Honoring past Stampede Queens


MONTE VISTA — A special project is underway to set up a program to donate to the new Ski-Hi building, in honor or in memory of a past Stampede Queen. In the future organizers of the project would also like to set up a permanent monument to the past Stampede Queens in the new Ski-Hi building.
With the help of Peg Schall and Karen Deacon, photos of the past Queens have been found at the Transportation museum spanning 1919 to the late 1980s. They would like to get these photos permanently displayed as part of the monument.  
In an article written by Marian Fennell Colwell and Dorothy Dorris Wilson in 1970 they wrote, “Selection as Queen of the Ski-Hi Stampede has long been considered one of the highest honors attainable by a young lady in the San Luis Valley and Southern Colorado.”
This honor also had a great deal of responsibility attached to it. Jim Clare who is also working on the project and whose mother was Miss Stampede in 1935 said, “One of the gals said it wasn’t one of those deals where you ride in during Stampede, and wave she said that there was a lot more to it than that.”
Verla Honeycutt who was Stampede Queen 1988, and the alternate in 1987 remembers there were tryouts and interviews, the young women had to go through to be selected as the Stampede Queen. With different categories covering everything from horsemanship to congeniality. Horsemanship being the most important thing.
Once chosen to be the Stampede Queen their main job was to promote the Ski-Hi rodeo. Honeycutt remembers how they had to travel to different places, and rodeos. They would be introduced at these events and then hand out pamphlets to crowds to promote that year’s Ski-Hi Stampede. They were also expected to tell people things like when events would be happening or who the band would be at the dances. The Queens also promoted the event by talking on the radio.
During Stampede itself they had a lot to do as Queen. Honeycutt said, “When we were Miss Stampede or part of the court, we were expected to help run out cattle. We went to the parade every day. We went to the dances each night then they would introduce us at the dances, and we would just explain kind of what we’d been doing and welcome people.”
Honeycutt also shared that the queens were expected to participate in the calf dressing. Honeycutt remembered it was a fun part of their duties.
Today they no longer have a Stampede Queen. The last Stampede Queen was crowned in 2005.
“It has definitely changed over the years. Now they don’t even have a Stampede Queen or have that process. But they have the internet. They have Facebook and they have social media. It’s a whole different process than what it used to be when word of mouth and that kind of thing was important,” said Honeycutt.
When asked what her favorite part of being the Stampede Queen was Honeycutt said it was the skills she cultivated, the traveling she did, and the friendships she made.
“It didn’t seem like I was building any skills, or experiences at the time. In retrospect I see how valuable it is, to me today,” said Honeycutt.
For the Stampede Queen monument display they are collecting any information about the past queens and their experiences. If you have any information, contact the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce at [email protected] or 719-852-2731. A list has been compiled of all the past queens and is listed below:
To make a donation to the new Ski-Hi building in memory of a past Stampede Queen, visit www.friendsofskihi.org/how-you-can-help.html. Or call the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce, for more information on how you can donate to the Ski-Hi building project.
1919 Kitty Halferty
1920-1927 No queens
1928 Ester Godfrey
1929-1932 No queens
1933 Agness Aust
1934 Dorothy Dorris
1935 Marjorie Gross
1936 Vivian Goff
1937 Marian Fennell
1938 Betty Trueblood
1939 Bonnie Hocker
1940 Louise Johnston
1941 Dorothy Haigler
1942 Cathrine Lague
1943-1945 No queen
1946 Eleanor Linger
1947 Virginia Whitten
1948 Lycille Ryan
1949 Donna Glee McOllough
1950 Mary Anne Finl
1951 Betty Jane Johnson
1952 Loretta Wiescamp
1953 Charlene Wright
1954 Ella Mae Noffsinger
1955 Beverly Mann
1956 Sue Shroeder
1957 Gretchen Shellabarger
1958 Kathleen Grimwood
1959 Sylvia Claunch
1960 Diane Selters
1961 Ann Ulstrom
1962 Barbara Roberson
1963 Janice Haws
1964 Donna Selters
1965 Jody Phillips
1966 Loretta Morgan
1967 Clarine Claunch
1968 Nancy Rodus
1969 Marcia Wright
1970 Cheryl Wright
1971 Cindy Kane
1972 Rita Curtis
1973 Debbie Beiriger
1974 Jackie Pavlovsky
1975 Renee Smith
1976 Cindy Wallac
1977 Tammy Wiescamp
1978 Anita Hunter
1979 Carol Crate
1980 Laura Wiescamp
1981 Taina Andre
1982 Darius DeHerrera
1984 Betty Claunch
1985 Brenda Rippe
1986 Frances Slane
1987 Janelle Booth
1988 Verla Rutgers
1989 Christy Wintz
1990 Isabel Jaramillo
1991 Robin Rae Stagner     
1992 Ester Sanchez              
1993 Michelle Claunch       
1994 Misty Brook Stagner   
1995 No queen
1996, 1997 Tammy Aldridge
1998 Jennifer Edwards
1999 Marcia Berggren
2000 Holly Binnian
2001 Jeanie Andreatta
2002 Corin Crowther
2003 Jaclyn Gabbel
2004 Kristin Prator
2005 Johanna Steffens

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