Angel Trujillo is determined to win a state title before she hangs up her crown. Trujillo is the reigning 2021-2022 Socorro County Rodeo Queen. Now that the new Socorro County Rodeo Queen has been crowned, Trujillo is representing Socorro at the New Mexico State Fair in the competition for New Mexico State Fair Queen.
Trujillo will be judged on horsemanship and personality, which means not only does she have to complete an interview, a written test, speeches and modeling, she also has to demonstrate her horsemanship skills. Trujillo has prepared a pattern, a combination of reigning maneuvers like sliding stops, quick turns and spins, that she will demonstrate at the fair.
“I’m really excited to go meet a lot of new people and I’m excited to get that exposure and go compete and get that experience,” said Trujillo.
Trujillo ran for sweetheart in the Socorro County Fair for the first time when she was 9 and has been competing ever since. She won the princess title in 2018. As the Socorro County Queen, she helped out with the County Fair and has traveled to different rodeos throughout the year to represent Socorro.
“You get to go to all these professional rodeos, and you get to meet all these famous people and it’s like, dang. I never thought I’d be here, I never thought I’d meet them, but I’m in here riding with them in the arena. It’s a very good experience. I love it.”
Trujillo was excited to meet barrel racer Fallon Taylor, but the work of a county fair queen isn’t all rubbing elbows and riding in arenas. There’s a lot of hard work and lessons to be learned.
“I’ve learned a lot of public speaking skills,” said Trujillo. “A lot of time management and responsibility because you really have to put everything in the right times. You have to make sure your timing is good. You’re not there late. You have enough time to do your horse, enough time to get you ready.”
The 17-year-old graduated from Socorro High School a year early, so that she could focus on her Queen duties. When she’s not representing the county and promoting agriculture at rodeos around the state, Trujillo is working part time at a preschool and taking online classes on early childhood development.
“I love working with kids too. They’re cute. It’s rewarding,” she said.
Trujillo has shown horses at the State Fair before, but she’s never visited the other attractions, or checked out the rides. She’s excited for the full fair experience, but even more excited to represent Socorro, which hasn’t sent anyone to compete for State Fair Queen in several years.
Her favorite thing about Socorro County is how much the community comes together in times of need. She remembers the way neighbors helped each other out a few years ago after bad flooding in San Antonio.
“We had lost two horses and then a lot of people’s houses had flooded. Their animals were gone, but everybody came together, and they went and helped people move mud out of their houses. They helped push the water that had gotten in. I think that’s honestly my favorite thing about Socorro: people actually come together when everything, when people need. The community definitely helps each other.”
For anyone considering competing for queen next year, “100 percent do it,” says Trujillo.
“It’s so much fun. You get to meet a lot of people. You get a lot of lifelong friends.”
The New Mexico State Fair Queen contest began Wednesday and runs through Saturday at the State Fair in Albuquerque.