It is not often that our local area has the opportunity to attend an event that ends with the crowning of royalty, so mark your calendars for Monday evening, June 5 at six o’clock to attend the first official public competition for the Montana State High School Rodeo Finals. This first contest will be between perhaps the fairest of competitors at the Finals, the high school cowgirls who will vie for the title of 2017 Montana High School Rodeo Queen.
By Sherry Vogel
This first day of competition will conclude at 6 p.m. in the arena at the Fallon County Fairgrounds, where these athletes will demonstrate their prowess on horseback as the competition heats up in this section of the contest.
The Rodeo Queen contest will continue the following morning at 10 a.m. when the beautiful contenders take the stage in the Longfellow gymnasium where they will showcase their speech and modeling talents. This is an event you won’t want to miss as the young ladies don beautiful, glittering western gowns, boots, and hats as they gracefully model the latest in cowgirl high fashion.
After a weekend of interviews, modeling and horsemanship, one lucky high school cowgirl will be crowned Montana State High School Rodeo Queen on Saturday afternoon, June 10 at 1:30 p.m. So come early before the Championship Go Round begins at 2 p.m. to see the making of a Queen.
The three contestants (listed in alphabetical order) are: Rylee Anderson, a junior at Billings West High. She will be competing in Goat Tying, Pole Bending and Breakaway Roping. Sierra Belvin, a sophomore at Reed Point High School in Reed Point, will be competing in Barrel Racing, Goat Tying, Pole Bending, and Breakaway Roping. She also has the honor of having been chosen to sing the National Anthem at the Championship Go Round. The final contestant is Amanda Russell, a freshman from Ennis, Montana. Amanda competes in Goat Tying, Barrels, and Pole Bending.
Reigning High School Rodeo Queen Opal Harkins, a junior attending Billings West in Billings, Montana will be on hand to crown the incoming 2017 Queen. Opal who went on to compete for the title of National High School Rodeo Queen last year was victorious. She will not be defending her title because she now holds a higher title. She will be competing in Team Roping, Goat Tying, Breakaway Roping, Reined Cow Horse, Cutting, Pole Bending, Barrel Racing, and the shooting sports. Opal is the daughter of Jason and Charlotte (Beckers) Harkins of Billings. She is the granddaughter of Baker residents, Leonard and Dorothy Beckers of Baker and Jerry and Leola Harkins of Ekalaka.