by Cindi Giovo
Paige Jerrett was born to ride as she was raised on the small horse farm of her father, Ron Jerrett in Parish, where she had plenty of opportunities to be around, ride and tend to horses.
With great excitement in July 2011, Jerrett was appointed Lady-in-Waiting Miss Rodeo NY “Empire State”.
Jerrett is a 2009 graduate of PV Moore High School in Central Square and is attending SUNY Morrisville for a degree in business administration.
She will travel to Las Vegas, Nev. in December 2011 to attend the 56th annual Miss Rodeo America Pageant and represent New York as Lady-in-Waiting while getting a glimpse of what she will have to do next year (2012); while going to seminars and meet other women who were crowned.
Presently the reigning 2010 Miss Rodeo (also known as first lady of professional rodeo) is MaKenzie Haley from South Dakota and she will be in Nevada where she will hand over the crown and honors to the 2011 first lady of rodeo in the 56th annual Miss Rodeo America Pageant. It is held in conjunction with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Annual Convention and the Wranglers National Finals Rodeo. Could the future first lady of rodeo be Paige Jerrett, Miss Rodeo NY when she competes for Miss Rodeo America in 2012?
The concept of Miss Rodeo America was started in 1955 by a group of men under the name of International Rodeo Management (IRM). Ray Peterson Sr. (from Nevada) was serving as president when they held their first pageant with nine young women competing for the title. Each contestant is judged in seven categories: horsemanship, appearance, personality, knowledge and presentation (speech), photogenic, congeniality and the completion of a written test. Included in the categories are formal dress, horse riding competition and answering questions presented by a panel of judges.
The late Dale Evans reportedly had this to say about the honorable status of Miss Rodeo, “Cowgirl is an attitude, really. A pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head on, lives up to her own rights and makes no excuses. Cowgirls take stands. They speak up. They defend things they hold dear.”
The Miss Rodeo status continues to be a positive growth pattern, coupled with anticipated excitement and complimented with the beauty, talent and integrity of each reigning Miss Rodeo America.
Some of the awards to be given to Miss Rodeo 2011 will include a wardrobe; $20,000 in educational scholarships and the perpetual buckle that is designed to reflect the beauty, grace and longevity of the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. The buckle was carefully hand-crafted in Columbus, Mont. and features designs on rose, green and yellow gold.
Between now and the competition, as reigning Miss Rodeo NY, Jerrett will be involved in fund raisers and is available to be a guest speaker at formal gatherings, at schools and special community events.
Jerrett keeps active with volunteer work as well as being employed part time during the summer at G & F Italian Pizza in Parish; at Old Navy in Great Northern Mall; Candlelight Restaurant in Parish as a server and bar maid; and Pemberton’s Associates in Mexico as a barn manager.
She has been a life-long member of Harmony Acres. Lisa Brunner of Parish runs a horse farm, is the director of Miss Rodeo NY and is on the six-person committee of horse professionals.
Brunner had this to say about Jerrett, “Paige is a proven horsewoman who is a dedicated and positive role model for all ages. She has been a member of 4-H and now works with 6-18 year olds in various 4-H groups. She also volunteers for cowgirl/boy camps in which the children really enjoy having Paige around. She has lived the life of a cowgirl: cleaning the stalls, feeding and grooming the horses, baling hay, always working hard because she has had a life-long love of horses. Her community action demonstrates her eagerness to be involved along with her experience and demonstrating her commitment while assisting in the disabled programs at various horse farms in the area.”
At SUNY Morrisville, Jerrett is on the western equestrian team that competes within the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) of region 3 and zone 2; on the Mustang softball team while playing first base or outfield for Division III of the NCAA competing within the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC); plans to play field hockey this fall and has been an ice hockey manager for SUNY Morrisville. Jerrett is on the student athlete advisory committee (SAAC) where she holds the office of vice president.
When asked about how she feels about this unique experience, Jerrett smiled and replied, “What an exhilarating journey I am about to take. The reigning of Miss Rodeo NY has not been honored since 1997. It is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication, but with the passion I have for the sport of rodeo I want to open the eyes of fellow New Yorkers and provide them the opportunity to develop a passion for it as well. Itís more than a sport for these cowboys/girls; itís a way of life. I hope to take the sport of rodeo to a different level in New York and inspire others to join the journey with me.”
Jerrett continues, “I sincerely hope others in the great state of New York will follow me in my journey and gain an appreciation for the sport and all it has to offer. Cowboys/girls put themselves on the line every time they step into their boots for the love, passion and glory of the ambiguous sport of rodeo.”