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Grit, Guts and Glamour

Meet Miss Rodeo Virginia 2024

July 2024

by Laura Emery, Staff Writer

This certainly isn’t her first rodeo. Autumn Rogers, 23, of Gordonsville, Va., is picture-ready, proudly donning her official Miss Rodeo Virginia crown, buckle and sash. With poise and elegance, she mingles and chats with rodeo visitors, signing autographs and snapping selfies with anyone who asks.

In her role as Miss Rodeo Virginia, Rogers is an ambassador for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Miss Rodeo America Organization. She also works full-time at the University of Virginia as a laboratory specialist assisting cardio-thoracic surgery research.

The Miss Rodeo Virginia program is an organization devoted to helping young women between the ages of 18 and 26 achieve greatness. The winning title holder represents the best Virginia has to offer in the categories of personality, conversational skills, horsemanship, poise and intelligence.

Each Miss Rodeo Virginia is given the opportunity to represent the sport of rodeo and compete at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant in Las Vegas, Nev., for scholarships to support their educational goals. “I’m excited to compete for Miss Rodeo America in December,” Rogers says.

Rogers heard about the pageant through word of mouth. “I thought, ‘I love to ride horses, and I like people. This could be fun,’” she says with a smile. “But I’m de nitely not your typical pageant girl or rodeo queen — and that’s what I love about the Miss Rodeo Virginia program. It opens up opportunities for a different demographic of women.”

In her role, Rogers stays busy attending events on weekends and working on fundraising during the week when she’s not working her fulltime job. “I have no free time,” she jokes. “It takes a lot of work and time, but I am committed to generating as much awareness about the rodeo industry as possible — but also to spread the word about the Miss Rodeo Virginia program and inspire other young women to apply next year.”

She is invited to attend industry events, rodeos, county fairs and even elementary schools. “I go to the elementary schools and read books to the students. I explain about how a rodeo works and help bring awareness to what it means to be a real cowgirl. It’s something different, and the kids respond to that. Some of them have never even seen a horse in person. By the time I leave, they all want to be a cowgirl or cowboy,” she says with a laugh.

Rogers plans to use her platform as Miss Rodeo Virginia to spread a message that is important to her: “Sow the seeds to your growth.” She believes that any small act can impact one’s future. She wants “every person to know that if they continue to sow the seeds of their efforts with intentions of reaching their goals, no matter the circumstances, they will see growth and find their community,” just as she found her community in the rodeo world.

A lover of horses, Rogers has a Spanish mustang named Brio that she calls her “heart horse.” Together, Rogers and Brio enjoy trail riding, and have participated in mounted shooting, roping clinics and parades.

When she’s not on top of a horse, Rogers loves being outdoors, engaging in community service, reading, tanning hides/leather work, and hanging out with her beagle, Remington, and cat, Binx.

For more information on the Miss Rodeo Virginia program or to invite Autumn Rogers to an event, visit facebook.com/missrodeovirginia, or email [email protected].