Hailey Konze of Redmond was crowned the 2018 Sisters Rodeo Queen. photo by Greg Waddell
Hailey Konze of Redmond was crowned the 2018 Sisters Rodeo Queen. photo by Greg Waddell

Hailey Konze of Redmond was crowned the 2018 Sisters Rodeo Queen at the rodeo grounds on Sunday, September 17. A crowd of rodeo members and fans greeted the selection with cheers of approval.

"She has a wonderful personality that stood out throughout the whole competition," said Amorita Anstett, member of the Sisters Rodeo Queen Selection Committee.

That opinion was shared by many others in attendance. "She was well prepared and had a very polished delivery," said Diane Prescott, rodeo member. "Her speech was a hard act to follow."

Konze, a Redmond High School honors graduate, will be pursuing a nursing career with a specialty in neonatal care after her year representing Sisters Rodeo. She has two years of undergraduate education from Cottey College for Women in Missouri. Currently, she is enrolled in pre-med classes at COCC.

"I love children," said the effervescent 22-year-old. Konze is in high demand as a babysitter for close family friends because she finds some of her best entertainment comes from being with children. "I want to do something that helps parents have time to be good parents," she explained. "To serve them in the medical world as a children's nurse was a calling on my heart."

In her family, rodeo is genetic. The Bend home of grandparents Judi and Chuck Tolboe is filled with photos of the glory days of Judi's life as 1965 Clatsop County Fair and Rodeo Queen and in horse show ribbons and trophies all over the house. Her grandmother had Hailey on a horse at the age of two, a fit of a lifetime.

Her mother, Tammy, described her daughter as "a very old soul who has to be reminded now and then to put herself first." The single mom and daughter wear necklaces that are urns which hold the ashes of Hailey's only sibling, Brooke, who died at the age of two.

"In any horse event I've ever done, I wear my necklace so that Brooke is with me," Hailey noted.

She was four when the family lost Brooke.

Konze rode Caddy, a 12-year-old former ranch horse, in the patterned competition during the rodeo queen tryouts, and will ride Caddy or Rhythm, an older Missouri Fox Trotter, as the ambassador for Sisters Rodeo. During the 2017 rodeo, she parked cars on horseback with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Mounted Posse. She hopes to become a member of the Posse after this probationary season.

In her free time, she likes to ride with her grandparents and mom, socialize with friends or just hang out with her mom, watching movies and eating popcorn. The two have a profound appreciation for each other, obviously the best of friends.

She is also a close friend of Emylia Breckel, the 2017 Sisters Rodeo Queen, who encouraged her to compete. Many of her closest friends are co-workers at Dutch Brothers Coffee in Redmond or other young women involved in rodeos in Central Oregon.

Hailey was raised in Newburg until she and her mother relocated to Central Oregon in 2005 to be closer to her grandparents. This energized family dynamic inspired grandmother Judi to sew the tan skirt Hailey wore for her speech at the


In her speech, Konze praised the support and encouragement of her grandparents and mother in reaching for her own stars. She also cited the creed of Dutch Brothers: "Talking health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble." She is a shining example of living that creed.

This is evident as palpable warmth when she enters a room, ready to hug everyone she meets. Her energy and appreciation for life raises the level of positive focus whenever she is present

"We are a glass-half-full family," Konze said.

Sisters Rodeo will begin June 6 with Xtreme Bulls, followed by four rodeo performances June 8-10. For tickets and information, call the ticket hotline at 541-549-0121 or 1-800-827-7522, or visit the ticket office at 220 W. Cascade Ave. in Sisters. For information visit www.sistersrodeo.com.