Six young ladies will vie for the title of rodeo queen, and two for the title of junior queen, during the 81st Pioneer Reunion and Rodeo this week.
The titles will be awarded prior to Friday’s rodeo performance. Contestants completed competition Thursday evening with an introduction and interview process at the annual J.T. and Helen Lyles Memorial Rodeo Queen’s Dinner.
Retiring this year are 2011 Pioneer Reunion Rodeo Queen Kyla Rater of Buffalo Springs, and Junior Queen Kalico Burkes of Hurnville.
Kyla, 20, is the daughter of Kyle Rater and Darla Vieth, and is involved in the United States Team Penning Association, North Texas Team Penning Association, National Ranch Sorting Association and Stock Horse of Texas.
Kalico, 11, is daughter of Chris and Dee Ann Littlefield and a sixth grader at Henrietta Junior high. During her time as junior queen, She volunteered at several community events including the Paul T. Morgan Ranch Rodeo, Turkey Fest, the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce Easter Egg Hunt, Texas Ranch Roundup and many others. While she had fun riding in the parades and grand entries, Burkes says her favorite part was helping the little kids get brave enough to chase a calf in the calf scramble.
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Rodeo Queen Contestants
Macy McDaniel, 17, of Arrowhead Ranch Estates, is a senior at Midway High School, and is sponsored by the Luke Halsell Ranch of the Halsell community. She is the daughter of Jim and Lisa McDaniel. Macy is involved in Clay County 4-H, FFA, Texas and Southwest Cattle Raiser Association, WRCA, WWRCA, Arrowhead Ranch Estates VFD and Texoma Cowboy Church. Her interests include hunting, sporting clay shooting, riding horses and working cattle.
Lauren Halsell, 19, of Henrietta, is a sophomore at Vernon College, and is sponsored by Three Circle ranch of Crowell and North Camp Ranch of Bellevue. She is the daughter of John Halsell and Donna Burch. Halsell is studing business and communication and intends to transfer to Texas Tech after receiving her associate’s degree. She is a member of Texoma Cowboy Church and the American Quarter Horse Association. She is a past member of the Clay County 4-H and Henrietta FFA. Interests include modeling and working cattle.
Josey Cleveland, 15, of Joy, is a sophomore at Henrietta High School, and is sponsored by Heritage Real Estate of Henrietta. She is the daughter of Scott and Sherry Cleveland. Josey is class president, and treasurer of the Clay County 4-H, and is a member of the 4-H horse club, competing in horse quiz bowl, reining, cutting and team penning. She won her age division in the 2011 CCPA Play Day. She is involved in the Henrietta FFA, AQHA, ASHA and volunteers with the Clay County Memorial Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary. Josey’s interests include the First Baptist Church, UIL Debate Team, softball, volleyball, four-wheeling and fishing. Last year, Josey was named Who’s Who at Henrietta High School in communication applications and biology.
Kasey Taylor, 16, of Jolly, is a junior at Midway High School, and is sponsored by Bud and Renee Frey of Double Tree. She is the daughter of Steve and Shelly Taylor. Kasey is involved in UIL Ready Writing, UIL Impromptu Speaking and FFA. She is a member of Texoma Cowboy Church, and Clay County 4-H, participating in 4-H Horse Club, shooting sports, 4-H Dog Club, and serves on the Clay County 4-H Council. Kasey’s interests include reading, swimming, showing working dogs, working cattle, volunteering at the Clay County Animal Shelter, and organizing fundraisers for the North Texas Rehab Center. Kasey has also helped the Elk’s Lodge raise funds for Cook’s Children’s Hospital. Kasey has won a number of 4-H awards, including Rookie of the Year, Bronze Star, Silver Star and Gold Star. Kasey is the 2008 Archer County Junior Queen, and the 2011 Archer County Senior Rodeo Queen.
Caroline-Leigh Macha, 14, of Wichita Falls, is a freshman at Rider High School, and sponsored by Turtle Creek Stables of Wichita Falls. She is the daughter of Paul and Kathy Macha. Caroline-Leigh’s interests and activities include Tennis, FFA, barrel racing, pole bending and the Texas High School Rodeo Association.
Marlee Rater, 19, of Buffalo Springs, is a sophomore at North Central Texas College, and sponsored by Huskey Hat Company of Wichita Falls. She is the daughter of Tandy and Gidget Rater. Rater’s interests include horse therapy, reconditioning and rehabilitation. She is employed at Bowie Equine Hydro-Therapy. Rater is the 2011 Jim Bowie Days Rodeo Queen, and the 2010 Archer County Rodeo Queen.
Junior Queen Contestants
Rexa Hand, 9, of Deer Creek, is a third-grade homeschool student, and is sponsored by Bob Sanders of Ponder. She is the daughter of Rex and Regina Hand. Rexa’s interests include family, art, volunteer work, horses, rodeo and sports. She participates in softball and volleyball, and is a member of the Mid-South Rodeo Cowboys Association, Jim Bowie Youth Rodeo Association, Texas Timed Event Champions, and the Chisholm Trail Youth Rodeo. Rexa competes in barrels, poles, goat tying and steer daubing. Achievements include the 2011 Texoma Cowboy Church 8-and-under all-around buckle champion, 2012 8-and-under all-around saddle champion, and the 2012 JBYRA 7-10 all-around buckle champion. She is a member of Texoma Cowboy Church.
Kat Hand, 10, of Deer Creek, is a fifth-grade homeschool student, and is sponsored by Third Cutting, winner of the Triple Crown, and owned by Carl Smith of Jacksboro. She is the daughter of Rex and Regina Hand. Kat’s interests include fiddle, piano, volunteer work, 4-H horse quiz bowl, family, rodeo, softball and volleyball. She participates in barrel racing, poles, goat tying, steer daubing, breakaway roping, double mugging and team roping. She is the 2011 Texoma Cowboy Church 9-12 all-around buckle winner, 2012 YTC 9-12 all-around saddle champion and 2012 JBYRA team roping buckle champion. She is a member of Texoma Cowboy Church.