PENDLETON - Pendleton 2004 Round-Up Queen Cydney Corey is living her dream, and it's everything she thought it would be and more.
"Meeting Vice President and Mrs. Cheney (Sept. 3 at the Pendleton Convention Center) was definitely a highlight," Corey said. "Listening to them speak and meeting them was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was able to chat with Mrs. Cheney for a few minutes and she seemed like a very nice, sincere person and Vice President Cheney was also very caring, although I did not have the opportunity to speak with him for very long."
Traveling to rodeos at Cheyenne and Calgary also stand out in Corey's memory because they were treated so well and had lots of fun.
"In Cheyenne we have a host who does nothing but take the court around for three days," Corey added. "We met the 1938 Round-Up Queen, Jean McCarty Dearinger, a treat that none of us knew about ahead of time."
The first time Corey traveled with the Round-Up royalty she was still a baby. Her father was a Round-Up director and her parents chaperoned the queen and court for three years.
"The Round-Up has always been a huge part of my life," Corey said. "I would watch and admire the court year after year and dream of someday being on the court."
She began helping her dad at Round-Up when she was 4, and has continued for 17 years, helping her father and both uncles with the corporate sponsors tent, by being a pennant bearer and by helping at the Round-Up ticket office. She has participated in the Happy Canyon Night Pageant for 18 years, first as an immigrant, later as a side saddler and currently as a member of the mounted quadrille.
While serving as a pennant bearer when she was in elementary school, her horse spent Round-Up week at the rodeo grounds.
"It was always a big treat when mom would pick up my best friend and me from school, and we would ride in the arena pretending to be queens and princesses," she said. "We played 'Round-Up Court' even when it was not Round-Up season."
Her father, Doug Corey, is a past Round-Up president and director and is currently a Happy Canyon director. Her mother was the Round-Up Queen in 1974 and a princess in 1973.
Corey's grandfather, Bob Hales and great-grandfather, John Hales, are both past Round-Up presidents, and have both been inducted into the Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. Her grandfather, George Corey, is both a past Round-Up and Happy Canyon director. Her uncle, Steve Corey, is a past Round-Up and Happy Canyon president. Her uncle, Mark Hales, is a past Round-Up director.
She joins not only her mother in the sisterhood of Round-Up royalty, but also her grandmother, Joyce Hales, who was a princess in 1947; her aunt, Susan Corey, who was both princess and queen; her aunt, Joanna Hales, who was a princess, and cousin; Megan Corey, who was a princess in 1997 and queen in 1998.
"I always knew what I wanted to do," she said. "I've been around it so much. I couldn't wait until I graduated from high school and could apply for the court."
She has had a very busy summer traveling, trying new things, swimming, riding, taking a class online, working eight hours a day and attending Round-Up functions evenings and weekends.
"I love being busy," Corey said. "I am ambitious, very organized and early for everything. I am always so busy that adding a few more things to the list doesn't bother me. I'm good at planning things out and tend to adapt well when things don't go as planned."
Corey considers her court very special because they have all known one another since junior high or before. Serving together on the court has given them more time together to learn one another's likes and dislikes and to bond.
"It makes you grow so much closer traveling together," she said. "The Round-Up Court has traveled in a motor home since 1983 and it makes us much more of a team rather than traveling to events in separate cars."
Because she has a previous year on the court, she rises to the additional responsibilities of her title by coaching the princesses so they know what to expect and don't go into events not knowing what is going on.
"It seemed a little strange being queen, the leader, at the announcement breakfast," she said, "but I became accustomed to the role quickly."
After Saturday's rodeo and Sunday's collection of belongings and moving home from the court's temporary quarters during Round-Up, she will get a Monday morning, post-Round-Up hair cut and head back to the University of Oregon for her sorority's recruitment preparations.
"I will miss everything about this summer," she said, "being busy with so many things to do. I will even miss having someone to tell me when to be somewhere, what to wear and how to do my hair."
Round-Up is just getting started, however, so, for now, Queen Cydney says, "Let 'er Buck!"
Cyd Ann Corey
Parents: Doug and Heather Corey.
Brother: Bobby Corey, 16, Pendleton High School.
Schools: Pendleton High School, University of Oregon and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
Paternal grandparents: George and Joan Corey of Pendleton.
Maternal grandparents: The late Bob and the late Joyce Hales.
Other royalty in family: Her grandmother, Joyce Hales, princess in 1947; her mother, Heather Corey, queen and princess; aunt, Susan Corey, queen and princess; aunt, Joanna Hales, princess; cousin, Megan Corey, queen and princess.
Horse: Her 10-year-old sorrel quarter horse, Badger, who has a mind of his own. "He likes things his way," Corey said. "I could not ask for a better horse to ride, but he does not like to be 'messed' with and stomps occasionally."
Pets: Labradors Jordan and Chula; German wirehair terrier, Ash; quarter horses Chance and Party. Chance, 27, her retired barrel racing horse, is very special to Corey.
Awards: Lantern cup at PHS, citizenship cup at PHS and five quarters and one semester on the Dean's list at college.
Activities: ASB president at PHS, varsity volleyball, basketball and softball at PHS; National Honor Society member; Outdoor School counselor; STARS teen leader and member of Delta Gamma sorority. She was also a member of the Valley Girls Barrel Racing Association for 10 years.
Jobs: Has driven wheat truck for Hales Farming, summer internship in the marketing department at Wildhorse Resort & Casino and intern at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute.
Plans for future: After graduation, she would like to find a job in New York City, or another city of similar size, in public relations. She would like to live, travel and explore different parts of the United States and eventually return to the Pendleton area.
Favorite foods: pickles, steamed clams, and hot tamales and red Swedish fish candies.
Favorite color: pink.
Favorite sports: playing volleyball and watching football.
Favorite song: "When You Say Nothing at All," Allison Krause.
Favorite movie: "Dirty Dancing".
Favorite beverage: Diet Coke and Diet Cherry Coke.
Favorite things to do: Travel, shop, go to the mountains, go to the movies and ride her horse.
Favorite rodeo event: Tie down roping.
What you want to say that no one has asked you: "I would like to thank all of my family and friends, especially my parents, for always supporting me and my dreams of being the Pendleton Round-Up Queen. I would also like to thank Randy and Rosemary Severe for making these past two years so memorable. To Emily, Tiah, Jill and Jessi: We have had such a fun summer and I want to thank you for all of the great times. Finally I would like to thank the Round-Up Board for giving me this opportunity."