Two Hollister women compete for Miss California Rodeo Salinas

Winner to be named on July 19 during the opening performance.

Two Hollister cowgirls, Valerie Costanza and Corissa King, will be among the six ladies vying to take home the title of Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2018. The winner acts an ambassador for the both local event and the sport of rodeo.

Competition began Wednesday, July 18, and the winner is expected to be named during the opening performance on Thursday, July 19.

The title of Miss California Rodeo Salinas is well known in the rodeo industry. Each year, ladies from across the state travel to Salinas and compete to represent the largest rodeo in California.

The 2018 contestants are Costanza—Miss Monterey County Sheriff’s Posse; King—Miss San Benito Rodeo; Isabeau Ennis—Miss Quartz Hill V.F.W. Post 3000; Madison Jones—Miss Old Town Clovis Kiwanis; Merilee Raynor—Miss San Mateo County Horsemen’s Association; and Mary Suess—Miss Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse.

Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2018 will be judged in these categories:

  • Horsemanship (40 percent)
  • Personality (30 percent)
  • Appearance (20 percent)
  • Scholarship (10 percent)

The winner of the contest will receive a $2,500 scholarship to be used at the college of her choice, a gold and silver trophy belt buckle and the use of a two-horse trailer for a year.

2018 San Benito County contestants

Valerie Costanza, daughter of DeAnna Costanza and Michael Monahan of Hollister, is competing as Miss Monterey County Sheriff’s Posse. Currently attending Gavilan College, Costanza plans on becoming a medical assistant by obtaining her bachelor’s degree at CSU-Monterey Bay. She finds joy in helping others, and as a medical assistant ensures that she is helping people every day.

With experience competing in local junior rodeos, ranch rodeos and gymkhanas, Costanza’s favorite events include reining, horsemanship, showmanship, barrels, and other speed events. Outside of horse events, she was an active member of Future Farmers of America. Her experience in FFA and her involvement with horses has shown her how agriculture impacts our communities.

Costanza loves swimming, hiking, boating, and spending time with her family. Since rodeo is a large part of her life, she enjoys meeting new people and sharing her knowledge of the sport. Once she completed her education and become established in her career, she would like to own a horse boarding facility.

Corissa King, a fifth-generation Californian and Miss San Benito Rodeo 2018, is the daughter of Dean and Cindy King of Hollister. She currently attends CSU-Fresno with plans of becoming an agriculture education teacher to help guide future agriculture industry leaders. In high school, she was involved in Hollister Future Farmers of America with showing livestock, starting a welding business, and holding several officer positions. King has submitted her record book in hopes of achieving her American FFA Degree.

From a young age, King participated in events at junior rodeos. She is currently an intern at the Beef Unit at Fresno State and a member of their Block and Bridle Club. She enjoys being involved as secretary of the Fresno State Young Cattlemen’s Association, as well as the California Cattlemen’s Association.

Outside of school and rodeo, King loves spending time with her family, friends and her puppies. Her other hobbies include playing field hockey with her little sister, welding, and meeting new people.

The 108th California Rodeo Salinas takes place July 19–22. For more information, go to




Blaire Strohn is 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, she is passionate about the agriculture community and western way of life.