Keeping up with the Joneses just got three times as difficult.
As it turns out, the winner of this year’s Miss Rodeo Ogden pageant is a Jones.
So is her first attendant.
Oh yes, and her second attendant is a Jones, too.
Three members of Ogden rodeo royalty, three young women with the same “Jones” last name.
But wait, there’s more: Because the rodeo queen’s attendants both share the same first name as well, although they spell them differently.
Back in April, Bradie Jill Jones was crowned Miss Rodeo Ogden. Her first attendant was Kassadee Jo Jones, and her second attendant was — wait for it — Kassidy Michelle Jones.
“It’s kind of crazy, three girls with the last name of Jones,” admits Nicole Cypers, director of the rodeo queen pageant. “And two are even named ‘Cassidy,’ so go figure.”
No one knows how it happened. Cypers has been in the pageant business a long time — she was crowned Miss Rodeo Utah back in 1991, and has been involved with organizing the pageant for the last 20 years — and she’s never seen this kind of cosmic coincidence before.
“We’ve had girls with the same first name — that’s a lot more common,” she says. “But to have three with the same last name, and two of them be ‘Cassidy’ Jones? That’s never happened.”
Although they share the same last name, as far as anyone knows this year’s Ogden rodeo royalty isn’t related.
Queen Jones is a 24-year-old professional photographer who hails from Henefer. First-attendant Jones, a 20-year-old from Lehi, is a graduate of the Mountainland Technical College nail technician program. And Second-attendant Jones, from Coalville, is a 19-year-old student at Utah State University in Logan.
The three Joneses bested two other contestants not named Jones — Taylor Lindsey Preece and Katelyn Lisonbee — in April’s Miss Rodeo Ogden competition. Preece, from Plain City, and Lisonbee, from Duchesne, will also be competing in this month’s state rodeo queen pageant, along with McKinley Drake of St. George, Katelyn Marie Huffman of Fort Duchesne, Jerrica James of Mendon, Bailey Sage Noble of Hyrum, Autumn Rae Patterson of Taylorsville, Jayna Scadden of Farmington, and Janessa Sullivan of Lehi.
Rodeo queen contestants range in age from 19 to 26, according to Cypers.
“Some of them have graduated from college, but most are going to school or working,” she said. “They all do a great job and represent us very well through these contests.”
If you're curious about the Jones harmonic convergence, you’ll have a couple of chances to catch them — and the others — in action this month as the 12 women compete for the Miss Rodeo Utah crown. The winner will move on to compete for the Miss Rodeo America title later this year in Las Vegas.
Two free pageant events are scheduled in the run-up to naming the winner of Miss Rodeo Utah 2020:
• The horsemanship portion of the state pageant will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 19, at the Golden Spike Event Center, 1000 N. 1200 West, in Ogden. Participants will be required to complete two reining patterns in the arena — one on their own horse, and one on a horse with which they’re not familiar.
• The speech portion of the pageant will then be held at 9 a.m. Monday, July 22, in the Ogden Eccles Conference Center, 2415 Washington Blvd. Contestants are given five topics to choose from at the event; they then have 10 minutes to prepare a 1 ½-minute speech.
Cypers says the speech portion of the competition is different from what she encountered as a young contestant in the 1990s.
“They’ve changed the speech part of the contest a little bit,” she said. “When I competed it was a prepared speech. But it evolved because they realized these queens don’t go places to give a prepared speech — they often have to speak on the spur of the moment.”
Cypers said, as with any pageant, rodeo queen contests feature beautiful women who are well-spoken, talented and informed on current events. But rodeo queens also represent the professional sport of rodeo.
“They have to know how to ride a horse and be well-versed in horse science and rodeo knowledge,” Cypers said. “There are a lot of similarities with beauty pageants, but you also have the western way of life that you’re an ambassador for.”
When the smoke clears on this year’s pageant, the coronation of Miss Rodeo Utah 2020 will take place at 8:30 p.m. July 24 in Ogden Pioneer Stadium, 668 17th St., during the Pioneer Days Rodeo.
And although we don’t yet know who will prevail in this year’s competition, one thing is clear:
There’s a one-in-four chance Miss Rodeo Utah will be a Jones.