. The next morning Hannah Heckman (the new Montana High School Rodeo Queen!!), Jourdan Han, Sam, and I did our first Belt parade. Then Sam and I rushed to put on a quick kiddie rodeo before the performance.

The second day of Belt rodeo action was absolutely gorgeous and the sun was making up for its absence the day before. I think I may have annoyed the other girls on Sunday because I was so hyper. Linda Rest has sponsored an excellent vitamin line through Herbalife and it has dramatically increased my energy level. Thank you Linda!!! I was bouncing off the walls all day long. I absolutely love the Belt Little Cowboys and would like to give them a huge thank you for having me. Lori and Gail did a great job orchestrating grand entry once again!

Friday, June 19, 2009

NEBRASKAland - North Platte Nebraska

This little cutie at the kiddie parade was udderly adorable
Idaho, Wyoming, and I -so intimidating :)

A Kodak Moment at the rodeo

The men at the cake bake were right where they belong- in the kitchen!

What I would look like as a guy... thank God I'm not one

I don't think the feeling is mutual

The famous sign picture!

Wow! Where do I start? I just came home from North Platte, Nebraska where I experienced 5 days of excitement. I had an amazing host family who took very good care of me. Thank you to the Wrights' for opening up their home to me and showing me that one of a kind Nebraska hospitality. I flew into town on a very small plane and North Platte stole my heart from the very beginning. I was joined by 16 other state queens and Miss Rodeo America, Maegan Ridley. It was great to get to know all of the ladies and we had fun getting to know eachother. We were there to support the Buffalo Bill PRCA rodeo, which is on the Heartland Series, and most importantly- to attend the Miss Rodeo Nebraska pageant. We signed A LOT of autographs this week at banks, western stores, and even Walmart. I did two nights of the rodeo, modeled a dress and my chap outfit at the style show, visited Buffalo Bill's barn, watched an all male cake bake (a great idea I must say), and watched the new Miss Rodeo Nebraska get crowned. That is just a tiny amount of what we all experienced at Nebraska. The board was very welcoming and kind. They had a horse lined up for every single girl to ride at the rodeo, and treated us very well. Thank you to the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association! I had a great time in the charming town and can truly say that Nebraskans are excellent hosts and wonderful people.

I have been busy getting ready for Miss Rodeo America along with my travels- ordering clothes, studying, and staying on top of the news. If anyone has any rodeo tidbits or anything they feel could assist me in preparation, let me know!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Montana High School Queen Contest and Stockgrowers Convention

Before the Stockgrowers Parade with the MSMR Royalty Some real cowboys- Baker's ranch rodeo team

I thought this was cute
Hello everyone! I am currently writing from my laptop in North Platte, Nebraska. I will report on that within the next few days!! Last week I attended the Montana High School Rodeo Finals Queen contest. I was excited to be co-emcee with Miss Teen Rodeo Montana for the horsemanship and got to speak to the contestants and families. Congratulations to Hannah Heckman- our new state High School Rodeo Queen. All three of the girls did a great job and I hope they all stay involved. It was my first time experiencing a high school contest. I enjoyed it a lot and got to see two former MRM's- Sarah Capp and Mandi Holland (who was judging). I then traveled to Miles City for the 125th annual Montana Stockgrowers Convention. They were honoring ranches that were 100 years or older. I enjoyed meeting ranchers from all over Montana who are so deeply embedded in agriculture. I stayed with an awesome family. The Plant's made me feel right at home and it was great to hang out with them. Kyleigh was the teen queen for Miles City when I was the rodeo queen. It was great to reunite and they took tremendous care of me! Thank you so much to the Plants!!! In Miles City, I toured the Range Riders Museum, the art museum, rode in the parade, and took in the American flag at the ranch rodeo. It was great to hang out with the Gustad girls. They rode in the parade and are doing great with their new titles! I was very impressed with the ranch rodeo. These men and women are talented and their horses truly have all-around talent!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dusty Gliko Memorial Bullriding, MRMI Board Meeting

The Gliko Family and I after the memorial bullriding
On Friday I headed to Belt for the memorial of someone who was very close to my heart. Dusty and I dated when I was 17 and he passed away in a car accident four years ago. He was one of the people who gave me the inspiration to run for Miss Rodeo Montana and I will always treasure him as a person and our relationship. His life and his death taught me a lot. I would like to thank the Glikos for taking me into their home anytime I am in the area. I have a great time hanging out with John, Vicki, and Jamie. I would also like to extend a huge thank you to Kaehl Berg who allowed me to ride his horse for grand entry. It was the horse he uses to rope bulls and I appreciate him letting me carry the America flag on him.
On Saturday morning I drove to Fairmont for the board meeting. It was very kind of Janie O'Neil and the family to let us stay at her condo. Jennika, Janie, Jody, Robin, Linda, and I soaked in the hot springs and it was very relaxing. I was going to drive back to Belt for the 2nd night of the bullriding, but they postponed it because of weather. Apparently there was a few inches of snow in Belt. I thought it was summer! Thank you so much to the O'Neil family for opening up their "home" away from home to us. I had fun with all of the ladies and I want to thank all of them for coming and meeting. The board members got a lot of work done and had fun too. Things are picking up now and I am pumped for rodeo time!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A handful of the Girls' State Participants and I after my presentation

Miss Montana's Outstanding Teen, Victoria Valentine, and I at the Telethon

Miss Montana and Miss Montana's Outstanding Teen Contestants at the Telethon

I started off my travels in Helena for the Shodair Children's Miracle Network Telethon. There were many different volunteers there including the Miss Montana Contestants and the Miss Montana's Outstanding Teen Contestants. I also got to spend the day with Victoria Valentine, Miss Montana's Outstanding Teen. We stayed entertained learning how a telethon works behind the scenes. I answered telephones and took donations, and helped present fundraising totals on air. They ended up raising over $500,000.
On Sunday I gave a speech to the ladies of Girls' State, who were starting off their week at Carrol College. There were about 220 high school juniors from all over Montana. Many were girls from very small, agricultural towns. I addressed many success principles that I wish I would have known in high school, and answered all of the girls' questions. It was a great experience.
Monday morning I headed to Great Falls to do a TV commercial with KRTV. Then Jody and I went to the Big Sky Prorodeo Roundup Committee Meeting. It was my first rodeo committee meeting and it was a great learning experience. Putting on a rodeo is not a simple task! There is a huge committee of very intelligent and productive volunteers who are behind our state fair. After the meeting, Jody and I headed back to KRTV to shoot commercials for some of the area rodeos. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Taping a short commercial is harder than it looks! I had a lot of fun through ALL of the takes.
On Tuesday, I took a historic trolley tour of Great Falls. I learned a lot about
the city- I highly recommend taking this tour from the visitor's center. It was nice to learn more about a place I spend so much time in. I then went to a Rotary club meeting with Art from KRTV. I would like to thank Art for taking me to the meeting. They invited me to come back and give my Miss Rodeo America speech for them. I think I will have to take them up on that offer. I spent a few hours at the Glikos ranch, then headed to Stanford for their rodeo committee meeting. The CM Russell Stampede sponsored my buckle and I really appreciate their generosity. Their rodeo is themed a "Recession-Bustin Weekend" and they are having a dance contest, vendors, and a rodeo produced by Gold Buckle Rodeo Co. It will be my first time attending this rodeo. I look forward to working with all of the folks on the committee.
Jill Veteto of Diamond J Leather who made my chaps has put up a website. Everyone should check it out. Jill is an amazing leather artist and I am very satisfied with my chaps.