Sports & Recreation

Hollister local named Miss California Rodeo Salinas

Kelsee French wins competition; will represent for an entire year.

Hollister resident and Miss San Benito Rodeo Queen 2018 Kelsee French was crowned Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2019 at the beginning of the regional rodeo on July 18.

“It feels surreal to be crowned Miss California Rodeo Salinas,” said French on representing one of the biggest rodeos in the state.

The competition judged contestants in several categories, including horsemanship, personality, appearance and scholarship.

French prepared for the contest well in advance. She started last year by attending a Miss Rodeo America clinic in Oklahoma.

“I even did several mock interviews and horsemanship practice with horse trainer Ramona Koch,” she said. 

In addition to the title of Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2019, French received a $2,500 cash scholarship, a gold and silver trophy buckle, a gold and silver tiara, the use of a two-horse trailer for one year, along with other awards.

French is currently attending Gavilan College to pursue a degree in kinesiology with a focus on physical education. She enjoys riding reined cow horses and competing at barrel races in her spare time. 


Blaire Strohn

Blaire Strohn was a popular and vivacious reporter for BenitoLink. Blaire passed away Sept. 25, 2019 after doing her best for years to heroically ignore the limitations of Cystic Fibrosis. Despite these challenges, she was a graduate student at Oklahoma State University focusing on International Agriculture. Blaire also graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Communications. Born and raised on a cow/calf operation ranch in Paicines, Blaire was passionate about the agriculture community and western way of life.