rodeo queens

The Kern County Rodeo Queens for 2017 dropped by Dunkin' Donuts to meet and greet customers of the shop and invite them to the upcoming rodeo. This year's queens include, from left, Sami Hobson, 11, Emma Francom, 8, Sheridan Knight, 15, Raegan Rockey, 6, and Amanda Hop, 21.

Darla A. Baker / Tehachapi News

They have dreams of becoming horseback riding trainers, a teacher and a veterinarian.

The Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association arranged for the PRCA Rodeo Queens to visit Dunkin' Donuts and greet the public on Aug. 7, and they shared their hopes for the future.

But right now they're focused on promoting the upcoming rodeo.

The queens were crowned in May and will appear at the rodeo to be held the weekend of the Tehachapi Mountain Festival on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18 and 19, in the Milano Arena at the Tehachapi Event Center and Rodeo Grounds, 601 S. Dennison Road.

"We are going to be walking around and help promote everything," said Miss Rodeo Kern County Princess Sami Jo Hobson, 11.

Hobson said the best thing about being crowned queen is she has had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and have fun with her court.

Miss Rodeo Kern County Junior Princess Emma Francom, 8, said this was the first time she wore the crown as a rodeo queen. The young queen said she was very excited to receive her crown.

Asked what her parents had to say about her being crowned queen, Francom said, "They said, 'Good job.'"

So what's most fun about being a rodeo queen?

"Getting to hang out with all the girls who are in your court," said Miss Rodeo Kern County Junior Queen Sheridan Knight, 15.

Other than the upcoming rodeo, the queens plan to next appear at the Wasco parade and Tehachapi parade.

Miss Rodeo Kern County Tiny Princess Raegan Rockey, 6, said she was has never ridden in a parade before, and is excited about receiving her crown.

"The best part is to be with your friends and have fun," Rockey said.

Asked, "What about the horses?" Rockey said, "That's fun, too."

Miss Rodeo Kern County Amanda Hop, 21, said she has a long history of being involved with rodeo pageants. She began when she was 5 years old, and this October she plans to compete at the Miss Rodeo California Pageant.

To prepare, Hop said she was required to sell raffle tickets, locate sponsors and do a whole lot of studying.

"We don't bring a horse to the pageant, so it is very important that we learn how to ride different horses so that we get used to it," Hop said.

In addition, Hop said she would be required to do public speaking and be well-rounded in the sport of rodeo.

Asked what they want to be when they grow up, the queens replied:

• Hobson: "I either want to be a teacher or a horseback riding trainer."

• Francom: "I want to be a horseback riding trainer." Francom added that she would like to perhaps be a mommy someday.

• Knight: "I want to be a veterinarian, and attend Oklahoma State."

• Rockey: "I want to be a horseback trainer, and be a mother." Rockey said she also plans to go to college. Where? "Junior High."

• Hop: "I currently attend Mount San Antonio College. I plan to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona, and I want to be an agriculture teacher."

Said Hop, "Thank you to all of our sponsors, and we would like to invite everyone out to watch the Tehachapi Rodeo."

Dunkin' Donuts marketing representative Lori Bartelmie said the restaurant invited the rodeo queens to their eatery so they could meet the community and promote the upcoming rodeo. Bartelmie said the restaurant has participated in several recent promotions such as the one it hosted for the rodeo queens.

According to area manager Charles Peyton, the restaurant will also be participating in Cheers to Charity, a golf tournament, Coffee with a Cop, and Coffee with the Mayor.

"We're keeping busy," he said. "We are wanting to do other events in the community and lend our support.

Individuals or organizations interested in having Dunkin' Donuts host one of their events are asked to call Gwen Herzog, shift lead and marketing coordinator, at 822-1418. The store is located at 540 Tucker Road.