Shelby County to host state THSRA queen contest
The Texas High School Rodeo Association's annual statewide THSRA queen competition is going to be held in Shelby County this year.
The event leading up to the THSRA Rodeo is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30, according to Ann Blackwell. The organization's annual Finals Rodeo will be held in Abilene from June 5-13
However, the queen competition will not be open to the public and will be held in accordance with state and county rules regarding social distancing and public gatherings, said Blackwell, Shelby County Treasurer.
She said she was asked to coordinate the event under the challenges of the COVID-19/coronavirus era and agreed as long as the event could be hosted in Shelby County.
“This is a big event to be having in Center,” Blackwell said. It is unfortunate it happens to be during a time of restrictions on public gatherings, she said.
There were originally seven candidates, but two had to drop out due to COVID-19 related issues, Blackwell said. This year's queen candidates are:
• Rylie Cravens is from Iraan, Texas and represents Region 2
• Laramie Dearing is from Paradise, Texas and represents Region 3
• Jayden Moore is from Goliad, Texas and represents Region 7
• Sydni Cain is from Jasper, Texas and represents Region 5
• Kristina Ribbeck is from Richmond, Texas and represents Region 7
High Roller Arena will be the site Friday afternoon and evening for the preliminary round of competition for the 2020 THSRA Queen title. Included is horsemanship, formal modeling, speeches and a written test. The evening will also include a barbecue dinner provided to contestants and organizers provided by her and Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell.
The five contestants from across Texas are competiting for $10,000 in scholarship money. That is part of the $100,000 in scholarship funds being awarded across Texas to all scholarship recipients.
The weekend highlight will come about 2 p.m. Saturday when the 2020 THSRA Queen and court is named at High Roller Arena.
“A special thanks goes to High Roller for helping make this all possible,” he said. The queen coronation will take place a week before the THSRA Finals Rodeo in Abilene from June 5-13.
Blackwell said the rodeo will be one of the state's first major public events allowed as the state reopens from most public activities, from sporting events to chruch services, not allowed.
The THSRA offered the following information on the rodeo.
“In accordance with Texas ordinance related to Governor Abbott’s executive orders and plans to re-open Texas business, THSRA proposed a responsible plan of action to the City of Abilene for the production of a safe, quality THSRA Finals event,” the organization said in a statement.
“Complying with statewide restrictions is not only mandatory, but also essential to the safety of THSRA contestants, families, rodeo personnel, and the community surrounding Abilene, Texas and Taylor County,” organizers said.
THSRA has been granted approval to host a modified version of the THSRA State Finals Rodeo. This year’s THSRA finals will be run and managed differently than previous finals events. Strict guidelines and format changes will be in place to protect the safety of our contestants, parents, Taylor County Expo staff, and all rodeo personnel.
For more details on the finals rodeo, please visit: https://www.thsra.org/