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Chico cowgirl ropes Stonyford Rodeo Queen title
A Chico woman will reign over the 69th annual Stonyford Rodeo on May 5-6 in northwestern Colusa County.
Emily Rath, 20, was named Stonyford Rodeo Queen on Saturday, following a competition during Western Days at the Colusa County Fairgrounds
Rath was one of 11 young women vying for the title.
"It's amazing," Rath said. "This is something I have wanted to do for a long time."
Rath is the daughter or Rand and Lisa Rath of Chico.
She competed for the title last year and was named Miss Congeniality.
Rath, who works at the Horse Store and More in Chico and with disabled kids at Jans Rails to Trails, said it was wonderful to show other girls what can be accomplished when they put their heart into something.
Rath attends Butte College, and began preparing for the competition months ago.
Although Rath competed last year on a rescued horse, she entered the competition this year with her own reigning horse named Kid, a 10-year old yellow dun.
"I wanted to pull out all the stops," she said. "I really wanted this and I worked hard to get it."
Rath was crowed by outgoing queen Ashley Truman, who represented Stonyford at numerous rodeos and parades throughout the year.
"It's was an awesome experience," said Truman, who described the end of her reign as bittersweet. "I hate to see it come to an end, but it is wonderful that another girl will have the same opportunity."
Tracy Ferriera, 23, of Princeton, was selected first runner-up.
Ferriera is studying agriculture business in college, and is a member of the Agricultural Ambassadors Association.
Nicole Brown, 18, of Chico was named Miss Congeniality by the other contestants.
Brown is a senior at Chico High School and is a Butte County 4-H All Star.
The rest of the royal court includes Marissa Hoke, 24, of Orland, Emily Murullo, 17, of Grimes, Katy Evans, 22, and Danielle Hedglin, 17, of Chico, Joclyn Bennett, 16, of Kelseyville, Jenny KuyKendall, 14, of Middletown, and Stonyford's hometown girls Taylor Monk, 16, and Kendall Rose, 14.
It was the largest group of contestants in many years, with several newcomers making their debut, organizers said.
Rose, one of the youngest contestants, said she had butterflies going into the riding portion of the competition on Saturday, but did extremely well on her 15-year-old sorrel named Joe, according to the spectators.
Fourteen is the minimum age for contestants to enter the competition.
"This is something I've dreamed about all my life," said Rose. "It awesome just being able to compete."
Hoke is also a Stonyford Rodeo regular, and has "run the flags" for several years, and Monk's family has been involved with the Stonyford Rodeo for over 60 years.
The competition included a judged interview and a written test.
Because of Saturday's rain, the saddling portion of the competition was canceled, and the riding patterns were moved to the T.K. Marshall Pavilion, a covered facility where the queen was crowned after the Western Days roping events.
Rath and her court will next appear in the Stonyford Rodeo Parade, which will start at 10 a.m. on May 5, making its way from Indian Valley Elementary School to the rodeo grounds in Stonyford.
Stonyford Rodeo events include the May 4 kickoff dinner at the Stonyford Community Center, barrel racing at the rodeo arena and a dance at the Timberline Bar & Grill.
The rodeo opens with Rath's grand entry at 1 p.m. May 5 and at noon on May 6, and includes bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling, calf roping and mixed team roping.
The Stonyford Grange will serve breakfast both days, and serve dinner on Saturday evening at the Stonyford Town Hall.
Sunday worship services are at 10:15 a.m. at the Stonyford Community Church.
The Stonyford Rodeo is organized by the Stony Creek Horsemen's Association, which was formed in 1943 to sponsor and promote community activities in Stonyford.
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or email@example.com.