Growing up in a rural setting, Philomath Frolic & Rodeo queen Jaymie Belcher had the opportunity to grow up around horses.
“I know we got my first horse when I was 8 but I know for a fact that I was riding because every time I went to the fair, I was on a pony,” said Belcher, adding that she’s always loved horses. “My mom has pictures of me on every single type of rocking horse.”
The family spent time going to rodeos where she could watch the horses run. In time, Belcher became a rodeo participant.
“I ran sponsor flags for a couple of different rodeos and that’s how I actually found the Frolic,” Belcher said. “I ran sponsor flags for them one year and got the feel for the back end of the rodeo and the small-town feel and how much help that I got with being a complete outsider and not knowing anyone and feeling like so part of the family.
“That’s what made me truly want to run for the Frolic because it’s something I love, the small-town feel,” she added.
Now 24, Belcher finds herself in a never-before-seen situation as the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo queen for a second straight calendar year. The organization’s board of directors approached her about continuing on for another year after the 2020 event had been canceled.
“I really want to represent my rodeo and one of my biggest things is being able to run in my rodeo and not being able to do that was really kind of heartbreaking,” Belcher said about why she wanted to come back.
Belcher earned the Frolic’s rodeo queen title during the summer of 2019. The queen’s tenure runs the following calendar year — Jan. 1-Dec. 31.
A first-time rodeo queen, Belcher had only a few opportunities to represent the Frolic in 2020. She made an appearance early last year in a rodeo at Redmond and also was on hand for last year’s Samaritan Awards, the Philomath Area Chamber of Commerce event that recognizes volunteers and organizations in the community.
Belcher and her horse, Blitz, have been together for around 15 years. She’s never competed in rodeos but they’ve done a few other things together.
“I was on a rodeo drill team for a while and we competed in that, but that’s a little bit different,” she said. “Unfortunately it took me and Blitz quite a while to click in doing barrels. We’ve done other gaining events … But barrels is not our strong suit.”
The pair will be busy this summer if the rodeo schedule remains intact and avoids another round of cancellations because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re usually gone every weekend to a different rodeo … I’ll be at a different rodeo every night running from Molalla all the way up to Eugene,” she said. “But as of right now, the few rodeos that I have reached out to that are planned, they’re still trying to figure out how to do this with keeping in restrictions.
“It’s looking like this year might be not a whole lot of run-ins and just appearances and autographs,” she added. “We’ll see what happens as the year plays out.”
Belcher earned a degree from Oregon State University but continues to take classes toward earning certification as a veterinary technician.
“I love working with animals, I love helping them and I currently work at a vet office right now as a vet assistant,” she said. “I love it, I have so much fun being able to make them feel better.”
Belcher would like to remain in Oregon and eventually operate her own training facility for horses, including rehabilitation services.
“One of my goals is to have a rehab facility for off-the-track thoroughbreds and mustangs to basically find good homes for them,” she said.
After her gig with the Frolic & Rodeo ends, Belcher hopes to stay involved with rodeos.
“My goal is to keep at least running sponsor flags for the rodeos and staying in it as long as I can,” she said.
The current Philomath rodeo dates back to 1983. It appears that the first rodeo queen was named in 1984 when Nancy Baertlein held the title (the Frolic had queens and other royalty prior to that year but not specifically for a rodeo).
The Philomath Frolic & Rodeo this summer is scheduled for July 8-10.
Frolic & Rodeo Queens Following is a rundown of Philomath Frolic & Rodeo queens since 1984.
1984–Nancy Baertlein; 1985–Kimberly Miller; 1986–Angie Means; 1987–Lisa Poindexter; 1988-Mareanne Labahn; 1989–Angela Young.
1990–Lynn Thesenga; 1991–Sheila Gassner; 1992–Wendy Young; 1993–Michelle Steele; 1994–Tracy Widness; 1995–Tabitha Maher; 1996–Courtney Ellingsworth; 1997–Courtney White; 1998–Leanna Buck; 1999–McKenzie Daggett.
2000–Cassie Tuttle; 2001–Taj Greenman; 2002–Dale Ann Schrock; 2003–Nicole George; 2004–Michele Chouinard; 2005-Sharon Sternadel; 2006–Jennifer Stephens; 2007–Jessica Kerst; 2008–Alyssa Miller; 2009–Sarah Dowless.
2010–Sarah McRae; 2011–Shauna Foster; 2012–Denise Nelson; 2013–Jenifer Stuart; 2014–Amanda Runreich; 2015–Darian Anderton-Seim; 2016–Rachel Cihak; 2017–Samantha Wavrin; 2018–Rylee Henderer; 2019–Mallory Stokes, Kelsey Wilson.
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