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One road ends, another begins for UGF cowgirl Heather Knerr - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

One road ends, another begins for UGF cowgirl Heather Knerr

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The Four Seasons Arena has been pretty good to Grass Range native Heather Knerr.

In January, Knerr entered the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals in Great Falls sitting in seventh-place in the year end standings. Three nights and three great rides later, Knerr and her horse Hershey walked away with the average championship – punching her ticket to the Ram National Circuit Finals in Kissimmee, Florida.

Knerr failed to earn a check in Florida but the experience was invaluable.

“It was awesome,” Knerr said of the weekend. “Definitely a whole other level of competition running against a lot of girls who have been to the NFR. I think I learned a lot about how to take the next step and it was definitely cool because I’d never been to Florida.”

On Friday night Knerr will return to the Four Seasons to compete in the Big Sky Region Finals as a member of the UGF Argos rodeo team. Knerr is a 5th year senior having spent part of the last four years studying and riding at Northwest College in Wyoming and West Texas A&M where she earned her undergrad degree in accounting.

She wanted to come back home to Montana to pursue her Master’s degree and UGF head coach Dick Lyman and the Argos were happy to oblige.

“It’s been a great experience,” Knerr said. “He had recruited me out of high school but I couldn’t afford to come here at the time. But they’ve taken great care of me and I love just being a part of the team. We do everything together. We travel together and eat meals together. It’s a lot different than in Texas.”

Knerr missed a regional rodeo while preparing for and competing in the National Circuit Finals. And as such isn’t in contention for a top three spot at regionals and a berth in the College National Finals Rodeo. But she’s excited for her final college rodeo either way. She hopes to use it as a springboard to the next phase of her life. Hitting the pro rodeo circuit full time.

“Yeah, it’s going to be sad,” she said. “I learned a lot through college rodeos. But there are new and exciting things too. After this summer I’ll go to more circuit rodeos and get ready to go on the road more. It might take a couple years to go to the NFR.”

How about a return trip to the Four Seasons in January?

“I hope so!”

The Big Sky Region Finals are set for Friday and Saturday night at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. Performance times are 7pm.

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