Montana's First Lady of Rodeo...

Miss Rodeo Montana 2002

Kande Ellis Yeager

Appearance, Personality, Photogenic

Kande is the 20 year old daughter of Jack and Kathy Ellis of Bigfork. She is a graduate of Bigfork High School and is currently attending Flathead Valley Community College.

Kande was involved with yearbook, cheerleading, and speech & drama in High School. In 2000 she served as the Northwest Montana Miss Pro Rodeo Queen and was first runner-up in the 2001 Miss Rodeo Pageant.

Kande has been featured on the cover of Montana Woman Magazine, has modeled for the Bride's Time Magazine and has been in a commercial for S&S Campers. She enjoys barrel racing and is a member of the WPRA, and is also a licensed skydiver.

 She plans to obtain a double degree in Business Administration and Theatre and also major in Public Relations, with a goal towards owning her own business in Montana.

From Skiing To Sky Diving

By Ed Hebbe IV, Montana Trappers Association

On January 13, MTA representatives Ed Hebbe III and Ed Hebbe IV traveled to Great Falls to present a new Miss Rodeo Montana with a coveted fox vest. The MTA has been a major sponsor of Miss Rodeo Montana, Inc. for six years. The sponsorship has become a viable program for the Montana Trappers Association, Miss Rodeo Montana, rodeo, ranchers, and land stewards in general.

This years pageant was moved to a larger facility as the previous one was becoming too small to continue to hold the throngs of people that pour in in support of the pageantries. All contestants go through four days of rigorous judging, shows and appearances before the final decision is tabulated and a new Miss Rodeo Montana is announced.

With only four contestants entered in this prestigious event, judging becomes even more difficult, as only one young lady will get the opportunity to represent Montana, rodeo, and her sponsors on a statewide and national basis.

Shortly after awards were presented to the contestants for appearance, personality, horsemanship, speech, photogenic and congeniality, the final stage of the coronation for Miss Rodeo Montana 2002 was set in motion.

For 2002 the Miss Rodeo Montana crown went to Miss Kande Ellis of Bigfork. Kande is the 20-year-old daughter of Jack and Kathy Ellis.

Shortly after the coronation ceremony, Ed III and Ed IV, met and visited with Kande and her parents. Mother and daughter were completely elated. Kathy stated her daughter wanted that fur vest with a passion and it would go with her everywhere - to bed, the bathroom, and even the shower. Ed IV stated that would be fine. Bathroom, yes. Shower no!

Umoungst the tears, joy and laughter they could hardly believe when told the vest was Kande's to keep. It would be hers for life and was not just for the year. The 'thank yous' were numerous.

Kande was selected in January in conjunction with the Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo in Great Falls. Kande was the winner of the Appearance and Personality categories of the competition. Kande is a graduate of Bigfork High School and is attending Flathead Valley Community College. She plans to graduate from Montana State University with a double degree in Business Administration and Theatre and also major in Public Relations, with a goal towards owning her own business in Montana.

Kande proudly served as the 2000 Northwest Montana Miss Pro Rodeo Queen. She is a barrel racer with memberships in the Women's Professional Rodeo Association and is also a member of the National Barrel Horse Association.

Kande is a Corral West representative, a wrangler and riding instructor at Flathead Lake Lodge and was Nascar's 2000 "Miss Rumble in the Rockies." Kande's modeling experience has put her on the covers of Montana Women and Bride's Time Magazine as well as being in a commercial for S&S Campers.

Kande has been involved with theatre since high school. She has played leading roles in "The Foreigner," and "See How They Run." In High School, Kande won many awards in speech and drama, worked on the yearbook committee and was a cheerleader. She held all offices in her 4-H Club and has won numerous awards in competitive riding events.

When not at a rodeo, Kande enjoys rock climbing, rappelling, hunting, scuba diving, dancing, kick boxing, and is a licensed sky diver. She is currently pursuing obtaining her pilot's license.

So, if you think this young lady doesn't have high goals for herself, you'd be kidding yourself if she didn't say that 'the sky's the limit.' Heck, seems to me she's already conquered that!

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