Six young women will vie for a place on the Benton Franklin Fair & Horse Heaven Round-Up Royal Court on Saturday.
They are Alissa Bready of Kennewick, Courtney Brown of Prosser, Breeann Jennings of Kahlotus, Katarina Kay Hiebert Rothrock of Burbank, Taylor A. Van Meighem of Richland and Kelci Williamson of West Richland.
The winners will become ambassadors for the Fair and Rodeo for the next year.
The horsemanship contest was last Saturday, and the young women were judged on their riding skills and ability to direct their horses through a specific pattern using a variety of skills.
The pageant will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday, at the Country Gentleman in Kennewick, where the contestants will be judged on speech and modeling.
Tickets are available by calling the fair office and are $25 in advance, including dinner. For more information, call 586-9211, ext. 203. RSVPs are required by Thursday.
Winners will be awarded scholarships by the Fair Association.
Alissa, 19, is the daughter of Robert and Lori Bready of Kennewick. Her love of horses started at age 7 with a pony named Sunshine. She has competed in gaming events and horse shows over the years. She served as queen for the Central Washington Pony Club in 2005, and has received honors in 4-H for sportsmanship and citizenship.
She graduated from Kennewick High School, where she was a cheerleader, in 2010 and is a student at Columbia Basin College. She works at McCurley Integrity Dealerships and plans to become a doctor.
Courtney is the 16-year-old daughter of Terry and Meira Brown of Prosser. She has been riding horses for nine years and particularly enjoys competing in barrel racing. She has participated in 4-H for seven years and is riding with the Columbia Basin Cowgirls' Mounted Drill Team.
Courtney is a junior at Prosser High School and is the Pre-Nursing program at Tri-Tech Skills Center. She plans to become a nurse, with a minor in animal science.
Breeann is the 18-year-old daughter of Gary and Connie Jennings of Kahlotus. She has been showing horses since age 7, and has participated at the Benton Franklin Fair for 10 years, exhibiting pigs, steers and horses. Bree also is an accomplished singer, having competed in the high school level of the Nashville Star Competition last year.
She is a graduate of Kahlotus High School and is attending Walla Walla Community College's viticulture and enology program. Bree would like to open a winery near Kahlotus someday.
Katarina Kay Hiebert Rothrock
Katarina is the 16-year-old daughter of Ronald Hiebert and Juli Gradwohl of Burbank. She has been riding and showing horses since she was 5. Katarina is president of her 4-H club and has been a member of Columbia-Burbank High School's WAHSET team (Washington High Schools Equestrian Teams). She holds state and national titles in power-lifting.
After high school graduation, Katarina plans to pursue a degree in education and become a kindergarten or first-grade teacher.
Taylor A. Van Meighem
Taylor, 17, is the daughter of Jeff and Lori Van Meighem of Richland. She began riding at age 5 and earned her first medal at age 6. She has participated in the Benton Franklin Fair for eight years and received the Most Inspirational Award in 2006 for participating in the fair just months after major surgery on both of her legs.
She is a student at Kamiakin High School and, after graduation, plans to attend a university in the Pacific Northwest. Taylor hasn't yet decided on a career path but is interested in fashion marketing, event planning and animal science.
Kelci, 18, is the daughter of Brian and Kathy Williamson of West Richland. She has been riding horses since she was 4 years old. Kelci has a long list of accomplishments from her equestrian endeavors and has dreamed of being a member of a rodeo court for many years. She volunteers at Lourdes Medical Center and Spot-O-Faith Horse Rescue.
Kelci is a recent graduate of Richland High School and CBC, with an associate's degree. She plans to enlist in the Navy ROTC and pursue a degree in nursing. She eventually would like to open a horseback riding facility for injured military veterans.