When Alyssa Perry rides into the arena on her horse Bucky at the opening of the 95th Livermore Rodeo this weekend, she will be realizing a dream she's had since childhood.
Perry, daughter of Lab employees Donnie (MUSD laborer) and Leane Perry (CFO, Travel Accounting) was selected to be this year's Miss Livermore Rodeo Queen, a title she has yearned for since she was six years old.
"When I was little, I would run around the house with my stick horse and pretend I was the rodeo queen," she said. "I always thought it was the coolest thing."
Perry's interest in horses and rodeos is in her blood. Her great-great aunt was a two-time world champion trick rider and one of the first women ever to wear pants into the rodeo arena. Her father is a director with the rodeo association. And, she attended her first Livermore rodeo at just twenty four days old and has not missed one in her nineteen years. "I love the sport. I love the patriotism, athleticism, competition, excitement and thrills that accompany the rodeo."
A 2012 graduate of Livermore High School, Perry said she is "very excited and proud to be representing my city, my rodeo and the western way of life to rodeo fans throughout the state."
The coveted title of rodeo queen comes after a serious competition where four finalists are questioned, interviewed, and critiqued for their riding skills, flag runs and execution of the queen wave.
As the official 'face' of the rodeo, Perry will carry out many duties. She will attend all of the events including Cattle Penning, in which she will participate, Family Night featuring local team roping and wild cow milking, and the action packed Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association ( PRCA) competitions.
Meeting and greeting rodeo goers does not worry her. "This part comes easy to me. I am approachable and like talking with people."
Perhaps a major role of the rodeo queen is serving as an ambassador prior to and after the event. During her reign she will visit schools and groups to speak to young girls and boys, a duty she thoroughly enjoys and looks forward to.
Perry currently attends Las Positas College where she is working toward a degree in language arts and communication, with an emphasis on American Sign Language. She plans to transfer to UC Davis to further her education and pursue equine studies. It is no surprise that her aspirations include helping to maintain the health of horses -- she hopes someday to become an equine dentist.
Amanda Timmons of ICS help-desk support, represented the Lab in the Livermore Rodeo Greenhorn Team Cattle Penning event Wednesday night, competing with 19 other greenhorns. "It was really fun. I hadn't been on a horse in a long time, but it came right back to me." Timmons said. "Although my team didn't win, we had a good time."
The 95th Livermore Rodeo rides into town June 8-9 at Robertson Park in Livermore, with gates open at 11 a.m. and grand entry at 3 p.m. A slate of festivities to kick off the annual event is scheduled for June 2-9. Family Night will be held tonight (June 6) featuring wild cow milking and local team roping. Admission is $1 and hot dogs and sodas will be on sale.
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) is a sponsor of the Livermore Rodeo. For more information about rodeo events and tickets, go to the Livermore Rodeo Website or contact Christie Letak at (925) 989-4131.