Queen Elyse Villaseñor
Elyse is the 18-year-old daughter of Jonathan and Isela Duarte of Kennewick, and Ruben Villaseñor of Benton City. She is a recent graduate of Richland High School and plans to attend CBC and Eastern Washington University to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. Elyse grew up on the back of a horse and began training her own performance horses in 2014. She has participated in 4-H, WAHSET and other equine competitions for many years, and served as the Central Washington Pony Club Queen.
As the ambassador of the Benton Franklin Fair and Kennewick Rodeo, Elyse has traveled to over 90 events during her reign throughout the Pacific Northwest, Nevada, Colorado and Canada. Her experiences include: being introduced on a chuckwagon in Reno, walking across the Calgary Stampede stage, meeting with senators and representatives at the state capitol in Olympia, and local events such as the Rascal Rodeos and school visits hoping to inspire the next generation of rodeo fans and athletes.
Growing up showing horses in 4-H, Elyse understands the importance of the program and everyone involved. "No matter what you show" she says "it teaches you life lessons you will never forget. Showing at the Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo each year has really shaped me into the person I am today. I enjoy every moment representing my community's biggest event. It truly is the Best Week of Summer."
Queen Elyse and her trusty steed Pretzel look forward to seeing you all August 21-25 for our 70th anniversary!