This cowboy lifestyle descends from the first cowboys who were brought in from Mexico to Hawaii to tame the exploding livestock population that descended from a small flock of sheep and cows gifted to King Kamehameha I by an officer of the British Royal Navy in the late 1700’s.
Growing up on her grandfather’s ranch, Smith was exposed to high-caliber horses and mentors. Rodeo also runs in her family; her great-uncle Dale Smith was president of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association and is in the PRCA Hall of Fame.
Smith grew up participating in 4-H and has been successful in many rodeo organizations. She regularly competes at the national level, including the 2017 College National Finals Rodeo. She also served as the 2015 National High School Rodeo Association Student Secretary.
Lorrie Ann attends the University of Montana Western where she is majoring in Natural Horsemanship and Business Administration.
She also competes in breakaway roping and goat tying at Montana Western. The unpredictability of working with animals is part of what fascinates her most about rodeo.
“What I really love about rodeo is the connection of separate elements. If you’re running track, you’re worried about your own conditioning. In rodeo, I could be having a perfect day, but that doesn’t mean the horse I’m riding is, or the animal I’m competing against. There’s so many more elements to think about which makes it challenging and fun,” she said.
Her future plans include starting a horsemanship program at a university level, and to remain involved in professional rodeo.
One of the things that makes Smith different is the fact that she’s the first Miss Rodeo Hawaii there’s been in four years.
“I was contacted by the Miss Rodeo Hawaii program. They were looking for someone to light the fire back up.”
The Miss Rodeo America Pageant, which started in the mid-1950’s, involves several scored factors, including interviews, written tests, and the demonstration of horsemanship skills by each contestant. Participants come from all over the United States to compete in the over week-long event.
The University of Montana Western has scheduled a Send-off Party for Smith’s upcoming departure to Las Vegas, Nev. The celebration will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 from 6-8 pm in the Lewis and Clark room in Mathews Hall on the Montana Western campus.
The party is free and open to the public, and complimentary food and refreshments will be served. Contributions towards Lorrie Ann’s expenses can be made at the celebration. Please join us for this fun, family friendly event and get your picture taken with the University of Montana Western’s Miss Rodeo Hawaii.
For more information about the event, please contact Roxanne Engellant by email at [email protected], or call 406-683-7305.