Miss Gilroy Rodeo: Jade Katen-Ynzunza
Jade Katen-Ynzunza is a 21-year-old business student who is passionate about riding good horses, eating lots of pizza, and representing the great sport of rodeo. Born and raised in Gilroy, CA, Jade’s first time living outside of her hometown came when she moved to Flagstaff, Arizona in 2014. In Flagstaff, Jade is studying Marketing and Biology at Northern Arizona University.
Jade’s love of horses and riding started with the purchase of her first AQHA registered gelding at the age of 9. Soon after, she set her sights on barrel racing and competing in rodeos. With nothing but a Chevy Tahoe and a 2 horse trailer, Jade and her mom hit the road traveling all over California to rodeos and barrel races. They continued in this fashion until Jade began competing in High School Rodeo. In 2010, Jade wore the crown of Miss California High School Rodeo Queen, District 4, where she learned what an important role rodeo royalty plays in the preservation of this sport’s heritage.
If you attended a Gilroy High football game in 2014 you might have seen Jade and her horse, Willy, riding in with the football players at the start of home games to spread Mustang Pride. Jade has never been a stranger when it comes to being active in the community. Her service at Gilroy High as a leader in Future Farmers of America established a longtime love of agriculture and Gilroy’s rich history.
As Miss Gilroy Rodeo 2018, Jade plans to promote the Gilroy Rodeo every step of the way on its journey to return to our community in August. She also strives to serve as a role model for the small town values of hard work and integrity. As a dedicated rodeo ambassador, Jade is honored to share her enthusiasm and knowledge of rodeo and its athletes, both human and animal, with as many people as possible. It is Jade’s hope that one day Gilroy will not only be known for its garlic but also its annual community rodeo.