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Three young women will competed for the 2014 Clearwater Rodeo Queen title on Friday - JaCee Johnson of Belgrade, McKenzie Brozek of Plainview and Samantha VanDeWalle of Cedar Rapids.
The queen will be crowned Friday, June 27, at 7 p.m. at the rodeo arena on the west edge of Clearwater.
JaCee Johnson, 17 of Belgrade, is the daughter of Chris Johnson.
“At a young age, I remember fine-tuning ponies while my parents and siblings were training colts. Rodeo was introduced to me at an early age. I started with foot events and slowly made my way up to riding. I found my passion in barrel racing and pole bending and grew up with those,” she wrote in her application.
Johnson will be a senior at Riverside High School this fall and is active in the FFA, one-act plays and is on the honor roll. Through 4-H, she represented Nance County at the Loup Valley Livestock Challenge in Ord. In 2010, she was the reserve champion pole bender, champion in 2011 and the champion barrel racer in 2013.
Johnson was runner-up Clearwater Rodeo Queen last year and received the horsemanship award.
Johnson plans to attend Colby Community College in Colby, Kansas, and major in equine science and livestock management. She plans to continue her rodeo career.
McKenzie Brozek, 17 of Plainview, is the daughter of Kirk Brozek and Shelly Brozek. She will be a senior at Plainview High School, where she is a member of the high honor roll, the Plainview FFA Chapter and has served as an FFA officer for two years.
According to her application, Brozek started riding and competing on horses at a young age. She was the president of the Morning Star Wranglers 4-H club and has won the junior division and senior division high point buckles at the Antelope County Fair. Brozek trains horses for Green Valley Cowhorses and competes in ranch sortings across the mid-states. She won the Cowboy Classic Sorting and the Nebraska Cattlemen’s State Finals Pro-Amateur Sorting. Brozek was ranked first in the state of Nebraska in the Ranch Sorting National Champions and won the National Championship in Oklahoma City.
She is employed at Bomgaars and Brozek Farms. She plans on attending the University of South Dakota for dental hygiene.
Samantha VanDeWalle, 22 of Cedar Rapids, is the daughter of Mark and Cam VanDeWalle. She is the assistant herdsman at Choat Cattle Company and is part owner of JMS Cattle Company, raising polled herefords, angus and commercial cattle for both show and breeding.
"I have been working and showing cattle since the moment I was allowed to,” VanDeWalle wrote in her application.
Her riding experience includes pasture riding, working cattle, pen riding and some eventing. Future plans consist of growing her cattle herd and becoming a herdsman.
"One of my favorite honors I received was 2009 Nebraska Polled Hereford queen in which I got to represent the great breed of Polled Hereford cattle from anywhere from being and speaking at a meeting, a show or sale,” VanDeWalle wrote. "I then went on and got in the top 10 for the National Hereford Queen. Through high school I was very involved in my local FFA chapter and still am. I was an FFA officer my sophomore, junior and senior years."