And they rode like the wind…

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Danielle Standiford, reigning 2011 Queen, gave her final Queen’s run Friday night

BRAWLEY – Cattle Call Rodeo excitement begins to build this time of year as the Queen contest finally rolls around. Especially for the young ladies, Kristen Sharp and Anne Locher, who are running for the coveted top honor of the 2012 Brawley Cattle Call Queen.

Both ladies have been practicing hard for the last several months, but in reality, they have been readying themselves for years.

Friday night was the horsemanship contest to judge, not only who can ride, but how well they ride.

Anne Locher a home- schooled junior, was outfitted in a royal blue show jacket embellished with silver lame ribbon, sequins, and crystals.

 “I’m ready and feeling confident,” Locher said before the competition.

Kristen Sharpe, 22, a Holtville student at San Diego State, has been driving to classes on the coast, then turning right around so as to get her daily riding done.  “I’ve done everything I could to be the best I can be, I am prepared for tonight,” Sharpe said warming up her sorrel.

Her light blue show apparel featured black and white ribbons of lame, studded with Swarovski stones.

Both contestants did reining patterns that ask for sliding stops, spins, slow and fast circles, while maintaining complete control of the horse during these maneuvers.

Both girls rode well, but because neither these contestants, nor the teen queen contestants, had reining horses, those coming to see fast and tight spins and dirt flying as the horse dug in for sliding stops didn’t get their show. Although, all were able to execute flying lead changes and each thrilled the crowd with their speed.

The two also switched horses for a horsemanship pattern and they proved to the judges that they could ride well no matter the horse.

Each had two impromptu questions to answer to show the judges they knew the sport of rodeo and had knowledge of their mount. Both girls spoke well and knew what was asked of them.

Mishaila Sampson, 14, a freshman from El Centro, was competing for the second time for Teen Queen. She came dressed in patriotic red, white, and blue. Her horsemanship top was satiny white with a royal blue bodice decorated by red ribbons of lame reminiscent of the stripes on our flag.

“I’ve been training for two years, since I ran in 2010. I have studied and rehearsed, a lot! I’m ready,” Sampson said while upon her brown and white paint.

Competing against Sampson is Mikaela McFadden, 14, a freshman at Southwest High School. She wore a teal outfit covered with black and white swirls of lame, studded with Swarovski crystals that complemented her sorrel.

“I’m actually nervous, that I’m not nervous! I am so ready to compete,” McFadden said.

Both girls rode well, knew the answer to their questions, and showed ladylike composure as they competed in the first night of competition.

A new twist to the evening was added by having the two Little Misses, Cidney Roper and Ruby Robbins, ride in the competition. They did the queen’s run and barrels all at the trot. Both girls will accompany the Queen and 1st princess to all the events leading up to the Cattle Call Rodeo. Unfortunately, only the winner of the teen queen competition will participate in the festivities. The division has no princess.

Saturday night at the Barbara Worth Country Club will be the second part for these young hopefuls. There they will model their western dresses, be judged on speech, and answer another impromptu question. Then the moment they have anticipated, two will be crowned queens.

The evening begins at 5:00 p.m. and the Cattle Call Committee  has added a dance with music by Nitro Express. Dance only tickets are available at the door for $10 per person or $15 per couple. The dance will follow the coronation at approximately 9 p.m.

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