With the Royalty Clinics attended and the application deadlines met, it came down to the competition at Casey Jones Park on May 2 to determine the Royal Court for the 2016 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo. Following a daylong competition, Kelly Sweigart, of …
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With the Royalty Clinics attended and the application deadlines met, it came down to the competition at Casey Jones Park on May 2 to determine the Royal Court for the 2016 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo. Following a daylong competition, Kelly Sweigart, of Elizabeth, was named the 2016 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo queen and Taylor Braun, of Englewood, 2016 attendant.
Sweigart will be starting her senior year at Elizabeth High School in the fall. Her family has been involved with the Elizabeth Stampede for nearly 12 years, and she hopes to share her positive experiences with the Stampede. She is a member of the National Honor Society, lettered in basketball, and will apply to college with the goal of becoming a dermatologist.
Braun is a freshman at Cherry Creek High School. She began riding at the age of 7, initially riding English. Her parents took her to her first Elizabeth Stampede when she was 5.
The daylong competition began at the Casey Jones rodeo arena, where competitors demonstrated their horsemanship by performing a series of maneuvers, which involved successfully riding an established pattern, a flag run and a queen's run.
According to the competition guidelines, “Each contestant must demonstrate to the committee that they are mounted on a well-broke horse that is accustomed to loud noises and commotion.”
Throughout the morning, the three judges queried the contestants on a range of topics, testing their knowledge of equine health and horse tack. One line of questioning presented a hypothetical challenge from anti-rodeo activists.
Following a break for lunch, contestants modeled formal western wear and gave a speech lasting up to three minutes. More questions followed the speeches before the three judges tallied their scores.
The 2016 royalty will be will be presented in the arena during the final rodeo performance on June 7, where they will begin a one-year reign leading up to the 2016 Elizabeth Stampede. Sweigart will succeed Nadia Postek, 2015 queen, who graduates from Regis Jesuit High School this spring.
Braun will be taking over for Ashley Baller, 2015 attendant, who is completing her freshman year at CSU. Baller also acted as a coach for Braun leading up to the competition.
Eligible contestants for Elizabeth Stampede Royalty are Colorado residents living within 100 miles of Elizabeth, and candidates may compete for the title of queen, attendant or both. The queen and attendant reign for one year and represent the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo at public events such as regional rodeos and county fairs, parades and royalty luncheons, as well as appearing at charitable functions and schools.
The 2015 Elizabeth Stampede runs from June 5-7. It was named PRCA Small Rodeo of the Year for the third time in 2013. The PRCA is located in Colorado Springs and sanctions rodeos in the United States and Canada.
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