Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Miss Days of the Old West brings out the rodeo royalty

Style and pizzazz for the Fourth in Hailey

Keely Lance Reigning Teen Queen

They work hard for their day in the sun during Hailey's Independence Day celebration.

And they bring a lot to the dusty table in the way of style, color, horsemanship and a little bit of holiday beauty.

"Miss Days of the Old West" returns to Hailey Rodeo Arena this week where the 62nd annual Days of the Old West rodeo will entertain thousands of holiday goers. Eleven girls and young women will ride their horses and show their stuff in the 2009 queen contest.

There will be smiles all around.

Michelle Bobbitt is the contest organizer for the Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club and she has a good crew helping—including the trusty sponsors plus Vivian Bobbitt, Sandra Bobbitt, MaryAnn Knight, Madeline Amend, Thelma Cameron, Michelle Smith, Kristy Lance, Dalonna Stinemates and Kelly Giron.

This year's judges are Amanda Kent, Lynn Ramm, Cassi Nelson, Jan Jorgensen and Ryan Thomas.

Contestants in the categories are: Two for Senior Queen, three for Teen Queen, four for Junior Queen and two others for PeeWee Queen.

And the schedule is:

Thursday, July 2: Poise and personality competition plus the interviews at 10 a.m. at Hailey Grange Hall. This year's speech topic is: "What Does the Fourth of July Mean to Me?" Contestants will wear prairie skirts or Western dress, with their hats, boots and belts.

Freestyle horsemanship competition takes place at 6:30 p.m. tonight prior to the first of three rodeo performances. The royalty will help with cattle, mingle with the public and cowboys and sign autographs at each 7:30 p.m. rodeo.

Friday, July 3: Horsemanship competition at 10 a.m. at Hailey Rodeo Arena. The Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association (ImPRA) and Idaho Cowboys Association rodeo starts at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 4: The royalty will wear their show apparel for the Mile Long Parade starting at 12 noon along Hailey's Main Street. They will help serve food and drinks at the post-parade barbecue and have their coronation at 7 p.m. as part of the pre-rodeo entertainment.

The Grand Entry and national anthem on the country's birthday will be a proud time for all.

Reigning royalty

2008 Hailey Senior Queen

Charlee Smith, 18, is the daughter of Chuck and Michelle Smith of Hooper, Utah. She won Miss Days of the Old West Teen Queen titles in both 2007 and 2005.

Charlee had quite a trip to Hailey last July. She won horsemanship in her Senior Queen class and captured poise and personality. She also was best in freestyle horsemanship.

2008 Hailey Teen Queen

Keely Lance, 15, of Rigby, was the overall high-point winner at the 2008 Miss Days of the Old West contest. She received a saddle with matching breast collar from the Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club.

The daughter of Brett and Kristy Lance, Keely will be a sophomore at Rigby High School where she is a 4.0 student. She enjoys playing on her school's basketball team in addition to softball and volleyball, and of course spending most of her time riding her horses. She wishes 2009 contestants good luck!

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2008 Hailey Junior Queen

Shania Stinemates, 12, is the daughter of Bill and Dalonna Stinemates of Wendell. An honor student, she will be a seventh grader. Shania enjoys playing basketball and softball. In rodeo she participates in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and ribbon roping.

Shania swept all the top honors for her class in the special 2008 Miss Days of the Old West categories—poise and personality, horsemanship, speech and photogenics.

She expressed special thanks to the Sawtooth Rangers, the Rushton family for boarding her horse and Sarah Pierson for her support.

2008 Hailey PeeWee Queen

Kodi Giron, 8, is the daughter of Charlie and Kelly Giron of Meridian. She enjoys being a country girl, living the western way of life and riding her pony Rosie.

She competes in barrel racing, pole bending and goat tail tying. In 2007 Kodi was named Rookie of the Year for IGRA rodeo. She has won the IGRA Little Bit Queen title.

Kodi won speech, poise and personality and tied for first place in photogenics last year at the Days of the Old West.

2009 contestants

Senior Queen candidates

Krystal Tracy, 18, of Hailey is the daughter of Tom and Heidi Tracy. She has just returned from the College of Marin in California. Krystal has always enjoyed working with kids and being a good role model for them.

She was second runner-up in last year's Senior Queen contest, and held the title of 2006 Hailey Teen Queen. Since this is her last year competing, Krystal said she hopes to go out with a bang on the Fourth! She wished all the contestants the best of luck and urged them to never give up on their dreams.

Ashley Rendahl, 21, the daughter of David and Dorinda Rendahl of Bellevue, recently completed her sophomore year at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa. There she studies elementary education and competes for the college's cross country and track teams.

Ashley, a 2007 Wood River High School graduate, loves her Arabian mare Zelda and enjoys both Western and English disciplines.

She was Senior Queen runner-up in her first Miss Days of the Old West, in 2007, and third runner-up in 2008. She thanked her family for their encouragement, reminded this year's royalty candidates to wear their beautiful smiles and urged everybody to have fun at this year's rodeo.

Teen Queen contestants

Jayd Wartluft, 16, of Twin Falls participates in sports like soccer and track. She competes in 6th District High School rodeo and has just completed her sophomore year in high school. Her favorite events are barrel racing and goat tying. Jayd is proud to be in her fourth year of 4-H. She loves to swim and dirt bike in the hills.

Heather Skovgard, 15, daughter of Troy and Julie Skovgard of Kuna, just completed ninth grade at Kuna High School. She competes in high school and Idaho girls' rodeo in barrels and poles, and in horse shows in Western Pleasure.

She enjoys singing and dancing, and is a member of the national award-winning Limelight Rising Stars Ballroom Dance Team and Elite Dance Attack.

She serves as the boys' basketball statistician at her school, but Heather is also a varsity cheerleader, a member of the Rodeo Club and FFA, Leo Lions and Stem Advanced Placement Program. She is active in 4-H, Girl Scouts and Youth Group at New Hope Baptist Church. Heather likes to ride horses, decorate cakes, text on her phone and shop. She hopes to be Miss Rodeo Idaho.

Hunter Rackham, 13, is the daughter of Terry and Amy Rackham of Menan. A Rigby Junior High School eighth grader, she enjoys singing, camping, fishing and everything to do with animals. Hunter earned the "Titan of the Year" award for her positive character traits in school.

Junior Queen candidates

Zoie Pierce, 10, of Jerome, was the first runner-up in last year's Hailey Junior Queen contest. She is the daughter of Jim and Karen Pierce. She loves to ride her horse Skoshie on trail rides, and in horse shows and rodeos. She enjoys packing flags, meeting new friends at rodeos and playing volleyball. Zoie has been showing horses since the age of 3. This is her second year in 4-H. Her brother Yogi and sister Kloie are very special to her.

Hunter Rasmussen, 11, is the daughter of Todd and Vonnie Rasmussen of Hill City. She will attend sixth grade in the fall. Hunter has been Junior Princess of the Northside Showdown and most recently was Miss Lil' Bit Rodeo Idaho for 2008-09. She enjoys fishing, snowboarding, volleyball, watching movies and eating popcorn. She thanked her Mom and Dad for helping her catch her horse!

Kylie Walker, 12, is the daughter of Jason and Cindy Walker of Fairfield. She will enter seventh grade at Camas County Junior High School. Kylie likes riding horses, reading, swimming, skiing and camping. She also caught her first steelhead trout this year. She is quiet, but she is a tease and likes playing practical jokes. Mainly, she is a friend and positive influence to many.

Ellie Mae Millenkamp, 11, is the daughter of Bill and Susie Millenkamp of Jerome. She enjoys horseback riding, motorcycles, swimming, reading and fishing—but her horse The Patriots Lady is her most favorite hobby. Currently a member of ISHA and High Desert Back Country Horsemen, Ellie Mae has been involved in 4-H. She will be in the sixth grade at Magic Valley Christian School in Jerome.

PeeWee Queen contestants

Alison Walker, 10, is the daughter of Jason and Cindy Walker of Fairfield. She will enter fifth grade at Camas Elementary. Alison loves reading and taking care of babies and children. She also likes swimming, snowboarding, fishing and camping. She's a joy to her family and teachers and tries to befriend and encourage everyone.

Kloie Pierce, 10, is the daughter of Jim and Karen Pierce of Jerome. She likes to play with twin sister Zoie. It's her first year queening and Kloie is excited for the new adventure. She likes riding her horse Oshie on trail rides and in horse shows. She has participated two years in 4-H and enjoys the friends she has made.

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