Meet 2007 Rodeo Court Candidate Cera Kem

Cera Kem, 16, said she has been waiting all her life to be Sweet Home Rodeo queen.

In her words, she is “finally old enough to run.”

Kem is the daughter of David and Kellie Kem. She has one sister, Heather.

She has volunteered as queen assistant for five years.

“It has been a privilege to travel and meet many rodeo queens from all over the Northwest,” she said. “Recently, I had the honor of meeting Miss Rodeo Oregon.

“As we sat waiting for a queen contest to begin, she was practicing for her upcoming Miss Rodeo contest, and the woman helping her didn’t have any horse science questions for her.

“I introduced myself and told her I was Linn County 4-H state hippology (horse science) champion, and I could help her. That so far has been a real highlight for me.

“When asked why I want to be queen, truly I do feel I have been waiting all my life to be Sweet Home Rodeo queen, well at least since I came to my first rodeo here in Sweet Home at the age of 4.

“I came to the rodeo proudly wearing my champion stick pony race and cutest cowgirl ribbons. When I sat down and saw all those queens running around the arena on those big beautiful horses in shiny sequins and fancy chaps, I said, that’s me someday.”

Kem is a junior at Sweet Home High School. She is in her eighth year in 4-H and a state qualifier in western and English riding styles.

On Jan. 3, she and three others from the county will represent Linn County for the state of Oregon in a national 4-H competition.

She also is in her third year as a SHHS equestrian team member.

She works at Limited Spot Appaloosa horse ranch, assisting owner Toni Peterson in exercising and training young horses. She is leaning toward a career in the equine industry.

“As Sweet Home Rodeo Queen, I hope to represent our community in as many Northwest rodeos and parades as I can,” she said. “I hope to also go on to be Sweet Home Rodeo’s first Northwest Professional Rodeo queen someday.

“I want to thank the Sweet Home Rodeo (Linn County’s only NPRA-sanctioned rodeo) for allowing me the opportunity to run for queen. Thank you, and see you at the rodeo.”

The queen will be named on Jan. 20. The rodeo will be held the second full weekend of July, July 13-15.