How ‘bout them cowgirls |

How ‘bout them cowgirls

Miss North Dakota teen is a former rodeo queen

By Ruth Nicolaus for Tri-State Livestock News

A high school rodeo athlete has been crowned Miss North Dakota Teen USA.

Aspen Hennessy, Des Lacs, N.D., won the title at the pageant held in Watertown, S.D. on April 25.

The eighteen-year-old cowgirl is a senior at Des Lacs Burlington High School and competes in high school rodeo as a breakaway roper and team roper.

She was the 2019-2020 Miss North Dakota High School Rodeo Queen and as high school rodeo queen, was a representative for the western lifestyle and agriculture industry. With her new title, she will represent the residents of her home state.

The Miss N.D. Teen USA pageant consisted of three components: a five-minute interview, athletic wear for teens and modeling evening gowns.

She was well prepared for the Miss ND Teen USA pageant, she believes, because of her rodeo title and the rodeo queen pageant, which requires a ten-minute interview, speech, modeling, and horsemanship. Because she participated in FFA, has shown 4-H livestock, and held the rodeo queen title, the public speaking aspect “was quite easy for me,” she said.

Another former high school rodeo queen, Codi Miller, who was the 2010 Miss North Dakota High School Rodeo Queen, encouraged Hennessy to enter the Miss ND Teen USA pageant. “She told me to venture out, and try other pageants,” Hennessy said.

Miller, who also wore the crown as the 2014 Miss Rodeo North Dakota, competed for Miss North Dakota and finished as runner-up to Caitlyn Vogel of Minot.

Hennessy lives with her parents, Jay and Karen Hennessy, on the family ranch where they raise beef cattle. She has shown cattle throughout her youth.

In high school rodeo, she qualified for state finals her freshman and sophomore years, and as a sophomore, finished in the top ten in the state in the breakaway. (State finals were not held last year, due to Covid.) In junior high rodeo, she was a two-time state ribbon roping champion, running for roper Tyler Hansen. The team finished fifth in the nation in 2017.

Hennessy may someday consider running for the title of Miss Rodeo North Dakota, but she will focus on college for the time being.

After high school graduation, she will attend North Dakota State University, working towards a degree in exercise science. Her long-term goal is to become a chiropractor.

Her platform as Miss ND Teen USA is to “educate as many people as I can about North Dakota and spread as much kindness and joy throughout our state.”

She will make appearances at a variety of non-profit events and will run for the title of Miss Teen USA in Tulsa, Okla. in November.

Her reign runs through April

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