BRAWLEY — Under a cloud-dappled sky and country western music blaring over loudspeakers, people arrived to watch the 65th Brawley Cattle Call Queen horsemanship contest held at the Cattle Call arena Saturday, Oct. 9.
Vying for the 2021 CCQ titles were Chyenne Cox for Teen Queen; Emerson Brandt for Junior Miss; and Reese Johnson, Madeline Chalupnik, and Savannah Hernandez for Little Miss.
Also in attendance were reigning royalty, Gianna Irungary, 2020 BCC Teen Queen; Kalysta Lopez, 2020 Junior Queen; and Harper Brandt, 2020 Little Miss.
Missing was last year’s Queen Kamrin Dickerson, away at college, and queen contestant Rylee Locher. Locher had been exposed to COVID and was in quarantine. According to event planner and Brawley Cattle Call Queen Royalty Association President Dana Mendoza, if Locher had been competing against another candidate, she would have had to forfeit her application. As she had participated in every horsemanship competition prior, the association said she was more than capable of earning more than the 70 percent required for the title. She could zoom her interviews with the judges and would be crowned at a later event.
California High School Rodeo District 8 Queen special guest, Molly Pole, who is also a Brawley resident, attended the coronation as well.
This left Gianna Irungary showing the crowd and three out-of-town judges the reining pattern for contestant Chyenne Cox and the pattern for moving a steer back and forth in the arena. Before The contestant did cow work, also known as boxing, reined work was required, which is a riding pattern that asks horse and rider to perform fast and slow circles, lead changes, spins, sliding stops, and the backup.
Also involved in the contest was a display of knowledge of professional rodeo, saddle and bridle parts, and equine comprehension. The Little Miss and Junior Queen contestants all participated, impressing judges and attendees with their depth of knowledge.
Questions included, “When did the PRCA start? How many events are in a rodeo? Name two timed events.”
Perhaps the most anticipated part of the contest is the queen’s run, where the Teen Queens, contestant and last year’s winner, rode hard around the arena, saluting the crowd, then circling back to the center of the arena for an impressive sliding stop. HSRQ Molly Pole also gave a queen’s run.
The girls had a chance to rest before Saturday evening’s festivities commenced. The coronation was held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in El Centro. The hall was filled with tables of family, friends, and fans as the girls modeled three separate rodeo outfits, performed a dance together, gave speeches, and eventually were crowned. The only suspense was who would win the Little Miss category with three competing. After a time, the judges chose firecracker Savannah Hernandez, a second-grade student at Ben Hulse in Imperial.
Emerson Brandt of Brawley is the 2021 Junior Miss Queen, Chyenne Cox, who is vying for all four crowns in the series, has her third as 2021 BCC Teen Queen. Queen coordinator Mendoza announced Brawley Cattle Call Queen Rylee Locher will enjoy a coronation after her quarantine.
The queens will now become ambassadors for the upcoming rodeo, visiting schools, clubs, events, and eventually landing at Brawley’s professional rodeo in November.