TONASKET – Jerian Ashley was crowned the 2011 Tonasket Rodeo Queen at the coronation ceremony held on Saturday, Oct. 23 in the Tonasket Eagles.
Ashley, a senior at Tonasket High School, was chosen over fellow THS senior Cortney Ingle and was crowned by outgoing Queen Taylor Ayers, another THS senior.
“It’s amazing, I’m speechless and very, very happy,” Ashley said after being crowned. “I hope everything goes smoothly while I’m queen.”
This was Ashley’s second year trying to be the Tonasket Rodeo Queen and her fifth time trying for a royalty title. Two years ago, she competed to be Okanogan County Fair Queen and Okanogan County Junior Rodeo Queen, a crown she sought three years ago as well.
Before the announcement of Ashley as queen, Master of Ceremonies Mike Stansbury announced this year’s special Comancheros’ awards. Bud McSpadden was awarded Club Member of the Year for always stepping up and doing whatever the Comancheros needed him to do whenever they needed him to do it. The Tonasket Kiwanis was chosen as the Organization of the Year for working behind the scenes so often to help so many other organizations in town. Ray and Helen Casey were awarded the Volunteers of the Year for helping the Comancheros, despite not being members of the organization. Finally, Stampede Awards & Designs, owned and run by Jerry and Stephanie Bradley, was chosen as the Business of the Year for going out of their way to help the Comancheros despite personal troubles this year.
During Ashley’s candidate speech, she spoke about her involvement in the community, which includes nine years of being a 4-H member as well as being a member of the Tonasket Comancheros Rodeo Club, Boots and Saddles Barrel Racing Club, T-Club and the Loomis Community Club.
“My favorite part of any rodeo is watching the grand entry,” she said. “I love hearing the announcer call out the names of the queens and who they represent. I want to be the queen the young girls look up to.”
During Ingle’s candidate speech, she also spoke about her involvement in the community, which includes her membership in the Caribou Trail Junior Rodeo Association, the American Quarter Horse Association and the Boots and Saddle Barrel Racing Club.
“Rodeo has always been a passion of mine,” Ingle said. “It would be a great honor to represent my hometown and its rodeo.”
Unlike previous years, this year each girl was asked a different impromptu question. Ashley’s question was what she would check the day before going on the road for the weekend’s events.
“I would have a checklist for my horse’s gear, such as the saddle, brush and other gear,” she answered. “I would also have a checklist for my gear, including my rodeo clothes, my sash, my crown and my other rodeo gear.”
Ingle’s impromptu question was what would she do if, just before the rodeo was about to start, she noticed her horse had pulled a shoe. She said if it was just the one shoe, she would go through with the rodeo and hope her horse wasn’t sore in the morning.
During 2011 the Tonasket Rodeo Club will be providing the Queen’s buckle, a traveling serape, a breast collar, a $400 mileage allowance, parade flowers, an $800 clothing allowance, one dozen red roses, a $500 scholarship and the Queen’s sash.