Local resident crowned Miss Rodeo UNR

Jessie Chikato is a 2017 Vasquez High School graduate and a sophomore studying nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno. Courtesy photo

There is rodeo royalty in our midst.

Local resident and 2017 Vasquez High School graduate Jessie Chikato is the 2018-19 Miss Rodeo UNR, representing the University of Nevada, Reno. 

It’s an exciting year to be Miss Rodeo UNR since the Reno Rodeo is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Chikato will preside over the 10-day event as Miss Rodeo UNR along with Miss Rodeo Nevada and many other dignitaries. 

Chikato is a sophomore at UNR, where she is studying nursing with a minor in community health science. Her career goal is to become a labor and delivery nurse. Chikato said she chose this area of nursing because she feels this would be the happiest and the most rewarding setting.

Chikato also recently earned a spot on the dean’s list. One of her favorite aspects of attending college in Reno is being close with nature and exploring the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains.

As part of the UNR Rodeo Team, Jessie and her 13-year-old palomino gelding named Seeker compete in barrel racing. This duo is no stranger to competition. Chikato and Seeker were part of the award-winning Blue Shadows Junior Advanced Team (JAT).

Blue Shadows JAT is an equestrian drill team that competes all over California, as well as at the Reno Rodeo’s Western States Drill Team Competition. An equestrian drill team performs difficult drill maneuvers synchronized to music while being executed in perfect military-type precision on horseback. Chikato rode six years with JAT and led her team as a captain, with the honor of carrying the American flag during all drill team contests.

For Jessie, the 2019 Reno Rodeo will be her eighth year attending the event; but this time, she’s wearing a crown and sash instead of running drills on horseback. She knows what it feels like to experience being a competitor in the drill team arena at the Reno Rodeo. As Miss Rodeo UNR, she will be cheering for all of the teams, but her JAT team certainly holds a special place in her heart.

Jessie Chikato is the daughter of Jim Chikato, a Santa Clarita Valley Realtor with Pinnacle Estate Properties, and Jennifer, a chief people officer specializing in human resources excellence and organizational design. Her parents could not be more proud of her accomplishments.

When asked about what the most rewarding part is about being Miss Rodeo UNR, Chikato said she feels honored to serve as a role model for younger kids and representing the spirit of the sport of rodeo.

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