White Bird Rodeo family tradition photo

(L-R) Melissa Miller, Kami Fogleman, Bella Klapprich and Elli Klapprich have all served as White Bird Rodeo queen. Miller and Fogleman are sisters and Bella and Elli are Melissa’s daughters.

WHITE BIRD — “White Bird Rodeo is such a great family-oriented event. It’s a nice place to start as royalty, too,” said Kami Fogleman. “The whole rodeo family there is helpful.”

“All of White Bird is really that way — very community oriented,” Melissa Miller added.

The two sisters each represented White Bird Rodeo as queen, Melissa in 1996 and Kami in 1999. Melissa’s daughter, Bella, was White Bird queen in 2016, and her 15-year-old daughter, Elli, is queen for 2020.

“It’s a family affair,” Melissa smiled. She still has a younger daughter who rides horse and may one day try out, and Kami has two younger daughters, as well.

Melissa and Kami’s parents, Rick and Mickie Miller, have for years been active with the White Bird Rodeo, and the sisters grew up riding and being around the rodeo and its activities.

“I actually took Elli to the White Bird Rodeo when she was just a week old,” laughed Melissa. Elli just celebrated her 15th birthday on Sunday.

Melissa also served as Border Days princess in 1998.

“And Kami was my flag carrier; she was 10,” Melissa added.

Kami was Triple Bar Drill Team Princess in 1998, then White Bird queen in 1999. She was Border Days queen in 2003, and Lewiston Roundup queen in 2004.

Bella was Triple Bar Drill Team queen in 2013, Riggins Rodeo queen in 2015, White Bird queen in 2016, Border Days princess in 2018, and Lewiston Roundup queen in 2019.

Elli served as Triple Bar Drill Team princess in 2018, Riggins Rodeo princess in 2019, and is now White Bird’s queen.

“I love the whole royalty process,” Melissa said. “I enjoy my daughters being involved, but I also have helped many other girls, too.”

“I think it’s really helped me in being able to speak in front of people, and it helps with poise and to be a little more refined,” Bella said.

“I really like to ride my horse,” Elli smiled. She isn’t too sure yet about the speaking in front of crowds, but her mom, aunt and sister told her that will come with time.

“Rodeo royalty is a great way to get to travel and meet people, too,” Kami added. “And to be a role model to other young girls is important, as well.”

Melissa said she loves that rodeo is “a very humble sport.”

“It’s just good and satisfying to be a part of,” she added.

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