Apple Pie and Rodeo Queen – An American (and Valley) Tradition

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Brawley Cattle Call Queen Alex Baran demonstrates the horsemanship aspect of the Queen Contest.
Brawley Cattle Call Queen Alex Baran demonstrates the horsemanship aspect of the Queen Contest.

BRAWLEY – Ask anyone in the Imperial Valley who the face of the Brawley Cattle Call Rodeo is the answer will be the Brawley Cattle Call Queen. The Queen contest dates back to when the rodeo was held on Brawley’s football field, before the Cattle Call Arena even existed. This was over 60 years ago, and since then the title of Brawley Cattle Call Queen has become highly renown.

Yet over the years, the contest has dwindled. In the far-past, it was common for ten or more contestants to vie for the Queen title, lately the contestants’ numbers have shrunk from five girls to as little as one. Because of this, the Brawley Chamber of Commerce devised a plan of action to restore the contest to its former grandeur. Thus, the Brawley Cattle Call Queen Clinic was born.

“The idea of the Cattle Call Queen clinic is to let the people know that the contest is accessible,” explained Brawley Chamber of Commerce CEO, Jason Zara. “There’s some misconceptions that one needs to be rich, or a highly-experienced horsewoman. While there is certainly a time commitment and you certainly have to be very knowledgeable in horse riding, we still wanted everyone to know that it is possible to get involved a lot easier than they might think.”

With over 60 years of queens, a community of past and present royalty has formed and they are more than willing to help out. Zara stated that this network of royalty is very willing to lend out almost anything a contestant might need. This includes clothes, equipment, and even horses, all working towards making running for Cattle Call Queen as cost-efficient as possible.

Current Brawley Cattle Call Queen Alex Baran, along with Teen Queen Sarah Grizzle were in attendance and helped out with the clinic. Baran believes that the Chamber is on the right track in restoring the contest to former glory and stated that the contest “holds a special place in her heart.”

Baran said, “This is a good contest and a great experience to have. As for the clinic, no matter what level of experience you have, it is always good to learn something new or at least have a refresher course. This clinic is a valuable tool for the Chamber because it gets the word out in the Valley to all available girls and gains the interest of those who might want to run.”

The clinic included a riding demonstration by Alex Baran, a brief history of the Cattle Call Rodeo and Queen contest, a description of what it is like to be Queen and the mother of a Queen, details of what you need to participate, information on social media and public “do’s and don’ts”, a question and answer session, and was concluded with an autograph signing and photo opportunities with Alex Baran.

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