Clovis has a new queen.
Katie McDougald, 19, of O’Neals, California, was crowned the 2016 Miss Clovis Rodeo at a coronation ceremony on Thursday, April 21.
McDougald is no stranger to rodeo royalty, having served as Miss Coarsegold in 2014. She is also competes in the arena as a barrel racer on Fresno State’s bulldoggers rodeo team. These experiences with rodeo prompted McDougald to compete in this year’s Clovis Rodeo Queen competition.
“I had ran for Miss Coarsegold and won that in 2014 and then everyone said I should try it one more time and run for Clovis and I said I’d give it a shot and see how it goes and I entered this year and it has been great,” McDougald said. “The experience has been wonderful and I’m so excited to represent Clovis and the Clovis Rodeo as Miss Clovis Rodeo.”
McDougald grew up on a cattle ranch in O’Neals, California, and has been around horses and cattle her whole life. When she got older, she said she started barrel racing and enjoyed it so much she decided to join the college rodeo team at Fresno State. McDougald is currently a sophomore at the university, majoring in Animal Science. She said she is working toward a career in range management: “I want to be able to go out on the ranch and help ranchers make the best decisions for their natural resources,” McDougald said.
As Miss Coarsegold, McDougald traveled to various CCPRA (California Cowboys Pro Rodeo Association) rodeos throughout the state, participated in parades and made many personal experiences. She said she is excited to do the same for the Clovis Rodeo along the PRCA circuit.
“Clovis has such a prestigious rodeo in California so I’m really excited,” McDougald said. “I hope to promote our Clovis Rodeo and promote the sport of rodeo around the state of California to a bunch of different people and just show them what the Clovis Rodeo is about.”
The first runner-up in the Miss Clovis Rodeo competition was Ellery Vincent, 19. Vincent was born and raised in Newbury Park, four hours south of Clovis. She is also a sophomore at Fresno State, where she is studying Equine Science with plans to transfer to veterinary school. She is most interested in becoming a veterinarian for large and exotic animals. Vincent maintains a 4.0 GPA and was awarded the queen competition’s scholastic achievement award.
Vincent said she began riding horses at the age of 12 as part of the Blue Shadows Drill Team, which would often open for rodeos and run flags for sponsors.
Vincent said the competition was a good experience that took her out of her comfort zone.
“This was a good opportunity and it made me a more well-rounded person, I think,” Vincent said. “I feel I’ve gotten a lot better at public speaking and it has really helped me especially in the professionalism sense.”
The second runner-up in the competition was Taylor Brum, 17. Brum was born in Clovis and lives in Fresno. She is currently a senior at Central High School and is an active member of the Fresno-Central FFA program. Brum was awarded Miss Congeniality.
While McDougald made her first turn around the arena as Miss Clovis Rodeo, former Miss Clovis Rodeo 2015 Alicia Aluisi gave her farewell.
Aluisi said she enjoyed her year as the reigning rodeo queen.
“When the year started off, I got to attend the Mayor’s breakfast and when you are queen you get to experience a lot of things that most people may not be able to within your community and during that breakfast I got to sit at the head table with the mayor and some really important people and that was really an awesome experience,” Aluisi said. “There were at least 1,000 people there so that was something to remember. From there, I got to participate in many civic events and I’ve attended numerous rodeos, hundreds of miles away, all over California. Being Clovis Rodeo Queen, everyone knows the Clovis rodeo, everyone knows how prestigious it is and it just became a gold tour rodeo so people respect that so people showed a lot of respect to me for holding their title, which I thought was something to be very proud of and I was very honored so traveling around and having people look up to you as holding that title was really a neat thing.”
Aluisi said one of her favorite experiences was participating in the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo.
“They actually held no regard for political correctness, they said a prayer, they saluted every branch of the military and it was really cool,” Aluisi said. “They had flags for each branch of the military that they ran through the arena and then they awarded every event winner with a brand new shotgun and I’d never seen that before. They were also really able to utilize me. I’m here to help support the sport of rodeo and in that rodeo I was constantly working, constantly doing something and I was glad to be able to help out.”
This week, Aluisi will be competing in the Miss Rodeo Kern County pageant for their queen title. Aluisi currently takes classes online through the Penn State world campus and is pursuing a degree in business. Aluisi also works as a certified personal trainer at GB3. She plans to use her business degree as she takes on more responsibilities on the family farm and as she considers her personal training business.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]