SALINAS — Former Miss Salinas Valley Fair Lena Coulson was crowned 2017 Miss California Rodeo Salinas last Thursday during the rodeo’s opening performance, and will represent California Rodeo Salinas at various events around the state over the next year.
Coulson, who earned the title of Miss Salinas Valley Fair 2016 in King City, is a resident of the Salinas Valley and plans to attend Cuesta College in the fall. She hopes to eventually transfer to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo to study wine and viniculture.
Coulson learned to ride horses at an early age, becoming a member of the National Cutting Horse Association at age 12 and successfully competing in reining classes. She plans to compete in barrel racing on the rodeo team for Cuesta College, with aspirations of qualifying for National Finals Rodeo one day.
Her parents are James and Cecilia Coulson of Salinas.
Every year young women ages 18 to 21 travel to Salinas to compete for the coveted title of Miss California Rodeo Salinas, representing the largest rodeo in the state for one year. The contest consists of horsemanship, personality, appearance and scholarship categories.
The 2017 contest began July 19 and concluded July 20, with Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2016 Megan Ford passing the title on to Coulson.
Other contestants were Valerie Costanza, Miss Monterey County Sheriff’s Posse; Kaitlyn DeMott, Miss Agua Dulce Women’s Club; and Sylvana Talamantes, Miss Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse.
As an ambassador for California Rodeo Salinas, Coulson will visit other rodeos, participate in parades and more during her reign.
She also receives a $2,500 cash scholarship to be used at the college of her choice, a gold and silver trophy belt buckle, the use of a two-horse trailer for one year and the privilege of wearing the Miss California Rodeo Salinas tiara.