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Five young ladies will travel to Salinas in July with the hope of taking home the title of Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2015. The competition will start on Wednesday, July 15th and the winner will be named during the opening performance of the 105th California Rodeo Salinas on Thursday, July 16th at 6pm. She will represent the California Rodeo Salinas for an entire year, traveling to parades, rodeos and other events. The contestants are Michelle Hewitt-Miss Reins in Motion, Katherine Hillen-Miss Springville Sierra Rodeo, Taylor Howell-Miss Cuesta Rodeo, Danielle Ray-Miss Valley Volunteer Firefighters and Annie Tobias-Miss San Benito Rodeo.


The contest consists of horsemanship, personality, appearance and scholastic categories. The winner of the contest will receive the title of Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2015 along with a $2,500 cash scholarship, a gold and silver trophy belt buckle, a gold and silver tiara, the use of a two-horse trailer for one year and many other lovely gifts. The contest is sponsored by Laurel Inn Motel & Conference Center.


On Thursday, July 16th, Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2014, Jynel Gularte, and current Rodeo President, Daryl Whitcher, will present the new Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2015 with her title on the track after the Grand Entry just before the Rodeo begins at 6pm.


2015 Contestant Biographies:

Michelle Hewitt – Miss Reins in Motion

Thankful for the love and support of her family Michelle Hewitt views her education as a major priority. The daughter of Darrel and Beth Hewitt of Tracy is currently a freshman at San Joaquin Delta College while also completing high school as an honor student.  Michelle aspires to one day become a large animal veterinarian in addition to being a therapeutic riding instructor. For now she enjoys her time as a volunteer at Reins in Motion, a therapeutic riding center for disabled children.

Actively involved in 4-H, Michelle is raising both swine and beef projects for her county’s fair. She is also dedicated to her church’s AWANA Club and this year will be awarded the Citation Award. This highest honor from AWANA is in recognition for her completion of an intense program course which spanned from first through twelfth grade.

Selected to run sponsor flags multiple years at the Livermore Pro and Junior rodeos she loves the focus and adrenaline of training and riding.  Michelle’s devotion to rodeo as a way of life and an American tradition has prompted her to enter the contest to become Miss California Rodeo.


Katherine Hillen – Miss Springville Sierra Rodeo

A recent graduate of Summit Charter Collegiate Academy, Katherine Hillen currently resides in California’s Central Valley town of Porterville.  In the fall the daughter of Brent W. and Jacquelyn Hillen will begin her college education at Point Loma Nazarene University as a part of their Pre-Med program. Once completing her undergraduate studies she plans to attend medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming a cardiologist and returning home to open her own practice in the Central Valley.

As the President of the Prairie Center 4-H Club and member of the Porterville Junior Fair Board, Katherine enjoys traveling and meeting new people. She also finds time to barrel race, golf and skeet shoot competitively. Once settled into her career as a cardiologist she is also looking forward to raising her own beef cattle.

Katherine passionately promotes her favorite sport, rodeo. She recognizes the need to secure the future of rodeo by instilling the knowledge of rodeo to younger generations and encouraging them to be involved. She enters the contest with the hopes of becoming an ambassador for the sport of rodeo and the California Rodeo.


Taylor Howell – Miss Cuesta Rodeo

The historic mining town of Sonora is home to Taylor Howell.  The daughter of Gary and Krista Howell has just completed her second year at Cuesta Community College majoring in Agribusiness with a minor in Accounting.  She plans to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the next year and continue her education towards becoming a CPA. Taylor also hopes to make a career as a successful reined cow horse trainer.

Her love of Quarter Horses is due to their versatility as she has ridden in several disciplines throughout her life. As the current President of the Cuesta Rodeo Team, she most recently added breakaway roping to her list of events.  Outside of the arena Taylor competed in several varsity level teams in high school, as well as ski racing events in the Far West Ski Racing Circuit.

Taylor treasures the friends and memories she has made through years of competition in the NCHA and barrel racing. With the possibility of representing 105 years of tradition and the American Cowboy that the Salinas Rodeo embodies, Taylor is excited to compete for the title of Miss California Rodeo.

Danielle Ray – Miss Valley Volunteer Firefighters

From the Salinas Valley town of Soledad, Danielle Ray is the daughter of Louie and Jennifer Ray. A graduate of Lighthouse Christian Academy, Danielle found her passion for flying at the age of 13. Since then she has logged many hours of flight time to receive her private pilot certification. The sky is the limit for Danielle’s flight career as she has plans to continue working towards receiving additional ratings for flying and furthering her education in aviation at Le Tourneau University or Embry Riddle.

With experience as an explorer for the Monterey County Regional Fire program and additional fire academy training Danielle has learned many aspects of firefighting and search and rescue. Through these programs she has spent a large amount of time volunteering within her community. Ultimately Danielle would like to combine her passion for flying and experience with firefighting by flying for Cal Fire.

While growing up on a ranch with her family Danielle has spent a considerable amount of time training and working with horses. She is looking forward to another year of the California Rodeo and would be honored to represent the Rodeo as Miss California Rodeo.

Annie Tobias – Miss San Benito Rodeo

A native of rural San Benito County Annie Tobias is the daughter of Charlie and Lisa Tobias. Currently completing her second year at the University of California, San Diego she is majoring in Management Science with a minor in Business. Upon the completion of her college degree she will pursue a career in product marketing or brand management.

Through nine years of participation in 4-H Annie has shown numerous animals at the county fair and was awarded the highest honor of the program by being named California State Ambassador. She attributes 4-H for helping her to learn skills in public speaking and leadership. Now in college she is a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and has served as President of the Junior Pan-Hellenic council.

A part of the San Benito Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo since she was a young girl Annie loves the combination of traditional rodeo events with San Benito’s unique ranch style competitions like Figure 8 Roping. She has been honored to be a part of the history of the Saddle Horse Show Association and is proud to represent tradition in the Miss California Rodeo contest.




About the California Rodeo Salinas


The California Rodeo Salinas will take place July 16-19, 2015. The California Rodeo Association is a not-for-profit organization that strives to preserve and promote the traditions of the California Rodeo Salinas and the West. We support the community and other non-profit organizations through the staging of the annual California Rodeo Salinas and other year round operations of the Salinas Sports Complex. Through donation of our facility, vending and fundraising opportunities during Rodeo and other events, the California Rodeo Association returns between $200,000 and $300,000 annually to local non-profits. For more information about the California Rodeo Salinas, log on to www.CARodeo.com or call the California Rodeo -Office at 831-775.3100. 'Like' the California Rodeo on Facebook at -www.facebook.com/CARodeoSalinas or follow us on twitter @CaliforniaRodeo for updates, photos and more.





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