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Krystal Kruse, Rodeo Queen

Krystal KruseBy Ada Weeks

One of Vida’s best-kept secrets is a sparkly young lady, Krystal Kruse, who attended her first rodeo at the tender age of six. While at the Eugene Pro Rodeo, Krystal was smitten, and knew that horses would be a big part of her life from then on. When Krystal met that event’s Rodeo Queen, who was signing photos and autographs, she treated her kindly and made her feel welcome and at home in the rodeo and horse world. Krystal knew then she would love to also, one day, be a Rodeo Queen.

Dreams really can come true. Sometimes, it requires a great deal of hard work, devotion, and determination, and that describes this year’s Cottage Grove Rodeo Queen perfectly. Krystal and her young mare, Delilah Gold (affectionately called Lila), have achieved many goals. Krystal and Lila have a life goal. A Thurston High School student who will graduate in 2018, she plans to enlist in the U.S. Air Force, and pursue a medical path while serving her country. In addition, Krystal plans to come home to Vida, and further pursue a degree in obstetrics.

Once her career has stabilized, Krystal and Lila looks forward to her Rodeo dream of becoming a “pick up man” (or woman). She plans to settle down and retire the horses into lead line and walk/trot lessons for disabled children, a therapy she describes as helping both givers and recipients.

Krystal’s life reflects values of caring for others. She volunteers regularly at her local church, McKenzie Bible Fellowship, teaching younger children, serving food, participating in the monthly Food for Lane County program, community clean ups and work projects, along with numerous other charitable events throughout the year.

Krystal recently arranged Easter baskets for families in need, and delivered them personally to the families, who will attend the Rodeo, courtesy of Queen Krystal.

This year’s rodeo, on July 8th and 9th, will be the 68th annual Cottage Grove Rodeo. It will include youth competition, national pro adult competition, dancing to a live band, and of course, the glamorous Krystal as Rodeo Queen. Competitions will include bareback riding, calf roping, saddle bronc, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. Youth events range from mutton busting (children riding sheep, and thankfully, wearing helmets) to calf riding, as well as steer riding, junior bull riding, and barrel racing...enough to worry any grandmother.

Krystal’s favorite event is bronc riding - saddle or bareback. She loves it because it is part of her “rough and tough life stock” dream. Being a “pick up woman” is something that fascinates our Rodeo Queen, in that it involves strength, agility, and determination of both horse and rider.

Her talented mother, Kim, who rides in many rodeos with sponsor flags, and also coaches the Oregon High School Equestrian Team at Thurston High School, trained Krystal.

Beauty and brains do compliment each other. This Rodeo Queen maintains a high GPA, and has been elected first year class Vice President and second year class president. Her favorite animals are chickens, cows and elephants (not horses?), and her favorite sports are wrestling, football, baseball, and motocross.

Please join me in congratulating and supporting this amazing young lady: Vida’s Krystal Kruse, 2016 Cottage Grove Rodeo Queen. May your reign be long, Queen Krystal!

Image above: Krystal Kruse at the reins of Delilah Gold.


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