Hi there! My name is Sarah Vangi and I am Miss Evergreen Rodeo 2017. I am currently a student at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, where I study cell Biology, Neuroscience, Microbiology, and Genetics, but that won’t stop me from being the queen Evergreen Rodeo Association deserves! My passion for rodeo and the western lifestyle is what drives me, and it is the reason I am the person I am today.
I rode my first horse at the age of two. His name was Holy Smoke and as soon as I was atop the large beast, my life’s course was shifted forever. I don’t think my parents knew in that moment what exactly they had started by introducing me to the world of horses… They weren’t prepared for the whirlwind of horseback riding lessons, ribbons, entry fees, manure, fly spray, early mornings, late nights, and long hauls, but despite their unfamiliarity, they supported me, and they supported my undying passion. When I was in fifth grade, I met my best friend. His name was Cowboy, and he was a beautiful brown and white quarter horse paint. He helped me through some of the hardest years of my life, and without him, I know I would not be the person I am today. Cowboy taught me how to stand up when I get knocked down, how to have patience even when I am frustrated, how to have courage when I am afraid, and most importantly, how to show infallible compassion. I learned the most important things in life from a friend who never said a word to me, I learned to listen with my heart and not my ears, and that is what I think is at the foundation of the western lifestyle.
The cowboys and cowgirls of the old west knew the importance of listening even when no words were being spoken. They had to listen to nature, to their livestock, and to their partners who were their horses in order to survive. The old west may have been a harsh environment, but each and every one of the trail-hardened cowboys and cowgirls had compassion for the animals they worked with, and respect for the wild. Unfortunately, in the concrete-infested world we live in today, the spirit of the west is beginning to dwindle away. Horses are being replaced with four wheelers, and nature is being drowned out by the sounds of engines and car horns. Now, more than ever, is the time we need rodeo queens. To me, a rodeo queen isn’t just a friendly face on a pretty horse. A rodeo queen is the main promoter of rodeo and the western lifestyle. She is the epitome of strength, knowledge, and passion, for she is the face the masses see walking through the crowds, greeting everyone and answering questions. She is the inspiration to young girls and boys alike. She is the face of rodeo.
I am honored to be Miss Evergreen Rodeo 2017 because Evergreen isn’t just another Rodeo Association and title to me. Evergreen is the place I went hiking with my family, it’s the place I galloped Cowboy for the first time in an open field, it’s the place I went when I lost friends and family and needed to think. Evergreen is my past, my present, and my future. I will forever strive to promote its rodeo and protect its beauty. Evergreen will forever be my safe haven, my happy place, and one of the last places maintaining the western lifestyle and mentality. Being Evergreen’s Rodeo Queen has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and I want nothing more than to be an inspiration and to promote the sport and lifestyle I love.