Jocelynn Barrington, 21, was crowned the Clovis Rodeo Queen on April 24, 2014. Almost a year later, she’s represented Clovis at more than a dozen other California rodeos, served as a dignitary at many events, and is excited to provide moral support and motivation to the next queen contestants.
Five women will compete for this year’s queen title beginning with the Rodeo Queen Horsemanship Competition April 18 at the Clovis Rodeo grounds.
Later that evening, their poise, appearance and personality will be tested at the Rodeo Queen Dinner.
Barrington said this is when the judges will conduct on-stage impromptu interviews to gauge personality, creativity and professional attitude while under pressure. She remembers one question was, “If you could create any flavor of ice cream, what would it be?” And, of course, she said chocolate. Why re-invent the wheel?
Queen contestants will also complete the Scholastic Aptitude portion earlier that day, a test with basic rodeo questions, and questions about the City of Clovis and rodeo sponsors, in addition to a math and essay portion.
Barrington’s essay was about the water crisis and how it affects us, she recalls.
The final portion of the competition is raffle ticket sales, which raises scholarship funds for the contestants. Barrington sold more than 2,000 raffle tickets. At the end of her year as titleholder, she will receive the balance of her rodeo scholarship, totaling more than $3,000.
“The queen contest is important in rodeo tradition and we’re excited to have five really strong contestants this year,” said Greg Gillard, co-chair of the Queen’s Committee and President of the Clovis Rodeo Association.
Gillard said the first recorded Clovis Rodeo Queen competition was in 1916, and as far back as 1933, there was even a Saturday Queen and Sunday Sweetheart crowned.
He said most Clovis Rodeo Queens go on to compete in higher competitions, and former 2004 Clovis Rodeo Queen Kadee Coffman won Miss California Rodeo Salinas, and in 2007, was named Miss Rodeo California. She is now a national TV host and rodeo sideline reporter.
Wanting the Queen title so badly, Barrington started preparing months before the application was even due, a total of five months before the competition. She even read the entire ProRodeo rule book to grow rodeo knowledge.
But most of her western knowledge was not learned from a book. Barrington grew up on a ranch in Mariposa and has been showing horses since she was 4 years old. She said her western heritage is ranch- and rodeo-based with traditional old-school morals because she was raised by her grandparents.
She competed in high school rodeos and is now on the California State University, Fresno Rodeo Team specializing in barrel racing, break-away roping and goat tying.
From 2011-2013, Barrington was also Miss Mariposa County Fair Rodeo.
With 21 units as a college student and jobs as a nanny, secretary’s assistant for the Fresno State Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education office and horse exerciser, Barrington still found time to make public appearances, perform charity work for her sponsor, Kiwanis Club of Clovis, and represent Clovis in 14 other rodeo “Queen Runs.”
Queen Runs are when visiting royalty represent their rodeo at other community rodeos on horseback often making a “run” around the arena waving to the fans, she said.
Next, Barrington has her eyes set on competing in the Miss California Rodeo Salinas title in July. After she graduates college, she’ll consider competing for Miss Rodeo California, which she’s already been personally encouraged to pursue by the current titleholder, she said.
“It’s been a blessing to have this title,” Barrington said. “It’s really inspiring and cool to be able to make connections and be a big part of Clovis. The best part is seeing the little girls in awe and realizing you are someone they look up to.”
When she’s not promoting the western lifestyle, competing in rodeos, going to school or working, Barrington enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking and riding dirt bikes. During the summer, she can be found in the high country of Yosemite mule packing.
The Clovis Rodeo Queen Coronation will take place during the PBR Bull Riding Touring and Pro-Division intermission on April 23. Barrington will perform the first horsemanship competition pattern for the contestants. Tickets cost $25 for reserved seating, which includes the concert.
The 101st Clovis Rodeo takes place April 23 to 26. Gillard said guests can expect new and exciting features at this year’s rodeo including a specialty freestyle FMX motorcycle act by Cody Cavanaugh during each rodeo performance and concerts by Parmalee on Thursday, April 23 and Frankie Ballard on Friday, April 24.
Beginning Wednesday, April 22, there will be more than 550 entrants competing to qualify for the rodeo performances.
“It’s a pretty good draw this year for the cowboys,” Gillard said.