For many girls in this area, it’s a dream to one day be Mariposa County rodeo royalty.
But while many have the dream, few enjoy it as reality. On Sunday, three new girls became royalty.
Ciana DeSelle was named the 2018-19 Mariposa County Fair Rodeo Queen, Desiree Turck was named princess and Lily Habeck was named junior princess.
“It’s amazing. It’s something I’ve always wanted,” said DeSelle, 17. “I have no words. It’s insane.”
DeSelle, a senior at Gold Rush Charter School, said “rodeo and animals in general have been a huge part of my life.
“To be able to spread it to the young girls like me, and the love of community in Mariposa, it’s a huge honor,” DeSelle added. “I want to bring more people to the rodeo in our community and all the events we have, and then try to introduce more people to the sport of rodeo, because it is a dying sport.”
DeSelle was born in San Jose, but her family eventually moved to Tuolumne, seeking a smaller community.
She has been involved in cross-country, volleyball, show choir and in volunteer efforts.
After she graduates, she plans to attend Columbia College and then transfer to Feather River College for a degree in an equine-related career.
Her cowgirl advice is, “Always ride toward what is right, even if it means riding alone. And when in doubt, make a circle.”
Turck, 14, just graduated from Mariposa Elementary School with honors and is starting high school. She plans to participate in FFA.
She would like to eventually open up a veterinarian clinic after graduating college. She has been involved in several sports and in 4H.
Habeck, 7, is in second grade at Sierra Foothill Charter School. She loves playing outside and spending time in the outdoors.
Rodeo royalty are expected to serve as ambassadors for the sport of rodeo, the fair and the region.
Through the summer the contestants fundraised and worked on their skills for the competition day, which took place on Aug. 11. The contestants show their horsemanship abilities, and then have private interviews. They then compete in modeling, poise and impromptu questions.
The queen contestants are also set to give a speech based on this year’s fair theme, “Ridin’, Rockin’ and Livestockin.’”
For more information about the Mariposa County Rodeo Royalty program, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The contest is administrated by the Mariposa Friends of the Fairgrounds Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
Runner up princess: Rachel Borreson
Runner up junior princess: Daniele Turck
Outstanding theme speech: Ciana Deselle
Most raffle sales: Lily Habeck
Junior onstage performance: Lily Habeck
Junior horsemanship: Daniele Turck
Cowgirl tough: Tillyanna Healey
Best interview: Rachel Borreson
Top overall fundraiser: Jenna Binnewies
Top princess onstage: Desiree Turck
Most ticket sales: Desiree Turck