Sylvana Talamantes is the 2014 Mother Lode Roundup Queen.
The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse awarded Talamantes her crown during the Queen Coronation on Sunday at Sonora's historic Opera Hall. The 17-year-old was one of five queen candidates to compete for the title.
"It's amazing," Talamantes said. "I didn't see it coming. But I tried so hard and worked my heart out."
A senior at Oakdale High School, she is active in FFA, 4-H and multiple horsemanship groups, and she plans to attend University of California, Davis, after high school to become a veterinarian. As queen, Talamantes will be the face of this weekend's rodeo and represent the Sheriff's Posse in many events throughout the year. The queen also receives a scholarship, custom saddle, use of a horse trailer, buckle and tiara.
She and the other four candidates were judged on multiple competitions, including riding, equine knowledge, personal interviews and ticket sales for the Roundup. At Sunday's coronation, they also delivered speeches, gave unscripted answersto questions on current events, were quizzed on rodeo equipment and modeled custom coronation outfits.
"Everybody was such a good competitor. Everybody brought something to the table and offered something," Talamantes said.
For the complete story, see the May 5, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.