Destiny Barney of rural Enterprise is having a busy year for a sixth-grader. Barney, 11, is the Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon, a title she won after competing for the honor in July of 2014. Barney is the daughter of Vixen Radford and Jeff Wecks, and Ryan and Ranzie Barney, all of Enterprise.
The young Barney said many of her weekends are spent at rodeos representing the Miss Rodeo Oregon program. Her most recent visit was to the Canby Rodeo, which was hosting the Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant. “It went very well. I got to do some little dances and speeches. It was really fun,” she said.
Barney said it’s been an interesting year. “When I started out, I wanted it to be about me and my horse, Music, and meeting the other girls. Now I really like getting to watch the rodeo and then seeing the other girls and meeting them,” Barney said.
Music is bearing up well under the pressure. Barney said the horse can be hard to catch for a trip, but enjoys the rodeo atmosphere. “When she’s there, it’s like, ‘Hey, I get to meet new horses, and I get to have fun, just me and my little girl,’” Barney said.
Playing the role of Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon is easier than Barney expected. She initially thought she would suffer unending stress with constant media interviews and spent a considerable amount of time learning to answer potential questions. As it turns out, no one has interviewed Barney at a rodeo. “It’s been easier than competing,” Barney said.
Having been to a number of rodeos during her reign, Barney said her favorite is the St. Paul Rodeo held over the 4th of July weekend. “I didn’t do that much there, but seeing the little kids looking at me and taking pictures while I pet my horse and talked to them was fun. St. Paul has a really different arena. It’s round, and I had to work with Music to get us used to it,” Barney said.
Shuffling her duties with schoolwork hasn’t been particularly difficult for Barney. Part of her role included visiting schools and talking to children about her duties, which Barney enjoyed best of all. “Just seeing their faces light up and saying, ‘Oh, who is she?’ kind of made my day,” she said.
Barney’s mother said she’s enjoyed watching her daughter learn and grow through the year. “I would say she’s learned to be proud of who she is and know that not everyone will like you or be nice to you, but you can still smile and be friendly to them even if they aren’t friendly back,” Radford said.
Radford also enjoyed having the mother/daughter time. “It’s been fun, but busy. We’ve lived in our horse trailer all summer, but I’m spending time with her I’ll never get back,” she added.
As to her future, Barney said she plans to try out for Wallowa County’s 4-H court and following that, try out for Chief Joseph Days rodeo court before returning to the Miss Rodeo Oregon program and eventually compete for Miss Rodeo USA. “Who knows where I’ll go from there,” Barney said.