SISTER, Ore. - Brooklyn Nelson, a student at Oregon State University, was crowned the 2014 Sisters Rodeo Queen on Sunday, September 22, at the Sisters Rodeo grounds.
In a polished and friendly speech before a crowd of sixty people, Nelson spoke of family camping trips in the Three Sisters Wilderness, the source of her fondest childhood memories. She said the Three Sisters mountains, Faith, Hope and Charity, became the principles that guided her life.
As a child in 4-H, Faith taught her to not quit with a rank horse that was stubborn and a bit dangerous, even when everyone recommended parting company with him. She stuck with that horse for many years, winning a fair share of high points in Oregon High School Equestrian Team and Future Farmers of America competitions.
"Hope," she said, "is the desire for something yet to come." The ambitious nineteen-year-old knew what she wanted, and graduated from Canby High School with so many college credits that she was able to begin at OSU as a sophomore. An honor student, Nelson is now in her senior year.
"Charity is about giving back," she explained. She became a certified horse judge in order to help young people in 4-H learn horsemanship. She works in the university horse program while completing her degrees in agricultural business and sciences. After graduation, the next step is a Master's program in agricultural education. She will intern in the Redmond School District in 2015.
Nelson coaches the Clackamas County 4-H Horse Judging Team that won the state championship this year. She will accompany them to Louisville, Kentucky this fall, when they compete for the national title. She will also personally receive the Future Farmers of America's American Degree, the highest degree FFA awards, that same week in Louisville.
Under threatening skies, Nelson and "Doc," a seven-year-old Buckskin gelding, performed a beautifully executed pattern in the rodeo arena. The horse is owned by her Aunt Angelique and her Uncle Kevin. Angelique said, "Nelson began following me around when she was two and I was a rodeo queen." The bug bit.
Nelson's parents are Polly and Marty Crouch of Canby. "She makes being a parent easy," said Polly, "she's just been an easy kid to raise. We've always told her to try not to be who she thinks they want her to be, but to be herself. We are extremely proud of her. She tries and sometimes fails, but takes the lesson and moves on."
Along with a younger sister, Addy Nelson also has support from a family with multiple skills that will be an asset to the rodeo queen. Her grandmother Laura is a seamstress who sewed most of the rodeo wardrobe worn by Angelique, and says she will begin having "sequin dreams" again for her granddaughter. She hopes to sew some of Nelson's rodeo royalty creations.
Five young women sought the title of Sisters Rodeo Queen. The judges were challenged by a group of extremely qualified candidates. "I am speechless," Nelson said after the ceremony. "I started clapping when the queen was announced, and then realized 'oh, wow, that's my name'!"