Linwood teen named Shrine rodeo queen
Julie Carden has a new crown on her hat.
The 18-year-old rural Linwood teen last Thursday was crowned queen of the Abdallah Shrine Rodeo, held at Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Mo.
She is the daughter of Larry and Connie Carden, Linwood, and Susan Carden, Lawrence.
Beverly Hurley, representative for the rodeo, said Carden was one of nine contestants vying for the title.
Candidates are judged on interviews, poise and personality.
"But unlike traditional pageants, you throw out the swimsuits and bring in the horses," Hurley said.
Judges looked closely at the contestants' horseriding and horsemanship skills.
Early Sunday morning, even though the family hadn't gotten home from the Shrine rodeo until close to midnight on Saturday, Julie Carden's quarter horse, Cope, was just about finished with breakfast. Julie's father stood by, ready to saddle him for a photo.
This marked the end of one busy week and the start of another as Julie prepared to leave for Fort Scott to begin her first semester of college.
The past week had been tougher than expected not because of the competition, but because Mr. Deckon, her 21-year old horse had fallen ill. Just days before the Shrine rodeo began, the horse was euthanized.
Carden was left without a horse ready to ride in the competition.
"So I borrowed a horse," she said, as she stood beside her other horse, Cope, in the backyard of the family's rural Linwood home.
Now the pressure is on to bring the 6-year-old Cope up to speed, she said.
While she has owned and worked with Cope for three years, she had concentrated her efforts on riding Mr. Deckon.
But Cope, whom she has already trained to barrel race, will work out, she said, noting that when she selected him, she didn't know a thing about his bloodline.
"I liked the way he rode and I liked his attitude and that's the reason I bought him," she said.
It's important for a horse and rider to be on the same team, or even of the same mind, Julie said. That's how it is with Cope, she added.
"I would almost say he can read my mind," Julie said. "There's a very complicated relationship between the horse and rider you have to be with your horse you can't be against your horse."
In the horsemanship portion of the rodeo competition, Julie and the other contestants demonstrated riding skills when they rode the same pattern in the arena. In the queen's ride competition, contestants ride horses at full speed around the arena while they wave at the audience.
Julie, who has been riding horses since her grandfather gave her a pony when she was one and a half years old, plans to continue with her lifelong interest in horses.
In the next year or two, she plans to enter the Miss Rodeo Kansas competition. And in the meantime she plans to enter various other competitions.
As her prize for winning the Shrine Rodeo, Julie was given a tiara to wear on her hat, a sash, chaps and a leather saddle.
Now that she's queen of the Abdallah Shrine Rodeo, Julie will have official appearances to make. It takes work at scheduling to stay on top of things, she said.
"I have beaucoup planners," Julie said. "One stays with me everywhere I go because if I don't write it down, I don't remember it."
On top of taking 13 hours of classes this semester, Julie has every Saturday in September booked for various parade appearances. Moreover, she's getting ready to participate in an October queen competition in Topeka. To top it all off, her horse, Cope, has gone to Fort Scott with Julie where he will be boarded nearby so that she can continue working with him.