Lena Coulson – Miss Salinas Valley Fair
Lena Coulson is a proud resident of the Salinas Valley and she carries the title of Miss Salinas Valley Fair in this year’s contest. Her parents, James and Cecilia Coulson of Salinas, will see their daughter off to Cuesta College this coming fall. Lena hopes to later transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to study Wine and Viniculture.
Learning to ride horses at an early age considerably shaped her future with the hands on lessons of responsibility and hard work. Lena became a member of NCHA at the age of twelve to successfully compete in reining classes but now has her sights set on barrel racing. She will be competing on the rodeo team for Cuesta College. One of her biggest goals is to eventually qualify for the WNFR.
Her membership in 4-H gave her lifelong friends, experience with animals and most of all a knowledge of her agricultural community. Lena cherishes the moments when she can give back to the community. She enjoys volunteering at Dorothy’s Kitchen throughout the year.
Valerie Costanza – Miss Monterey County Sheriff’s Posse
Valerie Costanza, daughter of Robert Costanza, DeAnna Costanza and Michael Monahan of Hollister, is competing as Miss Monterey County Sheriff’s Posse. She is currently attending Gavilan College to achieve her Associate’s Degree. Valerie hopes to become a medical assistant by obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree at Cal State Monterey Bay. As a medical assistant she can ensure that she is helping people every day.
With experience competing in local rodeos, junior rodeos, ranch rodeos and local gymkhanas, Valerie’s favorite events include reining, horsemanship, showmanship, barrels, poles, keyhole, and other gymkhana events. Outside of horse activities she also owns and has shown breeding does through FFA. The many awards received for her participation in the above events indicate to her that practice and hard work are essential.
Valerie also loves hunting, swimming, hiking, boating and spending time with her family. Rodeo has been a large part of her life and she enjoys traveling and meeting new people. Once she has her education completed and a career, she would like to own her own horse boarding facility.
Kaitlyn DeMott – Miss Agua Dulce
The Los Angeles County town of Agua Dulce is home to Kaitlyn DeMott – Miss Aqua Dulce Women’s Club. The daughter of Brett and Karrie DeMott is enrolled at CSU Fresno pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science Pre-Veterinarian. With this degree she can apply to vet school to fulfill her dream of becoming a large animal veterinarian.
Kaitlyn grew up riding and showing in western classes, but eventually the taste for adrenaline was found in barrel racing. This led her to become a member of CHSRA District 9 where she competed in pole bending, breakaway, team roping, goat tying and barrel racing. She decided to continue competing and living the lifestyle of the rodeo sport by becoming an active member of the Fresno State Bulldoggers Rodeo Team.
With high school academic honors and multiple sports awards Kaitlyn was involved in many community activities in her area. All of these events and experiences have challenged her and have given her the experiences in life that have shaped who she is and who she strives to be.
Sylvana Talamantes – Miss
Tuolumne County Sheriff Posse
Born and raised in the Central Valley town of Oakdale, Sylvana Talamantes enters our contest as Miss Tuolumne County Sheriff Posse. The daughter of Carlos Talamantes and Kaysi Lubbers currently attends Modesto College where she is finishing her general education and majoring in Animal Science. This dean’s list student plans to transfer to UC Davis in the spring of 2018 to pursue her Doctorate in Veterinarian Medicine.
Aside from academics, Sylvana has started a cow and calf operation with her older brother. Their goal is to grow their Angus herd yearly. Training horses is her passion and she enjoys multiple riding styles that include English, western pleasure, ranch horse, reining, barrel racing and roping. She shares her knowledge and experience by giving lessons to younger kids on riding and on training their own horses.
During her free time she takes pride in helping her community by volunteering. Sylvana also enjoys kayaking on the Stanislaus River. She considers herself blessed to have all the opportunities in her life and hopes to share her positive attitude with others.