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Sweetheart of the Roundup

Jordan Payne has embraced her responsibilities as the 2012 Crooked River Roundup Queen

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF RM IMAGES - 2012 Crooked River Roundup Queen

The 2012 Crooked River Roundup may not start for another week, but Roundup Queen Jordan Payne has already begun a busy schedule.
   Since winning the crown in February, she has attended a few rodeos throughout the state, and participated in a coronation fundraiser that will help pay the travel costs during her tour of duty.
   “It has definitely kicked off already,” she said.
   Payne is no stranger to rodeo queen duties, having served in that capacity for the Spray and Deschutes County rodeos. Nevertheless, that has not taken the luster off of holding the title of Crooked River Roundup Queen.
   “It has always been a favorite rodeo of mine,” she said. “The title of rodeo queen has just intrigued me.”
   Payne was born in Prineville, but grew up in Redmond.
   “I was always around agriculture,” she recalls. “I grew up with cattle, sheep, hogs, (and) everything.”
   She began participating in 4-H in fourth grade, and spent five years in FFA (Future Farmers of America). During high school, she competed on the Oregon High School Equestrian Team, in Redmond, where she participated in a variety of events including barrel racing, pole bending, roping, and cattle events.
   “That was my first time being competitive with horses,” she said.
   Payne has always enjoyed rodeos and had a passion for them.
   “My favorite event is the saddle bronc riding,” she said. “It’s one of the most physically demanding events in rodeo . . . It’s just a natural spectator event that I think has a lot to it.”
   With the Roundup just around the corner, Payne awaits a full plate of activities during the coming summer. She will travel to more than a dozen rodeos in which she will participate in grand entries, luncheons, parades and other public appearances.
   “I’m here to promote the Roundup as much as I can,” she said. “I’m basically the ambassador to just promote this town to the best of my abilities.”
   Payne currently attends Linn-Benton Community College, in Albany, Ore., where she will start her sophomore year this fall. She is pursuing a double major in agri-business management and equine sciences, and plans to some day become an equine chiropractor and message therapist. Payne admits that many people are surprised to hear that such an occupation exists.
   “It’s kind of a new career opportunity,” she said. “It’s a different look on a horse, and the athletic aspect of it.” She hopes to open a practice in Central Oregon and fill a need in the equine industry.
   During her bid for Roundup Queen, Payne navigated a rigorous pageant process before earning the title. After sending in an application and head shot, she had to give a public speech, and then participate in a closed interview session. She completed a written test on rodeo and rodeo queen knowledge, faced some impromptu questions, and even did some modeling.
   Now she is ready to enjoy the reward.
   “It was a strenuous process, but the hard work has definitely paid off,” Payne said. “It’s a huge honor, so I’m definitely not going to take any moment for granted, that’s for sure.”