Girls of the West
The Girls of the West story is about our young Rodeo Ambassador, and how she helps promote “the western way of life and the western-type American girl” at our Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and other events. Meet the Girl of the West:
2024 Girl of the West, Makena Norton, is the 20-year-old daughter of Jeff Norton and Kristen Norton, and sibling to Maddy Norton. She has been involved in many realms of the equestrian community including the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association, Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and a member of the Pikes Peak Rangerettes. She also served as the 2022 El Paso County Fair Queen.
Makena is studying Agricultural Communications at the University of Wyoming. She hopes to have a career in which she can incorporate rodeo into her area of study. When not at school, Makena spends her downtime with her family and dogs, and riding her horses.
The mission of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo is near and dear to Makena’s heart as her grandfather served in the United States Air Force. She is grateful to be a part of an organization that has proudly donated its proceeds to help service members and their families in the Pikes Peak region since 1946.
Makena rides her sorrel Quarter Horse gelding named Herbi.
2024 Aide to Girl of the West, Aneka Normandie, is the 18-year-old daughter of Kristin Stites and Rich Normandie of Peyton, CO. Aneka was a member of El Paso County Hearts and Hooves 4-H club for eight years where she won several state titles and served as the 2023 El Paso County Fair Queen. She was also a member of the Pikes Peak Rangerettes promoting and dedicating her time to the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo for four years and was captain for the 2022 season. Aneka has many equine achievements with the APHA youth champion at the 2023 National Western Stock Show being her most recent accolade. Aneka currently attends Colorado State University where she is majoring in Communications and History. She hopes to use her major to incorporate the history of rodeo and impact of the sport into more mainstream areas of life. Aneka loves to spend time with her sorority sisters, ride her newest two year old pony, Teddi, and go on adventures with her family.
The military aspect of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo is especially important to her as she currently has two parents serving, her mother in the U.S Navy and her father in the U.S Air Force.
Aneka rides a sorrel Quarter Horse mare named Dolly.
GOTW images above © 2023 Waldrons Family Studio; Hats by Greeley Hat Works; Buckles by Clint Mortenson Silver and Saddles