MISS RODEO COMES UP ROSES
Miss Rodeo Oregon Melissa Forester and her 7-year-old gelding Hummer competed in this year's Rose Parade and brought back the winning trophy for Eastern Oregon for the State and Association Queen.
An even bigger honor, Melissa won the Rose Parade's Vern Hulit award for All-Around Excellence in the equestrian division. The majority of the scoring, 70 percent, was for the overall condition of the horse Â— grooming, cleanliness, tack.
The judges inspected such things as the condition of contestants' cowboy hats, fingernails and boot bottoms.
"There is a huge amount of detail work that nobody would even guess," said proud mom Lois Forester, Summerville. "We want to give credit to Pam Doom and her crew at Cherry's Florist in La Grande who had never made flowers for the Rose Parade."
Forester said Cherry's "went above and beyond the call of duty to make a stunning floral pack, garland, wrist corsages, clip-ons for her chaps and bridle clips" from pink First Lady roses with additions of miniature pink and white roses.
"The overall effect," Forester said, "was glamorous and stunning. I think it speaks well for Eastern Oregon that we could pull it off." It was Melisa's first time competing in the Rose Parade.