CHOTEAU — Choteau natives Mollie and Celie Salmond were no strangers to the 76th Annual Choteau American Legion Rodeo on Independence Day after competing in barrel racing, team roping and breakaway roping in front of the home crowd.
“My favorite is always to be back in Choteau for the Fourth of July and my sister and I have done it probably since we were five or six years old and my parents have always been here so it’s been a tradition we’ve always tried to keep alive,” Celie mentioned.
The older of the two sisters, Celie teamed up with her father Mark to compete in team roping much to the surprise of Mark himself who despite being entered against his will, found success taking home first with his oldest daughte with a time of 9.3 seconds.
“My dad didn’t actually know he was going to be entered and we entered him when he was actually in the mountains so he didn’t know. He was not really happy to find out that he was entered but it turned out in a great way becausee honestly he needed to be entered because he still does awesome.”
Molly has one more year with the MSU bobcat rodeo team, while Celie finished up her rodeo career in Bozeman in 2019. Both have had multiple trips to College National Finals rodeo and for Celie watching her sister finish up her career brings back fond memories of her own.
“My mom and dad also went to MSU so just kind of reliving how great it is to make the college finals and for her having so much success was great,” Salmond said. “Those are some of the funnest, greatest memories I can have at the college finals [and] it was awesome to see her do so good.”
Celie now finds herself in the professional circuits garnering more opportunities to earn money in some of her stronger events like breakaway roping and goat tyingbut more importantly she cherishes the even greater opportunity to do it alongside family.
“Before, after college rodeo, you could go to some amateurs but now there’s a step above so it’s been nice to be able to experience that especially with my sister.”