OGDEN — The state of Utah has a new rodeo representative.
Kassadee Jo Jones of Lehi was crowned Miss Rodeo Utah for 2020 at the PRCA Rodeo on Wednesday at Ogden Pioneer Stadium. She beat out 11 other candidates from around Utah and will trail Miss Rodeo Utah 2019 McKaylie Richins for the rest of the year before formally taking on Miss Rodeo Utah 2020 duties on Jan. 1.
The large crowd cheered Jones as she galloped on her horse around the stadium after winning the honors and donning the Miss Rodeo Utah tiara and belt buckle.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity. I feel like I prepared well and the big man’s in charge,” she said later.
The crowning, an Ogden Pioneer Days tradition, capped several days of activities for the candidates and several days of PRCA Rodeo action, another Pioneer Day tradition here. Miss Rodeo Utah goes on to compete in the Miss Rodeo America contest.
“Rodeo is a tradition in my family and it’s a tradition in the state of Utah,” said Jones, 20, who won in the written test, public speaking, appearance, personality and horsemanship categories. “As Miss Rodeo Utah, I want to continue this tradition.”
The Miss Rodeo Utah competition was hardly the only activity at Ogden Pioneer Stadium on Wednesday. The rodeo action — bareback riding, steer wrestling, bull riding and more, with competitors from all over the United States — drew a big, boisterous crowd.
“I just like the excitement, the music, the people,” said James Holden of Ogden, a regular for 20-plus years who was sitting in the south stands with his dad and two kids. “Just the entire atmosphere, absolutely fabulous.”
Vayla Anderson came from Bear River with her sister and daughter, experiencing the PRCA Rodeo here for the first time. She’s taken part in the Pioneer Day activities in Bear River and wanted something new. “I saw the billboard and I thought it’d be fun to come to,” she said.
Earlier Wednesday, throngs gathered downtown along Washington Boulevard for the Ogden Pioneer Days Grand Parade, which typically draws up to 40,000 spectators.