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Aschten Thomas was crowned 2019 queen and with Brianna Smith as this year's princess.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - From left to right, the 2020 Jefferson County Fair and Rodeo Queen Aschten Thomas, 2019 Queen, Lindsey Sullivan and 2020 Princess Brianna Smith. Smith and Thomas competed in the Jefferson County Fair and Rodeo Court Pageant Oct. 12, and received their respective titles for 2020.The 2020 Jefferson County Fair and Rodeo Court pageant, held Oct. 12, at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, awarded Aschten Thomas with the title of fair and rodeo queen, along with Brianna Smith, who was awarded the title of princess.

The pair, who will officially be crowned on Jan. 25, went through a series of tasks that tested, among other things, their knowledge of Jefferson County, their speaking ability and riding ability.

"We want our girls to be able to know what they are representing to the best of their ability; that is very important to me," said Tanya Cloutier, fair court advisor. "I am very excited to have these two local ladies representing us next year."

Thomas has been riding for as long as she can remember. A member of the Cline Falls Hayburners 4-H Club and later a member of the Ridgeview High School equestrian team, Thomas enjoys going to local horse-related events. She often attends local play days and enjoys trail riding, gaming events, roping and dressage.

The 20-year-old Culver resident graduated from Roberts High School in Salem in 2018. When she is not riding she is most likely spending time with her three younger sisters. She also has a unique interest is learning how to operate excavation equipment.

"My reasoning for wanting to be selected is the pure fact that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.  The sport of rodeo has so many opportunities and I want to educate the community as much as I can," Thomas said.

At 3 years old, Smith, this year's princess, had her first moment in the saddle, riding Major, a palomino quarter horse, who she describes as the most amazing horse she has ever ridden.

The current Central Oregon Community College student said she is proud to be a part of the court and is looking forward to being involved and using it as a way to give back to the community.

"What better way to give back to my community than inspiring all the little girls to dream big and never give up on your dreams," Smith said, mentioning that spending a year like this, "riding her heart out," has been a dream of hers since she was a little girl.

Smith, who moved to Central Oregon in 2018, after transferring from Chemeketa Community College to COCC, is studying to become a paramedic and spends time volunteering for the Jefferson County Fire District. She said she loves that volunteering give her the ability to help out in the community and earn experience and certifications for her future career.

As the year wraps up for the 2019 court, Clouteir said, "(I) sincerely want to thank 2019 Queen Lindsey Sullivan and Princess Mary Olney for the wonderful job they did this year representing the fair and community."

"Jefferson County is truly blessed to have such amazing young ladies to serve as yearly ambassadors for our county all through the state of Oregon," she said.

She said she would also like to thank everyone who supported the pageant by sponsoring awards and the Fair Board for their support all year long, as well as those who judged the pageant, Jean Hrabik, Kayla Vincent and Sarah Hammond.

The official coronation dinner and auction for the 2020 Fair and Rodeo Court will be held Jan. 25, at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

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