Montana's First Lady of Rodeo...

Miss Rodeo Montana 2015

Contestants

  • CONTESTANT 1

    Hanna Heckman

    Hanna Heckman

    Miss Rodeo Montana 2015

    Horsemanship, Appearance, Projection and Presentation, Photogenic

    calling Great Falls home, Hanna is the 21 year old daughter of Rocky and Lorell Heckman and sister to Amanda (Heckman) Wolfe and Colter Heckman. Hanna currently attends Montana State University Northern in Havre pursuing an Associate degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing. While attending college, Hanna has received a full tuition waiver as a member of the MSU Northern Rodeo Team.

    When asked why she wants to become Miss Rodeo Montana, Hanna says since the tender age of seven, she has watched her brother compete as a saddle bronc rider and team roper, and becoming an all-around cowgirl is what she aimed to do ever since. Consequently over the past 14 years, she has competed in every women’s event on every level of rodeo including youth, jr. high, high school, college and amateur associations. Spending each weekend at a small town rodeo across this great state has enriched her life with family bonding, true sportsmanship and many life lessons. Rodeo promotes strong ethics and morals that are consistent with her upbringing and these same values have made her who she is today. Holding the title of Miss Rodeo Montana, the ultimate ambassador for rodeo, empowers her to reciprocate the many benefits of this remarkable sport. Hanna would be honored to represent the Big Sky State with poise, dignity and the grit of a true Montana cowgirl.

  • CONTESTANT 2

    Cassidy 'Shay' O'Neil

    Cassidy 'Shay' O'Neil

    calling Livingston home, Cassidy “Shay” O’Neil is the 19 year old daughter of Shawn O’Neil and Marian O’Neil.

    Shay is currently a freshman at Montana State University in Bozeman pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Livestock Management and Marketing. While in high school, Shay was an honor roll student graduating with a 3.2 GPA. She was very active in 4-H and FFA, holding the position of 4-H club treasurer for six years as well as the secretary position for Park FFA in 2013-14. Her senior year Shay was nominated for Park High School Student Body President. That same year she competed for the title of Miss Teen Rodeo Montana where she was 1st runner up. Throughout the years, she held the title of Park County 4-H Rodeo Jr. Princess, Park County 4-H Rodeo Sr. Princess, Miss Southwestern Montana Rodeo Teen Queen, Miss Southwestern Montana Rodeo Jr. Queen, and received 1st runner up to Miss Livingston Roundup in 2014. She also received multiple college scholarships. Shay enjoys showing horses, leading youth through 4-H and FFA activities, being in the back country of Montana, judging horse shows, and announcing horse shows and rodeos.

    When asked why she wants to become Miss Rodeo Montana, Shay says she wishes to prove to people dreams do come true and to show little girls to never give up on themselves. She also wishes to be Miss Rodeo Montana to be the bridge between fans and the great sport of rodeo. Shay wants to be the face of Montana rodeo because it means so much to her and she wants to show it off to everyone.

  • CONTESTANT 3

    Holly Byler

    Holly Byler

    Congeniality

    calling Molt home, Holly is the 22 year old daughter of Rick and Corinna Byler and sister to Seth and Caleb Blyer. Holly is currently a Patient Service Representative at St. Vincent’s Mountain View Clinic.

    During high school, Holly was homeschooled where she received her high school diploma in 2011 and received a composite ACT score of 25. In 2014 Holly became the Bozeman Wild West Winterfest’s Novice Teamster Champion. She also won the title of Miss Southeastern Montana Rodeo Queen in 2014. Holly currently is certified in Basic Life Support and CPR. Holly enjoys spending time with family, whether hunting or fly fishing together. She is very competitive and participates in ski joring and ice hockey. When not horseback, Holly loves to drive teams. Her first buckle ever won was at a team driving competition.

    When asked why she wants to become Miss Rodeo Montana, Holly says our nation was founded on the same morals that are still found at the heart of rodeo. Values such as respect, integrity, and faith can be hard to find these days, but in rodeo, they are alive and well. Without fans, though, rodeo is nothing. Meeting people who have never seen a rodeo, connecting with them on a personal level, and informing them about all that rodeo entails and embodies has been her favorite part of being rodeo royalty. To be on the forefront of making sure these values and traditions get passed on to the next generation would be a great honor.

  • CONTESTANT 4

    Lindsay Garpestad

    1st Runner Up - Speech, Written Test

    calling Simms home, Lindsay is the 21 year old daughter of Vonda Harrison and the late Lonny Garpestad and sister to Nathan Garpestad. A senior at Carroll College in Helena, pursing two Bachelor of Art degrees in Political Science and Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, with plans to graduate Cum Laude as well as Sigma Beta Delta. While in college, she has been the recipient of over 10 scholarships. Lindsay has been on the Dean’s List since 2012 and has held several positions on campus, including ASCC Senator and Student Body Treasurer, Budget Committee Student Representative, and Academic Integrity Committee Student Representative. She was a competitor for the Carroll College Equestrian Team and participated and helped organize SEARCH (campus ministry retreats). Lindsay is currently a Carroll College Enactus Club member, a club which promotes small businesses. While in college Lindsay held the title of 2014 Miss Big Sky Pro Rodeo Roundup. Upon graduating from college, Lindsay plans on continuing her photography business. She also plans to attain her law degree and move back to her family ranch and practice law in the surrounding Great Falls area.

    When asked why she wants to become Miss Rodeo Montana, as a sixth-generation Montana rancher, Lindsay feels she has been blessed with the opportunity to live the western lifestyle. Her time spent on the ranch taught her the importance of hard work, dedication, and family, all of which are ingrained into the rich rodeo tradition. Lindsay would be honored to represent the incredible sport of rodeo and the beautiful state of Montana. Being Miss Rodeo Montana would allow her to promote Montana’s rich western heritage, educate others about the sport of rodeo, and support a program that provides incredible opportunities to young women in Montana.

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