My name is Sara Newham, and I'd like to introduce myself.

I have resided in the High Desert since 1982. After graduating from Hesperia High School in 1996 I went to work for Boot Barn in Victorville. I also helped out the Hesperia Wranglers and Hesperia Horsemen in 1999, where I competed in both Gymkhana groups. In 1999, I ran for the Hesperia Rocking Bar h Rodeo Queen title and was crowned the 2000 Hesperia Rodeo Queen. I represented our local High Desert at grand openings, trail rides, BBQs, parades, and as visiting royalty at other PRCA rodeos -- carrying sponsor flags and pushing cattle.

After serving as the Hesperia Rodeo Queen for a year, I became a volunteer for the Hesperia Rocking Bar h Rodeo Committee and helped with the Rodeo Queen Contest. This is where I learned the ins and outs of putting on the Rodeo and Rodeo Queen Contest. Also, I was one of the flag girls, for the sponsor flags, in the grand entry for the Hesperia Rocking Bar h Rodeo.

Throughout my reign as queen I was a member of the Hesperia Horsemen and Hesperia Wranglers -- enjoying the wonderful people, trail rides, play days and riding on the Hesperia Wranglers' Drill team. While I was the Hesperia Rodeo Queen I won the high point saddle in both clubs in 2000. Since then, I have won the 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 saddles in the open class for the Hesperia Horsemen Gymkhana. In 2004 I joined NBHA District 18 and in 2006 joined the HDBR4d club, along with the NBHA, where I have the experience to compete with some of the best barrel racers in the sport.

Many opportunities have been presented to me as a rodeo queen, volunteer and competitor. In other words, I have had the privilege to meet and work along side some of the greatest men and women in the equestrian world, rodeo, Hesperia Recreation and Park District and the Hesperia Area Recreation and District Foundation. I've worked alongside great mentors and was taught by these individuals to work hard, be honest and be loyal. With acknowledgement of my accomplishments and hard work, I was asked to coordinate the sponsor flags for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's PRCA Rodeo in 2005. I accepted, not realizing how many more doors this would open and was asked to come back in 2006.

Last year was a big year for me, when I was asked to continue working with the Hesperia Recreation and Park District and the Rodeo Queens as the coordinator. It's now 2007 and trotting along at a steady pace, to add to my journey, I was asked to start a new equestrian news column for the Hesperia Star to inform all of us in the horse world and western way of life what is happening and about upcoming events.

I am really excited to be involved with something that will help promote and keep, this way of life, alive and thriving, in our great High Desert. I hope to hear from all of those fellow riders and those who are "country at heart" about their stories, ideas and any upcoming events. This has been an amazing learning experience and most exciting journey and I hope it continues to be.

"So, come on, what are you waiting for? Let's ride."