Fresno State sophomore Katie McDougald of O’Neals was crowned 2016 Miss Clovis Rodeo on April 21 in front of a crowd in the Clovis Rodeo Grounds. The 19-year-old is studying animal science with the intent of pursuing a career in range management.
McDougald was born in Clovis and raised on her family’s cattle ranch in O’Neals where she developed an appreciation for riding horses, working cattle and the sport of rodeo.
A longtime Clovis Rodeo fan, McDougald showed her horsemanship skills, academic ability and community involvement to compete against fellow contestants Ellery Vincent and Taylor Brum, both of Fresno, for the rodeo queen crown.
McDougald, who was sponsored by Clovis Kiwanis, will go on to represent Clovis Rodeo at events and rodeos throughout the year.
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Candidates were graded on their scholastic achievement, poise, showmanship and interview skills. McDougald answered the following six questions at the annual Clovis Rodeo Queen Banquet on April 16:
Mark Thompson, rodeo director: If you could invite any three people to join you for dinner, who would they be and why?
Katie McDougald: I would just invite some of my really close friends and maybe just talk about some things and have a great dinner.
MT: It’s been an entertaining presidential campaign. Which two candidates do you think will be on the final ballot, and who would you endorse and why?
KM: Well it has been a very entertaining, as you said, presidential run. I think it most likely will be Donald Trump and probably Hillary Clinton at this point. It will be quite interesting to see what happens. Endorsing, it’s just going to be whoever says the right thing at the right time to the right questions that are being asked. So hopefully we as a country we can come together and pick whoever is going to do the best job.
MT: How would you respond to PETA’s statement that rodeo is cruel to animals?
KM: I think PETA would say that statement because they don’t really know what’s happening, and they just see all these things going on but they don’t understand why it’s being done. We’re all doing it because we want to represent the tradition that has been going on for so long. They don’t know what’s happening and what practical applications it has, so being shown around, show them what we really are doing and all of the great things that we do for our stock, for our horses, everything ... just give them a real show of what rodeo is really about.
MT: Name three of the top 10 commodities produced in Fresno County. Of these three, which is your favorite and why?
KM: I think some of the top 10 commodities ... I’m assuming milk might be one of them, and probably almonds because that’s a new big commodity that’s been growing in the last few years. And maybe pistachios as well because that’s pretty popular in Madera County. Almonds are very good and I really like them.
MT: The 2016 Wrangler Million Dollar Tour will be comprised of seven Gold Tour Rodeos and 11 Silver Tour rodeos. Which type of tour rodeo is Clovis, and what designates a gold or silver tour rodeo?
KM: Clovis is a gold tour rodeo, one of only seven, as you said. I’m not too sure what the designation of the two are, but I know that the gold tour does offer $20,000 per event award money, so that is one of the reasons it is a gold tour.
MT: You love Clovis and you love food, so you decide to open a restaurant here. What would you name the restaurant and what would you serve as the restaurant’s specialty menu item?
KM: Oh that’s a good one. I would probably call it ‘Kate’s Corner’ and probably some breakfast food because me and my friends love to go to breakfast and get breakfast before or after class. So any great Clovis-themed breakfast would probably be our specialty.