By Jeremy Burnham

Klein named 2020 Ritzville Rodeo Queen


Last updated 9/5/2019 at 11:10am

Journal photo by Jeremy Burnham

Julia Klein participates in the Ritzville Rodeo Queen's Competition on Aug. 31. Klein will be the rodeo's queen for 2020, taking over the reins from the 2019 queen, Rachel Nygren.

Every year at the Ritzville Rodeo, young women compete for the honor of being next year's rodeo queen. This year, 16-year-old Julia Klein was the lone competitor.

Klein told The Journal before the rodeo that she has wanted to be rodeo queen since she was little.

"I feel most comfortable when I'm on a horse," Klein told The Journal in August. "It's been a passion of mine since I was little. It's something that clicks. You get a companionship with the animal."

At the Queen's Competition on Saturday, Klein performed several runs on her horse, and answered some impromptu questions before a panel of judges.

The judges' first question asked what Klein thought the most important part of a horse is.

Klein referenced her own horse, Tex, in her response.

"I'd say the most important part of a horse is their heart," Klein said. "Tex is the most amazing horse I could ask for. All the other parts of a horse, like the body, is important, of course. But Tex has a heart like no other. No matter what's going on, he's going to run his hardest. He might not even understand the job yet and I might be mad at him because he's trying to do barrells and we're working cows. But he's going to give it his all whether he knows the job or not."

She was then asked what she is most excited for in being queen.

"The little ones, the little kids," Klein said. "That's where my passion started for this. "I love the little ones who are like, "Oh my God, look at that giant horse. I love little ones and I can't wait to have an influence on them and inspire them."

Klein then met privately with the judges and was announced as the 2020 queen at the rodeo later that evening.

Klein will replace Rachel Nygren as Ritzville Rodeo Queen in January and will hold the position through December 2020.


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