Originally Published: September 4, 2018 9:23 p.m.
After months of preparation, Chino Valley resident Jordan Ownby battled against tough competition to win the title of Miss Rodeo Arizona.
“It’s a lot of study, you have to be up to date on rodeo knowledge, current events that are happening around the world, speaking interviewing,” said the 21-year-old Ownby. “There’s just so many things you have to prepare for. You have to have the wardrobe for it. Months and months of preparing to get you to three days that you compete.”
The pageant was held Friday through Sunday, Aug. 17-19, and though it was tough competition, Ownby still made really good friends. When it came down to her and one other girl, they became quite close, she said. Not only was she great competition, she pushed her to be better, Ownby said.
During the competition, she was pretty nervous, even though she’d done similar pageants before, she said. Despite being nervous, Ownby said she poured her heart and soul into the competition.
Coming out the other side as the winner was surreal and crazy to think about how she doesn’t just represent Chino Valley, but the state of Arizona, she said.
The most difficult part of the pageant turned out to be the most satisfying, Ownby said. She and her horse both went in as total underdogs due to her horse, Gunner, having surgery back in December and her having knee surgery in April, she said. The two of them were out of shape because of all that time off and, as such, the horsemanship portion of the pageant was the hardest part physically and mentally, Ownby said.
She won that portion and it was incredibly satisfying, she said. Even more so because of her connection with Gunner.
“It’s always snice when we can work as a team and kind of win something like that together,” Ownby said.
She couldn’t have done it by herself though, she said, noting her family was supporting her every step of the way.
Having been in the Arizona High School Rodeo, Ownby said she loves rodeo and what rodeo queens stand for in promoting and spreading the word about the sport. It was really cool doing it on a local level and she really enjoys doing it on a state level where she can spread the word even more, she said. For her, competitions started at age 9 and now, being Miss Rodeo Arizona is like the cherry on top of the cake that she’s made over the years, Ownby said.
Ownby’s coronation will be in January. Her next goal is running for Miss Rodeo America. She has until December 2019 to prepare.
“Miss Rodeo America is the top, but it is an incredible title,” she said. “You travel the whole country and get to go to Canada. She goes everywhere … that’s of course everybody’s end goal.”