Embracing local cowboy roots
Janna Davis says that the Crooked River Roundup stands out among other area rodeos.
"I feel that the Crooked River Roundup does the best job of showing that rodeo isn't just about how fast you can be in everything," she remarked. "It all dates back to breaking horses and roping cattle and all of that stuff, and that's why it is such a big, important rodeo to me. It really shows the way of life of all of these cowboys and how it all evolved into something so much bigger and greater."
This distinction played a prominent role in Davis seeking out the Crooked River Roundup Queen title that she now holds for the remainder of 2019. It is her third crown after having served as the Jefferson County Fair and Rodeo Queen in her home town of Madras in 2016 and as Deschutes County Fair and Rodeo Queen in 2017.
The 20-year-old remembers visiting the Crooked River Roundup during those two seasons and always having a great time and appreciating the atmosphere.
"I like the fact that this rodeo isn't all about glitz and how big your hair is. It's ranch-y," she said. "It's just everything that I could ever want because I didn't try out for rodeo queen for any of that. I tried out because I knew how to ride a horse and knew about rodeo and I am good at talking with people. To be able to represent the Crooked River Roundup is truly a dream come true, and I am really excited for the year to come."
Riding horses has been a passion for Davis for as long as she can remember. Blessed by a close relationship with her grandmother, who lives in Vancouver, Washington, and introduced her to horses, she visited every summer, spring break, Christmas break and more to go ride.
"I was only riding four months out of the year, but I was pretty dedicated and determined," she recalls. "When my freshman year of high school hit, I wanted to do OHSET (Oregon High School Equestrian Team)."
Davis convinced her parents to let her bring her horses from her grandmother's home to Madras, enabling her to compete and ultimately become a state qualifier all four years of high school.
"My horses have been with me ever since," she remarked.
Crooked River Roundup activity has already begun for Davis, who has attended multiple queen coronation events and just completed a visit to the Spray Rodeo last weekend. She was amazed how such a small community could come to life in such a big way for the event.
"It was just a really good weekend," she said.
Toward the end of June comes Crooked River Roundup week where the schedule really gets busy. That week, she will participate in the cattle drive and the Chamber of Commerce-led Stampede Street Party that follows. The next evening is the first of three rodeo performances, where she will do ride-ins and maintain a continual presence at the event.
Somewhere in the midst of those festivities she will conduct sponsor visits around town. Davis said she is thankful for all her sponsors, especially Stahancyk, Kent & Hook.
Saturday will be really busy. The day is packed with a Roundup Parade appearance, the Jody Stahancyk Queen Luncheon, local appearances throughout town, and then the final rodeo performance that evening.
Following Roundup Week, Davis will get a couple days' breather before heading to rodeos in St. Paul and La Pine. Then she gets another couple days off before returning to Prineville for the Horse Races in early July.
"I will be running like a chicken with my head cut off," she quipped, "but I wouldn't want to do it for any other rodeo association."
After concluding her 2019 reign, Davis is considering several different options. She would like to try out for queen of the Sisters Rodeo, but isn't certain whether that idea will materialize.
"I believe God has a plan, and if that doesn't happen for me, it doesn't," she said.
Davis has recently pursued her cosmetology license at Paul Mitchell the School of Portland and may opt to put that education to use, but the pull of horse riding could lead her toward barrel racing and attempting a pro rodeo career.
"I'm young, I have a lot of living to do," she said, "and I believe that when I get there, I'll get there."
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