By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America
Coming from the Golden State, my name is Rachel Owens-Sarno, Miss Rodeo California 2016. I’m blessed to live in Lakeside, in beautiful San Diego County. One of my favorite things about my hometown is the diversity of the culture. In a quick 20-minute drive, I can be; at the beach, the mountains, in Downtown, or at hay fields, where the students of my graduating high school learn how to grow and bale hay. It truly is amazing to live in this place.
My free time is spent all over this city and Southern California. Sometimes, it’s a relaxing day with my little brothers. Other days, it is taking a day to visit Disneyland, or traveling between San Diego and Los Angeles to see some live music.
I grew up riding horses. I remember the days of showing lead line on my horse, Legs, a tall, sorrel American Quarter Horse. He was great and dependable. At the age of eight, I got a fiery little pony, which I eventually named Stormy, and that is when my riding really took off. I was blessed to have a herd of amazing horses that I got to learn on. I grew a deep love for Western Pleasure, and showed for many years. At this time, barrel racing my horse, Smoking Hollywood King aka Mr. Biscuits, is my main focus when it comes to riding. Mr. Biscuits is a sweet boy, who loves to please and is learning to be better every day.
Till this day, I remember when I first TRULY fell in love with the idea of being a rodeo queen. I was at the Lakeside Rodeo in 2005, when Markie Battaglia, the current Miss Rodeo Lakeside, was doing her queen’s run. I remember watching her, and thinking, “I could do that.” Little did I know how much work it would really be. Two years later, I was given an opportunity to run for the Miss Ramona Rodeo Junior Queen. Let’s just say, I was not successful. I competed again the next year, and came in second. I was a step closer to my goal. I have never been one to give up, and the next year, I was bumped up to the Miss category, and finally got my chance to be a rodeo queen. I was hooked! I have been blessed to have 5 different titles in San Diego, including Junior and Miss Rodeo Lakeside, the title that inspired it all.
With the backing of the amazing El Capitan Stadium Association, I took the Miss Rodeo Lakeside title to Miss Rodeo California this year. It was an amazing week, filled with wardrobe malfunctions, fun laughs and fantastic friends. I was blessed to come out with the title of Miss Rodeo California 2016, and was so glad I got to be crowned by my good friend, Carollann Scott.
Although my journey has nearly just begun, I have already had some great trips and am looking forward to what this year has in store for me. I am beside myself with the amazing women that I get to share my state year with. I know that we will have the year of our lives, and I am so glad to share it with them.
My platform this year is, “Respect Ourselves, Drive to Empower Others.” I think it is so incredibly important to learn these principles. Self-respect is the start to a better life. And, I firmly believe that building others up, instead of tearing others down, is the way to in turn, better yourself. If you are building others up, you are building yourself up. I hope to share that with many people this year.