Frenship girl named rodeo princess in Amarillo

A Frenship area girl has been named Miss Range Riders Rodeo Princess at a contest in Amarillo.

Carolyn Benitez, 12, won in a competition that included horsemanship and interviews. She will serve the Range Riders Rodeo for a year, making appearances to promote the sport of rodeo and the western way of life.

Already, she has attended the Cattle Baron’s Ball, where she showed auctions. Also, she attended Camp Alfie in Cedar Canyon, where she worked with young cancer patients in riding horses.

“I hope I get to go again next year. It was really fun,” Carolyn said of Camp Alfie. Soon, she will appear at the National Cowboy Symposium.

Her mother, Judy Benitez, said she did not realize what an opportunity it is to be involved as a rodeo queen. Her daughter is learning to meet people and is talking about her sport, she said.

“It’s not just a beauty pageant,” said Judy Benitez.

Carolyn competes in barrel racing and pole bending. She has been riding horses since she was barely out of the toddler stage. She has been involved in rodeo since age 5.

She is also involved in Frenship 4-H in photography, nutrition, clothing and textiles, and showing rabbits and horses.

Carolyn is a Frenship resident and attended Frenship schools until her acceptance into the Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders last year as a sixth grade student.

At school, she will participate this year in basketball and dance. She has taken tap, ballet and jazz lessons since she was 3.

Her life’s goal is to work with horses.

“I want to take a horse to Lexington to race in the Kentucky Derby,” said Carolyn.

When she got her first horse at age 5, she said, “I was really happy. I love horses, and that was all I wanted to do.”

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