County Fair and Rodeo crowns its first queen
A 2022 graduate of Cashmere High School is the first-ever Chelan County Fair and Rodeo queen.
Austyn Robinson was crowned Sunday, Nov. 12, at a pageant held at the Tillicum Riders Clubhouse at the Chelan County Fairgrounds. She was chosen by a panel of three judges that included former and current rodeo queens from around the state. Robinson gave a personal interview and speech, demonstrated a riding horsemanship pattern and answered impromptu questions on horse health, personality and the rodeo.
Organizers initiated the pageant this year and aim to make it an annual event, showcasing and honoring local young women with an enthusiasm to compete for the title. Robinson will participate in a year of community events, public speaking, parades, luncheons and rodeos while serving as a goodwill ambassador for the Chelan County Fair and Rodeo.
Kristen Mattson, director of the Chelan County Fair and Rodeo Queen program, said organizers couldn’t be more pleased with their new queen.
“Austyn not only represents the western lifestyle but she is also a confident and personable young lady,” Mattson said. “When she walks into a room, she makes everyone feel welcome. We are thrilled she will be helping us build our new rodeo queen program while educating people about the rodeo.”
Robinson, 20, is the daughter of Nick and Casey Hollenbeck of Prosser and Ryan and Leslie Robinson of Cashmere. She grew up on a family farm in Prosser, where she currently works for Prosser Memorial Hospital as a barista. Her future plans include earning her veterinary technician certification so she can further pursue a license in equine dentistry.
While in high school, Robinson participated in the Washington State High School Rodeo, competing in barrel racing. She has been around horses most of her life, participating in both 4-H and FFA as a student. In fact, as a young girl, she always wanted to be a rodeo queen after watching her aunt compete for – and win – the title of Miss Rodeo Washington 2012.
“As the rodeo queen, I really just want to be a good example for other people,” said Robinson, who will be riding her horse Cookie, a 12-year-old registered Paint, at local parades and Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association events. “And as the first queen of the Chelan County Fair and Rodeo, I want to do my part to help this program grow for next year.”
Robinson said that among her immediate goals is to introduce herself to the community and become acquainted with her fellow queens representing rodeos around the state. Watch for the new queen to make her first appearance in an official capacity on Nov. 18 at the Omak Stampede queen coronation.
She’s also excited about introducing more people to the rodeo lifestyle.
“I love the family and family environment that comes with the rodeo as well as that competitive drive,” Robinson said. “I’m really looking forward to sharing my love for the rodeo with the people I meet.”