Tradition of the Colonel’s Daughter

This year’s Colonel’s Daughter competition will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Fort Verde Parade Grounds. (Photo by Bill Helm)

This year’s Colonel’s Daughter competition will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Fort Verde Parade Grounds. (Photo by Bill Helm)

The tradition of the Colonel’s Daughter began in 1960.

Past Colonel’s Daughters

1960 - Wanda Jo Fuller Dickens

1961 - Trudy White Etcheverry

1962 - Connie Mulholland

1963 - Frances Murdock Reedy

1964 - Linda Kilby Ferdon

1965 - Kathy Davis Nemeth

1966 - Irene McDonald Rezzonico

1967 - Gwena Reid Roberts

1968 - Dorothy Isabell Hrenchin

1969 - Rita Ralston Courtney

1970 - Connie McDonald Gray

1971 - Ramona Reeves Reddell

1972 - Kathleen Wood

1973 - Roxy New Blakeley

1974 - Brenda Tatum Lane

1975 - Michelle Mackelprang

1976 - Dawn Bullard Messick

1977 - Peggy Scott DeDeau

1978 - Charlotte Pendergrass Robinson

1979 - Diane Basham Moody

1980 - Terri McCraley Nopp

1981 - Kathy Hammond

1982 - Lori Stout Jameson

1983 - Lara Dickinson Carroll

1984 - Kim Ferguson

1985 - Lisa Domoracki

1986 - Jennifer Reay Ward

1987 - Holly Barger

1988 - Jo Jo Cathcart

1989 - Cheryl Eichhorn

1990 - Kim Mulcaire

1991 - Amanda Harvey

1992 - Jennifer Lockhart

1993 - Sara Dunivin

1994 - Melissa Murdock

1995 - Kristy Parker

1996 - April Strand

1997 - Kijla Hough

1998 - Holli Brown

1999 - Dani Moore

2000 - Brandi Ford

2001 - Courtney Currier

2002 - Nicole Jameson

2003 - Jenna Scott

2004 - Rita Sanders

2005 - Brittany MacDonald

2006 - Lera Petska

2007 - Christine Dunn

2008 - Taylor Skaggs

2009 - Sami Drake

2010 - Ashley Roth

2011 - Michelle Moscardini

2012 - Sharli Macdonald

2013 - Shelby Boler

2014 - Rylee Smith

2015 - Laramie Mahan

2016 - Alana Neary

The young lady chosen to wear this title is selected at a competition held on the parade ground at Fort Verde State Park the last Sunday of September.

The competition is judged 50 percent on horsemanship and 50 percent poise and personality. The horsemanship is judged on the girls’ ability to sit her horse well and give a well-balanced, graceful effortless appearance and have her horse under control at all times. No stallions are allowed.

Three out-of-town judges oversee the contest. There is no charge to the public and all are encouraged to attend the competition and root for their favorite young lady.

All other towns have their rodeo queen, but Camp Verde has its Colonel’s Daughter.

The title of Colonel’s Daughter comes to us from a novel written in 1882 by retired Capt. Charles E. King. King arrived at Camp Verde in May 1874 to join the 5th Cavalry. He was wounded in November of that same year in a skirmish with hostiles at Sunset Pass. He never fully recovered from the damage to his right arm, although he continued to serve in the army until 1897, when he was given a medical discharge.

As with many novels of that day, “The Colonel’s Daughter” had a sub-title: “Winning His Spurs.” From this secondary title, Camp Verde’s Colonel’s Daughters each year receive a special gift of spurs from the Camp Verde Cavalry. The young lady that wins the title also receives several nice gifts from town merchants. As one past Colonel’s Daughter said, “Trying out for the Colonel’s Daughter gave me poise, self-esteem and more confidence.”

The Colonel’s Daughter is presented each year during Fort Verde Days. She leads the parade escorted by the Camp Verde Cavalry and later in the day shows off her riding skills.

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