Two San Benito County women compete for Miss California Rodeo Salinas

Winner will be announced at the July 18 opening performance.
Miss Rodeo Gilroy 2019 Corissa King.
Miss Rodeo Gilroy 2019 Corissa King.

Locals Kelsee French and Corissa King will be among three contestants vying for the title of Miss California Rodeo Salinas for 2019.

The competition began July 17 and the winner will be named during the opening performance on July 18 at 7 p.m.

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.

This year’s contestants are Kelsee French (Miss San Benito Rodeo), Madison Jones (Miss Old Town Clovis Kiwanis) and Corissa King (Miss Gilroy Rodeo).

Miss California Rodeo Salinas will be judged on horsemanship (40 percent), personality (30 percent), appearance (20 percent) and scholarship (10 percent).

The winner 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.

2019 San Benito County Contestants 

For French, representing her hometown of Hollister means representing its rodeo and history along with the town’s morals and values. She currently attends Gavilan College and is pursuing a degree in physical education.

While in high school, she was active in multiple sports, high school rodeo and Future Farmers of America. She has competed in rodeo events throughout her life. 

Recently, she acquired a love for reining cow horses and barrel racing. She is most proud of winning the Junior All-Around Champion at San Benito County Saddlehorse Show and Rodeo.

Outside of the arena, French spends her time at the gym, coaching two high school basketball teams, going to the beach, playing with her dogs and being with family. She would eventually like to build a place for the disabled members of her community to experience horses.

Fifth-generation Californian and Miss Gilroy Rodeo Corissa King is also from Hollister. She currently attends Cal State-Fresno with plans of becoming an agriculture education teacher.

In high school, she was involved with Hollister FFA, where she showed livestock, started a welding business and held several officer positions. She was awarded FFA’s American Degree in 2018, the organization’s highest honor.

King participated in events at junior rodeos and local rodeos. She was an intern at the Beef Unit at Fresno State and is a current member of the school’s Block and Bridle Club. She enjoys being involved as secretary of the Fresno State Young Cattlemen’s Association, and served as an intern for the California Cattlemen’s Association Convention for two years.

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 from different backgrounds.


The 109th California Rodeo Salinas takes place July 18–21. For more information, go to


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.