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Dalhart’s Erika Maness wins rodeo queen title in Dumas


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Dalhart’s Erika Maness wins rodeo queen title in Dumas

By Bill Kelly
THE DALHART TEXAN

Erika Maness of Dalhart, who is a sophomore at Hartley High School, was crowned Cowboy Classic. Rodeo Association (CCRA) Queen on Saturday, August 21 in Dumas. She is the daughter of Seth and Shadlynn Maness of Dalhart.

The CCRA is a long-standing tradition in Dumas and started in Dumas in the 1990s. The Cowboy Classic Rodeo is held the third week in August every year, about two weeks after the XIT Rodeo & Reunion in Dalhart. The rodeo committee includes a small group of citizens, local business owners, and sponsors who work to promote the rodeo way of life and to raise scholarship funds for students of Moore County that are involved in 4-H, FFA, or Dumas High School Rodeo. The rodeo is sanctioned by the United Pro. Rodeo Association (UPRA), Kansas Pro Rodeo Association, and International Pro. Rodeo Associaton. The CCRA earned the title of UPRA New Rodeo of the Year and 15th High Money Pay Back Rodeo. In conjunction with the pro rodeo, they have mutton bustin, junior barrels, stick horse racing, dummy roping, calf scramble, and ranch bronc riding,

The CCRA Queen Contest is also held in conjunction with the rodeo. Young ladies from 15-18 years of age who are involved in either 4-H, FFA, or a rodeo club within a 60-mile radius of Dumas are eligible to compete for the tile of CCRA Rodeo Queen and the scholarship that goes along with it

During the competition, candidates help promote the rodeo, give a speech at the CCRA Calcutta supper and dance, and perform a horsemanship pattern. The horsemanship part of the competition Included a reining pattern, carrying the Texas Flag, and a “queen's run” around the arena saluting the crowd. The candidates are also required to answer questions about equine care, rodeo event knowledge, and the history of the CCRA.

The queen runner-up receives a scholarship, flowers, and handcrafted jewelry. As the winner, Erika Maness received a saddle silver tiara, leather sash, belt buckle, a dozen roses, and a scholarship. Over the next year, she will attend functions with the committee, ride in parades, and promote the CCRA. Maness will also post flags at next year’s rodeo, make speaking appearances, and demonstrate the horsemanship pattern for the queen contestants of 2022.

Dumas and Erika Maness were the two contestants who competed for the title of CCRA Rodeo Queen in 2021. During the rodeo festivities, they carried flags for the grand entry and National Anthem and also performed other duties such as pushing cattle during rodeo events, wrangling mutton bustin’ Kids, and cheering on speedy stick horse racers. They also rode horses with the committee members at the Sunray Fun Day Parade and attended the Dumas Car Show to promote the rodeo.

Erika Maness was crowned the CCRA Rodeo Queen during the Saturday evening rodeo performance on August 21. The queen coordinator, Diana Bunch, said the judges’ scores were extremely close between the two competitors and either would be great ambassadors for the CCRA committee and rodeo. One judge commented on how inspiring it was to witness Brooke and Erika’s camaraderie and sportsmanship towards each _—_ other during the month of activities, horsemanship competition, and coronation.

Erika Maness is active in basketball, tennis, and FFA at Hartley High School. She also spends her time showing goats and horses, and competes in horse judging in 4H contests, Erika plans to focus on Ranch Riding and Working Cow Horse with her new horse in hopes of being on the WIAMU or Texas Tech Ranch Horse Team. She has been in 4H since third grade which has given her the confidence and courage to run for the queen contest. She highly recommends being involved in livestock or horse judging competitions because those contests foster public speaking skills. Maness was thrilled to be crowned as the CCRA Rodeo Queen. “It was exciting because all my hard work had paid off,” Maness said. She has been riding horses most of her life. “I've been riding horses since I was two, riding with my mom or dad,” Maness said. “I went to my first horse show when I was 3 years old.”

Maness has been competing in various riding and rodeo events for a while now. “I have competed in play days, the XIT Jr, Rodeo, and 4-H speed events at Big 5 open shows when I was younger,” Maness said. “I have shown western and English style mostly. My new horse is a ranch/stock horse, so I am learning new skills for that type of competition.”

Maness will be very busy over the next few years, both as queen and in school and with extracurricular activities, but she’s not sure if she'll compete for any other queen titles. “Achieving this queen contest. was great.” Maness said. “T want to focus on training my new horse to compete in Stock Horse events instead so I can do sliding stops and working cow horse classes. I am also very busy with my stock show animals, school academics, and sports.” Maness has a number of favorite memories of running for the queen, They include becoming friends with Brooke Brown, getting to sit in the Still Crazy race car during the car show, and cheering on the mutton busters and stick horse competitors. During her reign as CCRA 2021 Rodeo Queen, Erika Maness hopes she can be a role model to the young girls striving to improve their horsemanship skills and encourages them to step out of their comfort zone to accomplish their goals

 

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