Montana's First Lady of Rodeo...

Miss Rodeo Montana 2003

Lori Dodge Hoppe


Speech, Horsemanship, Appearance

Lori is the 22 year old daughter of Rebecca Dodge of Stevensville, Montana. On January 12, 2003, Lori’s dream of becoming the first from her hometown to win the title of Miss Rodeo Montana came true. This was a day she had envisioned since she met her first rodeo queen, 1989 Miss Rodeo USA Lisa Watson.

Lori’s rodeo queen heritage traces back long before that time, as her mother, aunt and grandmother were all local pro rodeo queens from the State of Washington. In High School, Lori was very active in high school rodeo, 4-H, FFA, as well as many other leadership organizations.

She was a five time State 4-H Horse Show Champion, and qualified several years for the Montana High School Rodeo Finals. In 1999 she was the Ravalli County Fair & Rodeo Queen, and in 2003 served as the first ever Miss Rodeo Butte America.

Currently, Lori is a junior at Montana State University majoring in Agricultural Education. After completion of her reign, she plans to complete her education, become a Wrangler Jeans Representative, and then eventually teach an agricultural class in a Montana High School and be an FFA Advisor. When not traveling down the road to rodeos, Lori enjoys photography, skiing, ski blading, dancing, modeling, raising and training American Quarter Horses, and volunteering with Eagle Mount’s horseback riding program.

Concerning her title, Lori says, “I am so honored to represent rodeo in such an exciting year. PRCA Commissioner Steve Hatchell and the Board of Directors have made many new changes that will take place in 2003. I will have the opportunity to educate our current fans and our fans-to-be about these latest changes. In addition to promoting rodeo, I look forward to being a positive influence to the young and young at heart across the great State of Montana. In conclusion, this year has long been a dream of mine and I feel very passionate about doing no less than my personal best.


Miss Rodeo Montana 2003

By Ed Hebbe IV, Montana Trappers Association

As Miss Rodeo Montana 2002, Kande Ellis, was preparing to hand over the honor of Miss Rodeo Montana to another young rodeo lady, her friends were getting ready and all psyched up to take her on her first skydiving jaunt in a year. Needless to say, Kande was definitely getting overly anxious to jump out of a perfectly good airplane yet again.

January 12, saw another mild day and the perfect end to a long weekend for five young ladies from across Montana who gathered in Great Falls yearning for the prestigious title of Miss Rodeo Montana 2003.

As folks began showing up for the morning brunch and coronation ceremonies, one couldn't help but notice that fur seems to have really taken center stage this year with several of the ladies, including State Representative, Jody Rempel, who was wearing a wide raccoon collar with her jacket. And two of the Miss Rodeo Montana contestants as well as up-and-coming contestants wearing fur with their outfits. Makes one wonder if it was former Miss Rodeo Montana Kristina Mensik who started a new and exciting fashion statement, or if it has something to do with one of the pageant sponsors. In any case, it's certainly an exciting addition.

Prior to the final score count and announcement of who that may be, the five contestants were introduced to a full house at the Heritage Inn by the coronation Master of Ceremonies, Skip Archibald. Each of the contestants then enlightened the audience members with a short biography of themselves and why they believed they had what it takes to be Miss Rodeo Montana.

After a morning brunch provided by the staff of the Heritage Inn, the final stages of the pageant were under way. Each contestant had one more impromptu question to answer for the audience before the contest results were tabulated and then announced.

The Miss Rodeo Montana Pageant uses three judges, each of which judge all of the contestants in all categories. Special importance has been placed upon selecting qualified, knowledgeable and impartial judges. A local accounting firm tallies the scores and determines the winners based on total points. Following the pageant, each contestant will receive a summary of her ranking in each category in comparison with the winner's.

Judging the event this year was the former Miss Rodeo Montana State Director, Karen Shepard from the Kalispell area. A native Canadian now living in Great Falls, Lynn Contway, who assists her husband, bronze artist Jay Contway, with promotion and sales at art shows. And Troy Kurth of Missoula, who operates the Western Montana AI Breeding Center.

In the meantime, Kande Ellis, Miss Rodeo Montana 2002 delivered her outgoing speech referencing her experiences during the course of her reign. Stating, "Some say another year, another queen. I say, another year, another opportunity to represent the best state in the pro circuits."

Kande expressed her gratitude towards all who had been individually and corporately involved in making the year such a success. Everyone left an influential impact in her life. Family and friends, rodeo buddies, sponsors, and media have all helped her to achieve her goals.

She went on to say that the young lady to be crowned as Miss Rodeo Montana 2003 will be blessed with an exceptional year for her and her family. She will go on to walk the footsteps before her and make her own paths. The pageant's long time friends and sponsors will befriend her and she will have the opportunity to grow beyond everything comprehendible.

Upon finishing her speech, Kande was presented with a beautiful throw from the State Director, Jody Rempel. To which in turn, Kande responded by presenting Jody with a gift of appreciation for all the help and support she had shown.

Kande was also presented with a custom made picture and frame from a long-time supporter of Miss Rodeo Montana. Each year the outgoing Miss Rodeo is presented with a wonderful souvenir from this same young cowboy. Each year it's different than those before. Like each Miss Rodeo Montana, they are truly special and unique.

Finally the moment of truth arrives and each Miss Rodeo Montana contestant is introduced once more before the final results are announced.

Awards were presented for the following categories:

  • Photogenics:  Angie Muir
  • Speech:  Lori Dodge
  • Horsemanship:  Lori Dodge
  • Personality:  Brooke Lynn Vosen
  • Appearance:  Lori Dodge
  • Congeniality:  Kristin Gustad


Then the moment of truth arrived. It was the cue for Montana Trappers Association sponsor representatives, Ed Hebbe III and Ed Hebbe IV. They took their place at the side of the stage with other major sponsors of the event preparing to welcome in Miss Rodeo Montana 2003.

As the excitement and tension builds, the announcement of Brooke Lynn Vosen is announced as Second runner up. Followed by First runner up Angie Muir. With a slight pause, Miss Rodeo Montana 2003 is announced as miss Lori Dodge.

Among cheering and clapping from the audience and contestants, tears and running mascara, Lori Dodge steps forward to be crowned as Miss Rodeo Montana 2003 from outgoing Miss Rodeo Montana 2002, Kande Ellis. Lori is then presented with a bouquet of roses, a diamond ring from Diamonds By Design, the Miss Rodeo Montana silver belt buckle, the fox vest from the Montana Trappers Association, and topping it all off with the perpetual crown from Kande Ellis.

Miss Rodeo Montana 2003, Lori Dodge then took her place in Miss Rodeo Montana pageant history and walked out on stage waving and smiling for the audience.

Lori is the 20 year old daughter of Rebecca Dodge of Stevensville. She is a graduate of Stevensville High School and is currently a junior at Montana State University majoring in Agricultural Education.

In High School, Lori was active in 4-H and FFA and was a five-time Montana State Horse Show Champion. She served as the 1999 Ravalli County Fair Queen, 2002 Miss Rodeo Butte America, and received the 2002 American Quarter Horse Foundation Heritage Scholarship. She is on the Dean's list, a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, MSU Horseman's Club President, MSU Ag Ambassador, and MSU Ag Student council Officer. She enjoys photography, snow skiing, ski blading, horses, dancing, team roping, modeling, and volunteering with Eagle Mount. Lori would like to become a high school Ag teacher and FFA Advisor in Montana.

As another rendezvous comes to a close for the Montana Trappers Association each September, so does the crowning of another Miss Rodeo Montana in January. Each is special and exciting and holds new challenges and wonderment.

Yet Montana has another young lady for state representation for rodeo and her sponsors, including the Montana Trappers Association.

This is the Montana Trappers Association seventh year as a major sponsor for Miss Rodeo Montana. If the past six years are any indication of the worthwhile efforts and opportunities we have provided and been given in return, I'm certain our seventh will be just as rewarding for us, as well as for the Miss Rodeo Montana queens and organization.