Goshen teen also wins ‘rookie of year’ honor

Published 1:28 pm Friday, June 19, 2020

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Clara Chandler of Goshen won the title of Alabama Junior Rodeo Association Queen at the Andalusia Rodeo over the weekend. In Clara’s first year in Junior Rodeo, she also captured the title of “Rookie of the Year.

Clara also won the “Most Photogenic” title and her stall was judged “best” in the decorated stall competition.

When Clara’s name was called as the 2020 Alabama Junior Rodeo Association Queen, she couldn’t hide her excitement and quickly expressed her relief.

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“I had been real nervous and didn’t eat a lot before the rodeo,” Clara said. “But when I got back home after the rodeo, I ate a whole big ribeye at The Old Barn.”

Clara’s parents, Amy and Scottie Chandler, own The Old Barn Restaurant in Goshen, so she didn’t even have to leave a tip.

Clara is only 12 years old but it would be difficult to know by the way she rides. She competes in barrel racing , pole bending and goat tying. She plans to work hard and improve her times in all her events.

“My favorite event is barrel racing because I like to ride fast,” Clara said.

She wants to added break-away roping to her events but has “got to learn how first.”

Clara said she is excited to be the Alabama Junior Rodeo Association Queen and the Rookie of the Year and to have the opportunities that await her as title holder for both.

But, she is looking most forward to carrying the American Flag at the opening ceremonies of the different rodeos.

“Carrying the American Flag will be an honor,” she said. “That’s my favorite part of the rodeo. It gives me chills when I see the American Flag, especially at the rodeo.”

The American flag is carried by a  cowboy or cowgirl on horseback around the arena at the opening of each rodeo. Clara will have that opportunity many times over.

To be a member of the Alabama Junior Rodeo Association, it is necessary to maintain good grades and they must be submitted to the association.

Clara is a good student and a good cowgirl and she will represent her title as Alabama Junior Rodeo Association Queen “the best I can.”