Being named queen is a dream come true for Rachale Zuhlke

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The 2012 Spray Rodeo Queen, Rachale Zuhlke.

There’s nothing quite like a good combination of experience and eagerness, when it comes to the all-important job of a rodeo queen.
   The 2012 Spray Rodeo Queen Rachale Zuhlke, a local resident, demonstrates and emits those qualities, and she also believes that knowledge and integrity are important attributes for the job.
   Zuhlke has been around rodeo and horses most of her life. She was involved in the equestrian and rodeo team all through high school. She was also active in 4-H for seven years, as well as FFA. In 2009, she was also Crook County FFA Chapter President.
   She started riding when she was five years old, and the first rodeo she attended was Spray — when she was six years old.
   “I’ve always had horses, and I figured that pageantry was the next step,” commented Zuhlke.
   It wasn’t until her senior year at Crook County High School that she discovered her love of pageantry. She was Miss Crook County in 2009, and she really wanted to continue with the pageantry competitions.
    “I decided to try out for Spray.”
   She was honored to fulfill one of her biggest dreams when she was chosen to serve as the 2012 Spray Rodeo Queen. She is eagerly looking forward to promoting and representing one of the most prestigious events in Wheeler County.
   Zuhlke also had a message for young women who might have aspirations in becoming a rodeo queen.
   “Those who want to try out definitely should,” she emphasized. “You wouldn’t believe what a blessing it is to go out and be part of a community, and help them promote something — whether it be a rodeo in your community or whatever it is. You are able to go out and promote something, and that is empowering.”
   Adding to her many experiences, Zuhlke is currently attending Crook County Community College in the field of nursing. While she is balancing her queen duties and school, she also works at Papa Murphy’s, Crooked River Ranch Resort, including the swimming pool at the resort, and is the assistant director for the Crook County Miss Outstanding Team program.
   She has two brothers and one sister who support her endeavors, along with her mother Peggy Murphy and father Brian Zuhlke.
   Currently, though, Zuhlke is using her experience and knowledge to represent the Spray Rodeo.
   “I think those experiences stay with you for the rest of your life,” said Zuhlke. “It’s a very honored thing to do. It’s very humbling to be chosen to represent your community and your rodeo, and have a good reputation to do that.”
   She added that being a rodeo queen is a great self-esteem booster, and she doesn’t have anything bad to say about trying out.
   “I definitely encourage anybody who wants to do it.”
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