By John Larson
Miss Socorro County, Catherine Blythe, was crowned the 2011 New Mexico State Fair Queen by New Mexico State Fair Commission Chairman David “Hossie” Sanchez last Saturday, Sept. 25. In addition, Ms. Blythe received the Horsemanship Award and a sterling silver bracelet presented by Commissioner Jack Duffey.
Blythe, a sophomore at New Mexico Tech majoring in Petroleum Engineering, said she had been preparing for the competition throughout the summer.
The competition was broken down into two parts; 50 percent horsemanship and 50 percent personality.
“It’s really exciting for me, but it’s also a big responsibility,” she said. “It should be a lot of fun.”
The State Fair Queen is required to go to as many county fairs as possible, and also be an ambassador at next year’s state fair.
“It can be time consuming,” Blythe said. “Especially when next year’s county fairs start up.”
A 2009 graduate of Socorro High School, she has been a member of several rodeo organizations, including the New Mexico Junior Rodeo Association, the Gymkhana Rodeo Association, the Bosque Farms Junior Rodeo Association and the National Barrel Horse Association.
“I’ve been doing rodeo since I was 9 years old and got involved in high school rodeo in my senior year,” she said. “We have one of the most competitive states as far as rodeo.”
When she was a Socorro High senior she was crowned New Mexico’s High School Rodeo Queen, and found herself as a role model for the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association.
Right now her attention is focused on her studies at New Mexico Tech, where she aims for eventually getting a Master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering.
A lifelong Socorro resident, Blythe works as a veterinary assistant at Animal Haven.
As the new Queen, Blythe also received a handmade saddle, a two-horse trailer, a sterling silver crown and sterling silver buckle. The saddle, buckles and bracelets were made by Dale Chavez, Inc.; the two-horse trailer was sponsored by T and T Trailer Sales, and the Queen’s crown was made by Montana Silversmiths.