Jul 2, 2017 - from archievesHeather 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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