By Amy Wilson
Routier Wins Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award
for Second Consecutive Year
While competing at her second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Jessica Routier was awarded the 2019 Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award for the second time. “It was really exciting. It’s not something that two years ago I’d ever thought I’d be in the running for,” the South Dakota cowgirl said with a laugh. Then she explained, “I usually just dress pretty plain, but Thunderbird Brand actually contacted me last year when it looked like I had a pretty good chance of making [the NFR] and wanted to make my shirts for the finals so they were the ones who got the ball rolling. We tried to match the shirts with my Cowgirl Tuff jeans. It was fun to get the opportunity to dress up nice.”
The Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award is fan-voted and given in honor of the daring trick rider who brought a style, glamour, and spirit to the rodeo arena, and the $5,000 prize and plaque is sponsored by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame along with the WPRA. “Jerry Ann Taylor sounded like a really amazing and unique individual. It’s an honor to be given an award in her name,” Routier said. “I think because of the award, it makes everyone pay a little more attention to what they wear every night. I thought everyone looked amazing. Everyone kind of had their own classy style, and it was a really fun group of ladies to be a part of this year.”
The Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award also provided a special trick riding connection as Routier’s 11-year-old daughter, Payton, is an aspiring trick rider. “It’s kind of a joke within our family because when Payton is getting ready, our trailer and everything is covered in glitter by the time she’s ready. Some of my shirts this year were pretty glittery so I kind of left a trail of glitter everywhere I went, so it was as bad as having a trick rider in the trailer,” she said with a laugh.
One of Routier’s favorite outfits happened to be a sparkly shirt that had a Las Vegas theme. “Thunderbird Brand made my shirts again and they made one that was black and sparkly that had some neon Las Vegas images on the cuffs and collar,” she said. Her palomino mare, Fiery Miss West “Missy”, matched each night too. “I had a company named Whinney Wear that wanted to make polo wraps that matched some of my shirts, so they made some black polo wraps that had the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign on the polo wraps, so that was neat.”
A couple of Routier’s friends also contributed to her nightly outfits with attention to the details. “I have a friend who has a business called Fenceline Designs and she made the painted feathers that I wore in my hat every night. I had feathers that matched my outfits and a lot of them had meaning behind them too. One was for a very good friend of mine’s daughter, who has muscular dystrophy. She’s just about a year old, so one of my feathers had her name, Remi, written on it. That was a really neat thing to have added to my outfits.” She continued, “Another good friend has a company called Cow Chip Creations, and she made my earrings for all my outfits. Those were a couple fun things we were able to add.”
Routier placed in six rounds at the 2019 NFR to earn over $94,615, and looks forward to wearing her NFR outfits at rodeos throughout the year. “I wear them year-round, and from ten rounds the past two years, I have quite a collection now,” she said.
As the mom of five, Routier knows the value of time and is especially grateful for all the friends and fans who voted for her. “I’m so grateful for that! It takes time out of people’s day to vote every day and I had friends all over – I grew up in Wisconsin and then friends from college – I know they were all taking the time to do it, and that’s really neat.”