A St. Paul High School student who is active in plenty of extracurricular activities can add one more to the list.
Ainsley Goughnour was named Oregon's Miss Teen Rodeo after a two-day pageant in Tillamook in late June, besting her competitors from around the state to earn the distinction. Goughnor, 15, is a sophomore at SPHS and plays volleyball and basketball, in addition to participating in 4-H, Future Farmers of America, DECA and Key Club.
She won the competition on June 22 alongside her childhood friend, Morgan Brownell, who was named Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon for kids ages 8-13. The pageant featured knowledge tests, horsemanship, modeling, interviews and speeches, Goughnour said.
Goughnour was inspired to participate in the pageant after seeing her older sister do it in previous years. She said the experiences and people she encountered led her to eventually participate and she's glad she did.
"My sister was a rodeo queen and I traveled around to a lot of different rodeos with her," Goughnour said. "I met a lot of different rodeo queens and saw what they did and the impact they made on people. I wanted to be like them and try out.
"The pageant was super fun. It's one of the most fun things I've done. It was very nerve-wracking, I have to say, but once we got going ,the judges were super nice and everyone was super friendly, and that definitely helped."
On her first try, Goughnour won the whole thing. It helped that she was raised in St. Paul, one of the rodeo capitals of Oregon, and grew up around farm animals. Goughnour said she has been riding horses since she was 2 years old and helped her parents and grandparents raise goats, pigs and cows.
She envisions a future career as an agriculture teacher — combining her love of the agriculture industry and interest in working with kids. For now, her focus is constantly shifting from sports to after school clubs to her duties as Miss Teen Rodeo.
As the statewide representative, Goughnour will don her crown at a variety of events in 2020. Her coronation is on Jan. 18, 2020, at the Clackamas County Events Center — kicking off a yearlong commitment to attending rodeos and parades all over the state.
"I cannot wait for next year," Goughnour said. "It doesn't feel real that I get to do this — it's not just a dream. It's going to be a fun, busy year."
The rodeo schedule, in particular, will be extremely busy next summer. Goughnour will make a stop in her hometown's famous rodeo, for sure, but there will be plenty of others "pretty much every weekend," she said.
Committing extra time to the endeavor is worth it, Goughnour said, because she's living out a dream she has had since watching her sister participate in Miss Teen Rodeo events. By now, she's used to having a packed schedule.
"It definitely gets a little crazy and busy, but I like having something to do all the time," Goughnour said. "It keeps life interesting — not knowing what's going to happen next. I always have something going on."
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