The Oregon Queen — July 2022

The Oregon Queen — July 2022

August 11, 2022 Off By Lois Forester

Miss Rodeo Oregon Avalon Irwin!

I think that the month of July was the most action packed month of the year! This month started with a bang as we dove right into the 4th of July weekend AKA Cowboy Christmas. I had the opportunity to visit 3 rodeos in one weekend.

My first stop was the Molalla Buckeroo Rodeo, followed by Eugene Pro Rodeo, and ending my journey at St. Paul Rodeo. Each of these rodeos are so unique which is what I deeply love about rodeo in Oregon. There is a diversity like no other in this state when it comes to spectators, rodeo committees, and even the locations of Oregon rodeos. I feel so blessed to get to plant my boots in the dirt of each of these different arenas.
After my Cowboy Christmas run, I headed over to the town of Elgin, Oregon where I got to spend some time with their newly crowned queen, Rowdy Israel (who is also a former Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon!), and our current Teen Miss Rodeo Oregon, Destiny Wecks. If you haven’t had the opportunity to spend time out in Eastern Oregon I highly recommend a trip to Elgin. Eastern Oregon boasts sweet towns with rich history and Elgin did not disappoint.
After Elgin, I headed over to the Valley for an event I’ve been looking forward to all year, Pre- Pageant Orientation. The time is finally upon us to pick the 2023 Miss Rodeo Oregon and I couldn’t be happier about the contestants. Both of these women are strong, smart, and passionate women. I was so happy to get to visit with them as well as their families as they take the first steps towards the competition. No matter the outcome of this year’s pageant, the title of Miss Rodeo Oregon will be in great hands!

Next up was a quick trip to Colorado Springs CO for the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. I don’t think that words can describe this experience. This event is such a humbling experience. To walk into the Hall of Fame and see artifacts from the history of rodeo is already awe inspiring, but then to get to listen to some of the legends talk about their humble beginnings that brought them into greatness was so inspiring. You don’t know the impact your life will have on the people around you, and not many of us will make it into any Hall of Fame, but it isn’t about the glory we can bring ourselves that inspires us to do great things. It is the passion we feel and the knowledge that even the smallest acts of kindness make us people that are fit to stand next to the legends.

My next trip would take me out of state to the wonderful town of Nampa Idaho, home of the Snake River Stampede. I had the opportunity to meet the Snake River Stampede Board of Directors in Las Vegas during my time as Lady in Waiting. I was so impressed with them and their constant kindness that I immediately put this rodeo down as a bucket list rodeo. I was thrilled when Miss Rodeo Idaho, Taylor Hymas, invited me to be a part of this special rodeo. This Oregon girl felt so welcomed into the Idaho family. Not only did I get to run in each night I was there, but different board members planned so many fun events for us during our stay. I got to tour the area on a river float, experience some hot springs, and cruise around in the back country on an ATV. Thank you to everyone who hosted us, and made us all feel so welcome. And thank you to the two horses that carried me through the weekend.

Once the Snake River Stampede came to a close, Miss Rodeo Idaho, Miss Rodeo Washington and I packed up the pickup truck and drove the 10+ hours to Cheyenne Wyoming. This drive was full of heartfelt laughter, honest conversations, and so many great memories. When I won the title of Miss Rodeo Oregon I never expected to be blessed with such great friends in my fellow sash sisters. It's these little moments that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Once we arrived in Cheyenne, we hit the ground running! Starting the day with the iconic Chuck Wagon Pancake Breakfast where I got to try my hand at both tossing and catching pancakes as they flew off the griddle. After Pancake breakfast we went to a fundraiser luncheon for one of the local museums that is dedicated to displaying the history of the Wyoming Cowgirl. The event was a hoot! A big thank you to the cowgirls who sponsored our seats at the event. From there we went to my first performance of Cheyenne Frontier Days. This day was dedicated to honoring those that have served in our military and I can honestly say I don’t think there was a dry eye in the stadium after the grand entry. After watching the rodeo and exploring some of the many shops, I headed over to visit Samsville jewelry store where the owner, Sam Abweh, was so kind and sponsored a beautiful opal ring to each of us State Titleholders. If you are in the market for some beautiful jewelry you need to head over to or visit his booth in Vegas during the NFR. Day two of the Frontier Days continued with a morning parade, and the afternoon performance. During this performance I got to do the legendary Cheyenne Frontier Days flyby! Gray was kind enough to carry me down the track before he went off to do his real job as a pick up man’s horse. Boy Howdy they were not joking when they said it would be a fly by. That might have been the fastest run I have ever done, and it was thrilling. Day three took us to one of the many Air Force bases where we got to watch the Thunderbirds perform, then we headed to my final performance in Cheyenne where we watched some rodeo, visited sponsor booths, and closed the chapter of my visit there. What a wonderful experience and thank you Cheyenne Frontier Days for welcoming us queens to your wonderful event.

I ended the month of July at Chief Joseph Days. I have heard of this rodeo for quite some time but have never had the chance to make it out there. I was happy to be back in beautiful Eastern Oregon where not only did I get to spend time in the rodeo arena, but I also got to spend time with my sash sisters playing mini golf and bumper cars. After being out of state for some time it brought me so much joy to be back in Oregon and spending time with so many of my fellow Oregon queens and princesses. No matter how old, how young, how many titles, or even where they come from, each of these women have blessed me by being authentically who they are and bringing that honest spirit into the arena each time I see them. I am so grateful for the number of young women I have met on this journey and cannot wait to see them as they continue to grow. The leadership I see in these young women is unparalleled to any other state I have traveled to. It warms my heart deeply to get to know each of these smiling faces a little better as I travel down the road.

See you all on our next adventure and keep up the smiles!
Avalon Irwin
Miss Rodeo Oregon

Tough Enough to Wear Pink day at Eugene Pro Rodeo

Photo bombed by none other than past Junior MRO Rowdy Israel!

MRO pre-pageant contestant and family meeting

Miss Rodeo Oregon Inc's motto is to Educate, Elevate, and Inspire young women.

Spending the day as tourists in Colorado with my friend Miss Rodeo Washington, Lexy Hibbs

Hanging out with Miss Rodeo Nebraska at the Snake River Stampede

My host family took us ATVing to some Idaho hot springs... we got a little dusty


Pancake breakfast at Cheyenne!

Fun fact, my sister is a nurse in the United States Army and I couldn't be more proud of her!

This cowgirl is always impressed by the various branches of the United States Military. Thank you to all of you who have served.

So fun getting to push cattle during Chief Joseph Days. Thank you Queen Maggie for showing me the ropes.

It's not every day you get to stand in the arena of the famous Daddy of 'Em All, Cheyenne Frontier Days!

PRCA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony time!

West Coast queens at the PRCA Hall of Fame Cowboy Ball. Miss Rodeo California Jackie Scarry and Miss Rodeo Washington Lexy Hibbs.

Who's ready to sign some autographs at Elgin? I know I am!

Night one at The Elgin Stampede with the newly crowned queen, Rowdy Israel

Picking up barrels at Eugene Pro Rodeo

Night 1 at St. Paul

Bumper cars with the girls

Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon Destiny Wecks!

What is “Cowboy Christmas”? The Independence Day week is called Cowboy Christmas because there are more enticing rodeos that are either conducted on or near July 4th than competitors can make. Throughout July, competitors jump in and out of their trucks and trailers and airplanes as they compete in one rodeo after another. All across the country, cowboys and cowgirls travel to try and make all the rodeos they can to gain purse monies and raise their world standings in preparation for Circuit Finals in their area as well as for the National Finals Rodeo in December.

As a rodeo queen we are also trying to make as many rodeo appearances as we can in the month of July and of course the first week as its the 4th of July week and weekend! I last left off the month of June with the Jr and Teen Pageant in Tillamook then traveled from the coast to small town St. Paul for the 86th anniversary of their rodeo! I dropped our trailer at the rodeo grounds and took a small trailer to two other rodeos for the 1st and 2nd of July. Eugene Pro Rodeo was my first appearance for the month of July where I did the grand entry and then helped shag cattle for the timed events! That rodeo was the best hospitality for getting their rodeo competitors and queens in and out of the grounds fast and easy. I felt very welcomed with handmade earrings from their queen Clarissa Sanders that she made for all the visiting royalty. During the warm up before the rodeos started, I was able to move around the arena fences to talk with fans who all wanted to pet my horse Kyra or ask questions to the rodeo queens. This warmed my heart because when I came in for the grand entry, I could hear many voices cheering for my horse and me as we made our queen lap. I also was warmed by the many high fives I was able to give returning to the other end of the arena after every calf or steer we pushed out.

On July 2, Kyra and I made the short drive to Molalla for the Molalla Buckeroo Rodeo. This rodeo was nice because I hadn't been back since 2015 when I reigned as Jr Miss Rodeo Oregon. I really enjoyed the fans I got to talk to through the fence before the rodeo and being able to spend time with MRO board member Glenda, who was also a Molalla director.  We told stories most of the night as we helped hand out sponsor flags and get the horses in the arena. Top two memorable moments from that rodeo was being the only rodeo queen there which allowed me to take my time around the arena and I did the signature Pendleton Round Up Holler around the arena in my queen lap. I also really enjoyed being able to participate in the donkey races. In my rodeo queen garb, friend and rodeo queen Mia and I took the arena line with our donkey “Donkay”, and we didn't win but the giggles lasted forever, unlike my voice the next few days.

Rounding out Cowboy Christmas week in St. Paul, on the 3rd and 4th I did a grand entry on the 3rd wearing my green military and first responder patch shirt. Behind the scenes before the rodeo I joined the Elgin Stampede Court and did some rodeo queen karaoke, (I can't sing). For the last day of St. Paul I wanted to leave with a bang, well maybe some thunder, as I came in riding my Percheron draft horse Dolly for the Grand Parade and rodeo grand entry. Wearing red, white, and blue, Dolly and I had the best time going through the parade. And, yes, just like my Jr Miss year, I got lost again. Good thing I had the Pendleton Round Up Court to help me get back this time! For the rodeo I really enjoyed riding my prized horse in the huge arena and being able to include her past the walking parades. We also had the Queens Luncheon where all the visiting royalty got to introduce themselves and their titles with dates and special remarks.

Heading home after the matinee rodeo performance, we got home to have just a few short days of being home before I was at another great July rodeo which I can call my hometown rodeo! The Elgin Stampede rodeo started off with the family night rodeo where I helped with goat tying and tail untying as well as the stick horse races. The following night I was honored to be asked to carry the American Flag. The next two nights were a blast being able to do my queen hot lap each performance, push cattle and then sign autographs. Dolly and I also made our grand appearance during the parade where we took home the first place prize for the royalty!

Being home didn't last long when I headed off to the next stop in St. Helens for the Columbia County Fair and Rodeo. I helped during their court pageant with the speeches and questions as well as the horsemanship portion, followed by two nights of NPRA rodeo action and getting to do some more queen laps.

Now my wheels stopped driving across the state for the week of my hometown rodeo, Chief Joseph Days Rodeo. I not only attended all four nights of the rodeo performances but I also helped their court Maggie, Mia and Bailey push cattle and sign autographs. Outside of the rodeo I invited rodeo queens to do fun things around my hometown such as mini golfing at Wallowa Lake as well as go kart racing, paddle boats and swimming and boating on the water.

Now we are headed into the late summer month of August where I am excited for my last 4H horse county fair, showing my horse Whisper and hopefully attending the Oregon State Fair towards the end of the month. I have been also super excited and have been awaiting for the 2023 Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant with the Canby Rodeo! My other events and rodeos planned for the next month are the NPRA Finals and starting college in Ontario! I can't wait to finish out my year's reign with more great rodeo appearances and events so stay tuned!

Stay humble and kind and God bless--

Destiny Wecks, 2022 Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon

Last fair group photo with my 4H club The Rusty Spurs

Of course I had to get a photo with the best clown ever! Thanks JJ for always making the rodeos you work such a good memory for all (queens and fans)!

Although I wasn't able to warm up in the arena at the Molalla Rodeo, I still got to chat with fans through the fence and got to get a photo with them before the performance.

Daniel Dopps Memorial Rodeo Queen Rylee McGehee getting ready with me for the Miles for Mammograms walk during Chief Joseph Days

Carrie and I showing off the RWB Bob Roy chaps during the St. Paul Rodeo

The state title holders before grand entry at Chief Joseph Days Rodeo

With Jefferson County Queen Kethry Nolan filling our time with fun selfies before Elgin Stampede Grand Entry

State titleholders one again posing for the camera at St Paul Rodeo!

Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon Carrie Woods!

My July started off on June 30th at the one and only St. Paul Rodeo. My Cowboy Christmas week looked a little like this: I kicked it off on Thursday at St. Paul, then Friday at the Eugene Pro Rodeo where I got to do my hot lap and hang out with the other queens, Saturday I stayed local and was in the Clovers Day parade in my hometown, then headed to Newport for the Lincoln County Fair and Rodeo. On Sunday I decided to stay in Newport since I had so much fun the previous night pushing cows and helping with the other things the board needed, then Monday I headed back to St. Paul to be in the parade, and attend the luncheon and be in the rodeo performance that night.

Then the next week I went to the Philomath rodeo for all three nights; I got to help run sponsor flags, push cows, do my hot lap and be in the parade on Saturday. Then on Sunday, I got to stay to run at the fundraiser barrel race to help rebuild the grandstands after the fire. I placed third in the Youth division and second in Novice. After Philomath, I had a weekend off for the first time since February and although I was not busy with rodeo queen things, I still kept busy by riding my horse and working with my market goats and my dairy heifer’s county fair.

Then I headed to Columbia County to compete in the Junior Rodeo on the 21st and the other two rodeo performances on the 22nd and 23rd. I got to do my hot lap for all three nights during grand entry and also got to throw swag to the crowd while riding around the arena!

The next weekend I made the long 8-hour drive to Joseph for Chief Joseph Days! I was there all of the nights. I got to participate in the serpentine for grand entry and also a hot lap all of the nights. On Friday Destiny, Avalon and I got to participate in the Jr. Parade; we rolled down the streets of Joseph in our rodeo rig, and it definitely “wasn’t our first rodeo”. Then Saturday I got to be in the grand parade as well! I got Miss Sue all prettied up since it would be her last parade of the year. Right after the parade, I headed to the annual Queens Luncheon, then had a little bit of downtime, and then left again to go to a photo shoot with Robert McLean! He never fails to get breathtaking shots of MRO Avalon, MTRO Destiny, and I!  Although my time in Joseph was very hot, I got to cool off in the lake for multiple days and get burnt pretty bad, but beautiful Joseph made up for it!

Now I’m getting ready for County Fair this week! I’m taking three dairy heifers (one I will sell) and my market goat so I’m pretty excited!

Clipping my market goat, "Finn"

Visiting royalty at the CJD Luncheon

In the parade at Chief Joseph Days

Ready for Western Heritage Night

Pink Night

Cooling off in Wallowa Lake

With MTRO Destiny in St. Helens

Warm up at Columbia County


Purple night in Philomath

Grand entry night #2

Headed back after my run at the Junior Rodeo

Stayed close to home and entered my hometown parade

During the grand entry serpentine at St. Paul

Before the St. Paul parade with MRO Avalon and MTRO Destiny

Warm up time

Got a quick picture in front of the big sign

My run on Saturday in Joseph

With Jr. Miss TCRA Piper at CJD

Making NEW memories on August 17-20!!  Join us to see a new MRO crowned!

Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant Schedule of Events

Wednesday, August 17:
7:30 pm--Canby Rodeo Performance; Fair Admission and Rodeo Ticket Required
Thursday, August 18:
5:30 pm--Autograph Signing @Ford Booth at the Clackamas Fairgrounds; Fair Admission Required
7:30 pm--Canby Rodeo Performance; Fair Admission and Rodeo Ticket Required
Friday, August 19:
10:00-11:30 am--Horsemanship at the Canby Rodeo Arena
2:30-4:00 pm--Autograph Signing at Swan Island Dahlia Farm
5:30 pm--Mock Media Interviews and PRCA Knowledge @Food Court Stage; Fair Admission required
6:00 pm--Autograph Signing at Canby Ford Booth; Fair Admission Required
7:30 pm--Canby Rodeo Performance; Fair Admission and Rodeo Ticket Required
Saturday, August 20:
1:00-3:00 pm--Fashion Show @Clackamas County Fairgrounds; Fair Admission Required
6:00 pm--Autograph Signing at the Canby Ford Booth; Fair Admission Required
7:30 pm--Canby Rodeo Performance; Fair Admission and Rodeo Ticket Required
TBA--Arena Coronation of 2023 MRO
Following Coronation--Press Party and Awards Presentation @Wilsonville Best Western

Miss Rodeo Oregon Corporate Sponsors

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