Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2019 – Eva Oliver

Eva Oliver is Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2019. She calls Merriman home, where she lives with her parents Chuck and Stacie Oliver.

When Eva was announced as the new Miss Rodeo Nebraska, she was overcome with emotion, but felt blessed to have accomplished her life-long dream. Along with the title of Miss Rodeo Nebraska, she captured the horsemanship, personality and photogenic categories. Eva is looking forward to “representing the best state in the U.S. and her favorite sport of all time – rodeo.”

Eva graduated from Cody-Kilgore High School in 2016. She then continued her education at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. While in college, Eva was a part of the ranch horse team, Women in Agriculture, Collegiate Cattlemen, intramural sports, STVMA and Phi Theta Kappa.

Eva graduated from NCTA with an associate’s degree in veterinary technology in May of 2018. After Miss Rodeo Nebraska, she plans to continue her education and obtain a bachelor’s degree in sales, and eventually, become a sales representative for an animal pharmaceutical company.

Eva is currently a part time employee for Shadbolt Cattle Company, where she helps as a ranch hand. From digging post holes to wrestling calves, Eva loves every aspect of ranch life. When she is not working on the ranch or working as Miss Rodeo Nebraska, she enjoys starting colts, reading, fishing and competitively playing pitch with friends and family.

“Growing up on a ranch gave me a firsthand look at how rodeo began, how it has evolved over the years and why it is so important to preserve,” Eva said. “I want to not only educate students about my passion for rodeo, but also to encourage them to be the best version of themselves – to stand up for what they believe in and stand out from the crowd, to be bold.” (Image by KC Creations Photography, Burwell, NE)


Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska 2018 – Rebel Sjeklocha

Rebel Sjeklocha is Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska 2018.

The Hayes Center woman was crowned June 13, 2018 at the North Platte Community Playhouse in North Platte. She won the personality, speech, written test and appearance categories of the pageant.

It was an exciting moment for Sjeklocha, 17, who came in first-runner up at the pageant in 2016 and 2017.

“The experience taught me to never give up on my goals,” Sjeklocha said. “If your heart truly longs for something, keep working hard to obtain that goal.”

Sjeklocha is the daughter of Rusty and Susan Sjeklocha. She graduated from Maywood High School in May and has plans to attend the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to study Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communications in the fall.

Rebel would like to eventually go to law school and open a practice in a rural area. Her dream is to help farmers and ranchers pass on their livelihoods to the next generation as well as defend the natural resources that are vital to their operations. (Image by KC Creations Photography, Burwell, NE)

Mission Statement:
To provide an opportunity for young women of high moral and ethical
character to promote Nebraska and the sport of rodeo.

The concept of Miss Rodeo America was developed in 1955 by a group of gentlemen under the name of International Rodeo Management (IRM).

The same year, the town of Burwell, Neb. selected its first Miss Rodeo Nebraska: Dallas Hunt George of Lincoln, who held the MRN title in 1955 and 1956.

She won the regional title in Omaha at the AK-SAR-BEN Rodeo in 1956 and went on to compete and win the Miss Rodeo America title in 1957.

Laura (Lolly) Cameron Klug won the MRN title in 1957. She also won the Regional title at AR-SAR-BEN and competed at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. In 1959, she was named as the Buffalo Bill Rodeo Queen and given the title of Miss Rodeo Northwest. She then competed again at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, where she was second runner-up.

The MRN Pageant has continued every year since its humble beginnings. The goal of it is to select a young lady with the desire and enthusiasm to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the sport of rodeo and the state of Nebraska.

In 1991, after Burwell had hosted the pageant for 36 years, the pageant was moved to North Platte so it could be presented in conjunction with Nebraska’s official state celebration, NEBRASKAland DAYS and the PRCA Buffalo Bill Rodeo.

Also in 1991, NEBRASKAland DAYS started a tradition of presenting a $1,000 scholarship to newly crowned MRNs. The MRNA Scholarship Program has continued to grow and now awards more than $5,000 in scholarship money.

In 2000, the pageant schedule was changed from three days to four days. In 2006 the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association, Inc. expanded its program to include the Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska Pageant.

2019 MEMBERSHIP FORM

The Sponsors of Miss Rodeo Nebraska

We are so grateful to the many gracious sponsors who make the Miss Rodeo Nebraska program possible. We couldn’t do it without you! For more information about sponsorships, or to learn how to become a sponsor, contact Lacey Williams at laceyjane20@gmail.com, or Peggy Moorhead at moorhead@hersheytel.net.

Pageant Partners

NEBRASKAland Days
Buffalo Bill Rodeo
Mid-Plains Community College
Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association

Saddle Sponsors

Agri Affiliates
Sandhills State Bank

Platinum

Mid-Plains Community College
KC Creations Photography
La Quinta Inn & Suites/North Platte
Platte Valley Auto Mart

Diamond

NebraskaLand Days, Inc.

Buffalo Bill Rodeo Committee

Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association

Hyannis Veterinary Service

Mentzer Oil

Town and Country Western Wear

Fat Dog’s

Orr’s Dry Cleaning

Jody’s Auto Sales

Security First Bank

Go Light

Twin River Band

Marshall Custom Hats

American Family Insurance

Joseph Angus Ranch

Niobrara Valley Vineyards

Zoetis

Haythorn Land and Cattle

Western Sire Services

Winner Circle Feedyard

Shadbolt Cattle Co.

Shadbolt Horse Training

Oliver Cattle Co.

Dry Creek Western Wear

Young’s Western Wear

Abbott Cattle Company

Toxic Graphics

Miller Angus

Nebraskland National Bank

Welker and Fevold

North Platte Telegraph

North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau

Gold

Petska Fur

Jespersen Feedlot

Silver

Gordon Livestock Market

Forster Well Drilling

Ted and Lolly Klug

Bronze

Sibbitt Cattle Company

Otte Feeds

Pit Stall

Sandage Feed

Wreck-A-Mended Body Works

Open Range Beef

Price’s Gallery and Framing

Cow Country Sales & Service

Karen Troyer

Poor Farm

Copper

Steele’s Roofing and Construction

Valentine Dental Clinic

L & B Johnson, P.C.

D & R Repair

Steve and Julie Ravenscroft

Mane Attraction

Essence

Modern Cleaners

Sheridan Livestock Auction Company

Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant

June 9-12, North Platte

Sunday, June 9

10 a.m. – Horsemanship Competition, Wild West Arena – FREE

12:30 p.m. – Horsemanship BBQ, Wild West Arena Pavilion – Tickets at the gate – $10 adults/$5 children 10 and under

Monday, June 10

6 p.m. – Speech Competition, North Platte Community Playhouse – Tickets at the door – $5 per person

Tuesday, June 11

7 p.m. – Miss Rodeo Nebraska Style Show, North Platte Community Playhouse – Tickets at the door – $25 adults/$15 children 10 and under

Wednesday, June 12

1:30 p.m. – Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska Coronation, North Platte Community Playhouse – Tickets at the door – $10 adults/$5 children 10 and under

8 p.m. – Miss Rodeo Nebraska Coronation, Wild West Arena during the Buffalo Bill Rodeo – Tickets online at www.nebraskalanddays.com

Brylee Thompson named Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska

Brylee Thompson, of Hershey, has been named Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska 2019.

Thompson was crowned Wednesday afternoon at the North Platte Community Playhouse in North Platte. Thompson, 15, won the horsemanship, appearance, personality, congeniality and photogenic categories of the pageant.

Sierra Cain, 14, of North Platte, was named first-runner up after winning the speech and written test awards. She will fulfill the duties of queen if, for some reason, Thompson is unable to complete her reign.

Amber Gonzales, 14, of McCook, received the Rising Star Award.

Thompson 

A student at Hershey High School, Thompson participates in basketball, one-act plays, quiz bowl and volleyball and is a member of the student council. Her activities outside of school include: 4-H Council, horse 4-H, Lonestar Cowboy Church youth group and rodeo Bible camp participant and counselor.

After graduation, Thompson plans to attend Colby Community College and eventually become a registered nurse. Her goal is to work in a large hospital setting – specifically an emergency room. While at Colby, Thompson also plans to compete as part of the college’s equestrian team.

Thompson’s life goal is to always spread kindness and lift others up. She wants to be a person who focuses on the positive in every aspect of her life and to be known as someone who is compassionate and kind to everyone.

Her parents are Lucas Anderson and Hanna McConnell.

Stobbs, Negleys, Rodewalds named “Friends of MRNA”

Five individuals will receive the Friends of the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association Award this year for going “above and beyond” to support the MRNA and its pageant.

The honorees are Larry Stobbs, Bill and Sharon Negley and Blaine and Sharlene Rodewald. They will be recognized June 10 during the speech portion of the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant.

Larry Stobbs

Larry Stobbs, Miss Rodeo America 2018 Keri Sheffield and Paula Stobbs

In addition to being the right hand to his wife Paula, treasurer for the MRN pageant committee, Larry is always ready and willing to provide moral support and help the MRNA whenever needed.

During the pageant, Larry serves as the driver and host home of Miss Rodeo America. The Stobbs’ have also hosted numerous state queens over the years, during which time Larry has been known to wash and fuel their vehicles.

Larry helps put out yard signs for visiting royalty every year, is often tasked with being the head cook for MRNA barbecues and has been a financial supporter of the association, the MRNA scholarship fund and Miss Rodeo Nebraska in general.

Bill and Sharon Negley

Bill and Sharon Negley

The Negleys have also been a big part of the MRNA for years. Sharon is a past MRN pageant committee member.

She was in charge of publicity and was instrumental in growing the sponsorship program – to include both the pageant partner and event sponsor categories. Sharon continues to volunteer her time to the pageant every year and assists wherever needed.

Together, Bill and Sharon have provided financial assistance to all aspects of the MRNA. They donated the state queen yard signs and promotional signs that continue to be a huge asset to the MRN pageant. The Negleys join Larry in putting the signs up every year.

The Negleys have also hosted many state queens over the years, and Bill is often found working alongside Larry at the MRN barbecues.

Blaine and Sharlene Rodewald

Blaine Rodewald, Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2013 Sam Chytka and Sharlene Rodewald

For more than 15 years, Sharlene has used her talents in custom clothing design and creation to help Miss Rodeo Nebraskas look outstanding as they travel around the country and compete at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant.

“Give her an idea, and she runs with it,” said Lolly Klug, longtime MRNA member.

The Miss Rodeo Nebraska sashes are made by Sharlene, and the famous blue dress worn by Michelle Boeshart at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant was embellished by Sharlene’s embroidery.

Additionally, her husband, Blaine, is a talented gunsmith who has donated custom-made guns for Miss Rodeo Nebraska fundraisers.

The speech contest and Friends of the MRNA award ceremony is open to the public. It will begin at 6 p.m. at the North Platte Community Playhouse. Tickets are $5 each and will be available at the door.

Miss Rodeo America to visit North Platte

Miss Rodeo America 2019 Taylor McNair will be among the visiting royalty at the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant June 9-12 in North Platte.

In addition to attending all of the pageant events, McNair will be available for photos and meet and greets at the following autograph sessions:

  • Town and Country Western Wear – 3-4 p.m., June 10
  • North Platte Community Playhouse – 5:30-6 p.m., June 10 (sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank)
  • Scott Abstract Company – 8:30-9:30 a.m., June 11
  • NebraskaLand National Bank – 10-11 a.m., June 11
  • Walmart – 2-3 p.m., June 11
  • North Platte Community Playhouse – 6-7 p.m., June 11 (Sponsored by Equitable Bank)
  • Westfield Shopping Center – Kid’s Costume Parade – 10:30 a.m., June 12
  • Wild West Arena – 6:15-7:15 p.m., June 12 (Sponsored by NEBRASKAland DAYS and the Buffalo Bill Rodeo Committee)

McNair, 23, is from Learned, Miss. She was crowned Miss Rodeo America in December at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas after winning the appearance, personality and written test catgories. She is the third Miss Rodeo Mississippi to claim the coveted national title.

In 2017, McNair earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business with a concentration in policy and law from Mississippi State University where she competed on the equestrian and rodeo teams.

During her reign as the official representative of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys

Association, McNair will travel approximately 100,000 miles and appear at nearly 100 rodeo performances.

That’s in addition to making appearances at schools, civic groups and other special events to educate the public and create awareness about the sport of rodeo, its sponsors and the western way of life.

Contestants announced for Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant

Contestants have been announced for the Miss Rodeo Nebraska/Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska Pageant June 9-12 in North Platte. Those vying for the title of Miss Rodeo Nebraska are: 

Joeli Walrath is the 21-year-old daughter of Jamie and Jaci Walrath of Ashton. She graduated from Loup City High School in 2016 and is currently studying equine science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Joeli’s goal is to one day develop a mobile equine sport rehabilitation service to provide preventative and rehabilitative care and treatment to the performance horses of rodeo.

An active member of the UNL equestrian team, Joeli enjoys competing in collegiate horse judging. She is also involved with the UNL rodeo team and club and serves as the promotions officer for the University of Nebraska Rodeo Association executive board.

“My mission in life is to always be a humble, hardworking, faith-driven woman who lives in accordance with the morals and ethics that are upheld by the western way of life,” Joeli said. “I strive to always work hard and be grateful and appreciative of everything that this life presents me with.”

Brooklyn Becker is the 22-year-old daughter of Scott and Joanna Chesterman, of Beaver City. A graduate of Southern Valley Junior/Senior High School, Becker is currently attending the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

After graduation, she plans to transfer to Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colo., to pursue a bachelor’s degree in equine science.

“I would like to be Miss Rodeo Nebraska because I want to be a positive role model for people in the industry,” said Becker.

Becker’s hobbies and interests include competing on NCTA’s ranch horse team; riding, showing and training horses; reading; painting; cooking; photography; traveling; hunting; fishing; hiking; meeting new people and volunteering to help with her hometown 4-H horse show.

The contestants for Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska are: 

Sierra Cain, 14, is the daughter of David and Katie Cain, of North Platte. Sierra currently attends Adams Middle School where she is an active member of the band, jazz band and orchestra. She plays both the trombone and cello, competes in poetry with the speech team and is a member of the yearbook staff.

Sierra is also a member of the Nebraska Junior High Rodeo Association and the Nebraska 4D Barrel Racing Association. She has been a member of the Lincoln County 4-H program for eight years, through which she has served as a junior leader, a member of the hippology team and is enrolled in Next Chapter at Nebraska, a college readiness program.

When not studying or on her horse, Sierra can be found dancing. She takes classes in ballet, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. After graduating from North Platte High School, Sierra plans to attend college to study either photography and graphic design, or sign language interpretation. Sierra’s mission in life is to continue to challenge and better herself at every opportunity.

 

Amber Gonzales is from McCook. She is the 14-year-old daughter of Courtney Barger.

Gonzales is a member of 4-H, the American Quarter Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association and the American Paint Horse Association. She also competes in local rodeos and barrel racings. Her non-horse related activities include: dance team, youth ballet, mentoring and participating in Omaha Fashion Week.

Gonzales’ long-term career goal is to become a specialist in equine genetics, which will likely include veterinary school to obtain a DVM. In the near future, however, she plans to continue to promote her passion for horses and the western way of life by earning a spot on a National Collegiate Athletic Association equestrian team and qualifying for the world AQHA youth show.

She would like to be a role model and inspiration for other young women by demonstrating success in the equine industry – including active participation in 4-H, rodeo and the AQHA. She also seeks to embody empowerment for young women by setting and pursuing goals related to individual passions.

 

Brylee Thompson is from Hershey. Her parents are Lucas Anderson and Hanna McConnell.

A student at Hershey High School, Thompson participates in basketball, one-act plays, quiz bowl and volleyball and is a member of the student council. Her activities outside of school include: 4-H Council, horse 4-H, Lonestar Cowboy Church youth group and rodeo Bible camp participant and counselor.

After graduation, Thompson plans to attend Colby Community College and eventually become a registered nurse. Her goal is to work in a large hospital setting – specifically an emergency room. While at Colby, Thompson also plans to compete as part of the college’s equestrian team.

Thompson’s life goal is to always spread kindness and lift others up. She wants to be a person who focuses on the positive in every aspect of her life and to be known as someone who is compassionate and kind to everyone.

Judges announced for Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant

Judges have been announced for the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant June 9-12 in North Platte. They are Joni James Smith, Lynn Welker and Shelia Croft.

Joni James Smith is the daughter of 1962 Miss Rodeo America, Karen Lavens James. Joni grew up in south Idaho ranching, farming and rodeoing. She was a four-sport varsity athlete in high school and attended college on a basketball and track scholarship.

Fond childhood memories include raising 4-H steers, branding and calving, junior rodeos, horse shows and competing in rodeo queen contests. Smith was the Idaho High School All-All Cowgirl in 1984 and National Miss College Rodeo in 1987.

She filled her Women’s Professional Rodeo Association permit in barrel racing before being crowned the 1990 Miss Rodeo America at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla. for the one year that the MRA pageant returned to Oklahoma City.

Smith has a Bachelor of Science degree from Boise State University and a master’s degree in school counseling from Louisiana State University. She has been married to 1998 world champion steer wrestler Mike Smith for 28 years. They have four children: Callen, 24, Naomi, 21, Cole, 16, and Nykell, 13.

The family currently resides in Lake Charles, La. Joni has been a basketball coach, science, physical education and special education teacher, as well as a middle school and high school counselor. She currently oversees 560 freshmen at a large high school in southern Louisiana. Family, good friends, running marathons and triathlons, pleasure reading, horses and the mountains are close to her heart.

Lynn Welker is originally from Kilgore, Neb. and now resides in Highlands Ranch, Colo. She has a deep appreciation for agricultural roots, having grown up on her family’s ranch – and now running her own cattle as well.

Welker graduated from Cody-Kilgore High School as valedictorian of her class in 2000. Then in 2003, Lynn had the opportunity to serve as Miss Rodeo Nebraska, promoting the sport of rodeo and agricultural way of life. That particular experience, prior years of pageant preparation and competition and public speaking events from childhood through early adulthood (4-H, FFA and college) helped construct and shape a strong communications foundation from which Welker would build her public relations business down the road.

In 2006, she graduated from the University of Wyoming with honors earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in biological anthropology. After graduation, Welker was able to gain valuable experience in both the public and private sector – providing her with insight, background and understanding in community outreach, stakeholder management, regulatory policy, governmental processes and business operations. To gain additional education from a development perspective, Welker completed a certificate program at MIT in Complex Business Strategy.

Welker was accepted to and graduated from the Leadership Wyoming Program in 2014, and thanks to amazing mentors and encouragement from, what are now Welker’s lifetime friends, WelkerPR, Inc. was borne. Welker had always aspired to be an entrepreneur, and now with her husband, Bryan, they operate WelkerPR, Inc., dba Welker and Fevold PR, providing public relations, marketing, fundraising, government affairs, business strategy and graphic design services.

In her free time, Lynn’s favorite gig is being “Auntie Lynn.” She loves to spend time with family and friends, hunt, trap, fish, hike, work out, travel, snowboard, judge pageants and work on her fiction novel that she hopes to complete in the next two years.

Sheila Croft has been involved with rodeo queen pageants since 1992. Currently, she serves on the Miss Rodeo America Executive Board and is the judge’s liaison at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant.

She has volunteered on the Miss Rodeo Kansas Pageant committee for 23 years and served as the national director from 2003-’15.

Growing up in the farming and ranching industry, Croft competed in team penning and barrel racing. She served on the Beef Empire Days Rodeo committee for several years and was instrumental in helping establish the Miss Beef Empire Days Rodeo Queen Contest. Croft has judged nine state pageants and many local pageants.

She resides in Copeland, Kan., where she is the city clerk and owns and operates a business specializing in women’s clothing and accessories. Croft enjoys playing piano at her church, photography and spending time with her husband J.T., their children and three granddaughters.

Hurry! The deadline to enter the Miss Rodeo Nebraska/Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska Pageant is April 1!

Miss Rodeo Nebraska

(Photo Courtesy of KC Creations Photography)

Miss Rodeo Nebraska Entry Form

Miss Rodeo Nebraska Rule Book

Miss Rodeo Nebraska Contract

Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska Entry Form

Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska Rule Book

Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska Contract

Visiting Royalty

Visiting Royalty Form

The Royalty Scrapbook

(Photo courtesy of KC Creations Photography)

Their reigns may be over, but our former Miss Rodeo Nebraskas and Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraskas will never be forgotten. Click on the links below to see photos of previous leading ladies.

Honored Miss Rodeo Nebraskas

Honored Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraskas