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Cowgirl and queen - 1989

Jul 2, 2017 from archieves

Heather O'Neal was having a busy summer as Lander Pioneer Days rolled around 28 years ago this week. The incoming Lander Valley High School senior had been voted Pioneer Days queen earlier in the year. Then, in June, she claimed the title of Wyoming State High School Rodeo Queen.

Pioneer Days was a major comitment early in July, but later in the month she was headed to Pueblo, Colorado, to represent Wyoming in the National High School Finals Rodeo Queen contest.

For the state contest, O'Neal was tested on the national high school rodeo yearbook, was observed during a three-minute interview, modeled a western outfit, and demonstrated competitive horsemanship by riding a barrel racing pattern. That last part was no big deal. O'Neal was a standout competitor in both barrels and goat-tying. With the home fans cheering, she took third in the July 4 go-round of barrels at the Lander Pioneer Days Rodeo, a pro event.

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Rodeo queen Heather O'Neal of Lander, left, in her contest attire and, right, turning the corner in barrel racing at the Lander Pioneer Days Rodeo, pictured</p><p>
 on July 6, 1989. File photos

Rodeo queen Heather O'Neal of Lander, left, in her contest attire and, right, turning the corner in barrel racing at the Lander Pioneer Days Rodeo, pictured

on July 6, 1989. File photos


Rodeo queen Heather O'Neal of Lander, left, in her contest attire and, right, turning the corner in barrel racing at the Lander Pioneer Days Rodeo, pictured</p><p>
 on July 6, 1989. File photos

Rodeo queen Heather O'Neal of Lander, left, in her contest attire and, right, turning the corner in barrel racing at the Lander Pioneer Days Rodeo, pictured

on July 6, 1989. File photos

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2017-09-24