Montana's First Lady of Rodeo...

Miss Rodeo Montana

Pageant History

The Miss Rodeo Montana Pageant is in its sixth decade, having begun during the 1950s. Early records are sketchy at best, and work is underway to piece together the history. The earliest Miss Rodeo Montana that we know of was Nona Brown in 1955-56. She was followed by Penny Carson and Toady Yeckel. Judy Morstein Martz - Montana's first lady governor - was Miss Rodeo Montana in 1961-62.

During the late 60s, the pageant was held in Helena. The next home of the pageant was Dillon. The Dillon Jaycees hosted the pageant for many years and generously supported Miss Rodeo Montana. In 1997 the pageant moved to Great Falls, where it is now held in conjunction with the Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo in January.

Miss Rodeo Montana serves as Montana's "First Lady of Rodeo". She attends Montana's professional rodeos, appears in parades and at many community events throughout the state, gives countless speeches to clubs and organizations, numerous radio and television interviews, and coordinates kiddie rodeos. She will also travel to some of the larger rodeos in the U.S. and Canada, representing Montana and promoting our own rodeos. To become Miss Rodeo Montana it takes a young lady with high moral and ethical character, an accomplished speaker and public relations specialist. She must understand rodeo in its entirety and be able to explain it in detail to anyone she meets, always portraying good sportsmanship and careful, humane treatment of animals. The experiences she'll have and the contacts she'll make through the year will provide numerous opportunities for her future.

At the end of her year of reign, Miss Rodeo Montana travels to Las Vegas, Nevada, to compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America during a rigorous week-long competition against other state title-holders. Montana hasn't had a Miss Rodeo America, but we have had many top-10 and top-5 finishers. Who knows, maybe this year's Miss Rodeo Montana will be the next "Miss Rodeo America"! The Miss Rodeo title brings with it a $10,000 scholarship, western wardrobe, and the honor of traveling throughout the nation as the official representative of professional rodeo, all expenses paid.

Miss Rodeo Montana Title Holders

2017 Sarai McCollaum
2016 Lindsay Garpestad  
Hanna Heckman
2014 Laramie (Pursley) Smith
2013 Alyson Grinestaff
2012 Mariah (Rys-Sikora) Grace
2011 Lorissa Harris
2010 Jourdan Han
2009 Lesli Furniss
2008 Audrey (Sholty) Kennedy
2007 Megan (Hardy) Helmer
2006 Cassidy (Han) Marn
2005 Brooke Lynn Vosen
2004 Sarah (Wilkins) Capp
2003 Lori (Dodge) Hoppe
2002 Kande (Ellis) Yeager
2001 Kristina (Mensik) Stewart
2000 Mandi (Holland) Farstvedt
1999 Mariah (Sinerius) Allen
1998 Misty Brookman
1997 Christina (Boldt) Twohig
1996 Ada (Marsh) Wilcox
1995 Jordan (Aller) Tonrud
1994 Jessica (Lee) Peterson
1993 Missy (Eva) Samson
1992 Dezerene Hegstead
1991 Erin Johnson
1990 Shonda Nelson
1989 Renee (Walchuck) Wall
1988 Sandy Baker
1987 Tammy (Clark) Pate
1986 Amber (Mapsten) Schmutz
1985 Wendy Murphy
1984 Tammy Anders
1983 Mona (Kolka) Moore
1982 Holly (Fjelstad) Cowell
1981 Jeanie Goodnetz
1980 Katie (Todd) Carson
1979 Kris Bartholemew
1978 Sydney (Askins) McCue
1977 Janet (Bignell) Erickson
1976 Diane (Hubbard) Meinhardt
1975 Kathy Tveldt
1974 Collen Price
1973 Jeannie Marie Mow
1972 Bobbi (Worth) Levine
1971 Dee Dee (Dear) Rains
1970 Kristy (O'Brien) Whitsitt
1969 Terry Jo Stephens
1968 Stevie (Lahti) Newman
1967 Helen Jean Zimmerman
1966 Mary Jo Maierle
1965 Bonnie Jo Peterson
1964 Pat Rouane
1963 Jeri Huffman
1962 Judy (Morstein) Martz
1961 Floydena Garrison
1960 Toady Yeckel
1958 Penny Carson
1956 Nona Brown
1948 Barbara Bierdneaux Wilson


Denotes Miss Rodeo America Top 5 Finishers 

Denotes Miss Rodeo America Top 10 Finishers 

Miss Teen Rodeo Montana Title Holders

2017 Haelee Essebaggers
2016 Bailey Veteto
2015 Miranda Minow
2014 Talli Carmalt
2013 Alaini Lorash
2012 Jennika O'Neil
2011 Amy Hager
2010 Libby Gurnett
Samantha Manley
2008 Jennifer (Marshall) Ginn
2007 Lorissa Harris
2006 Audrey (Sholty) Kennedy
2005 Caitlin (Tracy) Fike


Went on to become Miss Rodeo Montana