Bailee Nelson, Miss San Benito County Rodeo 2014 (at left) with Annie Tobias, the 2013 queen.

Bailee Nelson is this year’s Miss San Benito Rodeo. She was selected as the winner last weekend at Bolado Park. Contestants are expected to be qualified stockhorse riders and familiar with ranch-related equipment and traditions. 

Lisa Tobias, mother of two previous winners, provided a report on the judging day. Tobias can be considered an expert on Miss San Benito Rodeo contest trials and tribulations. Her youngest daughter, Annie, was Miss San Benito County Rodeo 2013 and Lisa’s daughter, Grace, had the title in 2011. Tobias said Nelson will represent the Saddle Horse Show Association in the Chamber of Commerce downtown parade, at various association events including the Memorial Roping, membership barbecue as well as through the three days of the show and rodeo.

Every year, people from the community gather at the fairgrounds to see the contestants ride and go through the interview process. Contestants are given a thorough grilling and the winner immediately steps into a high profile, leadership role. Grace Tobias tells more about the requirements and responsibilities that come with the Miss San BenitoRodeo title in the video, “Rodeo Queen, San Benito Style”.

Annie Tobias, Miss San Benito Rodeo 2013, said, “For me, being Miss San Benito Rodeo gave me the opportunity to represent an organization that really means a lot to both myself and my family. It is something I grew up with and has become such a big part of my life, I could not imagine a better way to give back than being Miss San Benito Rodeo and going out to represent the rodeo the best way I can. The contest is such a great opportunity for girls to step outside of their comfort zone and step up to something bigger, something that is really of importance for the entire community. It’s a way to be involved at a level deeper than participating in the show and teaches you a lot about yourself, as well as the show”.

Lisa Tobias said four contestants were judged during an interview in front of an audience on communication, appearance, poise, presentation, scholarship (Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo history and knowledge of traditional equipment used on reined stockhorses) and horsemanship. In horsemanship, the contestants are evaluated on equitation, dismount/remount, reining pattern, flag presentation and queen’s run. Karli Skow was awarded the horsemanship award and was first runner-up.

Bailee Nelson will be in the Saddle Horse Parade on Thursday, June 26, in downtown Hollister. She will also be at the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo on June 27-29.

To learn more about what it takes to be Miss San Benito Rodeo, watch this video: “Rodeo Queen, San Benito Style”