(Morrisville, NY – March 7, 2013) There wasn’t much doubt in Paige Jerrett’s mind what she wanted to do when she grew up. The shiny western belt buckle, cowboy hats and hours she and her father spent watching rodeos painted the picture.
“I remember sitting on the couch while my father French-braided my hair and we would spend the afternoon watching rodeos,” Jerrett said.
Being a cowgirl wasn’t all she had in mind. Jerrett had her sights set on going to college, making her mark in the community and promoting the sport of rodeo.
At age 22, she’s already accomplished much of that. Last year, Jerrett, a business administration bachelor degree student at Morrisville State College, shined in the horse world and was named Miss Rodeo New York 2012.
She also recently competed in the 2013 Miss Rodeo America Pageant. During the competition, Jerrett won two awards; the Judge’s Rising Star Award and the Raeana Wadhams Spirit Award.
“I was honored to receive these heartfelt awards,” said the cowgirl from Parish, N.Y. “They provided me with a true sense of accomplishment.”
The Judge’s Rising Star Award is based on exceptional horsemanship skills, enthusiasm for the professional sport of rodeo and giving back to others.
Jerrett’s career as Miss Rodeo New York focused on doing just that. Serving as an ambassador for the professional sport of rodeo, she attended community events, rodeos, and participated in radio and television interviews, educating others and promoting the sport throughout the Northeast.
Among her memorable moments in that role were attending the Pioneer Days Rodeo in Oklahoma and being asked to open for the Mesquite Rodeo, in Mesquite, Texas.
“This has been a big undertaking for someone her age—to travel to Las Vegas and throughout New York,” said Jerrett’s father, Ron Jerrett. “But her heart has always been with horses and I encourage her every step of the way.”
Jerrett grew up on a family horse farm in Parish, N.Y., where her father taught her how to ride.
“My dad blessed me with multiple horses and taught me to be a cowgirl,” said Jerrett, who in addition to western and hunt seat, has done some barrel racing. “He taught me morals, responsibility, trust, strength, and leadership,” important qualities that carry over in the ring of the sport she’s grown to love.
One of her goals is to help others gain an appreciation for it too. “Rodeo isn’t very popular in New York and I want to publicize it more and broaden its appeal. I have always wanted to encourage girls to take the journey I have been able to take.”
That journey has led to multiple opportunities to fulfill another part of her life as a volunteer.
“I think it is important to volunteer and give back to my community and create a stable and trusted relationship with others around me,” she said. “I find it most rewarding when I am depended on and viewed as a role model. I believe that volunteering will help to encourage others to give back.”
Jerrett volunteered at Solid Rock Christian Ranch, a ranch in West Monroe, N.Y., where she worked with special needs children, teaching them to ride and care for horses. She is also a lifetime member of the Harmony Riders Association, a local riding club in Parish, N.Y. which hosts open shows throughout the season.
Jerrett has won numerous year-end and achievement awards, and belt buckles through that organization, including an “All-Around Horse and Rider” belt buckle with her prized horse, Sonny, a mare born and raised by her father.
Jerrett is also actively involved on the Morrisville State College campus where she serves as manager of the men’s ice hockey team, and is a three-sport athlete, playing field hockey, softball and is a member of the western riding team. She also works part-time for the college’s athletics department.
“Morrisville has shaped me into a driven individual,” Jerrett said of her college experience. During her reign as Miss Rodeo New York 2012, professors provided her with constant support and encouragement.
They also helped with the business side of Miss Rodeo New York Inc. (MRNY), an organization Jerrett recently started to promote the sport.
“Everything I learned at Morrisville helped me to understand how to create a committee, set goals, get sponsors, where to invest money, how to document revenues and expenses and much more,” Jerrett said.
MRNY Inc., is currently working to establish funds and scholarships for the current and future Miss Rodeo New York.
Jerrett is a 2009 graduate or PV Moore High School in Central Square.