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Sided by Princess Shai Allen, newly crowned Eastern Oregon Livestock Show Queen Courtney Rynearson delivers some remarks during Tuesday’s coronation. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer
Union’s 105-year-old Eastern Oregon Livestock Show crowned a new queen in a well-attended ceremony Tuesday at the stock show grounds clubhouse.
Courtney Rynearson, a 16-year-old sophomore at Union High School, earned the honor, having won two of three competitive rodeo court events.
Out of the three girls who started as court members and queen candidates, Rynearson sold the most stock show tickets — $26,000 worth — and also was judged the court’s top public speaker.
As she accepted the honor Tuesday, she thanked her family for help including rides around Union County as she sold tickets.
Shai Allen, a 16-year-old sophomore at Wallowa High School, was named a princess and was the winner in the court’s horsemanship competition.
The third girl picked for the court this year, Adora Brockman of Baker City, previously decided to step down because of personal reasons.
In a talk before the coronation event, Rynearson said she tried out for the court because she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother and a couple of cousins who were EOLS queens.
Rynearson said she is happy with her experience and looks forward to a year of representing EOLS.
“I think it’s something every girl should try for. You get to go out and meet new people, work with horses and form memories that last a lifetime,” she said.
Allen said she has loved rodeo since she was a little girl, and has cousins who were Chief Joseph Days Rodeo royalty. She said being a member of the EOLS court means a lot to her.
“I’m proud to be representing Union County and proud that I showed everybody in Wallowa County I’m not just a schoolgirl. I showed I can do more than I’m asked,” she said.
The EOLS opened this week with 4-H horse and livestock exhibits. At 7 p.m. Thursday, rodeo kicks off with the Ed Miller Memorial Xtreme Bull Riding event. Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association action, along with horse racing, is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Other EOLS events include the Main Street parade at 2 p.m. Friday in downtown Union, a cowboy breakfast 6 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and more.
The carnival, an annual EOLS tradition, opens at noon Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
For the complete schedule, visit www.easternoregonlivestockshow.com.