Emily Hoard/News-Register##Ariana Piscitelli and her 7-year-old horse, Diva,
will participate in the grand entry of the Yamhill County Fair & Rodeo.
Emily Hoard/News-Register##Ariana Piscitelli and her 7-year-old horse, Diva, will participate in the grand entry of the Yamhill County Fair & Rodeo.
Emily Hoard/News-Register##Piscitelli plays with golden retriever, Stetson, and poodle, Abbie, two of the dogs
in the breeding program.
Emily Hoard/News-Register##Piscitelli plays with golden retriever, Stetson, and poodle, Abbie, two of the dogs in the breeding program.
By Emily Hoard • Staff Writer • 

County rodeo once again has royalty

And she did.

As Yamhill County’s 2015 rodeo queen, Piscitelli will ride Diva in the grand entry of this year’s Yamhill County Fair & Rodeo, set to run July 29 to Aug. 1. She and her other horse, Whiskey, will be in charge of pushing cows back in their pins during the rodeo’s roping events.

Piscitelli, a 21-year-old from Newberg, was crowned queen in January. Since then, she’s graduated from Willamette University with a double major in biology and environmental science. and has made appearances at a variety of events across the state, including the Sisters Rodeo and Sheridan Days Parade.

She has also visited children and signed autographs at Dundee and Ewing Young elementaries in the Newberg School District.

Piscitelli wants to inspire children to follow their dreams by following her own and representing what she believes in.

“I really believe in rodeo and horse life,” she said. “This was my dream when I was a kid.”

She’s looking forward to participating in the St. Paul Rodeo on the Fourth of July, as well as other rodeos around Oregon and Washington, as well.

Piscitelli began showing horses when she was 8.

Growing up, she’s been involved in 4-H, Youth Rodeo, Future Farmers of America and Oregon High School Equestrian Team, winning medals and state championships. Last year, she served as the Tillamook County’s rodeo queen.

But rodeo is not her only passion. Breeding and exhibiting dogs has been important to Piscitelli for nine years.

She started out breeding shelties. She now breeds American Kennel Club golden retrievers and standard poodles.

For the past six years, she’s also worked as a kennel assistant at the Newberg Veterinary Hospital, where she takes care of animals and helps with surgical procedures.

Along the way, she’s earned a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo, been named Chehalem Valley Junior Citizen of the Year and served as a princess on the Newberg Old Fashioned Festival Court.

In the fall, she plans to attend graduate school at George Fox University. She aims to earn a master’s in business administration.

This is the first time the county has had a rodeo queen in eight years.

Piscitelli asked the rodeo committee if it was interested and was invited to give a presentation about why a rodeo queen is important. In a unanimous decision, the committee awarded Piscitelli the job.

Rodeo Committee Chair Gary Wertz said the queen is great for publicizing the rodeo.

“We hope to have another great year,” he said. “It’s built up over the years and is now in the top 10 of NPRA Rodeos.”

To invite Piscitelli to a function in Yamhill County, e-mail her at ariantgoldens@gmail.com.

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