Miss Rodeo Montana 2009
Style Show, Photogenic, Speech Horsemanship, Appearance Projection and Presentation
Winning the title of Miss Rodeo Montana 2009 is Lesli Furniss. She's the 22 year old daughter of Jerry Furniss and Kelly Maier of Missoula. She is a graduate of Frenchtown High School and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Horsemanship at the University of Montana Western. She also is a licensed guide with the Montana Board of Outfitters. Lesli is involved with the U of M Western’s Horseman’s Club, the Dillon Jaycees, and Toastmaster’s. She served as Miss Southeastern Montana 2006 and Miss Rodeo Western Montana 2007-08. In 2007 she finished among the Top-10 in the Miss Montana Scholarship Pageant. Lesli enjoys packing into the backcountry, fly fishing, bow hunting, pheasant hunting with her dog Gus, riding and training horses, helping at brandings and gathering cattle out of the mountains, running, lifting weights, painting, reading, and watching rodeo. Her future plans include pursuing a Masters of Counseling and Psychology with an emphasis on Equine Assisted Mental Health, becoming a motivational speaker, and raising a family near the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Miss Rodeo Montana 2009, Lesli Furniss feels blessed to have been raised in Frenchtown Montana. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree of Natural Horsemanship at the University of Montana- Western in Dillon. A classic beauty at 5’9 with blonde hair and hazel eyes, Lesli strives to embody the character of Montana cowgirls- past and present. She is the daughter of Jerry Furniss and Kelly Maier and has two sisters, Edie and Paige. Rodeos are not Lesli’s only passion. She also enjoys packing into the backcountry, pheasant hunting with her dog Gus, training horses, branding, and gathering cattle out of the mountains.
For the next year Lesli will be a goodwill ambassador for the state of Montana, rodeo, and agriculture across the Treasure State. In addition to appearing at rodeos and fairs, Lesli will speak to schools, organizational groups, and appear at community events throughout Montana. She feels that the title of Miss Rodeo Montana calls out for a young woman who is a genuine cowgirl. This is her greatest attribute. She looks forward to representing rodeo in Montana because of her unwavering dedication to everything being a cowgirl in Montana stands for. Lesli’s vision includes giving everything she has to the people of the treasure state, the Miss Rodeo Montana organization, and to the sport of rodeo. As Miss Rodeo Montana 2009, it is her greatest honor to serve the rodeo family of Montana that has been at her side every step of the way.
In November 2009, Furniss will compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America in Las Vegas, Nevada, in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Although past Miss Rodeo Montanans have not been able to capture the crown of Miss Rodeo America, they have been tough competitors with a number of top ten finalists. Furniss hopes to be the first to bring the title of Miss Rodeo America home to Montana.
Official Press Release
Furniss claims Miss Rodeo Montana 2009 Title
Lesli Furniss, the 22 year old daughter of Jerry Furniss and Kelly Maier, was named Miss Rodeo Montana 2009 on Sunday morning, culminating a four day pageant.
Furniss also received the following category awards: photogenic, style show, speech, horsemanship, appearance, and projection & presentation. First runner-up and winner of the personality category was Shantell Frame, of Ignatius. Also competing was Elise Anderson of Kalispell.
A total of seven contestants in both the Queen and Teen competition competed in a rigorous competition demonstrating their horseback riding skills; giving a 3-minute speech on the State of Montana, modeling in a Style Show, answering impromptu questions, being quizzed on their knowledge of horsemanship and rodeo, and being interviewed privately by the judges. Judges for the contest were Missy Sampson of Helena, Mark McQuirk of Missoula, and Alyssa Plackemeier from Texas.
Furniss succeeds Audrey Sholty of Missoula, who will resume her studies at Montana Tech where she is a Freshman.
Miss Rodeo Montana is a goodwill ambassador for Montana and the sport of Professional Rodeo in Montana. She will start traveling immediately throughout the State and to other states and Canada to promote Montana’s Rodeos. In addition to appearing in rodeos and fairs, she will speak to schools and organizational groups and appear at community events throughout Montana, and in December she will travel to Las Vegas Nevada, to compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America. Furniss will receive gifts, prizes, and scholarships totaling more than $5,000 along with appearance fees throughout the year. Her major fundraiser will be a Coronation Ball in her hometown this spring. Some of her awards include a Fur Vest from the Montana Trappers Association, a gas card from Noon’s Food Stores, a silver buckle, silver-trimmed briefcase and datebook sponsored by Hoglunds, a trophy saddle, custom hat crafted especially for Miss Rodeo Montana by Double H Hats, wardrobe of jewelry from Montana Silversmiths, a Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Jacket, autograph sheets, and her entry fees paid into the Miss Rodeo America Pageant.
Furniss is a graduate of Frenchtown High School and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Horsemanship at the University of Montana Western. She is also a licensed guide with the Montana Board of Outfitters. She is involved with the U of M Western’s Horseman’s Club, the Dillon Jaycees, and Toastmaster’s. In 2007 she finished among the Top-10 in the Miss Montana Scholarship Pageant. She enjoys packing into the backcountry, fly fishing, bow hunting, riding and training horses, painting and reading. She would like to pursue a Master’s of Counseling and Psychology with an emphasis on Equine Assisted Mental Health, and become a motivational speaker. Furniss says that the title calls out for a young woman “who is a genuine cowgirl. This is my greatest attribute. I want to represent rodeo in Montana because I have an unwavering dedication to everything being a cowgirl in Montana stands for.”
Winning the title of Miss Teen Rodeo Montana 2009 was Samantha Manley, the 14 year old daughter of Matt and Liz Manley of Florence. She was also the winner of the speech, horsemanship, and personality categories. First runner-up and winner of the photogenic award, style show award, and projection and presentation award for Miss Teen Rodeo Montana was Amy Hager, of Clyde Park. Lauren Brunsvold of Billings won the appearance category and Jessi Eades of Lewistown took home the sportsmanship award. Manley succeeds Jennifer Marshall, of Victor.
Both new titleholders were on hand for the final performance of the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals to assist with the awards presentations. Furniss will begin her duties immediately, attending events in Great Falls, Lewistown, and Billings in the next few weeks.