Bobbie Johnson, the MidState Northstar 2013 Queen, was crowned WSCA Princess Sept. 23 at the Minnesota State Championship Show.
Johnson, 19, is a third-generation family member to show in the Western Saddle Clubs Association and is the daughter of Ron and Julie Johnson, of Braham. She is a 2012 graduate of Braham Area High School and is a student at Anoka Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus.
Johnson is a member of the local MidState Northstar Saddle Club, which is member of WSCA. MidState has more than 80 members from all over the area including Cambridge, Isanti, Princeton and Mora. Throughout the summer, MidState’s members ride at multiple shows with a goal of riding at the Minnesota Championship Show, which features more than 1,200 horses from around the state.
“To qualify for the Champ Show, you must have placed first or second at a WSCA qualifying show,” Johnson said. “Shows are held all over the state of Minnesota, and I attend local shows in North Branch, Braham, Pine City, Isanti, Cambridge, Sandstone and Mora.”
Johnson spends a lot of time preparing for shows.
“Many summer nights are spent bathing horses, packing trailers for a show and getting up at 4:30 a.m. to load and get on the road to the show,” Johnson said. “For example, at the Sandstone Riders show, we left at 5:30 a.m. and didn’t get home until midnight. It was a long day but well worth it with my younger sister Beth coming home with overall Pleasure High Point and myself coming home with overall Game High Point.”
The WSCA was officially organized in 1955. Its mission is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience to all participants of equestrian activities; to promote good horsemanship, sportsmanship skills and practices; to enrich members’ experiences with their horses; and to promote the use of horses for personal and family enjoyment and competition.
“I enjoy WSCA because it encourages people of all ages to be active,” Johnson said. “It’s a sport that you can participate in at any age.”
Johnson enjoyed her time in the Queen’s Contest.
“It was a great learning experience running in the WSCA Queen’s Contest,” Johnson said. “I competed in the written tests, interviews and public speaking part of the contest at the Mermaid in Mounds View. It was a very nerve-wracking evening, but I feel I did well with lots of support from my saddle club, MidState Northstar, and family members that were there to cheer me on.”
Throughout the contest, Johnson was judged by 33 judges in 12 categories with emphasis placed on horse-riding skills and knowledge of WSCA.
During the Minnesota State Championship Show, Johnson competed in the riding part of the Queen’s Contest Sept. 18 in the Rose & Lee Warner Coliseum at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
“During this show, I rode my pleasure horse, A Chance At Life (Chance),” Johnson said. “When I was 12 years old, I wrote an essay and won Chance through a 4-H essay contest. He was a 3-month-old orphan colt that was donated by Gary Schmidt of Grasston, Minn. Chance has taught me that with hard work we can accomplish anything. We also competed together at the 4-H State Horse Show at the State Fairgrounds Sept. 12-16. In the Queen’s Contest, I also competed on my game horse, Sierra. We are a great team that has won multiple State 4-H and Minnesota State Championship Show trips and have been successful at both.”
As WSCA Princess, Johnson received a crown, belt buckle, saddle and $500. She will represent WSCA throughout the year at events all across the State of Minnesota.
Johnson also advocates for horseback riding. She was instrumental in working with the Braham School Board to bring the sport to the lettering program, and, she noted, the Pine City School District also added horseback riding to its lettering program this past year.
Other royalty for MidState Northstar include:
Kalie Buhn, 7: MidState Northstar 2013 Little Miss Pleasure. She shows her pony, Giggles, in showmanship, English and Western classes. She loves showing at WSCA and all the events.
Micah Wilson, 8: MidState Northstar 2013 Little Buckaroo. He likes riding his ponies, Penny and Sugar, and competing in all the WSCA game events.
Mikayla Aumer, 10: MidState Northstar 2013 Little Ms. Games rides in all WSCA events. She rides her Welsh game pony, Marlene, and her favorite events are jumping figure 8, speed dash and pennant.
Kiley Murschel, 13: MidState Northstar 2013 Game Princess. She rides her 18-year-old POA Hawk. She likes WSCA because of all the helpful and nice people.
Beth Johnson, 17: MidState Northstar 2013 Pleasure Princess. Beth likes WSCA because all the great people who are a part of it. She competes in all WSCA pleasure events on her horse, Penny.