Hobbs resident Katie Creager, 16, emerged from a pool of five contestants Sunday as the 2012-2013 Fair Queen, following a close competition that included horsemanship speeches, on-stage questions and modeling.
The daughter of Mary and Greg Creager, Katie is no stranger to the stage, having previously won Lea County Rodeo Princess and Miss Rodeo New Mexico Princess crowns in 2010. Katie, a junior at Hobbs High School, earned a $1,000 scholarship for college.
“I really like representing rodeo and agriculture wherever I go,” she said. “Throughout all the contests, you always learn something new about yourself and better ways to handle yourself in pressure situations, and what it’s like to be a representative not just for yourself but your state.”
Katie, who lives on a veterinary clinic, said she plans to attend New Mexico State University, where she will pursue multiple agriculture degrees. She said that after graduation from college she plans to make a living as a horse trainer en route to her career as a veterinarian, and that she hopes to one day own a farm.
“It’s who I am. Agriculture has been in my life since I was born,” she said. “It makes up such a huge part of our country. It started when people first moved here, and it’s what keeps us alive.”
Katie is an active member of FFA and the debate team at her school and is the president of TVC 4-H Club of Lea County. She will be showing chickens at the fair and also will participate in horse shows and barrel racing.
During the Fair Queen competition, Katie said she was asked what her favorite part of the fair is.
“My favorite part is just being able to go and be welcomed by everyone,” she said. “Every person I ran into was really, really nice. Everyone I met on the fair board treated me like family, everyone really took me in under their wing. Because I’m in a strange town, and I don’t really know what’s going on, and I thought that was a really great thing.
“It’s really family-oriented event, keeping our culture alive.”
First-runner up in the competition was Lea County resident Elizabeth Elliott, who received a $500 scholarship. The other contestants were Roosevelt County residents Devynn Velasquez, Krista Avritt and Tanessa Watson, who each received $200 scholarships.