August 9, 2011

Queen Jordan

Leslie Pugmire Hole/Spokesman

It came as a surprise to Redmond teen Jordan Payne when she realized how much she liked to stand out.
Oh, years of 4-H and FFA had given her public speaking and leadership skills and her cutting horse competitions and show livestock events gave her confidence 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 matches me; I just got new tack for him that’s beautiful. Everything has to sparkle. I love it.”
Named Deschutes 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-acre ranch 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.
“My mom 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, which makes it nice.”
It started with a tryout for Miss Crook County Rodeo when she was still in high school.
“That was tough pageant and I had no idea what to expect. 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 Oregon or Miss NPRA,” Payne says. She thought about doing that this year but decided 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 topics you’d have to look under 100 rocks to find.”
This year Payne is attending Linn-Benton Community College, studying agriculture business management. She hopes to learn equine chiropractics and return to Redmond to practice.
The first week of August was the pinnacle for Payne, her home rodeo and all its associated events. She and Sanny appeared in the rodeo parade in downtown Redmond; she sat as judge in a fair talent show and 4-H showmanship competition.
And every night of rodeo, every night of the fair, she ran the American flag around the arena at a full gallop, catching the lights with her rhinestones and beautiful smile.

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