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Gunderson will ride and reign as queen


2015 Rodeo Queen Emma Gunderson

The Colorama rodeo queen's future probably won't take her very far from animals.

Emma Gunderson, a junior at Ephrata High School, would like to become a veterinarian's assistant after she graduates from high school.

Her love of animals has always been a draw towards that goal, she said this week.

Queen Gunderson will reign over the Ridge Rider Saddle Club's Colorama Rodeo this year, and then prepare for a full season of appearances throughout the Northwest.

A community college or a pursuit of higher education at Washington State University is also heavy on her mind, she says, and that all depends on "receiving some scholarships."

Local rodeo fans will see her up on "Cisco" her main performing horse. She spends time daily with Cisco, a 22-year-old horse who is just a short walk to the barn from her home in Ephrata.

"Cisco likes it when I go out to take care of him," Gunderson says. She also has a second horse that is special to her. "Hank," a 14-year-old, will likely play a big part in her future.

Rodeos are no stranger to the Ridge Rider queen, she has been going to them since she was a little girl.

"It has always been my dream to be queen of a rodeo," Gunderson says. She is looking forward to the many appearances planned for her this season.

Gunderson has had Cisco for three years and the two have a strong bond because of the time the two spend together.

"Cisco has a lot of life left," she says. "He is spirited, but gentle at the same time."

The high school junior says math and English are two subjects she enjoys.

You'll catch her love for her horse and the friendly smile that is almost always on her face when you see her in the Colorama Parade and later Friday and Saturday at the rodeo grounds in Delano.

Colorama fans are in for a real treat this weekend with the parade, at 11 a.m. Saturday, the carnival, loads of vendors at North Dam Park, helicopter rides, and more.

More information about Colorama is available in The Star's special Colorama section with today's newspaper.

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