Chelan Co. Rodeo Queen In Place, But Funding Needed For Job
Chelan County has its first ever Fair and Rodeo queen.
Cashmere High School graduate Austyn Robinson has won the honor, but now needs funding to travel and make appearances as the fair and rodeo ambassador.
County Commissioner Shon Smith says commissioners may be picking up the slack with funding.
"We might be looking at contributing some money for a need that the fair board has for the rodeo queen to travel around the area and represent Chelan County in a way that we haven't done in a while to try and attract even more people to the fair," said Smith.
The funding needed to cover expenses for the Chelan County Fair and Rodeo Queen in the next year has been pegged at $15,000.
Smith brought up the issue with fellow commissioners during their weekly public discussion this week.
He attended a wrap up meeting of the fair board which focused on this year’s Chelan County Fair. Smith said he learned that ticket sales and attendance at the fair were up this year.
He also said a new board member who was handling the needs of the rodeo queen was not aware that there is a process to seek money for a rodeo queen.
Kristen Mattson is the director of the Chelan County Fair and Rodeo Queen program.
Smith said it's the county's responsibility to provide the queen with financial resources.
"In order to attract a good queen, you can't strap her with those expenses to represent the county around our area," Smith said.
It’s not certain what will be done next to shore up money for Queen Robinson, who will participate in a year of community events, public speaking, parades, luncheons and rodeos while serving as a goodwill ambassador.
Robinson was crowned at a pageant held at the Tillicum Riders Clubhouse at the Chelan County Fairgrounds.
According to a news release, she was chosen by a panel of three judges that included former and current rodeo queens from around the state.
Robinson gave a personal interview and speech, demonstrated a riding horsemanship pattern and answered impromptu questions on horse health, personality and the rodeo.
The release said she grew up on a family farm in Prosser, where she currently works for Prosser Memorial Hospital as a barista.
Robinson’s future plans include earning her veterinary technician certification so she can further pursue a license in equine dentistry.
Robinson said one of her immediate goals is to introduce herself to the community and become acquainted with her fellow queens representing rodeos around the state.
She also said she’s excited about introducing more people to the rodeo lifestyle.
Robinson will make her first appearance in an official capacity Saturday at the Omak Stampede queen coronation.