Mary didn’t have a horse of her own until in junior high – not for lack of hints, but she had a natural riding ability that was enhanced over the years through constant training. She was the Utah High School Rodeo Queen in 1994 and was in the top five at the National High School Rodeo Finals.
In 1997 she fulfilled her dream of becoming Miss Rodeo Ogden. At the same time she held the titles of Lehi Roundup Queen and Miss Rodeo Hooper. She won the Miss Rodeo Utah title as well, and then spent her time preparing for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. She competed against 35 young women, and came out on top as Miss Rodeo America.
Throughout 1998 she traveled 100,000 miles, covering 22 states while she advertised rodeo. She had a serious setback in May of that year when she was thrown from a horse, causing a fracture that required eight screws and a metal plate in her lower leg and ankle. She spent three weeks recuperating, and was back on the road.
After her reign she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Sales at Weber State University, and later a Master in Health Promotion at Brigham Young University. She married her officer and a gentleman in 2005, then Lieutenant Aaron Drake.
Mary is a former personal trainer who still loves helping friends and neighbors reach their fitness goals. She and Aaron have two daughters and enjoy living in Utah, which has plenty of their favorite activities, like shooting, skiing, hiking, and of course, rodeo!