WASHINGTON COUNTY– Jamie Udell, 22, has always enjoyed riding horses; however, the recently crowned Miss Rodeo Utah said she started contending in rodeo queen competitions by chance.
Five years ago, her dad saw an application for the Dixie Round-Up Rodeo Queen in IFA and she decided to enter the competition.
“[The prize] included a scholarship to Dixie State, and [I] was into horses so I thought ‘What the heck?’” said Udell.
She admits she was in over her head in her first rodeo queen competition. She did not own an appropriate formal gown, a properly trained horse, or have the knowledge needed for the interview portion of the pageant.
“There were so many people willing to help me,” Udell said. “I did not win, but I had such an amazing experience that I was hooked. I went on to win the Enterprise and Iron County Rodeo Queen pageant in 2007. I won the Dixie Round-Up Rodeo Queen title in 2008. I have also won the title of Great American Stampede Queen in 2009, Oakley in 2010, and the Wilderness Circuit also in 2010.”
Udell won the Miss Rodeo Utah 2011 title after competing in several local pageants and participating in the Miss Rodeo Utah pageant four times. Because she has won this title, she can no longer compete at the state level; however, she has qualified to compete in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant that will be held in December at the World National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet,” Udell said. “I have won the titles I wanted to win and had a great time. Holding a state queen title opens a lot of opportunities for you.”
Udell is currently enrolled at Dixie State College. She is working towards two bachelor’s degrees, one in science with an emphasis in communication and the other in Biology. She will graduate with both degrees in one year and plans to continue her education in dentistry, specializing in pediatrics at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Her mother, Beverly Udell, is also working on her bachelor’s degree alongside her daughter. Their ultimate goal is to open a dental office where they can both practice dentistry and provide a job for Udell’s sister who has disabilites.
“I want this office so we can breed and raise mini ponies to give to kids with disabilities,” Udell said. “Also, to get a big enough ranch to raise more ponies for more children. I don’t think we will be able to stay in Pine Valley with our plans for growth, but a lot of it will depend on which dental school we are accepted.”
Udell is a very family-oriented person and loves to spend time camping, hiking, watching movies or going to plays with her family. She recognizes that she would not be where she is today without the help of her family.
After receiving the title of Miss Rodeo Utah she said, “There are so many people who have helped me get to where I am today. It was not just a ‘me’ effort, it was a ‘we’ effort. We did it! We finally got here!”
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