Oh, years of 4-H and
FFA had given her publi c speaking and leadership skills and her cutting horse competitions and show livesto ck events gave her confiden ce in her abilities, but it was only when she was named Spray Rodeo queen in 2010 that she found her calling.
“My Western shirts are all
custom-made, no two alike,” says Payne. “My horse Sanny mat ches me; I just got new ta ck for him that’s beautiful. Everything has to sparkle. I love it.”
chutes County Fair Rodeo Queen for 2011, Payne, 18, has had a busy season, traveling throughout the Northwest to appear in rodeos and other events.
Most rodeo riders and queen have been riding their whole life but Payne only began when she was 12; she only started riding
competitively three years ago.
She’s been making up for lost time, however. Living on a 20-a
cre ran ch west of Redmond with her parents Melissa and Doug, Payne is a member of a state- champion drill team, as well as her cutting/penning equestrian competition – and now, rodeo queen.
comes to every single rodeo with me,” she says. “She loves to be in charge, loves the clothes, the hair, the makeup. She’s totally into it, whi ch makes it ni ce.”
It started with a tryout for Miss Crook County Rodeo when she was still in high s
“That was tough pageant and I had no idea what to expe
ct. I was wondering ‘What was I thinking?’” She wasn’t chosen for that title but it did whet her appetite.
“My end goal is to win Miss Rodeo
or Miss NPRA,” Payne says. She thought about doing that this year but de Oregon cided to wait until she was better prepared.
“I want to blow them out of the water.”
Rodeo queens don’t just need to be able to run a horse fast while wearing a sparkly shirt, they need to demonstrate detailed knowledge of horses and rodeo rules.
“I’ve been asked (when trying out for queen) questions on topi
cs you’d have to look under 100 ro cks to find.”
This year Payne is attending
, studying agri Linn-Benton Community College culture business management. She hopes to learn equine chiropra cti cs and return to to pra Redmond cti ce.
The first week of August was the pinna
cle for Payne, her home rodeo and all its asso ciated events. She and Sanny appeared in the rodeo parade in downtown ; she sat as judge in a fair talent show and 4-H showmanship Redmond competition.
And every night of rodeo, every night of the fair, she ran the Ameri
can flag around the arena at a full gallop, cat ching the lights with her rhinestones and beautiful smile.