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Drescher crowned queen of the rodeo

Under the watchful eyes of 2005 winner Tessa Yeaman Saturday night at the Fairgrounds’ Presidents’ Hall, 2006 winner Aschlee Drescher adjusted her Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede sash after beating out three other contestants for the title. - Photo by Sean Lamphere
Under the watchful eyes of 2005 winner Tessa Yeaman Saturday night at the Fairgrounds’ Presidents’ Hall, 2006 winner Aschlee Drescher adjusted her Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede sash after beating out three other contestants for the title.
— image credit: Photo by Sean Lamphere

The 2006 Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede contest was a horse race with Aschlee Drescher beating out the field of four contestants by a nose.

Organizer Candy Gratton said the competition between the four young women from Port Orchard was tough for the judges. “All of the girls were high- quality candidates,” Gratton said after the pageant concluded Saturday night at the Fairgrounds’ Presidents’ Hall.

In her second attempt, Drescher (who was second runner-up in 2005) beat out runners-up Katie Krauss, Chere Horn and Chandel Moore (all students at South Kitsap High School) for the title following extensive interviews, knowledge and horsemanship tests, a speech and a western wear fashion show.

“I am so ridiculously excited,” said Drescher, an 18-year-old Olympic College student who spent much of the past four months preparing for the pageant. “This was my second attempt so I was going for the gold.”

With the help of 20 family members and friends, whom she dubbed “Team Aschlee,” Drescher said she used her previous attempt to become “more prepared for what I needed to do and enhance my strong points. There were 20 people taking care of me and that made all the difference.”

She said becoming a rodeo queen has been her goal for the past five years, and along with riding horses for the past nine years, it’s something she’s used to overcome an abusive childhood.

Gratton said all of Drescher’s preparation was the difference. “She knew exactly what she needed to do so she worked for it,” Gratton said.

Drescher won a number of other awards Saturday, including the Corey Volunteerism Award, sales achievement, personality and speech. Krauss was awarded for knowledge, most photogenic, the Sarver Award for appearance, professionalism and Queen Denise McGee Memorial Miss Congenality Award. Horn took the horsemanship title for the second-straight year following her skills demonstration earlier in the day at the 4-H arena.

As Miss Kitsap Fair & Stampede, Drescher will attend rodeos throughout Washington and Oregon as well as make appearances at a number of local parades with her horses Sam and Bug. It also qualifies her to compete for the Miss Rodeo Washington title.

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