DAYTON — Jocilyn Fullerton fell in love with rodeo when she was 6 and started riding a horse called Buck. In August, the 13-year-old Dayton eighth-grader was crowned 2013 Junior Miss Rodeo Washington at the Miss Rodeo Washington pageant, held during the Moses Lake Roundup.
In the competition, Josilyn won the horsemanship category, riding her 20-year-old registered quarter horse, Ponte Mist.
“We were judged on equitation,” said Josilyn. “That means things like form and posture and how I positioned my hands.” Josilyn also lead Ponte through small patterns and on an arena run.
Josilyn won seven of the 11 judged categories. Besides horsemanship, she won for congeniality, sales, presentation, appearance, personality and speech. She was one of four girls, ages 12-14, competing. Josilyn also sold raffle tickets and program ads for the pageant, raising over $3,600.
In 2013, Josilyn and Ponte will travel around Washington attending rodeos and fairs representing the pageant. This spring, a coronation dinner, which will also be a fundraiser to help Josilyn raise money for her travels, will be held in Dayton,
Josilyn is the daughter of Greg and Nikki Fullerton of Dayton. She has competed in rodeo events for six years.
“I do barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and steer daubing,” Josilyn said. “Barrel racing is my favorite.”
Josilyn is a member of the Valley Girls Barrel Racing Association in Walla Walla. She is also a member of Milton-Freewater’s Pioneer Posse and the Eastern Washington Junior Rodeo Association.
For six years Josilyn has been active in the Upper Whetstone Fleecers in Dayton, where she shows steers and lambs at local shows.
Besides her animals, Josilyn also loves sports. She plays volleyball and basketball for Dayton Middle School, where she is an honor student.
Junior Miss Rodeo Washington is one of five titles awarded during the Miss Rodeo Washington Pageant, which has been held since 1963. Others are Miss Rodeo Washington, for contestants 18 to 24, Miss Teen Rodeo Washington (15-17), Little Miss Rodeo Washington (8-11) and Rodeo Sweetheart, for girls between 4 and 8. Miss Rodeo Washington represents the state each year in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant.
Josilyn says she hopes to compete for Miss Teen Rodeo Washington in 2014, after her current reign is over. And maybe in a few years she’ll try for Miss Rodeo Washington.
“I will have to hold a title, such as queen of Walla Walla Frontier Days or the Pendleton Rodeo,” she said.
Ken Graham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-2752.