By Shiloh Ireland
Photo: Kate Richardson, Miss Bulls Only Rodeo Queen and Talia Klotzkin, Junior Miss Bulls Only Rodeo Queen
March 26, 2023 (Lakeside) – The journey to be crowned a queen in Lakeside’s Bulls Only Rodeo begins with horsemanship trials and interviews with equestrian judges to the evening of the pageant held at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. Ten young women vied for the title, include five contestants for Junior Miss Bulls and five competing for Miss Bulls Only Rodeo Queen.
ECM photographed the selection of Miss Bulls Only Rodeo Queen and Junior Miss Bulls Only Rodeo Queen and later interviewed these two 2023 Queens. The Bulls Only Rodeo event is sponsored by the Optimist Club of Lakeside.
Miss Junior 2023 is Talia Klotzkin of Poway, who is 14 years old and an eighth grader while Kate Richardson, Miss 2023 of Imperial, is a junior in high school and 17 years old. These are the new ambassadors who will be seen in rodeos and events from Southern California to Arizona and in October 2023, at the Bulls Only Rodeo at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds.
Talia Klotzkin was interviewed on March 11 with her mother at their ranch property in Poway, where she has seven horses. Between caring for her horses, being a student, having family and friends time, plus competitions, her life has now become much fuller with the new commitments of being the ambassador for Junior Miss Bulls Only.
Klotzkin began riding horses when she was 5 years old and started English-style but switched to Western. Later, after watching that discipline, she was impressed with a girl she saw in an event and became interested in barrel racing and attended more rodeos. Four years ago, she started barrel racing.
“We moved here just before COVID and if I was stuck in my house with no backyard and not have my horses and unable to ride, I think I would have died,” commented the teen. The Klotzkin property backs open space with trails. Asked if her education will remain most important now that she’ll be wearing many hats with new commitments, Klotzkin (right) replied, “Oh yes, my dad makes sure of that!”
She describes herself as a hard worker who does not procrastinate. After school, she comes home and cares for her horses and exercises them.
Asked how scheduling events are managed for the Bulls Only rodeo queens, Klotzkin explained, “There are several events that are required, including Bulls Only Rodeo and the Lakeside Rodeo but often other events pop up and if we want to go to them, we can let Kathy know." Kathy Nichols is one of the directors of the Bulls only Rodeo Queens and was helpful in communications for this story.
Asked who guided her through the whole pageant process, Klotzkin replied, “All the girls and directors come together, including the 2022 queens and helped us practice about two months before the pageant with our walks, outfits, interviews and studying knowledge portions.”
The Saturday morning of the pageant, the horsemanship skills were conducted. Klotzkin won the event in the Junior Division. The contestants had to ride and display their equestrian skills, followed by a brief interview by a panel of judges.
ECM asked Klotzkin what she believes her greatest challenge will be now that she represents the rodeo as Junior Miss Bulls Rodeo Queen, she commented, “I am excited about the rodeos, but I stress out about my horse's well-being and making sure my horse is happy and my horse comes first, even though I may be super tired after a rodeo.”
How do her parents support her in this endeavor? “Typically, my mom takes us to all the rodeos and my dad stays home to care for all the animals, but both attend local events and they also support us in teaching us hard work,” said the junior queen.
How does Klotzkin think she’ll feel when her year-long reign ends, and what life lessons will she have learned? “I think I will be sad, but also I will be excited for the new queen,” said Klotzkin, who predicts, “I will have learned more hard work, work ethic, time management and more ready for the real world.”
Klotzkin's hopes to compete in barrel racing on the road and anticipates college. She has an interest in animals and marine biology and likes Cal Poly.
This teen was asked what she would the public to know about her. “ I am a very social person and a generally happy person and like talking to people, and if you ever see me, please come free to come up to me,” she said. “I care a lot about my animals and take care of them and would do anything for my horses.”
What was going through her mind at the moment of her selection as Junior Miss Bulls? “I was terrified and happy and scared to be in front of all those people, but it was so nice for so many people who helped me,” commented Klotzkin. It was an amazing process and they made it a fun experience,” she concluded. “I love everything about Bulls Only and I am grateful for the opportunity and that I was able to stand with all the girls at the pageant.”
Kate Richardson (right), Miss Bulls Only Rodeo Queen 2023, is an honor roll high school junior. She was Junior Miss Lakeside Rodeo 2022 and received her first horse when she was 10 years of age. She was interviewed at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds on March 12.
“I was interested in rodeo queen at an earlier age and had a family friend who was a rodeo queen and though she was absolutely gorgeous,” commented Richardson. “ I fell in love with the rodeo industry more and more and when I first started to compete; it was barrel racing and for a while that was my only goal but over the years as I got older, I went back and forth with barrel racing and rodeo queen.” She also earned the best in horsemanship skills the morning of the of the pageant for Miss Bulls.
Richardson's life has changed since becoming the 2023 Miss Bulls Only Rodeo Queen. “Balancing my life can be frustrating at times, as all of it weighs a lot on your shoulders and junior year in high school is supposed to be the hardest year” she said. “Prioritizing my family life with my parents, sisters , grandparents and my little sister who looks up to me.”
Richardson's schedule includes awakening early to do homework, riding her horses after school, as well as riding other’s horses needing training as well as rodeos, but her experience from last year has made her better prepared for this year's commitments.
Richardson was asked her biggest challenge for the upcoming year serving as Miss Bulls Only. “Trying to go to every rodeo and event I can and knowing that when I competed for this title, I would be attending San Diego County events a lot and knowing it will be a long drive,” answered Richardson.
Which person among the many who brought Richardson through the process to become pageant queen had the most impact on this teen? “I would say my mom and she is on me but honestly, I would not be here today if not for her and how she helps me and she really, really helped me,” replied Richardson.
Asked what she felt while on stage with the other contestants’ moments before the queen for Miss Bulls Only was announced, the teen replied, “I felt more confident than last year when I was crowned Miss Junior Lakeside Rodeo Queen, as I was nervous, but I believe the earlier experience helped me for this title.” She added, “I am more positive and just having a different kind of mind-set of confidence, even though I forgot a paragraph in my speech and had to make it up.”
Richardson would like to tell the community, ”Showing kindness to somebody and being welcoming and offering a smile may make a person's day,” adding, “You don't know what someone is going through, and you can make an impact on others.”
Kate Richardson and Talia Klotzkin are two talented individuals and accomplished barrel racers with bright futures. There were eight other contestants and ECM wishes all of them the very best in their events and future plans.
Kate Richardson and Talia Klotzkin will be appearing at these upcoming rodeos and events in Lakeside”
Western Days Parade in Lakeside - April 29th.
Lakeside Rodeo-April 27th - 29th
Bulls Only Rodeo-October 13th - 14th