When Brighton resident Savanna Hamilton was in sixth grade, she was dying to have a horse.
“My dad promised me if I got all A’s that I could have a horse,” Hamilton, a senior at Holy Family High School in Broomfield, told the Denver Catholic Register. “I did, so now I have a horse.”
For the last five years, she’s been participating in the 4-H horse project, and been successful competing at local, regional and national levels. This year she earned another crowning achievement when selected as Adams County Fair Queen.
Hamilton’s reign began in March, following a year of training under the previous queen. She has taken this role as an ambassador in the community to heart, and credits in part her faith and experience at Holy Family in helping her to prepare for it.
“My faith has definitely strengthened me a lot; it helped me (decide to run for the position) and to be someone that people can look up to,” she said. “My faith inspires me to do more and reach out to organizations. I wouldn’t have come as far as I have without it.”
According to Adams County criteria, Hamilton was selected based on outstanding performance in academics, community service, leadership, public speaking, character and horsemanship. She has maintained a 3.5 grade point average at Holy Family with a course load that has included honors classes, served in various leadership roles with Adams County 4-H, and is a member of the Adams County Horse Bowl and Hippology teams where she has competed in state and national contests, and placed in the Top 5 at the All American Quarter Horse Congress three times.
At the Adams County Fair July 30-Aug 3, she was named Grand Champion in the Working Ranch Horse division and Reserve Grand Champion in the Western Division, earning her a spot to compete at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.
Hamilton also participates in public speaking, delivering a speech on the history of Adams County to help win the title of fair queen; photography, jewelry, drawing, and wood and leather work. This year she entered two paintings in the county fair that she created in the honors studio art program at Holy Family, as well as leather pieces she crafted in class.
“The community at Holy Family is great,” she said. “All of the students are amazing … you develop relationships with everyone, and the teachers are nice.”
She has also become more involved in community service projects through the school.
“I do the volunteering any chance we have,” she said. “They make sure that we’re involved.”
Her volunteer work has including serving at Starlight Children’s Foundation, Ronald McDonald House and St. Augustine Parish in Brighton, her home parish.
She is grateful for the opportunity to attend a Catholic school.
“We go to church regularly,” she said of her family faith life with mom Kristie, dad Vince and younger brother Adam, 16. “But it’s different (when you go to Catholic school) because you pray more every day, usually every class period.”
The Holy Family community applauded Hamilton for her accomplishments.
“Savanna is a wonderful young lady,” said Principal Timothy Gallic. “We are very proud of her success. She is a joyful and happy person to be around.”
Hamilton plans to attend Colorado State University next year and major in equine veterinary science and business, in hopes of a career in horses and animal science.
“We’re proud of her,” said her father Vince. “She’s a good girl.”
Hamilton’s reign as Adams County Fair Queen continues through March 2015.