SALINAS VALLEY — Four contestants will compete for the 2022 title of Miss California Rodeo Salinas beginning Thursday.
This year’s competition consists of personality and appearance, scholarship and scholastic contests. The winner becomes a year-round ambassador for the California Rodeo Salinas, traveling to rodeos, parades and other community events to promote the state’s largest rodeo.
Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2021 Emily Cullins will pass the title along to one of the following contestants: Mayson Bothwell, Miss La Grange Rodeo Princess; Rose Escobar, Miss Salinas Valley Wine Country Pro Rodeo; Macee Nunes, Miss West Hills College Rodeo; or Chelsea Rogell, Miss California Gymkhana Association District 14.
“We look forward to meeting each contestant,” said Laurie LaVelle, director of the Miss California Rodeo Salinas Committee. “The unique and individual character of each contestant plays a part in the long-written history of the Miss California Rodeo Salinas Contest.”
The 2022 contest, presented by Holiday Inn Express and Suites, begins Thursday, July 7, and ends Saturday, July 9, with the winner announced before noon at the awards ceremony on the Mike Storm Director’s Patio at the Salinas Sports Complex.
The winner will receive a $3,000 cash scholarship to be used at the college of her choice, a gold and silver trophy belt buckle and tiara, the use of a two-horse trailer for one year and many other gifts.
From a fifth-generation California family, Bothwell hails originally from Livermore but now lives near King City. She is currently attending Cuesta College to pursue a degree in agricultural business, with the goal of becoming a cattle brand inspector.
Previously a member of the Future Farmers of America, Bothwell plans to continue being an advocate for the agricultural industry and to strive for the knowledge and understanding of what it will take to keep the industry strong.
Bothwell stays busy preparing her horses for competitions in ranch riding and ranch trail with hopes to compete in reined cowhorse this year. She has competed in high school and Norcal Jr. Rodeo with many successes in the barrel racing event.
In her spare time, Bothwell said she enjoys the beaches of California, home projects, leather making and testing her green thumb in the garden.
“Familiar with the responsibilities of a rodeo ambassador, Mayson is dedicated to educating the next generation of young cowboys and cowgirls,” said rodeo officials in a news release. “Grateful for her previous queen opportunities, she now looks forward to the new memories she will make while competing for the coveted titled of Miss California Rodeo Salinas.”
Born and raised in the Salinas Valley, Escobar has a passion for helping others in her community.
As a client associate for a national investment manager, she plans on furthering her career by studying for certification as a registered client associate. She also wants to help equine athletes feel and perform their best by receiving certification as an acuscope practitioner.
With a love for the western way of life, Escobar has competed in barrel races and ranch rodeos for the last 10 years. As a member of the West Coast Barrel Racing Association, she has qualified and competed in the finals several times with many accomplishments.
In her free time, Escobar volunteers at the Salinas Valley Fair and King City Stampede Board, and said she is proud to give back to the committees that do so much for the community.
“While holding the queen title for the newest rodeo in the PRCA California Circuit, Rose has traveled the state representing the rodeo,” rodeo officials said. “Her love for the western way of life and her childhood dreams of holding the title of Miss California Rodeo Salinas give her the drive to compete in this contest.”
As a fourth-generation Californian, Nunes is proud to continue a long family history in ranching traditions and horses in Prather.
She is currently a student at West Hills College, with goals of becoming a large animal veterinarian. Her future academic plans include studying at a four-year university for pre-veterinary medicine and then attending veterinary school.
With many animals under her care, Nunes is involved in the training, exercise and competition of her family’s bucking bulls at PBR events. She also spends a lot of time riding and practicing with her horses.
Having qualified and competed at many top barrel racing events and championships across the nation, Nunes now competes on the West Hills College Rodeo Team for the NIRA West Coast Region. An all-around animal lover, she fosters dogs for local animal shelters and recently adopted a dog named Charlie.
“Macee wants to use her knowledge of rodeo and her western heritage to help promote the sport of rodeo,” rodeo officials said. “She recognizes the prestige and tradition that is synonymous to the Salinas Rodeo and is excited for the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss California Rodeo.”
As a resident of Creston, Rogell has chosen to further her studies in agriculture business at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in addition to minoring in art and design.
Rogell has found happiness and inclusivity while competing in rodeo events throughout her life. She credits this gained confidence to the many rodeo organizations she was a part of throughout her youth, including WCJRA, NBHA, CHSRA and more.
Rogell has achieved many awards for competition from these associations, as well as academic honors.
In high school, she joined Future Farmers of America, taking on public speaking contests and showing animals. She also took on leadership roles, including chapter president and regional officer, where she helped students find confidence within themselves.
“Rodeo has shown Chelsea a way to give back to her local communities as an ambassador spreading awareness about the rodeo industry,” rodeo officials said. “Annually she partakes in a local agricultural day where she teaches students to rope. Chelsea enters our contest with the hopes of becoming the official ambassador of the California Rodeo as Miss California Rodeo.”
The 2022 California Rodeo Salinas will take place July 21-24 at the Salinas Sports Complex, 1034 N. Main St. in Salinas. For more information, visit carodeo.com.