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Five Vie for 2015 Miss Black Hills Stock Show®


RAPID CITY, SD — Five young women will compete to the title of Miss Black Hills Stock Show® and Rodeo 2015 will be held Saturday, Jan. 31 in Rapid City, S.D. The five contestants will be judged on personality, appearance, horsemanship, personal interview, riding ability, speeches, modeling, media interview and answering of impromptu questions.


The contestants will be interviewed by the judges starting at 8 a.m. Following at 11 a.m. will be the speech and modeling portion at the Journey Museum Theater, which is open to the public. The Black Hills Stock Hills Stock Show Queen Committee invites visiting rodeo queens to attend this event to be introduced. Following the speeches and modeling, contestants will compete in the horsemanship competition at 2 p.m. at the James Kjerstad Event Center at the Central States Fairgrounds. The public is welcome to attend the horsemanship event.


Nikki Boomsma, Miss Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo 2014 will crown the winner during the Stockman’s Banquet and Ball at the Best Western Ramkota on Saturday, Jan. 31. The Stockman’s Banquet & Ball begins at 5 p.m. and the coronation will follow the Black Hills Stock Show Foundation Western Art Auction. Tickets for the banquet can be purchased at the Black Hills Stock Show office in or online at www.blackhillsstockshow.com.


Miss Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo is an ambassador to South Dakota's official state sport, Rodeo. She will travel the state promoting rodeo and the Black Hills. This pageant prepares many young women on their journey to the title of Miss Rodeo South Dakota.


Meet this year’s contestants:


Sonyah Clifford

Greetings, Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo fans! I am Sonyah Clifford, the 22-year-old daughter of Shane Clifford and Misty Brave. Rockyford, S.D., is where I call home. I am an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. I am a 2011 graduate of Red Cloud High School. I am currently a student at Black Hills State University, where, I am majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in both Management and Marketing. My love for the sport of rodeo and the western way of life has opened many exciting doors for me. I am the former Miss Indian Rodeo 2013. I also had the privilege of being a 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Flag Girl. My present door is led by my passion to become Miss Black Hills Stock Show 2015!


Monica Fowlkes

Small town dreams become big time reality for Monica Fowlkes of Aladdin, Wyo. She is the daughter of Larry and Terry Fowlkes and the youngest of four children. In the spring of 2014, Monica graduated from Hulett High School as class valedictorian. Throughout high school she was actively involved in 4-H, FFA, student council, FBLA, basketball, and track. Her journey to become a veterinarian began in the fall of 2014 at Casper College. Currently, she is an active member of the Ag Club along with the Fitting and Showing Club. 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 goals.


Stephanie Gruener

Stephanie Gruener is the daughter of Steve and Deb Gruener from Brandt, S.D. Stephanie attended Deuel High School and stayed active by participating in debate, volleyball, basketball, softball, and 4-H. After high school, she attended South Dakota State University and received a degree in Agricultural Business and a minor in Equine Studies. While at SDSU, Stephanie was a scholarship athlete and served as a member of the Rodeo and Equestrian Team. Upon graduation, she was offered a position with Aerotek in Sioux Falls, S.D. where she now resides. Stephanie continues her rodeo queen experience after serving as Miss Jackrabbit Stampede Ambassador and Miss Rodeo Corn Palace Queen.


Shamee Merkel

Shamee Merkel is the 24-year-old of Ross and Amanda Merkel and Kim Merkel of Ellendale, N.D. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing through Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. She is passionate about the western lifestyle. She loves participating and competing in rodeo queen pageants. Her favorite event of the competition is the horsemanship competition. She is dedicated to learn all that she can about good communication and horse handling skills and the horsemanship class allows her to test herself. She spends many hours riding and training to learn how to bring out the best in every horse that she handles and rides. She has become deeply rooted in Aberdeen, S.D., where she works hard to serve her community through her work that allows the patrons a special moment of the western atmosphere through their dining experience at Maverick’s Steak and Cocktails.


Carrietta Schalesky

Carrietta Schalesky is the 21-year-old daughter of T.W. and Faye Schalesky. She has a sister Gail and brother Jacob. The family ranch 45 miles southeast of Bison, S.D., is where she calls home. She currently attends South Dakota State University as a junior to pursue a degree in Animal Science-Business and Production. Carrietta and her sister hope to build a veterinary clinic in their home community after completing college educations. Carrietta 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. Carrietta enjoys working livestock on the family ranch, training horses, singing, photography, sharing her love of agriculture with others, and spending time with family and friends. She would like to thank her sponsor, Schalesky Livestock of Faith, S.D. Carrietta wishes the best of luck to all participants and hopes all visitors and guests have a great time at the Black Hills Stock Show.

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