Page 7 - 2017 December Voices
P. 7

Jessi Cornforth—2018 Miss Rodeo Oregon

       Turning Dreams into Reality

       by Phyllis Harmon, DTM

      Jessi Cornforth, Oregon City Toastmasters member, began dreaming about becoming Miss Rodeo Oregon
      in 2013 as a princess on the Clackamas County Fair and Canby Rodeo Court. She turned her dreams into
      reality on August 19, 2017. Her Coronation Ceremony occurs on January 20, 2018.

      Please tell us about your early life                       She also found us my first horse. Jazz was
          I was born in Portland, Oregon, and spent  a 14 year old Arabian mare, white with brown
      the first part of my childhood in Tigard. Before  freckled spots all over her.
      I started kindergarten, we moved to Redland,               Learning with Jazz was a long process, with
      which is a rural part of Oregon City. We still  a lot of blood, sweat, and tears shed along the
      live there today.                                      way. Slowly we learned together, and became
          When I started school, I tried just about every  a dynamic duo. We tried almost every riding
      sport but I never really fell in love with any of  discipline, but we especially enjoyed the speed
      them. I would do one for a season or two, but  events. We completed all nine years of 4-H
      then get bored with it and want to try something  and four years of high school equestrian team
      else. Luckily though, my parents never let me  together, going to the state championships
      quit part way through a season, and today I am  almost every year.
      grateful for that discipline.                              My involvement with rodeo didn’t begin until
                                                             2013, when I tried out for the Clackamas County
      How did you get involved with horses?  Fair and Canby Rodeo Court. One of my close
      Did you grow up with the dream of  friends had been on the court and encouraged
      becoming a rodeo celebrity?                            me to try out. Many times girls don’t get on a
          My parents never owned horses or any sort          court the first time. But I surprised everyone,
      of livestock. However, my mom grew up in               including myself by earning a spot on the 2014
      Idaho and always liked them. I had always loved        Canby Rodeo Court as a princess.
      horses; my friends and I would run around the              I loved every second representing the sport
      playground pretending to be horses during              of rodeo. Jackie Gibson, my court director and
      recess.                                                Miss Rodeo Oregon in 2009, encouraged me to
          How we came to own a horse is actually a           consider running for Miss Rodeo Oregon. I knew
      funny story. It all started with a delivery truck.     I would try out for it some day. First I decided to
      My parents owned a vending machine company,            reign for another year on the Canby Court. I tried
      and had an old truck for sale. One night at dinner     out for the 2015 Queen court position and won.
      with my aunt and uncle, their family friend                I knew preparing for the Miss Rodeo Oregon
      inquired about the truck, but instead of straight      Pageant would take a large chunk of time and
      buying it he wanted to do a partial trade.             money. I made the decision to finish my degree
          To my surprise, my parents actually                at Oregon State University before preparations
      considered it! When my nine year-old-self              began. (Jessi graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor’s
      found out that she might get her very own real         in Exercise and Sports Science and a minor in
      live horse, she jumped at the idea. I checked out      Psychology—Editor)
      every book in the school library on horses and
      read them over and over. While the horse in            What drew you to Toastmasters? What
      the trade didn’t work out because he wasn’t for        did you learn and how has it changed
      a beginner rider, I still held on to that dream.  your life?
      My parents enrolled me in a local 4-H club, and            My mom introduced me to Toastmasters. She
      the leader helped me learn to ride.                    joined the Oregon City Chamber to promote

           Left to Right: Kayla Vincent crowns Jessi Cornforth as Miss Rodeo Oregon 2018

      VOLUME 4 ISSUE 6 DECEMBER, 2017                                                                          7
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