By Joe Naiman
Lifelong Ramona resident Alexis Awrey placed third in the California High School Rodeo Association’s state queen pageant and captured the photogenic award during the CHSRA state finals June 13-18 in Bishop.
Awrey had qualified for the state pageant by winning the CHSRA District 8 queen competition May 1 in Norco.
“It was a lot tougher,” she said of the state pageant.
Awrey, who turned 16 on May 9, has been riding horses since she was 5 years old. She has been involved in barrel racing for approximately five years and competed in National Barrel Horse Association competition and local jackpots prior to making her CHSRA debut during the 2010-11 school year. Awrey added pole bending to her barrel racing activities during the year’s CHSRA rodeos.
Awrey will be a junior when Ramona High School resumes for the 2011-12 academic year. She attended Barnett Elementary School and Olive Peirce Middle School before entering high school.
The district queen title is Awrey’s third rodeo queen honor. She was the Ramona Rodeo’s Little Miss in 2006 and the Young Miss for 2009.
The district and state pageants included a horsemanship routine, an interview, a prepared speech and a written test. At the district pageant, Awrey won not only the overall queen honors but also the horsemanship, congeniality, speech, interview and appearance awards while scoring second on the written test.
“That was a good pageant,” she said.
Awrey rode Dudu, an 8-year-old quarter horse, in the district and state pageants.
The CHSRA is comprised of nine districts (District 8 includes San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties), and the nine district queens competed for the state queen honors.
“When I went for the state queen, it was a much higher caliber of girls running,” Awrey said.
District 5 (Central California) Queen Katelin New won the state title and will represent California at the National High School Rodeo Association’s national finals in July.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Awrey said of placing third.
Awrey’s reign as District 8 queen will cover the 2011-12 CHSRA season.
“I’m excited because I’m going to be queen all year,” she said.