Front row L to R: Savannah Nelson, Malerie Asher, Jenna Preece, Kade Ruby, Jessica Ashcraft
Second row L to R: Maddy Allen, Klancie Seiler, Rachael Toll, Rylie Boyce, Cassie Neilsen, Brandi Krajnik, Shauna Stewart
Back row L to R: Lily Weinacht, Becky Marchbanks, Kathy Jo Ayotte, Dusti Olson, Erica Weissenbuehler, Gabi Rhoades, Jennifer Larson, Karen Danley
The unique, one-of-a-kind synchronized riders known as the ‘Snake River Stampeders Night Light Drill Team‘ were organized in 1997 to inaugurate the Snake River Stampede’s move from the old outside arena that was torn down to the indoor Ford Idaho Center arena.
Throughout the years, a multitude of attractive young women have ridden in the drill and several different themes have been featured from patriotic shows to ghost riders in the sky. The riders are made up of a select team of young ladies who perform a precision riding drill in the dark. They wear lights on their clothing and attach lights to the gear on their horses. Many of the riders are rodeo queens or queen contestants. In the past, several have held the title of Miss Rodeo Idaho or Miss Teen Rodeo Idaho. Although they were organized to be a trademark of the Snake River Stampede, they are highly acclaimed across the nation. They have performed multiple times at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and were also selected to perform at the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2002, they were invited to ride for the nation’s governors during the National Governors’ Conference. But their most important audience is and always has been their home crowd at the Snake River Stampede.
The lighted drill team is the brainchild of Stampede executive secretary Jimmie Hurley. The riders who are chosen for the drill team are all dedicated young horsewomen who give up many of their weekends and summer evenings to attend drill practice. Many of them are mothers and young professionals. They are committed to attending practices, riding in the Stampede parade and performing at each of the Stampede performances. They do all of this without pay and on a volunteer basis. In order to travel to the out-of-town shows, many of them have to take vacation time from work. The drill instructor is Paula Vanhoozer. Randi Wood is the assistant coach and is in charge of the design and acquisition of lights for the group. They are also non-paid volunteers. There are also several helpers among the husbands and fathers of team members who work on the light team. Tryouts for the team are held each year in the early spring. Those who are interested in trying out or want more information on the team should call 208-466-8497 or e-mail Jimmie Hurley at the Snake River Stampede office, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more details.