Georgia Finnigan, Junior Cowgirl entrant.
Georgia Finnigan, Junior Cowgirl entrant. Contributed

Crowning a queen in tough conditions

The crowning of the Rodeo Queen Quest entrants is less than two weeks away and contestants are putting final touches to their outfits, working on their speeches and perfecting their horse moves.

Entries to the Quest closed last Friday with a total of 15 entries across five categories this year, only one less than last year's show.

Mikyla Hogno and Nicole Evans will be vying for the chance to become the face of the Warwick Rodeo and Gold Cup Campdraft, the Rodeo Queen.

The Princess title attracted three nominations from Abbie Skaines, Lilygrace Robinson and Charlotte Jarvis.

Junior Cow Girl was a popular category for girls aged 8-13 years with six entrants. They are Casey-lee Shelton, Georgia Finnigan, Mackenzie March, Jorja Hill and sisters Chelsea Flint and Maddison Flint.

The youngest categories, Mr and Miss Tiny Tot, drew the interest of two boys and two girls, all aged six years. Esther Christensen and Halle-belle Tribe will compete for Miss Tiny Tot while Darcy Flint and Angus Lelay will battle it out for Mr Tiny Tot.

Kate Christensen, who is organising the Quest with Robynne Yarwood, said the biggest challenge of the competition, horsemanship, would be judged on Saturday October 12 from 8.30am at the Warwick Showgrounds.

The older girls will also be judged on their speech and presentation, and fundraising was an important aspect of the competition and a major source of income for the Warwick and Rodeo Show Society.

As part of the judging, the Queens and Princesses will be allotted two minutes to speak on a set topic.

This year the Rodeo Queens will be asked, "Why are events like Rodeos and Campdrafts so important in tough times?”.

The Princesses will be asked to respond to the question, "What are the benefits of a princess to a Queen?”

Ms Christensen said given the drought conditions the Queen entrants had found fundraising a greater challenge this year.

"They've been more creative,” she said of their fundraising efforts.

The Crowning Night will take place from 6pm on Saturday October 12 at a dinner at the Douglas Feez Pavilion at the Warwick Showgrounds.

From then on the Rodeo Queen will take up her crown and her role as ambassador the Rodeo. She will be tasked with promoting the event across the Southern Downs community and be called on for presentations and special occasions.

The Crowning night is a prelude to the main event, the Warwick Rodeo and Gold Cup Campdraft, on from October 21-27.

For more information visit Warwick Rodeo Queen on Facebook.

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