GREAT FALLS — A rodeo queen is the face of the sport of rodeo, and for Belt High School's Hailey Gliko, she’ll head to the National High School Rodeo Finals as the face of Montana rodeo looking to make waves on the national stage as America’s rodeo queen.
For Gliko, the opportunity to represent her home state nationally is what brings her the most excitement ahead of nationals.
“I’m definitely most excited to represent the state of Montana," Gliko said. "There's only one of me all year, so it's really special to be able to be the one representative that gets to go nationals and see everybody.”
Being a rodeo queen wasn’t always on Gliko’s radar, but after seeing her cousin Keely Drummond take on the role of Miss Teen Rodeo Montana, Gliko found a passion for it and found out her favorite part of the job:
“I absolutely love kids," Gliko said. "That is the best part of this job, is getting to see their faces and get to talk to them and interact with them.”
Her favorite experience so far happened right in her hometown three weeks ago at the Belt PRCA rodeo.
“Carrying a Montana flag was a very big one for me," Gliko said. "That was very honoring to be able to do that for the Belt rodeo.”
While Gliko has made great strides in her rodeo queen career, none of it would be possible without her great support system that allows her to continuously improve.
“I definitely have a lot of people helping me that are very knowledgeable on the subject," she said. "They help coach me and tell me this is what the kids are looking up to. This is what kind of role model you need to be for them.”
Gliko’s elegance upon her horse and her ability to interact with fans and be knowledgeable about the sport in addition to her well-spoken nature have her as prepared as she can be heading into next week’s competition July 17-23 in Gillette, Wyoming.