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The current Miss Black Hills Stock and the 2017 Miss Rodeo South Dakota, Sonyah Clifford, Rockyford, SD.

The current Miss Black Hills Stock and the 2017 Miss Rodeo South Dakota, Sonyah Clifford, Rockyford, SD.
Miss Black Hills Stock Show coronation set for first weekend
- January 27, 2017

RAPID CITY, SD – Beauty, brains and being able to do more than sit a saddle are all part of the criteria for a queen competition and the Miss Black Hills Stock Show pageant is no exception. Courtney Vettel, Kildeer, ND (a past Miss Black Hills Stock Show and Miss Rodeo South Dakota) who has coordinated the pageant for the past five years talks about what’s in store for the contestants vying for the 2017 crown.

“Contestants compete in personal interviews, a 10 minute extemporaneous speech, modeling, and horsemanship,” says Vettel. 

Contestants for this year’s pageant are Monica Fowlkes, Aladdin, WY; Bailey Rathbun, White, SD; Cariettaa Schlesky, Faith, SD; and Alexandra Smiley, Kadoka, SD.  Following the coronation of Miss Black Hills Stock Show on Saturday, January 28, 2017 during the Stockman’s Banquet and Ball, the new ambassador will spend the remainder of stock show week spreading the word about stock show and the great sport of rodeo.

Pageants like Miss Black Hills Stock Show are often a stepping stone to going on to compete and win in bigger events – which is the story of the young cowgirl who won the 2016 Miss Black Hills Stock Show. “Our current queen, Miss Black Hills Stock Show Sonyah Clifford of Rockyford, SD, went on to win Miss Rodeo South Dakota for 2017.”

Pageant events open to the public on Saturday, January 28 include speeches and modeling at 11:00 am in Room 205 on the upper concourse of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and horsemanship held at the Kjerstad Event Center beginning at 2:00pm. Both are free to attend.

Monica Fowlkes
Growing up country and being able to dress like a Rodeo Queen is Monica Fowlkes of small town Aladdin, wy. Monica is the daughter of Larry and Terry Fowlkes who is the youngest of four children. Her college journey continues at Colorado State University where she is going to complete her Junior year this spring. Without the help of the Daniels Fund Scholarship, Monica could not pursue her degree in Agricultural Education, which lets her be part of the Ag. Ed. Alliance club at Colorado State University. Monica is a fourth generation rancher and is proud to represent the western way of life. She would like to thank Hersruds of Belle Fourche for the sponsorship and for those who have supported her in following her dreams.

 Bailey Rathbun
Bailey Nicole Rathbun is the 21 year-old daughter of Wade and Shawna Roemeling and Shane and Bonnie Rathbun. Although she was born and raised in central Minnesota, she now lives on an acreage in White and calls South Dakota her home. Bailey is currently a junior studying Early Childhood Education and Equine Science at South Dakota State University. She also competes in  barrel racing for the SDSU Rodeo Team. In 2016 she had the honor of representing SDSU as the Jackrabbit Stampede Ambassador. When time allows, Bailey enjoys barrel racing and competing in rodeos, traveling, and spending time with her family. Bailey is passionate about the sport of rodeo and the western way of life.

Carrietta Schalesky
Carrietta Schalesky is the 23-year-old daughter of T.W. and Faye Schalesky. She has a sister Gail and brother Jacob. The family ranch 45 miles northwest of Faith, SD where she calls home. Carrietta is currently attending South Dakota State University as a senior pursuing a degree in Animal Science and Agricultural Business. Carrietta is very passionate about the western way of life and hopes to one day have a ranch of her own or take over the family operation to raise Charolais and Angus cattle, Rambouillet sheep, and purebred Quarter horses. She enjoys working livestock on the family ranch, training horses, singing, photography, and sharing her love of agriculture with others. She would like to thank her sponsor Moreau River Rodeo Company of Faith, SD. Carrietta wishes the best of luck to all participants and wants to welcome all visitors and guests to the 2017 Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo.

Alexandra Smiley
Alexandra Smiley is the 23-year-old daughter, of Daniel and Amy Smiley. She calls  home on the ranch east of Kadoka, SD. She attended and graduated high school in Kadoka. She continued her education at South Dakota State University for two years pursuing a degree in biology after which she changed her major to nursing and is currently enrolled at Oglala Lakota College of Nursing.  Alex plans to be a traveling nurse helping those throughout the United States. Excited about her future, she is grateful for all the opportunities that have been put in front of her and being able to compete for Miss Black Hills Stock Show is one of those.

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