Payson’s 2011 Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo will host three queens during festivities May 19, 20 and 21. Scheduled to take part in events are Audrey Hall, Miss Rodeo Arizona 2011; Brittney Hamilton, Miss Teen Rodeo Arizona 2011; and Danika Jackson, Miss Turquoise Circuit 2011.
Hall is from Yuma and began her reign April 10. She will take the next year off of her studies in marketing and public relations as she travels around the country, and throughout the state of Arizona to promote our western heritage.
She said she is both honored and humbled to represent the great state of Arizona at the Miss Rodeo America Competition during the Wrangler National Finals in December.
Hall is the second daughter of four to John and Cindy Hall. She is a modern cowgirl with an All-American spirit. She believes in the values that are instilled through the sport of rodeo and the western lifestyle. She has a passion for the sport of rodeo and attributes much of her success to what she has learned in this industry.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to be part of an organization filled with such wonderful people and honored to serve as an ambassador for the sport,” she said.
When not representing the sport or riding herself, Hall enjoys other activities such as snowboarding and water sports. She has been given the opportunity to carry sponsor flags at the 2009 and 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as well as competed locally at timed event competitions.
In the future Hall plans to use her knowledge of the sport and skills acquired through her studies as well as life experiences to work in the public relations field within the industry.
Hamilton, 17, an Ahwatukee resident and junior at Desert Vista High School, is Miss Teen Rodeo Arizona for 2011.
Sponsored by the Golden West Cowgirls Drill Team, she said she has been riding horses since she could sit up and hold on. One of the first things she did when she learned how to talk was to ask for a horse.
“I believe I can achieve greatness through leading by example, practicing ethical standards in everything I do, being a responsible citizen and always doing my best while helping others achieve their best. I believe the title of Miss Teen Rodeo Arizona will give me the opportunity to put my ‘best’ to work for rodeo,” she said.
A native to New Mexico and the western way of life, Miss Turquoise Circuit 2011 Danika Jackson, 22, is attending New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in animal science with an equine industry emphasis. Although school is her focus as she will graduate in May 2011, Jackson enjoys cooking, dancing to local bands and tuning up on her roping skills.
As Miss Turquoise Circuit, she will travel thousands of miles between Arizona and New Mexico promoting the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association within the Turquoise Circuit.
She is the sole ambassador for the PRCA Turquoise Circuit and will educate, promote, and represent the values of the sport of rodeo and western way of life.
“It is an honor to be given the opportunity to be Miss Turquoise Circuit 2011. To be chosen as an ambassador for the true American sport of rodeo and the deep-rooted people it represents is a privilege and opportunity of a lifetime.
“I look forward to sharing my passion of the sport, meeting the people it encompasses and promoting the athletic animals that symbolize rodeo. The experience of traveling across two states and representing the Turquoise Circuit and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association will leave a lasting impression not only on me, but the friends I make along the way,” she said.
The Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo, presented by the Payson Pro-Rodeo Committee, is May 19, 20 and 21 at the Payson Event Center. The livestock for the event is from Salt River Rodeo.
The Cactus Series — Ladies’ Barrel Racing opened the festivities Thursday, May 19. Admission was a can of food for Rim Country food banks.
The rodeo is at 7 p.m., Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21. Gates open at 5 p.m. and admission is $14 for those 13 to 64; $12 for those 65 and older; and $10 for those 8 to 12; children, 7 and under, are free.
Tickets are available at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, all area Circle Ks, Bill Armstrong Pawn in Star Valley and the Payson Roundup office. There will be $2 discount coupons in the Roundup newspaper. Tickets may also be reserved online at www.paysonrimcountry.com or www.ticketforce.com.
The Friday night performance is dedicated to the Tough Enough To Wear Pink campaign to benefit breast cancer research and patient support programs. The Pro-Rodeo Committee will donate $3 for each cowboy contestant wearing pink and $1 for each audience member in pink.
Saturday’s rodeo is the Patriot Performance to honor returning, wounded and fallen veterans. All active military personnel will be admitted free of charge on Saturday night.
Those planning to attend the May 21 show are encouraged to wear red, white and blue.
Following both the May 20 and May 21 performances, there will be a rodeo dance at the historic Ox Bow on West Main Street. The John Eric Band will provide the music starting at 9 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Read more about the rodeo in a special supplement inserted in today’s paper.