Name: Kendra Torrey
Hometown: Walla Walla
Currently living in: Walla Walla
High school: Connections Online Academy, graduated in 2013.
High school sports and activities: I was very involved in showing horses in 4-H throughout high school, and played basketball in junior high at Liberty Christian.
College: I have attended Walla Walla Community College for two years, and will be transferring to Eastern Oregon University this fall to study psychology.
Occupational goals: To become a counselor for Children’s Services. My family was a foster home for many children, so this is something I am very passionate about.
Past Round-Up or Happy Canyon volunteer involvement: Before becoming a Pendleton Round-Up princess in 2015, I participated in both the Dress-Up Parade and Westward Ho! Parade many times with groups from my hometown.
Other rodeo or county fair involvement: From the age of 9, I have competed in both the Milton-Freewater Junior Show and the Walla Walla Fair. I have shown horses in English, Western, competitive trail challenges and all gaming events. I held several offices, and was twice awarded reporter of the year while a member of the Happy Trails 4-H Club. I qualified for state in equine judging and oral reasoning. I held the titles of Pioneer Posse princess in 2011 and Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days princess in 2013, before going on to become a Pendleton Round-Up princess in 2015. I have carried sponsor flags for my hometown rodeo, Walla Walla Frontier Days, for four years and enjoyed being able to participate in such a special event.
Community or volunteer experiences: Through past court experiences, I have been blessed with countless opportunities to spend time volunteering in my community. Growing up, my family was very involved in the Foster Care Closet Outreach, helping to gather, wash, and disperse clothing to foster children. I volunteered in community outreach such as Christmas Angel family gifting, the Walla Walla soup kitchen and visiting at the Walla Walla Veteran’s Home. Being a member of the Round-Up court has allowed me to continue volunteering; we made special memories visiting the patients at Portland’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and packing cans for the Oregon Food Bank.
Parents: Gary and Shelly Torrey. My mother is from Clarkston, Washington, and my father is originally from Maryland.
Favorite rodeo (other than Round-Up): Calgary Stampede, not only do the best of the best compete there, but I love that they have to be invited to compete. One of Calgary’s rich traditions is the chuckwagon races. Being able to attend this rodeo over the Fourth of July during my princess year was truly an amazing experience.
Favorite Round-Up tradition: The cannon going off at 1:15 p.m.! No matter where you are on the grounds, or even in the town, you know the second the rodeo begins. I think it’s a great and exciting way to kick off the rodeo.
History with horses: My mom had me riding at a young age. I have shown English and Western, have legged up and ridden colts, carried sponsor flags, team-penned and competed in extreme trail challenges. This year my main horse is Teddy, a 12-year-old sorrel quarter horse mare, who has been in the grand entry countless times, and is also in the quadrille in the Happy Canyon Night Show. My other horse is a 15-year-old sorrel gelding named Pistol, who has also been used in the grand entry.
Why did you want to be on the court: It has been a lifelong dream for me. Growing up in Walla Walla, I remember watching the Round-Up queen and princesses as they raced around the dirt track waving and yelling “Let ’er Buck!” I idolized these women and everything they represented. They were cowgirls, from the way they rode to the outfits they wore, and I knew that I wanted to be one of them when I was old enough. It is such an honor to be a part of carrying on this legacy. I am the first person in my family to be a part of a court, and I am very happy to be starting this tradition. I will be forever grateful for the best year!
Best part of the court experience: The friends and families that I have met through this experience are so special. There is a strong bond among all the court members because you travel, laugh, and promote the rodeo together. It truly is a dream to be representing a rodeo that means so much to me, to the Round-Up’s selfless volunteers, and the town that truly loves their rodeo! As I walk through the Hall of Fame and see the photos of the queens and princesses throughout history, I still can’t believe that I am here. I will treasure this year forever.
Favorite memory of Round-Up: Watching my best friend compete in barrel racing at Pendleton Round-Up. She qualified, and then ran during the Wednesday performance. It was exciting to see her fulfill her dream of running the ‘green mile’!