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Klahowya grad named rodeo queen

Katy Schwab was named this year’s Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede at Saturday night’s pageant at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. - Ken Kramer courtesy photo
Katy Schwab was named this year’s Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede at Saturday night’s pageant at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.
— image credit: Ken Kramer courtesy photo

BY RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

As a little girl, Katy Schwab donned pink cowboy boots and waved to the rodeo queens as they passed by at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede.

Now, the 2006 Klahowya Secondary School grad will be the rodeo queen idolized by a new generation of young girls in pink cowboy boots.

Schwab was named 2008 Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede Saturday night at the President’s Hall at Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The brown-haired cowgirl was “extremely excited” after being named the county’s rodeo queen.

Schwab beat out three other contestants for the title and spent the entire day competing for the crown. Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede contestants went through personal interviews, rodeo and horsemanship interviews and demonstrated riding patterns before the evening’s festivities were underway. The four contestants then presented two-minute speeches to the pageant attendees and answered impromptu questions. Four judges, including the reigning Miss Rodeo Washington Jessica Crouch, scored the contestants on each component of the pageant.

Schwab’s speech gave pageant attendees a tour of the Fairgrounds during the annual Fair and was met with lots of applause. Schwab was asked if she would rather be a gray whale or a killer whale and the 19-year-old chose gray whale because “they’re more peaceful.”

The reigning Miss Kitsap Samantha Przybylek made her first appearance at the Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede pageant. She sang the National Anthem and lent her support for the contestants.

Outgoing Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede and reigning Miss Teen Rodeo Washington Mandy Milovich was a constant presence at Saturday’s pageant, participating in the opening dance number and facilitating many of the pageant activities.

Christina Krawiecki, 16, of Port Orchard won the Miss Congeniality award and had the highest score on the written test, but she could not beat Schwab for the crown. Krawiecki was named first runner-up.

Schwab said her favorite aspect in competing for the title was meeting the other contestants. She added that she hopes to remain friends with each of them.

Schwab will spend the year visiting other fairs throughout the state. She said she is most looking forward to attending the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede in August.

“Our rodeo definitely hands down,” she said. “The Kitsap County Fair & Stampede has a lot to offer this year.”

Schwab started taking horse lessons at the age of 10 and has loved horses ever since. She was a member of 4-H for six years and recently joined the Thunderbird Cowgirls Drill Team, which represents Corey’s Day on the Farm for special needs children and the Northwest Burn Foundation.

She recently purchased a 6-year-old breeding stock paint mare and has been practicing barrel patterns and plans to compete next year.

When she’s not riding horses, Schwab enjoys hunting, camping and taking her dog to the park. She plans to attend Olympic College in the fall and obtain an associate’s degree in business management.

Schwab wants to open her own horse boarding, training and breeding facility.

As for celebrating Saturday’s victory, Schwab only had one thing on her mind.

“Actually I’m going to go home, go to bed and get some rest,” she said with a smile.

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