Fairview Teen Serves as Rodeo Queen, Contestant and More!
BY Ruth Nicolaus
Photography by Haley Johnson Photography
Jayden Gossett shows up to school at Fairview High each day in boots, jeans and a cowgirl belt buckle.
She might get strange looks, but she doesn’t care. She’s a cowgirl.
The seventeen-year-old, a resident of Fairview, is the 2023 Miss STAR Rodeo Queen, having won the pageant held last September at the STAR Rodeo Finals in Lewisburg.
The Southern Tennessee All-Star Rodeo Association (or STAR) has been in existence for the past ten-plus years. It provides a setting for kids, ages one to eighteen, to compete in a variety of rodeo events, based on their age and gender.
“We consider ourselves a learning organization,” said Megan Rinehart, who, with her husband Mitch, serve as organizers of the association. STAR Rodeo “is a stepping stone to educate and enable children to move on to amateur and professional rodeo.” Nearly 200 kids from Tennessee and surrounding states participate in STAR Rodeo events.
Jayden competes in pole bending, barrel racing and goat tying.
As junior at Fairview High School, she holds the sentinel office for her school’s FFA chapter and is a contestant in the Tennessee High School Rodeo Association. She is a Williamson County 4-H member and shows cattle and sheep at the county fair.
There’s more to the cowgirl than rodeo and school. She works at a local farm each night, and when she’s done with her job, she heads home to take care of chores. “I come straight home from school, go to work, and then come home and take care of our animals.” The Gossett’s have horses, cattle, sheep, and chickens. Her evening chores take about an hour. “Our rule around here is, the animals get fed before we do.”
As Miss STAR Rodeo Queen, she is a role model for her peers and younger competitors.
“Having good sportsmanship, a great attitude, and helping others,” is part of being a representative, as is carrying the American flag on horseback before each rodeo begins.
She says rodeo has lots of life lessons for participants, ones she’s learned herself. “It’s taught me how to accept failure and work to make yourself better.” She’s done her share of winning, but she thinks there are as many lessons from losing as there are from winning.
“When a person wins, they don’t learn as much. You get used to winning. When I fail, I try to look at the parts that failed, and what I can take from it and make it better.”
Jayden’s two younger siblings: Sadie, age seven, and Trevor, age four, also participate in STAR Rodeos. She is the daughter of Chris and LeAnne Gossett and Stacie Fewell.
The STAR Rodeo program is one of the beneficiaries of the Franklin Rodeo, which takes place May 18th - 20th at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park. Get your tickets at franklinrodeo.com.