Where glitz and glamour meets boots and the buckles in the dirt of the rodeo arena—that’s the place Alicia Aluisi of Clovis wants to be.
After her year serving as Miss Clovis Rodeo 2015, Aluisi wasn’t ready to hang up her bedazzled cowgirl hat and just two weeks after passing the title onto the new Miss Clovis Rodeo, traveled down to Bakersfield to compete in the Miss Kern County Rodeo competition.
Not only did Aluisi win the newly established Miss Kern County Rodeo title, but she wowed judges, sweeping the competition by winning in all five categories—horsemanship, speech, appearance, rodeo knowledge and personality. Aluisi competed against four other girls and in addition to winning the title and ability to represent Kern County at rodeos across the state for the next year, she won the use of a Dodge Ram truck for the year, plus a two-horse trailer for her to keep as well as a saddle, jewelry and other gifts.
Aluisi said the competition for Miss Kern County Rodeo was intense and the level of rodeo knowledge required for the written test portion was extensive. Additionally, Aluisi said this was the first time she had to deliver an impromptu speech.
“For Miss Clovis Rodeo, you just do the impromptu questions on stage but for Kern County there was actually an impromptu speech and 15 minutes before you go on stage they give you a topic and you have to write a speech in your head and go out and present it and after that you get asked three impromptu questions,” Aluisi said.
The speech Aluisi ended up giving was about something she is passionate about—how social media both helps and hurts the sport of rodeo.
“I was really excited about the topic and I knew a lot of information regarding that so I went with it and I ended up winning the speech,” Aluisi said. “I won all five categories but I was most excited about winning the speech because I’d never done an impromptu speech before.”
The entire competition spanned four days, Wednesday to Saturday, and in addition to taking the written rodeo knowledge test and giving an impromptu speech, Aluisi was interviewed, competed in horsemanship, and participated in a few different fashion shows. One of the highlights of the long weekend, though, was being able to tour the Kern County Sheriff’s Department and learn about the Sheriff’s posse, which she now represents as Miss Kern County Rodeo.
“They like to show you what you are representing and it was really fun because I got to ride the cop car simulators and then try out the simulators with the belt where you have the pepper spray and the gun and the baton and we each had to choose which one to use in the scenario presented on screen,” Aluisi said.
Winning the coveted title means Aluisi is part of history. In past years, two queens represented two different rodeos within the county—there was a queen for the Bakersfield Stampede Days Rodeo and a queen for the Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association’s rodeo. This year, the queen competition was combined so one queen would represent both rodeos.
Both rodeos, Aluisi said, are within the same circuit as the Clovis Rodeo. As Miss Kern County Rodeo, however, Aluisi must attend a certain number of rodeos on the circuit. In Clovis, she said, it was suggested the queen attend three to 12 rodeos throughout the year, but for Kern County, Aluisi had to sign a contract saying she would attend at least 15 to 20 different events.
It means Aluisi will be traveling a lot this year, but she doesn’t mind. In fact, she specifically chose to attend Penn State online so she would have time to devote to rodeo. She did the same thing her senior year of high school, transferring from Clovis East High School to Clovis Online so she could finish her high school career while traveling from rodeo to rodeo.
Aluisi has been enamored with the sport of rodeo since the age of 5, when she witnessed family friend Kadee Coffman get crowned Miss Clovis Rodeo. It was at that time Aluisi made it a lifelong goal to become the Clovis Rodeo queen. She was so eager to compete in the queen competition that when she was 16, she entered the Bakersfield Stampede Days Rodeo junior queen competition. That rodeo competition, as well as the new Kern County competition, has categories not just for queen, but junior queen, princess, junior princess and tiny princess. This year, Aluisi’s niece actually won the tiny princess competition so the two will be traveling to rodeos together.
It was after Aluisi served as junior queen in Bakersfield that she was finally eligible by age to compete for the Miss Clovis Rodeo title. After achieving that dream, Aluisi said she was hooked and decided to return to Bakersfield to compete for their new Kern County title.
“I accomplished my lifelong goal and it was great and I’ll never forget that experience and I’m very grateful for it but I realized that even though Clovis is my hometown that Kern County and Bakersfield Stampede Days Rodeo will always have my heart,” Aluisi said.
Now, Aluisi said the next step will be competing for Miss Rodeo California in October of 2017.
Aside from competing in queen competitions, Aluisi also plans to enter in the barrel racing events at some of the rodeos she attends.
“I’m applying for my permit within the WPRA hopefully this summer,” Aluisi said. “The reason for that is I’m going to all these PRCA rodeos and I’m going to represent my rodeo as Miss Kern County, but while I’m there I might as well make my run at the barrel racing and slack and see where I go.”
Aluisi also hopes to finish her degree in business within three to three and a half years.
“I’ve already chosen my career choices and I’m already working in my career that I’m planning on pursuing as of right now,” Aluisi said. “I’m a personal trainer at GB3 and I hope to grow that business and hopefully one day become an independent trainer and I’m working in my family farming business and it is really hard to juggle school as well as training and farming so I’d like to finish school and put more into farming and learning and growing with my dad and flourishing within that business.”
Aluisi credits her family with supporting her and getting her through each rodeo queen competition. Her parents, Karen and Don Aluisi, have been her biggest supporters and have helped her with everything from getting her rodeo queen hair just right to hauling her trailer for her before she turned 18. Her mom, in particular, has been her rock.
“My mom has been and is a lot of things including a farmer’s wife, a basketball mom, a tennis mom, an FFA mom, and the list goes on,” Aluisi said. “But, none of those things prepared her to be a rodeo queen mom! She probably never thought she would have to learn what proper rodeo queen hair looks like or where to find the best person to dye my pants, boots, and belt fuchsia pink to match one shirt for a contest. But, she has taken on the role of my woman behind the scenes and I couldn’t do it without her.”
Aluisi said she is also grateful for the support of her siblings Dario, Donielle and Ashley.