HELENA — This year, Miss Last Chance Stampede is Cassie Turner. Fans can find her by the arena, ready to sign a poster or take a quick picture.
Her friend, Ariel Cutburth, also joins her at the table, ready to snap photos; she is currently a candidate running for Miss Teen Rodeo Montana.
Both young women are getting ready for next week's State Fair in Great Falls, where they will compete for the state title of Miss Rodeo Montana.
"Well, we spend a lot of time getting ready for Miss Rodeo Montana, we represent the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds, our 4-H club, and help build up rodeo and our youth rodeo as well," Cassie Turner said.
As Montanans gather at the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds this week, Tuner says it's an honor to serve the community.
"To me, it means a huge honor, I get to do a service for the Pro Rodeo World, as well as I, want to be Miss Rodeo America, one day, and my goal is to be the first Rodeo Montana to win Miss Rodeo America," she said.
After a year of shutdowns, the rodeo queen says it's great to see people in person once again.
"Great, we get to have the human interaction after having COVID and being locked-up in our houses, and I have seen so many faces, and I have met so many new faces, and it's been a great experience having the fair and getting to interact with people," she said.
Turner isn't all glitz and glamour though. For three years she participated in the Montana High School Rodeo Association doing barrel racing and goat tying.
She says nothing beats the feeling of being in the arena.
"Definitely, a stress reliever because you can't think about what's going on. You have an animal that relies on your support. So, your mind switches, and you really do open yourself up and the confidence everyone is building you up. Everyone wants you to do good. The family aspect is huge, and it's a great support system."
As the Queen, Turner also wants to spread awareness on bullying and be kind to others. Cutburth says she agrees and loves to be a part of the Rodeo community because everyone supports one another.
"Rodeo is family, and there is no one that doesn't get to ride or just have a fun a good time, we all have fun and help each there out; there is no one left," noted Cutburth.