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St. Helens teen crowned Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon

Baylee Crawford, 17, of St. Helens wins over judges with displays of talent, knowledge and personality

COURTESY OF KRISTI SCHROCK - Columbia County Rodeo princess and Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon, Baylee Crawford, rides her horse past a crowd of observers. A Columbia County teen was crowned 2016 Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon.

Baylee Crawford, 17, will start her senior year at St. Helens High School this year, after a busy summer. After being named a princess in the Columbia County 2015 Rodeo Court, Crawford was crowned among three contestants during the Teen Miss Rodeo Oregon pageant Saturday, July 11, in Philomath. She grew up horseback riding on her family’s 80-acre cattle farm and eventually got involved with her local 4-H chapter.

“I started riding horses back in fourth grade,” Crawford recalled. When I rode, it was just kind of myself. ... We were more beef cows. I’m kind of the first one in the family to want horses.”

She said she began competing around sixth grade, when she started doing local 4-H game shows, but says she “never got good at it.”

Crawford said she competed for the crown twice before, in 2013 and 2014, but this year, she garnered the highest marks in horsemanship, appearance, knowledge, personality, congeniality and photogenics.

It’s been a whirlwind leading up to the pageant and it’s only just begun for her.

COURTESY OF JEANNE CRAWFORD - To the right: Crawford is joined by Columbia County Rodeo Queen Ashley Lanphear and Princess Nicole Rice at the 2015 Columbia County Fair. This year, Crawford spent most of her day Wednesday, July 15, at the Columbia County Fairgrounds for the 100th Columbia County Fair & Rodeo.

She was enlisted to help judge the My Fair Lady pageant and planned to return for the John Michael Montgomery show later in the evening.

“With being a rodeo queen, you’re expected to be at rodeos and parades, along with other civic events,” she noted, stopping briefly to chat before being beckoned back to a stage.

She says she enjoys her involvement, but she’s already looking ahead and planning how to spend her free time when she passes the crown.

“I did a little barrel racing,” she said. “That’s something I hope to start again when I get a little less busy.”