Beauty pageants. Contests based on poise, grace, intelligence and horsemanship? For the 2007 Hesperia Rodeo Queen and Junior Queen it's just that.

Jennifer Barnes, the 2006-2007 Hesperia Rodeo Queen, achieved her first title this year. Barnes, who just graduated from Oasis Charter Academy this past spring, has been riding horses for nearly 10 years. A former resident of Hesperia, she lives in Apple Valley with her parents, her brother and numerous pets, which include three horses. Barnes trains and breeds horses while she isn't doing her queenly duties, and is looking forward to a potential internship in either New Zealand or Kentucky. This first-time queen plans to attend Victor Valley Community College and then Cal Poly Pomona, but this experience is definitely once in a lifetime for her.

"It's been a lot of fun," Barnes said. "I've learned more about speaking, and it's just been a an amazing year."

For Jamie Wendt, an unexpected circumstance has allowed her to take on the role of Hesperia Rodeo Junior Queen for the second year in a row. Wendt, who lives with her mother, sister and four horses in Oak Hills, says that this experience has been a great opportunity.

"This pageant mainly focuses on horsemanship and a community oriented person," Wendt said.

But what is it that these queens do? They spend an entire year getting ready for the big rodeo here in Hesperia. This year they hosted volunteer banquets, barrel-racing series, trail rides and a St. Patrick's Day "play day."

This weekend's Hesperia Rocking Bar h Rodeo is sponsored by the Hesperia Recreation and Park District and both Barnes and Wendt will play key roles. They will carry the sponsor flags around the arena, and be introduced to the crowd. Each girl will also carry the American flag, Barnes during the National Anthem, and Wendt during a recitation of "Old Glory." On Friday, they will be dressed in pink for the "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" night, in support of breast cancer.

As complete representatives of the rodeo community, they'll also be "pushing cattle" after events, because these girls aren't just beauty queens.