Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Queen Contestant #1

Abigail Bayne

Abigail Bayne is 23 years old.  She moved from Idaho to Valley Center a little over three years ago. She's been horse-crazy since before she had hair on her head. At the age of 7, she acquired her first horses, Molly and Gracie, a BLM Mustang with her foal. With Molly, she competed in a mounted drill team, trail trials, gymkhanas, cow-calf operations, and more. Gracie was the first horse that she started and later turned into a cart-horse. Years later, she adopted another BLM Mustang named Whiskey, which she domesticated from wild to mild, and he is now her go-to for both English and Western riding. Over the years, she has taught herself how to be the horsewoman she is today by watching videos, reading books and articles, and shadowing under anyone willing to share their knowledge.

As of today, she has been going around the community helping others connect and understand their horses. She aspires to keep the horse community striving and continue spreading information to newer generations. Besides horses, she is in college working towards a degree in Health Science; holding both a spot on the Presidential and Dean's list. When not at school or work, she spends her off days at the beach, baking, or gardening. When she was younger, she volunteered with a riding club for the autistic.  She also achieved her Bronze and Silver awards in Girl Scouts. She prides herself in having her Fear Free certification for helping shelter animals.

Abigail has studied rodeo sports from the time she turned 10.  From learning about barrel racing to bull riding, to all cow events and lastly, bronc riding as the most recent.  She loves watching all Rodeo sports and, just like any sport, sees there is a lot more involved than meets the eye. She dreamed of being a Rodeo Queen when she watched the rodeos in Idaho, as they were a big part of the community. Abigail is honored to participate as a contestant for the Valley Center Rodeo Queen category and hopes to inspire more girls to pursue their dreams.


Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Junior Queen Contestant #1

Samantha Picot

Samantha Picot is 16 years old and is a Junior at Valley Center High School. She is a proud member of the Varsity Girls Tennis team, ASB, the California Scholarship Federation, and the Valley Center Vaqueros. She is currently ranked within the top ten of her class and is enrolled in 4 different AP classes. Samantha was awarded with Rotary Student of the Month in both 7th and 10th grade. She also enjoys being involved in school activities through ASB. Samantha is hoping to complete her 4th year of ASL so she can become biliterate. She began her riding career at the age of one competing in leadine classes on her pony Shiloh and has only grown from there. She has held the 2015 Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Little Miss, and 2018 Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Young Miss titles. She has also ridden in the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade as a member of the Valley Center Vaqueros, and competed at Bishop Mule Days with the family’s beloved mule Francis. She has had the pleasure of carrying flags at the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo for several years and is thankful for the opportunity. She is happy to have the chance to run for the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Jr Queen title and wishes good luck to all contestants!

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Little Miss Contestant #2

Layla Sanchez

Layla Sanchez, a spirited 6-year-old born and raised in Valley Center, CA, is a bright presence at Heritage Elementary School, where she embraces the wonders of kindergarten. Layla is an active member of the Valley Center Young Rider’s Club where she enjoys various community events along with gymkhana and rail shows. When Layla isn’t in the saddle she finds joy in dance, youth group activities and camping with her family.
Her journey into the vibrant world of rodeo commenced at the age of 5, when Layla fearlessly entered the arena as a mutton buster. Since then, her passion for horses and the sport of rodeo has only flourished. In 2022, Layla's dreams came true with the adoption of Cookie, her beloved pony from a local rescue, Milly’s Place. Through Cookie, Layla has learned invaluable life lessons in responsibility and patience, fostering a deep bond between them. Empowered by her newfound confidence, Layla now confidently rides her sister's horse, a testament to her growth and courage.
With a sparkle in her eye and determination in her heart, Layla dreams of one day wearing the crown as Miss Rodeo California. Yet, her ambitions extend beyond the rodeo grounds, as Layla aspires to become an equine veterinarian, driven by her profound love of horses. As she eagerly awaits the chance to represent her hometown rodeo on a grand stage, Layla stands as a shining example of youthful ambition, ready to make her mark on the world.

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Young Miss Contestant #6

Sophia Sanchez

Born and raised in Valley Center, CA, Sophia Sanchez’s journey embodies a young spirit brimming with passion and determination. Sophia shines as a 4th grader at Heritage Flex Academy where she excels academically with a 4.0 GPA.
She started horseback riding when she was 7 years old. Just over a year ago Sophia adopted her first horse Encore from a local rescue, Milly’s Place. As a proud member of the Valley Center Vaqueros Young Rider’s Club, Sophia not only competes but also actively engages in community events such as parades, Gymkhanas, and rail shows. Beyond the stables, Sophia finds joy in theater, tennis, youth group activities, and adventurous family camping trips.

With dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher, Sophia embodies determination and compassion. In the future, she aspires to establish her own horse sanctuary, where she can rescue and rehome horses in need, providing them with the care and love they deserve. Sophia exudes a passion for horses and the rodeo, driven by a deep-seated desire to make a meaningful impact on the world around her. 

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Young Miss Contestant #4

Jennaca Sanchez 
Jennaca Sanchez, born and raised in Valley Center, CA, exemplifies youthful excellence as a dedicated scholar at Heritage Flex Academy, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Beyond her academic achievements, she embraces a variety of interests, including competitive soccer, youth group activities, family camping trips, and a profound love for horses. As a member of the Valley Center Vaqueros Young Riders Club, Jennaca actively participates in community events, rail shows, gymkhanas, and local parades. 

Her journey into the equestrian world began at age 4, and by 5, she fell in love with the sport of rodeo when she fearlessly embraced the thrill as a mutton buster. With each passing year, her passion for the sport continues to grow, culminating in a heartfelt connection with Divalicious, her beloved American Quarter Horse adopted from Falcon Ridge Rescue. Together, they dream big: from conquering barrel races to aspiring to leave their mark on the prestigious Valley Center Stampede Rodeo. 

Looking ahead, Jennaca's ambitions extend far beyond the arena. With dreams of becoming an equine surgeon, she envisions a future where she not only heals animals but also fosters hope through the establishment of her own equine rescue. Additionally, she aspires to become Miss Rodeo America, representing the P.R.C.A. and inspiring youth to appreciate the greatness of rodeo. Jennaca embodies a unique blend of passion, purpose, and a steadfast commitment to making a meaningful impact on the world around her.

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Little Miss Contestant #3

Avalon Holtz

Avalon, a spirited five-year-old who calls the town Valley Center home. Her love affair with horses began as soon as she could toddle around, a bond that has only strengthened with each passing day.

As a member of the Vaqueros Young Riders Avalon started riding her horse Missy in parades and shows at just 3 years old. She loves spending time with her family and caring for the array of animals on her ranch. 

Her infectious giggle fills the stables whenever mischief is afoot. She loves nothing more than pushing the boundaries, much to the dismay of her Mom and trainer. Whether it's trying her hand at jumping or barrel racing, she’s always looking for a new challenge. While her antics may give her loved ones a few gray hairs, there's no denying the pride they feel watching Avalon fearlessly tackle new challenges. 

As Avalon continues to weave her way through the world of horses, she does so with a spirit as boundless as the open fields and a heart as wild and free as the wind. She reminds us all that life is meant to be lived with passion, courage, and, above all, a whole lot of laughter.


Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Junior Queen Contestant #2

Georgia Borland

My name is Georgia Borland I am 16 years old and have been around horses since I was 2 years old. My Mother got me into horses by taking me to saddle seat lessons and I competed in my first lead line competition at 3 years old. I love being around horses and clean, feed, and ride all of Rhiannon Hupperts horses. I work with Snows Pony Rides and Exotics and love doing everything I possibly can to work with horses. I recently got a new BLM mustang mare named Valor who I earned and worked for myself. I also enjoy golfing which I play at The Classical Academies High School. I have always enjoyed horses back riding and did numerous different disciplines such as barrel racing, saddle seat, hunters and more. I even taught my self how to jump and enjoy jumping on my free time when I am not working with Valor. I am trying out to be Junior Queen and want to represent the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo. 

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Little Miss Contestant #1

Addison Bowman

Addison Bowman is 6 years old, born and raised in Valley Center.  She attends Kindergarten at Lilac School.  Addison started riding horses a little over a year ago when she got Cooper as a Christmas gift from her parents.  Cooper is an older gentleman who was the perfect first horse for Addison.  He has since been retired from riding and she now gets to ride a spicy Palomino mare named Cheyenne.  She enjoys going to the local horse shows and parades in town and taking weekly lessons with her trainer.

As she competes for the title of Little Miss, Addison dreams of inspiring other young cowgirls to chase their dreams with courage and determination. With her spunky personality and can-do attitude, she's proof that no dream is too big, and no challenge is too tough to tackle. Win or lose, she'll always be a champion in the arena of life.


Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Junior Queen Contestant #3

Olivia Scepurek

My name is Olivia Scepurek. I am 13 years old and in the 7th grade at Olive Pierce Middle School. I was born and raised here in San Diego. I enjoy riding my horse Aurora in various shows and events including gymkhanas with the Ramona Santana Riders, hunter/jumper and english equitation shows with the Valley Center Vaqueros, and various western pleasure shows. I also love to raise livestock with the Ramona Wrangler's 4H Club. When I'm not spending time with my animals, I enjoy playing volleyball as a middle back for my school's volleyball team. I would be proud to represent the sport of rodeo for the community of Valley Center


meet the current queen contestants

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Queen Contestant #3

Ella Bjerknes

Hi! My name is Ella Rose Bjerknes, I am 17 years old and was born and raised in Valley Center, CA. I’ve been grateful to have grown up with horses, livestock, and animals of all kinds on my family’s flower ranch that was established here in 1974. I currently work for an Equine Training and Rescue Center where I get hands-on experience with equines of all types and sizes, and amset to graduate from Valley Center High School in June 2024. After high school, I plan on attending Palomar College and later transferring to Montana State University to study animal health in hopes of becoming a large animal Veterinarian. My love for horses is eternal as instilled in me by my mother and her big red thoroughbred, Aroon. I’ve been an active member with the Valley Center Vaqueros Young Riders and have ridden on the drill team; as well as regularly competing in gymkhanas and other shows with my blind appaloosa mare, Penny. In 2021, I adopted a 2 year old BLM Mustang for the SoCal Youth Tip Challenge. She is now 4, and I still own the fiery mare who I named Ruby. Aside from horses, I’ve developed a passion for showing market beef and lamb in our local 4-H and FFA programs. For the past 6 years I have had the privilege to show around Southern California, from Bakersfield down to Del Mar at the San Diego County Fair, where last year I placed first in our market class and second place in showmanship. While my lifestyle is clearly AG driven, I do also enjoy spending quality time with my family, going to the beach, the desert, and Lake Havasu. I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to compete for this title of Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Queen and represent the town that I’ve made so many memories in for the entirety of my life!

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Young Miss Contestant #1

Lily Swiney

Lily Swiney is 13 years old and a 7th grader at Carlton Oaks School in Santee. She has an older brother, Aidan and a new baby sister, Alison. Lily enjoys riding her horses Bentley and Mr. Biscuits. She is currently taking breakaway roping lessons with a goal of doing Jr rodeo in the near future. When she isn’t at the ranch, Lily likes to spend time with her family and walk her dog, Boone. Her dream is to attend college and become and all animal veterinarian. Lily is excited to be competing for Valley Center Stampede Young Miss and would like to thank everyone who helped get her here including her parents, grandparents and everyone at the ranch.


Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Young Miss Contestant #3

Audrey Bowman
Audrey Bowman is 12 years old and has lived in Valley Center since she was 2 years old.  She attends 6th grade at Valley Center Middle School.

Audrey started taking lessons a few years ago and now has her own horse, Chuck, a grade horse, from a local rescue.  They love to compete in local gymkhana and open horse shows and have completed a few parades. 

When Audrey isn’t riding horses she enjoys playing soccer, participating in her school’s theater program, playing the saxophone in intermediate band and being part of the Kindness Club at school.

With grace, determination, and a cowgirl spirit, Audrey aims to represent the rodeo community with pride and honor. She hopes to inspire others, especially young girls, to chase their dreams fearlessly. As she competes for the title, she is determined to uphold the values of the rodeo while shining as a beacon of strength and positivity.

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Queen Contestant #2

Emily Chavira

Emily Chavira is a 18-year-old student at LBCC, where she's immersed in the art of diagnostic medical imaging. But don't be fooled by her scrubs; beneath lies a heart set on the wild frontier of equine diagnostics. A future ultrasound technician in the making, she's destined to combine a world where her love for animals meets her professional ambitions. 

Catch her amidst the rustic charm of Tractor Supply, where she's the queen of the feed aisle, guiding patrons through the maze of choices for their beloved creatures. When she's not wrangling supplies, she's frolicking in Valley Center, finally free to embrace her country roots. Whether she's riding with her trusted steed, Paisley, or exploring the neighborhood with her partner-in-crime, Jackie, Emily lives and breathes the equestrian life.

A seasoned member of the Vaquero family since she could barely mount a saddle, Emily thrives in the exhilarating world of shows and Gymkhanas. With a collection of gleaming belt buckles and prized jackets, she's a testament to her dedication to the sport. From Hollywood to Coronado, she's proudly represented Valley Center, often with her adorable cousin in tow, adding a sprinkle of youthful charm to every parade.  But it's in the dust-kicking arena of the Valley Center Rodeo where Emily truly shines. As a flag bearer and unwavering supporter of the rodeo, she's a fixture from setup to teardown, her passion for the sport shines bright.  With every stride, every cheer, Emily embodies the spirit of the rodeo, and the equestrian life style she loves.

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Young Miss Contestant #5

Ryder Huppert

Ryder Huppert is 10 years old and has Called Valley Center Home all her life. She enthusiastically attends 4th grade at The Classical Academy Charter school. Her upbringing has always been around horses and cattle, from the moment she could sit upright on her own, she was on the back of a horse with her mom. Whether in an arena or out on trail, she was riding. Ryder started doing lead line shows at the tender age of four years old, and at five years declared to her parents that two of the families horses, were hers and hers alone. With this new found understanding of Responsibility, she set out ways to care for her own horses such as cleaning pens, watering, feeding and exercising them on her own. Other than riding and caring for her horses, She has a passion for Soccer and jujitsu, she also enjoys volunteering for a local Pony Rescue a couple times a month. This year, Ryder is focusing on bettering her skills as an Equestrian while riding horses and ponies of all training levels belonging to her family business, Snows Pony Rides and Farm animals with Exotics.  Ryder plans to compete on her mothers horse Cal, who is sometimes a handful of personality but that won’t stop her, as she intends to show the world what it takes to follow your dreams and ride until your hearts content. She hopes with some education, a little humbling, and some hard work, to earn the title Young Miss by representing The Valley Center Stampede Rodeo and share her experiences and knowledge with her peers and others on all there is to know about the sport of rodeo and horses. 


Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Young Miss Contestant #2

Addison Steele
Addison Morgan Steele is a twelve-year-old green-eyed beauty, the pride and joy of Daniel and Jenny Steele. Born and raised in Valley Center, California, she's the second oldest in a bustling family of four siblings. Known for her nurturing spirit and boundless kindness, Addison is a true gem.

Her passion for horses and the world of rodeo ignited at a young age. It was the rodeo that first sparked her love for riding, and in 2020, she began her journey into Western riding, a journey that has only gained momentum since. Her parents wisely refrained from rushing into horse ownership, ensuring Addison's commitment by having her volunteer for over a year, caring for horses and mucking out stalls, before she was finally gifted her beloved American Paint, Annie Oakley.

Addison is an active member of the Valley Center Vaqueros, where she thrives on competing in local Gymkhanas and Rail Shows. She's proudly represented her community in events such as the Valley Center Western Days and the Coronado Independence Day parades, and she's no stranger to the adrenaline rush of barrel racing at rodeos like the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo and Rincon Rodeo.

But Addison isn't just about riding; she's also a shining star in her academic pursuits, maintaining an impressive 4.0 GPA at Heritage Junior High School in Escondido, California. Not content with just academics, she's an integral part of her school's yearbook and soccer teams. Outside of school, Addison is a competitive cheerleader for FCA Cheer and is deeply involved in youth leadership at her church.

With dreams as big as her heart, Addison aspires to become a chef or pastry chef when she grows up, a passion that often finds her in the kitchen whipping up delicious meals and baked goods. Inspired by her Western lifestyle and her love for horses, Addison has developed a knack for creating healthy treats for her beloved Annie Oakley and other horses in her community. Using fresh, nutritious ingredients, she bakes treats that not only satisfy a horse's appetite but also promote their well-being.

Addison's dedication to healthy, fresh food aligns perfectly with her desire to be an ambassador for agriculture. She believes in the importance of promoting sustainable farming practices and educating others about the connection between food, health, and the land. As she continues to immerse herself in the Western way of life, Addison is committed to sharing her passion for agriculture and horse care with others, embodying the values of hard work, stewardship, and respect for the land that define the Western lifestyle. 

With an infectious enthusiasm, Addison eagerly anticipates the opportunity to represent her hometown and the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo.