The Pendleton Round-Up introduced its 2017 queen and four princesses for the first time Saturday morning.
Kendra Torrey, 21, was named queen.
She grew up in Milton-Freewater and has ridden horses since the age of six. She has competed in both English and Western styles in the show ring and in pleasure, equitation and halter classes as well as countless trail competitions.
Torrey has been a Milton-Freewater Pioneer Posse princess, Walla Walla Frontier Days princess and a 2015 Pendleton Round-Up princess.
Torrey is a recent Walla Walla Community College graduate completing an Associate of Arts degree in preparation for further studies in psychology.
“The Pendleton Round-Up is so much more than a rodeo,” said Torrey. “It is history, it is family, it is home and as a member of the court I am proud to promote this legendary organization.”
She is the daughter of Gary and Shelly Torrey of Kuna, Idaho.
Sydney Jones, Taylor Ann Skramstad, Kaleigh Waggoner and Betsy West were named princesses.
Jones, 19, is a Pendleton native. She is currently attending Carroll College in Helena, Montana, and studying biology/pre-medicine.
Jones graduated from Pendleton High School in 2016, was elected National Honor Society president, and was dancer of the year with the multi-award winning PHS Rhythmic Mode dance team.
Jones has ridden as a Pendleton Round-Up pennant bearer for eight years, worked souvenir booths for six years and acted in the Happy Canyon Night Pageant where her father served as the centennial show director.
“Round-Up is its own world,” said Jones. “It transports you back to something authentic where everyone is welcome and comes together, even though we live in an often divided world.”
Jones is the daughter of Harper and Kim Jones of Pendleton.
Skramstad, 21, is from Umapine, and is a Walla Walla High School graduate who now attends Walla Walla Community College and competes on the school’s rodeo team. Between 4-H and FFA she has competed in western equitation, pleasure and trail classes, as well as halter, showmanship, jumping and multiple English styles.
With her parents being horse breeders, Taylor has raised, trained and ridden horses her entire life. She has been a princess for the Milton-Freewater Pioneer Posse and served as their queen in 2011. She has ridden in Pendleton’s Westward Ho! Parade and attended the Pendleton Round-Up with her family since her earliest childhood.
Skramstad is the daughter of Scott and Kelly Skramstad.
Waggoner, 18, is from Pilot Rock. A Pendleton High School graduate with a 4.34 GPA, she is currently seeking a nursing degree at George Fox University.
She has volunteered for the Pendleton Round-Up working souvenir booths, annual work parties, and has been a parade pennant bearer since she was five years old.
Waggoner’s great-great-grandfather R.W. Fletcher started the Round-Up Cowboy Mounted Band in 1910. Her great-grandfather R.A. (Bob) Fletcher served many years as chute boss and was the 1987 Westward Ho! Parade grand marshal; her grandfather Robin Fletcher volunteered more than 60 years and served on the Round-Up Board of Directors; all three of these patriarchs have been inducted into the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. Her father, Allen, is a past Happy Canyon show director and her mother, Rebecca, just published a book telling the Happy Canyon story from its inception in 1916.
West, 20, is from Athena. She graduated from Weston McEwen High School and is now studying health sciences at the College of Idaho with multiple minors in Spanish, sociology and human services. Her collegiate research was able to isolate and register a new soil virus that has been sent for further DNA testing.
Her lifetime of horsemanship began on the front of her parents’ saddles before she can remember. The West family bred and raised AQHA horses, which allowed Betsy to develop into a natural horse person. She has carried Pendleton Round-Up pennants for six years, and rehearsed the grand entry as a fill-in flag bearer many times. Her great-grandfather Jack French was a judge in Round-Up’s earliest years, and great-grandmother Ruth Porter Piquet served as queen in the 1930s.
Many relatives volunteered for decades in Round-Up and Happy Canyon, her great-uncle Morris Temple was a founder of the Main Street Cowboys and a former Pendleton Mayor. Betsy is looking forward to sharing her year on the Pendleton Round-Up court with her horse, Feathers.
West is the daughter of Clay and Mary West of Athena.