Twelve-year-old Rowdy Israel of Dayville will celebrate her birthday in grand style next month as she’s crowned 2019 Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon in John Day — and the community is invited to the bash.
Israel will hold a coronation party and fundraiser at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Grant County Fairgrounds in John Day, the day after her 13th birthday.
Tickets are $12 each, which includes a taco bar dinner and birthday cake for dessert.
The highlight of the evening will be Israel’s official crowning by the 2018 Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon Lauren Gibson of Junction City.
Festivities also include silent and live auctions and a chap parade where Israel will showcase her custom chaps made by Shasta Leatherworks in Prineville. Visiting royalty and other youths are invited to join in the parade to show their chaps, ropes and Western attire.
An after party for families includes corn hole, dummy roping and music. Spitfire Cocktails will also serve drinks for the 21-and-up crowd.
Israel won the Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon title on July 14 last year at the conclusion of the two-day pageant held in conjunction with the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo in Philomath.
Along with the state title, Israel won the categories of horsemanship, photogenics and appearance.
Israel competed in the event the previous year when Gibson won and said she decided to try out again.
“It was so much fun the year before, and I love to promote the sport of rodeo,” she said.
In 2017, she was crowned Little Miss Northwest Professional Rodeo Association.
The Dayville School seventh-grader, daughter of Nicole Israel, said she learned to ride horses before she could walk.
Locals have seen her riding in dozens of Grant County parades since she was 2 years old, and she has also competed in horse shows since that time.
She is a regular competitor in the Cinnabar Mountain Playdays Youth Rodeo Series held June through August at the Grant County Fairgrounds rodeo arena.
She said she enjoys all eight events, including barrels, pole bending and dummy roping. She placed fourth last year for the season out of 11 competitors in the intermediate division.
Israel will travel with her two horses this year during her reign, a 24-year-old American paint horse, Peanut, and a 13-year-old American paint, Clair.
As queen, she will travel to rodeos, parades and luncheons throughout Oregon and in Washington and Idaho. She’ll also volunteer at various events during the year.
Her adviser and coordinator is Angie Vachter of Scio.
At rodeos, Israel will do a run-in during the grand entry, sometimes carrying a flag, and she’ll help move cattle out of the arena when needed.
“What I love about rodeos is the passion that everyone has for the dust, dirt, the 100-degree weather and the Western way of life,” she said. “I’m excited to travel and go to all the different rodeos and meet new people — some people may become lifelong friends.”
Besides promoting rodeo, Israel said she’ll also represent Grant County.
In the future, she plans to graduate from Dayville High School with the class of 2024 followed by attending school for equine massage — and “maybe win the title of Miss Rodeo Oregon, then compete in Las Vegas for the title of Miss Rodeo America,” she said.
Coronation party tickets are available at the Grant County Fairgrounds office in John Day, Bar W-B in Prairie City and the South Fork Mini Mart in Dayville or call Nicole Israel at 541-620-2624.
For more information, visit missrodeooregon.com or follow Israel on Instagram at 2019jmrorowdyisrael and #jrmissrodeooregon.