Royals in Cave Creek may tend to opt for boots and an embellished cowboy hat instead of ballgowns and dainty tiaras, but, crowned by Cave Creek Rodeo Days, these ladies have all the essence of rodeo royalty.
Each year, Cave Creek Rodeo Days crowns a Queen and Teen Queen who best symbolize the young women of Arizona who desire to promote the sport of rodeo and, in doing so, the western way of life. This year, that honor went to Mary Norton, who was crowned Queen, and Isabella Schofield, Teen Queen, at a Feb. 11 coronation ceremony and banquet.
“Congratulations ladies, we look forward to having you as part of the Cave Creek Rodeo Royalty program,” the Cave Creek Rodeo Days Royalty program shared in a social media post. “We would also like to thank the other contestants for their participation in the royalty competition. We wish everyone could win.”
Norton is 21 years old and was also the 2019 Miss Teen Rodeo Arizona. During that time, she developed her platform “Every Moment Matters,” which is with her everywhere she goes. In and out of rodeo, Norton uses this to inspire everyone she meets that event the small moments are just as important as the big and exciting ones. She hopes to have the opportunity to continue this with the Cave Creek Rodeo Days throughout this next year.
In addition to taking home the title of Queen, Norton won an educational scholarship award, custom Cave Creek Rodeo Days buckle and other prizes.
Schofield is 15 years old and a sophomore at Cactus Shadows High School. She has lived in Cave Creek for 12 years and is currently competing in the Queen Creek Junior Rodeos. Schofield said her little sister and two older brothers have taught her a lot about working with horses and roping. She also learned from her father, who worked on a ranch as a teenager and competed in rodeos in college.
Schofield also won a rodeo buckle and other prizes upon her coronation.
Norton and Schofield will represent rodeo as they travel throughout the Turquoise Circuit as well as other parts of the Southwest as required or desired assisting the Cave Creek Rodeo Days organization and its royalty program.
The Cave Creek Rodeo Days Royalty program participates in community service programs, 4-H and local events within the Town of Cave Creek, the charities supported by Cave Creek Rodeo Days, supporting its western heritage and lifestyle.
This year’s competition was judged by Celeste Jones, Cait Opanski-Luca and Amanda Radford.
Jones is an advocate for all things western – from the history and horses to the style and music. She is a mother, a horsewoman, a ranch recipe blogger and a western enthusiast.
Opanski-Luca is an Iowa State and Nebraska Your Champion in Western Pleasure, performing on her Appaloosa horses. She is a former equine small business owner, Corral West Horse Adventures in Goodyear, and a 501(c)(3) horse rescue owner, Lucky Break Rescue. Opanski-Luca was also a Miss Illinois USA Finalist and is currently fundraising and is a marketing consultant full time. Opanski-Luca is passionate about preserving the western way of life as a first-generation cowgirl.
Radford was Cave Creek’s Rodeo Queen in 2011 and 2012. She filled out her permit and got her pro rodeo card in 2012, during her Cave Creek Rodeo Queen reign. She also qualified for finals in NMRA, GCPRA, Turquoise Circuit, Mountain state Circuit, CCOBRA, IBRA and NBHA. Radford now competes on horses she has bred and raised, all while raising two daughters in the horse world who help run the program as well.
Norton and Schofield will reign as Cave Creek Rodeo Days royalty through Jan. 31, 2024.
For those interested in being part of the 2024 Royalty Court, contact the Cave Creek Rodeo Days Queen chairperson at email@example.com.
Cave Creek Rodeo Days kicks off with a parade, Mutton Bustin' and dance Saturday, March 18. Rodeo events, including three thrilling PRCA rodeo performances featuring top-ranking Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) contestants, take place from Thursday, March 23 to Sunday, March 26.
General admission is $30, with VIP options available. To purchase tickets or see the full event schedule, visit cavecreekrodeo.com
See the entire Cave Creek Rodeo Days special section in the City Sun Times' March print issue at citysuntimes.com/eedition.
Welcome to the discussion.
Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:
• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.
• Don’t spam us.
• Don’t attack our journalists.
Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.