18-year-old Sarah Dalton was crowned Miss UPRA in November 2019 in Hopkins County and she has proudly worn that crown during the most unusual year in UPRA history! Sarah’s competition career began a little differently than most. A brief four years ago, having never ridden a horse before or been active in rodeo interests, she expressed an interest in “queening” and was mentored by friends who were members of the Winnsboro Rodeo Club. Sarah spent a LOT of time on horseback, both daily and on weekends. She claimed the New Boston Rodeo Queen title, and brought that distinction to her bid for Miss UPRA last year. “I had about 500 flashcards which I studied over and over, which prepared me for the horsemanship portion of the contest and helped me with knowlege of the UPRA rules. I have horses now, but the horse I won with is Frost, a tall and wide gray horse who is extremely composed and capable, and has taught me so much. And made me look good, of course!”
When asked how COVID-19 affected her year as Miss Teen UPRA Jentri Haivala replied, “I was crowned in Hopkins County in Noveber 2019, and started out with great rodeos; Lubbock in January 2020 and Humble in February 2020, and then the pandemic struck. I was out at Midland, and the news was upsetting. Nobody knew what to expect and it was eerie, just shutting down like that. And as the Spring and Summer came on, instead of traveling every weekend to a rodeo, I got to appear at maybe a dozen because so many were cancelling or postponing across the circuit. I only put 2,835 miles on my truck this year instead of many, many more like in normal years. So, when I hand over my crown at the Finals, another unique situation will be that I will have no successor. There will be no UPRA Queen or Miss Teen UPRA until a new one is crowned in 2021, and that’s never happened, either. So, my reign has been one for the history books!”
Sarah is the daughter of Shonna Dalton and Leslie Dalton. Sarah currently works for Centurian Stud Farm of Como and attends North Texas Community College. She plans to continue in the equine field as a career. In addition to her parents, Sarah especially thanks Colleen Crumpton, UPRA Queen 2019 and Kim Crumpton for their help and friendship on her path to the Miss UPRA crown.
Jentri Haivala is the daughter of Rachel Murray and Clint Murray of Newton, Texas. Jentri is 16 years old and is homeschooled. She was raised by parents who both were in rodeo, and has been riding all her life. He won her first Rodeo Princess crown at age 4, at a Paris Rodeo and Horse Club event. Her motto, especially during 2020’s pandemic is, Never Give Up.