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About Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current | View Entire Issue (June 19, 2019)
June 19, 2019
Rodeo phenomenon, Hanley “Noodle” Miller dismounts his horse during a successful run during the tie down roping event at the Cayuse Junior Rodeo held at the Harley Tucker
Memorial arena in Joseph on June 15-16. Miller won the “All-Around-Cowboy” award, the top award at the event.
‘Noodle’ Miller ready to hit the rodeo big-time
By Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain
Rodeo legends Trevor Brazile and
Derek Kolbaba better move over. Local
rodeo cowboy, Hanley “Noodle” Miller
is breathing down your necks because he
wants that All-Around-Cowboy buckle.
Miller, 12, has already got a good start on
the path, as he’s earned his way into a slot
at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo,
held in Huron, S.D. later this month.
The multi-talented Miller is following
in the footsteps of his idol, Brazile, who
has won an astounding 14 “All-Around”
titles in his storied career. He is also fol-
lowing in the large rodeo footprints of
older sister, Haley, and older brother,
The young cowboy, just headed into
seventh grade, qualiﬁ ed in several events:
Team roping, ribbon roping, breakaway
roping and goat tying.
Hanley, who acquired the nickname,
“Noodle,” from his curly hair is a polite
young man with a man’s handshake and
dressed every inch the cowboy he is,
including his battered straw hat.
Miller is a Wallowa County native
and said he pretty much grew up on
horseback. He still gets plenty of horse-
back time as his family has its own horse
ranch, the “Sliding M” Ranch. The fam-
ily also manages the Fence Creek Ranch
out on Zumwalt Prairie.
The cowboy started to rodeo at the age
of eight, inspired by Brazile, and even at
12, he takes his sport seriously.
“I want to do it for a living,” he said.
Asked for his ultimate goal: “I want to
make it to the NFR (National Finals
Rodeo).” As much as he likes Brazile,
Miller said he’d like to break the older
Miller competes in only one other
sport: basketball. That makes sense,
because he competes in so many events
in rodeo. Asked to name them, he lists
team roping, breakaway roping, calf rop-
ing, ribbon roping, goat tying and chute
dogging. The last event is similar to
Rodeo rules don’t allow Miller to com-
pete in bulldogging from a horse because
of his young age. Instead, the sport is per-
formed from the bucking chutes. It’s not
his favorite event though.
Ellen Morris Bishop
“Noodle” Miller expertly heels a steer in the 2018 Chief Joseph Days Ranch
“Calf roping and team roping are my
two favorites,” he said. “I don’t know if
I could choose between them.” Rough
stock riding is not in the picture. “When I
was young, I rode it, but I didn’t like it –
I’ll stick to my horses.”
Speaking of horses, Miller is the proud
owner of Capone, a 13-year-old quarter
horse. Miller is also the owner of four,
count ’em, four trophy saddles, including
a Sloan and two Double-J saddles.
As it stands, Miller will head out to
South Dakota on June 20 for 12 days of
Greg Seufer, who works with all the
Miller children as a sort of stand-in coach,
is impressed with the young cowboy. He
noted Miller’s work ethic as among the
best he’s ever seen and isn’t surprised that
Miller qualiﬁ ed.
“He qualiﬁ ed at the top end,” he said.
“He’s not going for the fun of it. He’s got
the points going in to ﬁ nish at the top.”
One thing Seufer noticed is the bound-
less energy Miller displays in pursuit of
his dreams and his focus.
“He’ll go a long ways as long as
there’s enough fuel to keep him going,”
Seufer said. “There’s no lack
While Miller likes school,
the sport does cause him to
miss the occasional day, espe-
cially during the latter part of
the school year and even the
ﬁ rst part, if the season is still
on. His desire to make good
at the sport he loves leaves
him little free time, although he
doesn’t seem to mind.
“I practice every day,” he said. I
practice most of my events – calf rop-
ing, team roping, every day and ride
horses. That’s about it”. At the same
time, he isn’t allowed to shirk ranch
duties. Like the rest of the family, he
pitches in to do whatever needs to
be done to keep the ranch going.
As local youth rodeos are some-
what scarce, Miller does a lot of
traveling. He competes as far away
as Prineville and also hits Pendle-
ton, La Grande and Milton-Freewa-
ter, which is his favorite.
“It has good ground and they have
nice steers there,” he said. “It’s not dusty.”
Hanley Miller, when he’s not horseback.
Steve Tool/Wallowa County Chieftain
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