Competing for the titles of Clay County Pioneer Reunion Rodeo Queen and Junior Queen are seven young ladies representing six communities in north central Texas.
The titles will be awarded during Friday’s rodeo performance, following the grand entry. Contestants will complete 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 2012 Pioneer Reunion Rodeo Queen Josey Cleveland of Joy and Junior Queen Kat Hand of Deer Creek.
Josey is the 16-year-old daughter of Scott and Sherry Cleveland of Joy. She is sponsored by Heritage Real Estate of Henrietta. Josey serves as Junior Class President of Henrietta High School, Treasurer of the Henrietta FFA Chapter and President of the Wichita District for FFA. She enjoys competing in horse judging, horse quiz bowl, and showing and competing on district and state levels. She also shows goats and heifers through Henrietta FFA. She attends Bluegrove Baptist Church and is a member of AQHA, ASHA and ARA. Josey has represented Clay County at 15 rodeos, eight parades and volunteered at many engagements this year.
Kat is the 11-year-old daughter of Rex and Regina Hand and a sixth generation Clay Countian. She has four ancestors that were also pioneer royalty and is proud to have carried on the tradition. Kat is a sixth grader at Windthorst Junior High. She is an active member of clay county 4-H, serving as the secretary for the council. She is also the secretary for the 4-H horse club. Kat is very active in softball, 4-H and youth rodeo year round, winning many awards in the past year.
Kat has volunteered at several events and performed community service over the past year. She has helped at the Sonshine House, Henrietta and Clay COunty Chamber of Commerce Easter egg hunt, Turkey Fest, Edwards Public Library summer reading program, writing cards to sick children through the Kids Unite to Fight program, mentoring younger children in youth rodeo, making items for benefit auctions and many others.
Rodeo Queen Contestants
Marlee Rater, 20, of Buffalo Springs, is a sophomore at North Central Texas College pursuing a degree in Radiology, and is sponsored by Huskey Hat Company of Wichita Falls. She is the daughter of Tandy and Gidget Rater, and employed at Bowie Equine Hydro Therapy rehabilitating and reconditioning horses. She was the 2010 Archer County Senior Rodeo Queen, 2011 Miss Jim Bowie Days, and first runner up at the 2012 Clay County Pioneer Reunion.
Mikayla Graham, 15, of Bluegrove, is a sophomore at Midway high School, and is sponsored by the Hat Creek Outfit. She is the daughter of Scott and Lisa Graham. Mikayla is president of the Clay County 4-H Council, vice president of the Clay County 4-H Horse Club, and recently named one of the top 25 in the state to be named a Texas 4-H Equine Ambassador. She is active in basketball, UIL academics, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and FFA. Mikayla is a member of the Henrietta Cowboy Church, AQHA, SHOT and RCHA, where she will be competing in the National Ranch Cutting Horse finals at the end of September. She competes in cutting, working cow horse, team penning and reining. Mikayla was the Clay County junior queen in 2010.
Taylor Watson, 17, of Bluegrove, is a high school junior. She is home schooled and takes courses at Midwestern State University. She is sponsored by Heritage Real Estate of Henrietta. Taylor is the daughter of Bo and Trina Watson. She is a member of the AQHA, TABHSA, and serves as reporter and second vice president for the Clay County 4-H Horse Club. Taylor is a member of the Bluegrove Baptist Church and active in volleyball, cross country and training horses. She volunteers at United Regional Health Care Center as a Pink Darling, and at Dry Fork Vet Clinic in Henrietta.
Kristen Johnson, 19, of Henrietta, is a junior at Midwestern State University, and is sponsored by Texas Best Meats and Catering. She is the daughter of Jeff and Dana Johnson. Kristen is a member of the Henrietta Cowboy Church, where she participates in the WINGS program, Mustangs for Christ, a campus ministry at MSU, and the STEP Honduras Missions team. Her interests include riding horses, painting and running.
Bobbi Loran, 15, of Scotland is a sophomore at Archer City High School, and is sponsored by the Lazy S Cattle Company. She is the daughter of John and Gina Loran. Bobbi participates in band, FFA, 4-H, UIL academics, varsity cross country and track. She is a member of the Archer County 4-H, Horse Club and horse judging team, the Texas-Oklahoma Barrel Racing Association, Chris Cox Horsemanship, AQHA and Miss Rodeo America. She is a member of the Texoma Cowboy Church of Wichita Falls. Her accomplishments include earning the Archer County 4-H speed event high-point buckle, the Texas A&M reigning and horsemanship high-point buckle, and winning first place at the 4-H District Horse judging contest among many others. Bobbi was the 2012 Archer County Junior Rodeo Queen.
Junior Queen Contestants
Rexa Hand, 10, of Deer Creek, is a fourth grader at Windthorst Elementary, and is sponsored by Hand Farrier Service. She is the daughter of Rex and Regina Hand. She is a sixth generation Clay Countian and an active member in the 4-H Horse Club, serving as an officer. She is active in softball and youth rodeo year round. She is a member of the Mid-South Youth Rodeo Association, TOBRA, the Jim Bowie Youth Rodeo Association, Kids Junior Rodeo Association and the Montague County Cowboy Church Rodeo Association. She competes in barrels, poles, goat tying, double mugging, breakaway roping and team roping. In 2011, she earned the title of Texoma Cowboy Church 8-and-under all-around champion, and has received many other awards. Her hobbies include riding horses, playing piano, volleyball, drawing and volunteer work. She attends the Texoma Cowboy Church and enjoys working in the nursery.
Ragen Overton, 12, of Jacksboro, is a seventh grader at Jacksboro Middle School, and is sponsored by 3R Cattle Company. Ragen is the daughter of Gary and Mechelle Overton. She is a member of the Junior FFA, 4-H, the Duke University TIP Program and student council. Ragen’s interests include sewing, playing softball and sewing.