News Room

Queen's Hospital

POCATELLO — In her hospital bed at Portneuf Medical Center's Pediatrics Ward Thursday afternoon, 5-year-old Bodelle Vickery had no idea that she was about to be visited by seven rodeo queens. 

The rodeo queens, all of whom are in town from various parts of the U.S. to represent the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association at the Western Frontier Pro Rodeo, surrounded the Pocatello girl's bed. 

After talking with Bodelle for several minutes, and after each of the seven rodeo queens gave her autographed pictures of themselves, the young girl was left to ponder what had just happened. 

The soft-spoken, seemingly shy little girl, simply nodded her head yes when asked if she was surprised by their visit, and admitted that her visitors have her thinking about one day being a rodeo queen herself. 

The rodeo queens, 10 in all, along with Justin Rumford, the barrelman performing at the Wrangler Rodeo, and bullfighters Cody Webster and Al Sandvold, visited PMC as part of the PRCA's typical public outreach efforts. 

During their visit at PMC, the group also visited the surgical floor and the LifeFlight helicopter, talking with one of its pilots and getting an up-close look at the emergency vehicle. 

Shelby Ross, PRCA's Oregon Rodeo Queen, said many times they don't know what will be part of their community outreach responsibilities, but said there are often some pretty interesting experiences. 

“Everything is kind of a surprise for us. We are getting thrown into a lot of different things and this is something I have never experienced,” Ross said about the Life-Flight helicopter. “It's really interesting to see how this whole entire process works. When I was coming up here today, I didn't expect to see a LifeFlight helicopter. It was just amazing.” 

Prior to the tour getting under way, Kylie Kooistra, PRCA's Washington State Rodeo Queen, and Sierra Peterson, PRCA's Nebraska Rodeo Queen, talked about the responsibilities that come with the title. 

“We each represent our individual states, but we come here to help promote the rodeo,” Kooistra said. “We also try to teach about rodeo and the Western way of life.” 

“The cool thing is educating young women about what they can do,” Peterson added. 

Morgan Blackhurst, PRCA's Utah Rodeo Queen, who is from Hoytsville, Utah, said she's busy every weekend with a responsibility related to her crown. All of the women make their own way to the many events they attend. 

Norm Stephens, PMC's chief executive officer, made his way down to the LifeFlight hanger to greet the Wrangler Rodeo representatives Thursday afternoon. 

The longtime horseman and rodeo fan said it was a lot of fun for him to have the group at the hospital. 

Stephens said that he attended Wednesday's Extreme Bulls event with his wife. 


JORDON BEESLEY/IDAHO STATE JOURNAL Miss Rodeo Wisconsin Laura Taysom signs a photograph for Bodelle Vickery, 5, of Pocatello, during a visit Thursday to the Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, where the rodeo queens got a chance to visit and bring cheer to patients.