Story ends latest Woodlake Rodeo chapter as Queen
By Amy C. Witt
woodlake – While every girl dreams of being crowned a princess or queen, Kelsey Story has been working hard for her dream since she was 10. That was the age when she began riding horses with her father, Earl, who showed cutting horses.
In 2015, she won the Senior division all-around champion saddle for Sierra Junior Rodeo Association in Springville (SJRA). Along with the all-around award, she’s won many roping, goat-tying, pole bending and breakaway titles. Story’s favorite event is breakaway because she loves the challenge and she loves the connection and fun she has with her horse, Dually. She competed for this year’s queen competition because of her appreciation toward rodeo and its involvement, along with being able to represent the sport and hometown she loves.
And last Saturday, May 6 the Golden West High School cowgirl was not only crowned winner, but also Queen of the 64th annual Woodlake Lions Rodeo.
“This means a lot to me. I’ve been competing in rodeo for about eight years and I love everything about the sport,” Story says. “This competition was also very challenging – the girls were all amazing people and great horseman, so winning is incredible.”
The title didn’t come easy for Story. In the middle of the competition, she was presented with many challenges that would make anyone want to quit the competition and anticipate next year’s. But Story pushed through a debilitating bout with mono followed by chicken pox in March and April.
The sickness sidelined her for four weeks of the competition during a critical time of the competition of learning the reining pattern as well as, teaching her horse how to rein as well. As she had only ever competed in rodeo events, the queen competition was the first time she had competed in a horse showing event.
“Being able to win meant so much more because of the hoops I had to jump through,” expressed Story.
Cowgirls are judged on three categories which include horsemanship, poise and personality. Ticket sales make up 25% of the competition, while appearance and poise accounts for 25% of the competition and 50% in horsemanship. Story won ticket sales by selling $10,000 worth of rodeo tickets, took first in poise and personality and won second in horsemanship.
“My goal as rodeo queen is to have a lot of fun, travel to as many rodeos as possible to represent Woodlake rodeo and inspire little girls to compete in rodeo or run for a queen contest,” Story said.
Corinne Whitney, 16, of Woodlake was named this year’s 1st Princess for the Woodlake Rodeo. Whitney took first place in the horsemanship. This year’s Rodeo Queen Court also included Tiffany Kilgore, 20, of Exeter and Emilie Albright, 18, of Woodlake.
Queen Kelsey will appear at the Woodlake Lions Rodeo on Mother’s Day Weekend, May 13-14 and represents the rodeo at events and parades throughout the year. The Queen contest is structured to be educational and fun for participants. Starting in early February, the contestants attended several workshops and meetings to strengthen their horsemanship abilities, gain greater poise and learn all aspects of the contest process.
For more info, visit www.WoodlakeLionsRodeo.com.