KINGMAN - The Andy Devine Days Rodeo 2016 queen and teen queen pageant features seven contestants eager to wear one of the crowns.
Beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, the contestants will show off their horsemanship at the fairgrounds, performing a hot lap and flag run for the judges. In addition to a short interview relating to equine science, contestants will also answer questions on horse anatomy and rodeo. The public is invited.
At 1 p.m. in the Elks Lodge, 900 Gates Ave., the contestants will be judged on speaking, modeling, appearance and a private interview. Unlike last year, instead of a speech, the hopefuls will offer a 90-second autobiographical introduction. Admission for this getting acquainted event is $10. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
All of the contestants will be participating in the Andy Devine Days Parade in downtown Kingman at 10 a.m. Sept. 26.
The new queen and teen queen will receive their crowns at 1 p.m. Sept. 27 in the main arena at the Mohave County Fairgrounds.
Tiffany Leo, Andy Devine Days royalty director, said she has been running and fostering the program for more than 20 years now.
"I feel the primary motivation is the overall love of the sport of rodeo," she said of the pageant.
"Rodeo just has a unique atmosphere that is fun to be a part of. Traveling, meeting new people and making lasting friendships and memories while representing your hometown is an awesome opportunity."
This year's contestants for queen are Giana Demaria, Baylee Hammond and Samantha Cook, while the teen queen hopefuls are Hunter Wimpee, Adison Leo, Angelina Perkins and Adrienne Sikel.
Baylee Hammond, 16, attends Kingman Academy High School, where she has been on the honor roll and is taking dual-credit college courses. She has special training in sign language and endeavors to become a livestock production specialist by trade. Her hobbies include anything animal related, barrel racing, rodeo, roping and showing pigs.
Giana Demaria, 19, is a certified nursing assistant from Golden Valley whose scholastic ambitions are to obtain a bachelor's degree in English and a doctorate in science. To that end she hopes to double major to become a medical doctor and is currently attending Mohave Community College.
Demaria has already worn one crown, having been named the 2014 Miss Colorado River Round Up Rodeo Queen.
Samantha Cook, a 17-year-old girl from Hackberry, is currently taking AP English at Lee Williams High School and participated in the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) - Cambridge. She strives to graduate in the top 10 percentile. She is a softball player and her hobbies include KJRA, DMS Gymkhanas and singing. Eventually, Cook would like to obtain a welding degree through MCC, an automotive degree through WyoTech and a full veterinarian degree through Colorado State.
Adison Leo, 12, daughter of Royalty Director and past rodeo queen Tiffany Leo, says that her ambition in life is to play professional softball, ride horses and host softball camps. She hopes to attend the University of Oregon and play on the softball team. In the meantime, she attends the Kingman Academy of Learning Middle School where she is on the A/B honor roll and has perfect attendance.
"From the time I can remember I have followed my mom around dreaming of one day being in that arena and on that stage," Adison said on her pageant application. She was the Colorado River Round Up Rodeo Princess from 2014-2015.
Adrienne Sikel, a 15-year-old student at Kingman Academy High School, maintains honor roll level grades, completed her horse masters in 4-H this year and qualified for the state fair. In addition, she attended 4-H camp as a counselor.
She enjoys barrel racing, soccer, pole bending and goat tying as hobbies. She hopes to attend college and become an ASL interpreter. Her ambition in life is to complete her master's degree and continue to pursue sign language interpretation.
Angelina Perkins, 13, of Mohave Valley, is a student at Young Scholars Academy who is on the B honor roll. She doesn't want to stop there, endeavoring to make the A honor roll as well as become the teen queen. She enjoys singing, riding, coloring and drawing and hopes to one day become Miss Rodeo Arizona, a veterinarian or a singer. She also volunteered to carry the flag at Mohave Crossing Rodeo.
"I want to be in Andy Devine Rodeo Days Royalty because it has always been my dream since I was little," Angelina said.
Hunter Wimpee, also 13, attends White Cliffs Middle School and has kept straight As for four years. She is also a part of the Cambridge program. She hopes to win many buckles and saddles in addition to being crowned teen queen. She is active in rodeo, volleyball and track and would like to become a professional barrel racer and a lawyer.
She wants to become Andy Devine Days Rodeo Teen Queen to make it one of her accomplishments in life.