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2024 Elgin Stampede Royalty

Carisa Yaw
Chelsie McKay
Rylee Sandland

Chelsie McKay

Rylee Sandland

Carisa Yaw

Hi, rodeo fans!

My name is Chelsie McKay. I am the daughter of Steve and Jamie McKay and the sister of Jaydon and Gage McKay. I have lived in Elgin my whole life, and since I could remember I was on the back of a horse. Whether it was moving cows, running barrels, or on a trail ride, you could always catch me with my horse! I am 17 years old and finishing my senior year at Elgin High School, which I have attended since preschool.

Throughout my years in Elgin, I have been a part of many organizations. I am an active member of FFA, which I earned my state degree through, and hold the position of chapter Vice President. I am a member of NHS and I participate in volleyball and basketball. I have also competed in the Idaho High School Rodeo and OHSET. Since I was in 6th grade, I have shown a market hog at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show. I have two Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE) this year, which consist of my hogs and horse, Firecracker. I also have competed in many Career Development Events (CDE) through FFA. I have never been great at public speaking but through my experience in FFA, it has helped my ability and confidence in multiple areas. FFA, along with sports, have taught me how to work as a team and communicate effectively. They have also shown me the importance of being a leader and having responsibility. Sports and FFA are a huge part of my life and have allowed me to grow as a person.

Rodeo has always been the highlight of my life. Since I was little I competed in rodeos; you may have even seen me at multiple Elgin Stampede Family Nights! I now compete in many organizations and travel across Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to rodeos and jackpots. I am a member of the Idaho Cowboys Association and compete in barrel racing. My horse Firecracker and I also compete in local rodeos and playdays where we compete in barrel racing, pole bending, and goat tying. With Elgin being my hometown, having a love for rodeo is a guarantee. I have attended the Elgin Stampede every year of my life whether it was to watch, compete, or pack flags - I never missed it. I have always had an interest in the rodeo court. I remember being very little and hanging over the edge of the fence just so I could high-five the queens and princesses running by. I knew from a young age that that was what I wanted to be. I am thrilled to represent this court and it really is a dream come true!

Along with me this year will be my horse Firecracker. Firecracker is a 7-year-old mare, who I have owned since she was two. Since I have had her from such a young age we have developed an unbreakable bond. Training her came with many ups and downs. It tested my patience greatly, but at the same time, it was a satisfying experience. Starting her on the barrel pattern each time there was an improvement and it made all the anger and tears worth it. These past few years we have competed toughly in many events, won buckles and gained great experiences together. I am more than excited to go through this court experience with my horse because I think it will make our bond stronger than ever and give us exposure to a different side of rodeo.

I am so excited to represent a rodeo that I call home, and I’m so thankful to have such a supportive community and family that has helped me become who I am today. I hope to see you all at the 77th Elgin Stampede!

Welcome rodeo fans!

My name is Rylee Sandland and I am proudly representing the 77th Elgin Stampede! I am the daughter of Matt Sandland and Chelsea Horn as well as the stepdaughter of Chris Horn. I live here in Elgin, Oregon, and will be graduating from Elgin High School this spring. After high school, I plan on attending Eastern Oregon University in the fall where I will pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Throughout high school, I have been an active member of FFA and National Honor Society (NHS). Since my 9th grade year, I have had multiple Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects. These projects include market hogs, breeding beef, and breeding goats. I have also competed in many Career Development Events (CDE). These projects and events have shown me how to prioritize my time and have taught me responsibility. As a member of NHS, I have been involved in many community service events such as the Elgin Kris Kringle Sale, Memorial Day flag planting, and many others. I thoroughly enjoy giving back to my community and these are a few of my favorite ways to do so. Another community service I find joy in participating in is making swags during the Christmas season, that are placed around the community of Elgin. I am extremely thankful for all of the skills and opportunities these organizations have given me. This knowledge will stick with me throughout my lifetime!

I started my freshman year in high school playing volleyball and basketball. However, during basketball season, the unimaginable happened and changed my life forever. On February 6th, 2021, I suffered many serious and life-threatening injuries after a terrible snowmobiling accident. These injuries included many broken bones and severe nerve damage throughout my left leg. Because of this, I was unable to participate in many of the things that I love. During my recovery, I focused mainly on physical therapy so I could get back where I was before. I am so thankful to be where I am today, and I wouldn’t be here without the love and support I had from my family through the healing process. I’m now able to do many of the things I enjoy even with the damage to my nerves. I do not let my limitations define who I am but let them drive me to be better than I was yesterday. Though this was a life-altering experience, in the end, changed my life for the better.

As a child, I grew up on a ranch and found an innate fondness for animals and other wildlife. Even the little creepy crawlies within the grass, but most of all I loved horses! So naturally, I found a love for the sport of rodeo. The first rodeo event I ever participated in was mutton busting. As I grew older and more confident I started to shift into more of the gaming events such as barrel racing, pole bending, and many others! Now that I am too old to participate in Family Night, I compete in the Elgin Stampede Playdays and OHSET. I hope to grow and acquire more skills and knowledge in the rodeo industry and participate in more rodeos. When I was a little girl I always looked up to the rodeo princesses and queens and only hoped to be them one day, and here I am today as one of your 77th Elgin Stampede queen candidates. It is truly an honor and a dream come true!

I would like to thank my family, friends, and community for all of their support throughout this process. It is a huge honor to be representing the 77th annual Elgin Stampede as a royalty member. I am beyond excited to see you all at this year's rodeo!

Hello fellow rodeo enthusiasts,

My name is Carisa Yaw and I am representing your 77th annual Elgin Stampede. I am delighted to be representing our favorite hometown rodeo this year. For the last six years I’ve had the chance to experience life in the beautiful Wallowa County. Living in this type of community for the past six years has nurtured and formed me. Seeing how much this place has given me is why I would like to give back to the community now, by being an ambassador of the Elgin Stampede Rodeo. The first four years I lived in this county I participated in many school sports, including volleyball, basketball, and softball. My interests have changed since those beginning years, now I like to spend my free time enjoying outdoor activities that include squirrel hunting, fishing, trap shooting, and of course, training and riding horses. Consequently, my interest in horses has not dissipated through the years, instead it has grown stronger.

My grandmother, Ruth Vanderhoof, who lives in Elgin, is the primary reason for this. Ruth has helped me through my struggles with and without horses, she has been a huge mentor in my life, pushing me to be the best I can be. I have followed Ruth’s legacy of training horses and am very grateful for her mentorship. My whole childhood I have ridden horses and enjoyed training them. The devotion I have for horses has grown through my life and has led me to my passion of finding mistreated horses that need help, buying them, training them, then finding them loving homes. Giving horses the help they need is the gift I feel God has given me. Additionally, with the help of my parents, Craig and Kathleen Yaw, I have had the opportunity to experience my youth with horses. As a family, horses have always been a large part of our interests. Even our vacations mainly included horseback adventures. The support my family has given me has taken me through some unique experiences, including performing trick riding at a circus for three months throughout Arizona. My mother and I lived in our horse trailer during our traveling time with the circus.

I’ve been in 4H since I was a Cloverbud at eight years old, and in the past year I have joined OHSET (Oregon High School Equestrian Teams). OHSET is a school sport that surprisingly enough Wallowa High School did not have. I introduced the program in my high school and have been the first student in Wallowa to ever participate. I was able to do this because of the help my father gave me, by volunteering to be the Wallowa OHSET coach. I am extremely grateful for all the things my parents have given up for me to pursue my interests. As a junior at Wallowa High School I am also looking forward to my future plans. College will be the direction I am headed towards, to continue my education in medical studies. My family and loved ones will keep encouraging me to follow my dreams, which will definitely include horses as well. I pray that one day I will be fortunate enough to find a small town with a community as wonderful as ours or return to Wallowa County; country living, county fairs, great outdoors, and rodeos are things I hope will continue to be my lifestyle through the rest of my life.

I am excited for what the future will bring, and I can’t express enough how grateful I am for the support my family and loved ones have given me. I know difficult times may come while I try to find my future career and life, but I will always have my passion for horses to keep me grounded. For my future, I am hoping to help others through the medical field as well as continue the lifestyle I love. I am looking forward to making my hometown proud by representing the 77th Elgin Stampede Rodeo.

Hope to see you soon!

Carisa Yaw - 77th Elgin Stampede Queen Candidate

2023 Elgin Stampede Queen - Lydia Hasbell

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