FRIENDS COMPETE FOR ELGIN RODEO QUEEN
By Raenelle Kwock
Observer Staff Writer
The Elgin Stampede Rodeo queen coronation will be held July 9, as three friends compete for the title.
Sarah Hill, BrenaLe Bowman and Hailey Wiles are vying for the honor, although they say it does not matter to them who gets the crown.
"All three of us have the feeling that we'll support anyone who gets queen," Hill said. "It's not a big deal. It is, but not really a big deal. We're just good friends."
Hill will be a junior at Imbler High School this fall. She is the daughter of Robert and Sandie Hill. She has been involved with 4-H for seven years and FFA for three. She was president of her sophomore class. She will be riding a 5-year-old paint gelding named Frizz.
Hill enjoys the interaction on the court.
"We have a lot of fun. Everything that we do, that's what we strive for is to have fun," she said.
Hill said ticket sales have kept the court busy but the day after the coronation, they will go swimming, eat ice cream, watch movies and stay at one of their houses for the night.
Getting along is important, she said.
"I think you need that. I think it can be real stressful and hard for the court if no one got along on it. You'd have arguing and no one getting along. On the first day, we picked up colors. We picked the same ones."
Hill's sister was on a different court and Sarah has always loved rodeo and horses.
"Everybody is real nice," Hill said. "I'd encourage other girls to be on the court and do it. It's a lot of fun. It's a lot of work."
Bowman will be a sophomore at Enterprise High School. Her father, Sam, was at the lumber yard and heard about the court tryouts and encouraged BrenaLe to give it a go.
She doesn't mind the drive into Elgin to practice.
"That's OK," Bowman said. "It's fun. I know the Minam road like the back of my hand now."
Bowman is on the volleyball team. She was a cheerleader last year and is active in 4-H and FFA.
She's been riding horses since she was 4.
"It's always been my life," Bowman said. "It's the most fun thing I think of doing."
Bowman will ride Casey, a 14-year-old paint mare.
She enjoys all of the rodeos.
"I'm looking forward to the sunny ones," she said. "I'm looking forward to the Pendleton Round-Up."
Bowman agreed that the three court members get along well.
"We three are all crazy," she said.
Wiles will be a junior at Elgin High School. She is the daughter of Bob and Therese Wiles. She will be the FFA president and the FBLA vice president next year.
Wiles always wanted to be on the court when she was growing up. Her sister ran for the court during her junior year, so Hailey decided to do the same.
Wiles has grown up around horses and tries to explain why she enjoys animals.
"It's just an excitement. It's fun," she said.
Wiles played basketball and volleyball this past year. She is a Natural Helper. She will be riding an 8-year-old gelding quarter horse named Tallrider. She has four horses and a colt.
The Elgin Stampede Rodeo kicks off July 10 and runs through July 13.