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Queen & Court

2017 Queen & Court Announcement

Pendleton Round-Up Queen Kendra Torrey and her four princesses were introduced at a breakfast Saturday morning November 19, 2016, hosted at the home of Steve and Susan Corey in Pendleton, Oregon.

They will reign over the 107th annual Pendleton Round-Up in 2017. The Pendleton Round-Up is “America’s Best Historic Rodeo,” as named by True West Magazine

In 1910 the first rodeo queen anywhere was crowned in Pendleton, at the first Round-Up when Bertha Anger received the title by virtue of being the best ticket seller. The queen and court have always played a key role in promoting the Round-Up throughout the NW and beyond with well over two hundred annual scheduled appearances. Their distinctive hand crafted leather wardrobe often set them apart from other rodeo courts.

The Pendleton Round-Up is the largest four-day rodeo in America with the PRCA’s fifth richest contestant prize money purse. Its competitive events are contested on a pristine grass arena, with historic wooden bucking chutes and one of a kind run-in system for timed events; all of which are historic presentations which cannot be seen anywhere else in the PRCA. The Pendleton Round-Up is the 2015 PRCA Remuda award winner for having the most consistent pen of bucking stock, and the 2015 PRCA Large Outdoor Rodeo of the year, as well as the 2016 Columbia River Circuit Rodeo of the year. A thousand volunteers work together to produce this annual event, which will celebrate its 107th year September 13th – 16th, 2017

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Queen Kendra Torrey

2017 Queen Kendra

Queen Kendra Torrey is the 21 year old daughter of Gary and Shelly Torrey of Kuna, Idaho. She grew up in Milton-Freewater, riding horses “every chance she could get” since age six.

Her 4-H participation began when she was nine and competed in both English and Western styles in the show ring, competing in pleasure, equitation and halter classes as well as countless trail competitions. “I have been lucky enough to ride colts and tune up reining horses as a part time job, and enjoyed every minute of it,” recalled Torrey.

She has been a flag carrier for the Walla Walla Frontier Days Rodeo since 2010, served as a 2011 Milton-Freewater Pioneer Posse Princess, Walla Walla Frontier Days Princess in 2013 and a Pendleton Round-Up Princess in 2015. “Ever since I can remember, I have idolized the women of the Pendleton Round-Up” said Kendra, “The grace and power that they embody is something I have always strived for.”

Kendra is a recent Walla Walla Community College graduate completing an Associates in Arts degree in preparation for further studies in psychology. “The Pendleton Round-Up is so much more than a rodeo” said Torrey, “It is history, it is family, it is home and as a member of the court I am proud to promote this legendary organization.”

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Princess Sydney Jones

Princess Sydney Jones is the 19 year old daughter of Dr. Harper II and Kim Jones of Pendleton, Oregon. This fall she is attending Carrol College in Helena Montana majoring in Biology/Pre-Medicine having received a Presidential Scholarship.

Sydney is a 2016 Pendleton High School graduate where she was elected National Honor Society President, and received accolades including PHS Citizenship Cup, ASTRA’s Best Female Thinker, Junior Homecoming Princess, four-year letter in Band, and Dancer of the Year with the multi-award winning PHS Rhythmic Mode Dance Team. Her avid community service record includes participation as an after school mentor, Link Crew Leader, Outdoor School Counselor and volunteering for PAWS, elementary school fairs, the Lunch Buddies program, and multiple local VFW Let ‘er Buck Post 922 events.

Jones has ridden as a Pendleton Round-Up pennant bearer for eight years, worked souvenir booths for six years and acted in the Happy Canyon Night Pageant where her father served as the centennial Show Director. “Round-Up is its own world,” stated Jones, “it transports you back to something authentic where everyone is welcome and comes together, even though we live in an often divided world.”

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Princess Taylor Ann Skramstad

Princess Taylor Ann Skramstad is the 21 year old daughter of Scott and Kelly Skramstad of Umapine, Oregon. Taylor is a graduate of Walla Walla High School where she was a four-year FFA Member, varsity cheerleader, and received the Decade Award from the Riata & Rowels 4-H Club. She now attends Walla Walla Community College where she holds academic standing on the Presidents List and competes WWCC Rodeo team. She plans to transfer Oregon State University to pursue a business major with an animal science minor. Skramstad also holds a cosmetology certificate and license.

In 2010 Taylor was a princess for the Milton-Freewater Pioneer Posse and served as their queen in 2011. She also rode on the 2012 Walla Walla Frontier Days Rodeo Court. Between 4-H and FFA she has competed in western equitation, pleasure and trail classes, as well as halter, showmanship, jumping and multiple English styles. With her parents being horse breeders, Taylor has raised, trained and ridden horses her entire life. “My passion truly lies with rodeo,” asserted Skramstad, “and I strive to better myself daily in the practice pen.”

This accomplished cowgirl follows in the hoof prints of her father and grandfather as a lifetime member of the Milton-Freewater Pioneer Posse where she has won countless awards. She has ridden in Pendleton’s Westward Ho! Parade and attended the Pendleton Round-Up with her whole family since her earliest childhood. “It will be such an honor for me to represent not just the Pendleton Round-Up, but the whole town of Pendleton, Eastern Oregon and our western way of life.”

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Princess Kaleigh Waggoner

Princess Kaleigh Waggoner is the 18 year old daughter of Allen and Rebeca Waggoner of Pilot Rock, Oregon. She is currently seeking a nursing degree at George Fox University with a Presidential Scholarship Award. She graduated from Pendleton High School last spring, while simultaneously attending Blue Mountain Community College. Her 4.34 weighted High School GPA is backed up with numerous accolades including National Honor Society, PHS Citizenship Cup, FFA Chapter President (and secretary), ASTRA Secretary, Link Crew Leader, Foreign Language Club Vice President, BMCC’s Dean’s List and more.

Kaleigh is a dedicated volunteer to a long list of recipients including, Pendleton First Assembly of God, several local elementary school activities, PAWS, Altrusa Christmas Bazaar, Coats for Kids, and student tutoring.

In addition she has volunteered for the Pendleton Round-Up working souvenir booths, annual work parties, and has been a parade pennant bearer since she was five years old, “Each time I placed the flag into my flag boot, I realized what an honor it was to preserve the heritage and tradition of the rodeo so important to my family and me.”

Waggoner’s great-great grandfather R.W. Fletcher started the Round-Up Cowboy Mounted Band in 1910; her great-grandfather R.A. (Bob) Fletcher served many years as Chute Boss and was the 1987 Westward Ho! Parade Grand Marshal; her grandfather Robin Fletcher volunteered over 60 years and served on the Round-Up Board of Directors; all three of these patriarchs have been inducted into the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. Her Father Allen is a past Happy Canyon Show Director and her mother Rebecca just published a book telling the Happy Canyon story from its inception in 1916. “I grew up watching my whole family serve the Round-Up,” said Kaleigh, “I have been taught that it is an honor and privilege to serve Round-Up and teach others about living an honest lifestyle and giving of yourself.”

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Princess Betsy West

Princess Betsy West is the 20 year old daughter of Clay and Mary West of Athena, Oregon. This Weston McEwen graduate is now studying a health sciences major at the College of Idaho with multiple minors in Spanish, sociology and human services. Her collegiate work has earned her listing as a Dean Scholar and her research was able to isolate and register a new soil virus which has been selected by her class to be sent for further DNA testing. While at Weston McEwen, West excelled at sports participating on championship volleyball, track and field, and basketball teams. She was also active in FFA, edited the school newspaper and donated annually at the school blood drive.

Betsy’s generous spirit followed her to college life where she is a blood and plasma donor, worked in Tijuana orphanages on a mission trip, and received training in Wilderness First Responder so she may provide disaster relief for backcountry situations.

Although her lifetime of horsemanship began riding on the front of her parents saddles before she can remember, she recalls her first horse was a sweet Shetland pony named Smokey which she would ride on her dad’s cattle drives. The West family bred and raised AQHA horses which allowed Betsy to develop into a natural horse person. She has carried Pendleton Round-Up pennants for six years, and rehearsed the grand entry as a fill-in flag bearer many times.

Her great-grand father Jack French was a judge in Round-Ups earliest years, and great-grandmother Ruth Porter Piquet served as Queen in the 1930’s. Many relatives volunteered for decades in Round-Up and Happy Canyon, her Great Uncle Morris Temple was a founder of the Main Street Cowboys and a former Pendleton Mayor. Betsy is looking forward to sharing her year on the Pendleton Round-Up court with her best friend “Feathers” her “beautiful, athletic, very picturesque, warm sorrel gelding.” Betsy summed it up saying, “I ride horses not only for the thrill of rodeo competition and getting ranch work done, but also because of the clarity and joy I get from being horseback. I understand the special bond and teamwork of being a good horse person and know I can always learn from listening to my horse partner.”

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