Trish Yerges
The La Grande Observer

The coronation of Eastern Oregon University student Taylor Ann Skramstad as Miss Rodeo Oregon 2019 was celebrated Feb. 9 at Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton.

Money raised at the event’s silent and live auctions will help her to pay for costs incurred as she performs her honored duties during the year.

As Miss Rodeo Oregon, Skramstad will be eligible to compete in the week-long Miss Rodeo America Pageant, which will be held in December in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada. Skramstad will compete against other reigning state rodeo queens in the areas of horsemanship, appearance and personality.

Skramstad’s 2019 schedule as Miss Rodeo Oregon will include thousands of miles of travel throughout the state, representing Oregon, its rodeo committees and the Professional Cowboys Association.

“Miss Rodeo Oregon is something that I’ve dreamed of since I was young,” Skramstad said. “My dreams have finally come true, and it’s a lot of work. I’m really excited to represent my favorite sport and the state that I love and all the cowboys and cowgirls. It’s hard to describe how great an honor it is.”

Skramstad, 23, is the eldest child of Scott and Kelly Skramstad of Umapine, a rural community about 10 miles northwest of Milton-Freewater. She and her younger siblings, a brother and two sisters, have enjoyed ranch life on the Lazy SK Quarter Horse Ranch, where they raise and train performance quarter horses. One chestnut quarter horse born on the ranch has been her loyal mount through much of her rodeo career.

“My quarter horse’s registered name with the American Quarter Horse Association is SK Zans ‘Foxy’ Command,” said Skramstad. “She’s out of our first crop of horses on our ranch, so we’ve had her since she was born. She’s 19 now, and she’s been my horse since I was 10 years old.”

She and Foxy have competed in countless rodeos over the years and won more than 20 belt buckles together in junior events and at the collegiate level.

As a member of the Walla Walla Community College’s rodeo team, Skramstad and Foxy competed in team roping, barrel racing and breakaway roping.

“It is not typical for one horse to do so many events,” she said. “You usually have different horses for different events, but Foxy is a rock star. She was my main mount in the grand entry when I was a Pendleton Roundup princess in 2017.”

Growing up in rural Eastern Oregon, Skramstad has participated in 4-H and Future Farmers of America and represented her local riding organizations and PRCA rodeos. She was elected as the Milton-Freewater Pioneer Posse Princess in 2010 and as their queen the following year.

Her accolades also include representing two of the Big Four Rodeos at the Walla Walla Fair, plus serving as the 2012 Frontier Days Queen.

These achievements led to her August 2018 participation in the Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant, held in conjunction with the Clackamas County Fair and Canby Rodeo. There she won in the categories of horsemanship, personality, appearance and photogenic qualities.

“The night of my coronation at the pageant was the most memorable,” she said. “I was having fun and felt relaxed, and I knew I had done the best I could do.”

Presently, Skramstad is a junior at Eastern Oregon University with a dual enrollment at Oregon State University. She is majoring in agricultural science and minoring in political science.

See complete story in Monday's Observer