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Lori (Bortner) Harding


Miss Bortner, a resident of McCook, NE, is the forty-eighth young woman to earn the distinct honor of becoming Miss Rodeo America.

A 20-year-old sophomore at College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Lori is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medical study. She plans to continue her education at the University of Nebraska, where she intends to study orthopedic surgery.Her ultimate professional dream is to work in sports medicine.

Lori was crowned Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2002 in June of 2001, and then went on to win the title of Miss Rodeo America 2003 on Dec. 7, 2002 in Las Vegas. Lori was chosen from a field of 25 talented contestants each representing their respective states at the annual Miss Rodeo America Pageant. State titleholders from across the nation, ranging in age from 19 to 24, take to heart the job of representing America's number one sport, rodeo. They are first cowgirls and athletes in their own right, having the knowledge of their sport and the gift of communication to educate the public and raise the awareness level about professional rodeo and its related industries such as agriculture, western apparel and entertainment.

"The future of rodeo is very bright and I'm looking forward to being a part of that," said Miss Bortner during a post pageant media conference. "There is so much to know about the sport of rodeo, and Miss Rodeo America can do a great job of educating people about it and help rodeo producers elevate their level of event promotion."

Among Lori's awards is a $10,000 educational scholarship to the college or university of her choice, a wardrobe of Wrangler products, Justin boots, Resistol hats, a silver trimmed saddle from Court's Saddlery and her official buckle from Montana Silversmiths. She will also wear the beautiful tiara provided by Landstrom's Original Black Hills Gold Creations. She will travel over 100,000 miles across the country during her year-long reign.

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