TONASKET – Taylor Ayers became the third generation of Ayers women to be crowned Miss Tonasket Rodeo Queen during the coronation ceremony at the Tonasket Eagles on Saturday, Oct. 17.
The ceremony, led by Mike Stansbury, was the culmination of the Miss Tonasket Rodeo Queen competition which started at 10 a.m. Saturday with the horsemanship competition. Personal interviews with each contestant were done on Saturday evening and the coronation began at 7 p.m.
Ayers, the daughter of Jason and Jill Ayers and Tammy Ayers, was crowned queen after Stansbury announced Megan Kelly, the daughter of Mike and Pam Kelly, as the first runner-up. Also competing for the crown was Jerian Ashley, the daughter of Susan Cooskey.
Before the queen was announced, the ceremony began with a farewell speech from the 2009 Miss Tonasket Rodeo Queen Kelsey Gallas, who wished each of the three girls luck and told them they all did wonderfully during the morning’s horsemanship competition.
“I’d like to thank my family and friends for putting up with me and helping me so much,” Gallas said. She then spoke to the contestants about the people they would meet while queen. “You’ll meet lots of people. It’ll be a challenge but a fun challenge and it’s all worth it.”
Stansbury then presented the special awards which the Tonasket Comancheros had voted on. The 2009 Business of the Year is Detro’s Western Store and the 2009 Organization of the Year are the Tonasket EMTs. The non club member of the year is Collette Jones while the club members of the year are Roger and Laurie Sawyer.
After the awards, the candidates gave their speeches to the crowd. Kelly spoke first, stating that every successful rodeo works as a family with the goal of keeping the rodeo alive. Ayers’ speech was a poem in which she discussed the traditions of the rodeo and mentioned that her grandmother, four aunts and two cousins were rodeo queens.
“Rodeo and tradition means so much to me,” Ayers said. “I’d be the third generation of this Founder’s queen.”
Ashley gave her speech last, stating that the last couple of months had taught her how hard a person must work to get what they want.
The last part of the competition before the queen and runner-up were announced was the impromptu question. Each candidate was asked what she would do if she was invited to a rodeo, but when she arrived, she discovered the airport had made a mistake and given her the rodeo clown’s luggage instead of her own.
“You can only do as best as you can and if representing Tonasket in bright colors is what you can do, it’s what you can do,” Kelly answered.
“You only get to be rodeo queen once, so I say ‘go for it’,” Ayers answered.
“Well, I could be a rodeo queen clown,” Ashley said. “Hopefully, we could find my luggage but if not, I’d just have to wear the curly hair, bright cloths and floppy shoes.”
After Stansbury announced Kelly as the runner-up and Ayers as the queen, he handed the microphone to Ayers for her first speech as the 2010 Miss Tonasket Rodeo Queen.
“First of all, it was a cold morning and I’d like to thank everybody for coming this morning,” Ayers said. “I’d also like to thank everybody for coming tonight and for listening.”