Woodlake Rodeo crowns its Queen

By Mo Moore

For 54 years, Woodlake cowboys have paid tribute to young horsewomen in the community by crowning a Rodeo queen. After months of hard work five young women stood in nervous anticipation last Saturday night to hear who would be announced as this year’s queen.

As the crowd drew in a breath, it was 19 year old Alex Cervantes' name that was said. The 2005 Tulare Union graduate credited her faith, family, sponsors and trainer Chuck Perkins for her success.

&#8220At first I couldn't believe it when they called my name, but I was so excited,” Cervantes said. &#8220Images of all the people who helped me ran through my head at that moment.”

The process to participate in the Woodlake Rodeo Queen contest is one that takes months of preparation and hard work. Applicants have to be between the ages of 16 and 24, unmarried and have knowledge of riding and the rodeo.

After applying in January the girls are given tickets to sell. Then there's studying to do. Rodeo Queen applicants should have a full knowledge of the rodeo and known cowboys. Fifty percent of the contest is horsemanship, 25% is poise and personality and the last twenty-five percent is ticket sales.

Cervantes knows all too well how one can fall in love with the rodeo. At a young age Cervantes was introduced to rodeos and riding by her father. She also got involved in 4-H starting in Elementary school and in local riding events. Since then her love for the rodeo has only grown.

&#8220I wish everyone could ride in a rodeo because they would fall in love with the history and the traditions,” said Cervantes. &#8220It's especially important to introduce younger ones who look up to older cowboys and cowgirls to the rodeo so the tradition will continue.”

As the winner, Cervantes was honored with a sparkling tiara and belt buckle as well as a finely tooled saddle donated by Valley Business Bank. Cervantes will serve as the representative for rodeo events throughout the year and make her famed appearance in the Woodlake Rodeo parade.

As far as the Woodlake Rodeo goes, she'll see y'all there.

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