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August 12, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Tournaments and Beauty Queens


Catherine Foster Claiborne, Courtesy of Ted Kinker

In 1912, Richmond’s newspaper, The Times-Dispatch, ran an article detailing an old fashioned tournament at New Canton:


Hard Riding and Expert Ring-Catching Feature Recent Event at New Canton

Arvonia, Va., November 17 – An old fashioned tournament, of hard riding and expert ring-catching, was held at New Canton on Friday afternoon.  In spite of the raw weather, a large crowd was in attendance, and much interest was taken in the horsemanship.  Fontaine Fuqua, of New Canton, proved the most skillful knight in the matter of stringing the rings, and was awarded the first prize, with the privilege also of crowning the queen….

Immediately after the tournament the coronation of the queen and maids of honor took place.  Miss Gertrude Conklin, of Stevens, Fluvanna County, was crowned queen of love and beauty….

As the 20th century wore on, old fashioned tournaments gave way to other forms of entertainments. The tradition of the “queen of love and beauty” turned into the modern “beauty contest” we still know today.  Above is Catherine Foster Claiborne, Miss Buckingham County of 1935.  Her radiant smile leaves no doubt, they sure grow them pretty in Buckingham!


Leave a Comment
  1. Ted Kinker / Aug 12 2013 3:18 pm

    Thank you Joanne. Mom would be proud. Her cousin Virginia Davis won the Miss
    Buckingham Beauty contest several years later.

    • Joanne Yeck / Aug 12 2013 3:35 pm

      Ted, beauty must run in the family!


  1. Buckingham County: Knights and Ladies | slate river ramblings . . . .

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