ENTERPRISE, Ore. — It’s almost as if Destiny Wecks was destined for this title.
Wecks, one of the three queens for Chief Joseph Days, which rides for the 75th time later this month, won the title of 2022 Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon at the Junior Miss and Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon Pageant on June 26 at the Tillamook County Rodeo.
“She represents rodeo at the teen level for the entire state of Oregon,” said Lois Forester, second vice president of the Miss Rodeo Oregon Inc. Foundation. “It’s quite an honor.”
As Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon, Wecks will travel the state in 2022 promoting the sport of rodeo in parades, personal appearances and rodeo events.
It’s the third state honor the 17-year-old has won during what already is building up to be quite the rodeo career.
She said she was named Miss Rodeo Sweetheart when she was much younger — at ages 6 and 7 — and in 2015 she was selected as Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon.
“It’s been my dream to go on this sequence,” she said. “Now I’m hoping to go on to (be) Miss Rodeo Oregon and Miss Rodeo America. When I got a chance to try out, I had to take it.”
Wecks, who will be a senior at Enterprise High School starting this fall, will serve in her role for the entirety of 2022. Until her coronation, she is called the “lady in waiting.”
Barb Carr, who serves as the lady in waiting adviser, listed a rigorous set that was before Wecks.
“The girls go through a pageant, and different aspects and elements of that pageant,” she said. “They are judged on personality, they are judged on appearance, they are judged on public speaking abilities, their ability to answer impromptu questions, they go through an interview, (and) they take a written test.
“Everything kind of aligns with mainstream pageantry.”
The exception to that is the horse skills contestants were to display, and knowledge of the lifestyle beyond just taking part in a rodeo. Carr said they had to ride a pattern given by the judges, ride a pattern they create on their own, and show their understanding of the agriculture and beef industries.
“You can’t represent something you don’t know, so they really have to be able to talk to the public knowledgeably,” Carr said. “You have to be well-rounded.”
Wecks said the ample experience she has in winning previous Miss Rodeo honors and being a CJD queen were helpful, but added she still was preparing late the night before the pageant, preparing for her speech and written test.
“I was up until midnight or 1 a.m. studying,” she said.
Wecks is active in FFA, Natural Helpers, and the 4-H horse program. She trains horses rides her own horses for drill, 4-H, rodeo and pleasure. She represents Oregon in 2020-21 as High School Rodeo First Attendant and the Chief Joseph Days Honorary Queen.
Wecks has been on a horse just about her entire life, and has royalty in her blood with her mother, Vixen Radford-Wecks, being a former CJD queen. She credited her mother with helping her get started in many of the events.
“She helped me a lot,” Wecks said. “It’s not just to like horses, but you can have jobs and other opportunities in horses. When I started doing horse or FFA I realized I could do rodeo as well.”
While the date is not finalized, Wecks’ coronation will be sometime in early 2022.
“I hope I can travel all over Oregon as well as surrounding states, like Idaho and Montana, to welcome more people to our state and tell them about rodeo,” she said.