Friday, August 30, 2013

NHSRA queen Rackham leads royalty into Finals Rodeo

Pro rodeo back in Hailey this weekend

Express Staff Writer

Hunter Rackham. 2012 ImPRA Finals Queen.

     Recently crowned National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) queen Hunter Rackham of Rigby returns to Hailey this weekend to finish her reign as the Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association (ImPRA) Finals Queen.

     Rackham leads a contingent of six girls and young women who will ride their horses and show their skills during the two-day 2013 ImPRA Finals Rodeo sponsored by the Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club at Hailey Rodeo Arena.

     Contest organizer Michelle Bobbitt of the Sawtooth Rangers thanked this year’s judges. They are Kami Pratt, Harold Boggs and Reed Larsen

     Others helping include Bill and Vivian Bobbitt, Elizabeth Cameron, Terry and Amy Rackham, Casey McGehee with Hayseed Photography, and those in the Atkinsons’ Floral Department and with Shoe and Tack Shop in Jerome.

     Here’s the schedule:

     · Friday, Aug. 30: Horsemanship competition 10 a.m. at Hailey Rodeo Arena (contestants arrive 9 a.m.) preceded by a speech in front of the judges on the topic: “What is special and unique about the rodeo you represent?”

     · Saturday, Aug. 31: The royalty helps with the Wagon Days Pancake Breakfast in Ketchum at 9 a.m. and rides in the Big Hitch Wagon Days Parade at 1 p.m. The Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association (ImPRA) rodeo starts at 4 p.m. at Hailey Rodeo Arena.

     For each rodeo, contestants wear show apparel and must pack flags on their horses. They mingle with the crowd and sign autographs, and assist in the arena with cattle.

     · Sunday, Sept. 1: The royalty candidates have their coronation at 3 p.m. as part of the pre-rodeo entertainment. The rodeo begins at 4 p.m. with the Grand Entry and playing of the national anthem.


Reigning ImPRA Finals Queen

     · Hunter Rackham, 17, a rising senior in Rigby, is the daughter of Terry and Amy Rackham of Menan along the Snake River.

     As an eighth-grader at Rigby Junior High, she won the Hailey Days of the Old West Teen Queen title in 2009. And she did it in style—winning the rodeo’s overall high-point saddle and sweeping all Teen Queen special categories—horsemanship, speech, poise and personality and photogenics.

     During her 2009-10 Hailey reign, Hunter represented Hailey at the Miss Junior Rodeo Idaho Competition along with the ImPRA Queen competition. In Aug. 2012, she was crowned Miss ImPRA Queen. And during July at Rock Springs, Wyo., Hunter compiled 694.5 points to win the queen title of the 65th annual NHSRA national finals.

     About the ImPRA, Hunter said, “I’m fortunate to represent this association. The cowboys and cowgirls you will see compete have traveled many miles and worked hard to make it to the finals.”


2013 ImPRA Finals contestants

Senior Queen contestant

     · Mickenlie Baxter, 19, is the daughter of LeRoy and Vicki Baxter of Hansen. She graduated from Hansen High School, where she enjoyed being a member of the volleyball, basketball and cheerleading varsity teams. She rodeoed in District 6 of the Idaho High School Rodeo Association (IHSRA) and was the district queen in 2010-11.

     Mickenlie was the Hailey Days of the Old West Teen Queen in 2012 and won the Senior Queen title this past July at Hailey rodeo.

     A sophomore at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, Mickenlie plans to earn a bachelor degree in biology there, and then move to Washington for veterinary school. She wants to major in Equine and work at Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby horse race is staged. She recently started her own business called Cowgirl Crafts. She enjoys being very active. She likes to play sports, go snow skiing and ride her horses.


Teen Queen contestant

     · Zoie Pierce, 14, is a daughter of Jim and Karen Pierce of Jerome. She has participated in the Miss Days of the Old West Junior Queen contest since she was nine. Her accomplishments in Hailey include a first runner-up finish in 2008. She was also a horsemanship winner in 2011. Currently Zoie is the reigning Teen Queen of Miss Days of the Old West.

     On horses since age three, Zoie has participated in horse shows, rodeos and queening. Her faithful companion through all these adventures has been her horse of 11 years, named Skoshie. Zoie and her little paint have won multiple buckles and awards together. She also participates in club volleyball and has traveled to many tournaments throughout southern Idaho.


Junior Queen contestants

     · Emma Elaine Flolo, 13, is a daughter of Jack and Julie Flolo of Hailey. She is an eighth-grade honor roll student at Wood River Middle School. Recently, Emma was honored to participate in the Lincoln County Fair and Rodeo at Shoshone. She was named 2013 Lincoln County Junior Queen.

     For three years, Emma has participated in the Miss Days of the Old West queen event. Last July, Emma was the third runner-up in the Junior Queen contest and won the Photogenics award. This year, Emma was the first runner-up.

     Emma is a fifth-year member of the Hailey Wild Riders 4-H Club. She competes in horse events at the Blaine County Fair in Carey, where she earned high-point honors in 2012 and 2013. This is her second year of raising and showing pigs at the fair, and she looks forward to raising beef next year. Emma likes being part of her school choir and Wood River Volleyball club. She enjoys playing Wood River and Storm girls’ basketball.

     · Kiffin Finn, 11, is a daughter of Jason and Tasha Finn of Rigby. She is the reigning Hailey Days of the Old West Junior Queen. Kiffin loves to run barrels and poles, but really enjoys breakaway roping. Kiffin loves to do queening so she can promote the rodeo life and meet new people.


PeeWee Queen contestant

     · Brilee Hirschi, 8, of St. Anthony is a daughter of Taelon and Melissa Hirschi. Brilee is the reigning Days of the Old West PeeWee Queen. She is entering third grade at Parker-Egin Elementary School. She enjoys riding her horses, fishing with her family, playing the piano and moving cows out on the desert.


This year’s sponsors

     Contest organizer Michelle Bobbitt thanked sponsors making the Labor Day contest a success:

     Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club, River Sage Stables, Clearwater Power Equipment, Classic Drivers, Sun Valley Transfer & Storage, Audio Innovations, Atkinsons’ Market, Tula’s Salon, Crystal Harper, Color Tyme, Valley Auto Body, Ryan’s Mountain Rentals, Sun Valley Rug & Tile, Branching Out, Wood River Bookkeeping, Lazy H Spear Appaloosas, Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill and Trinh Salon.



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