Kate Upton (born June 10, 1992 in St. Joseph, Michigan) is an American model known for her appearance in the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, for which she was named “Rookie of the Year.”
Upton was born in St. Joseph, Michigan and raised in Melbourne, Florida. She has three siblings and her uncle is Fred Upton, the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 6th congressional district. An avid horseback rider, she showed for the American Paint Horse Association and competed on a national level. With her horse “Roanie Pony,” she won three APHA Reserve World Championships, in 13 and Under Western Riding, 13 and Under Horsemanship and 14-18 Western Riding and named the 13 and Under Reserve All-Around Champion at the APHA World Championship Show giving her a total of five championships. In addition, Upton ended up 3rd overall on the APHA youth Top Twenty. With a second horse Zipped, she won 14-18 Western Riding and were top 5 in 14-18 Horsemanship and 14-18 Western Pleasure in 2009.
In 2008, Upton attended an open casting call in Miami for Elite Model Management and was signed by them the same day. Upton eventually moved to New York City, where she signed with IMG Models.
Upton first modeled for Garage, then Dooney & Bourke. She is the 2010-2011 face of Guess. In 2011, Upton appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She was featured in the body-paint section and eventually named “Rookie of the Year” for the issue. She has since modeled for Beach Bunny swimwear and Victoria’s Secret.
In April 2011, an internet video of her doing “The Dougie” at a Los Angeles Clippers game went viral and has served to increase her popularity.