The Oregon Queen — January 2022January 9, 2022 Off By Lois Forester
Every year as December winds down and January starts to get closer I feel a mixture of gratitude for everything the last year has brought, and hesitation because I wonder if the next year could be as good as the last. Having the crown placed on my head last August took me by surprise, and the journey since then has felt like a whirlwind!
Let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Avalon Irwin, I am twenty six years old, and I have called Central Oregon my home for most of my life. I got started in the horse world when I was 13. I didn’t own my own horse, but I was sure determined to one day! I started by volunteering for a local barn that offered guided trail rides to the public. I worked my way up the ranks until I was a proficient enough horsewoman to start guiding trail rides myself. It was this time in life that I truly started to see how the western lifestyle is so enchanting to those that don’t live it. Every day I was told over and over again how I lived the life guests wish they could live. These moments gave me a deep gratitude for what I had and are an important part of what drives me to want to be a powerful voice within western industries.
After a few years of working hard as a trail guide I had finally saved up enough money to buy my first horse! Her name is Twiggy and she was my guide horse while I was working as a trail guide. She then promptly became my OHSET horse and my best friend. What girl doesn’t need a horse as a best friend to help her through high school? After high school I attended Biola University in Southern California. While I was there I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Inter Cultural Studies and a Minor in Biblical Studies. For those of you who are wondering what that means, it means that I am fascinated with learning about how people interact with each other on a cultural level and I really like biblical theology. Feel free to ask me more about it when you meet me! I love to talk to people about how I use my degree every day.
After college I came home and decided that I loved rodeo culture so much that I wanted to be a part of it. What better way to do that than become a rodeo queen. I studied my heart out, entered my first pageant, and lost. But then I won my first title and from there I was off on my journey to win Miss Rodeo Oregon!
All right, enough about me. Let’s get talking about the stuff that I know everyone is dying to know about. What on earth have I been doing the last few months?! Well let me tell you it feels like I have been doing a whole lot and at the same time not nearly enough! I have been busy planning my coronation as well as learning how to represent the organization to the best of my abilities from some past MRO’s. Part of that experience was getting to observe the Miss Rodeo America Pageant in Las Vegas. Let me tell you that is an experience! If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the America Pageant you definitely need to put it on your bucket list. Those girls worked so hard to get there and they did an amazing job. I loved seeing the different outfits each girl wore to represent herself, and the knowledge that each girl had to share.
While the pageant was going on I had the chance to go down to the Cowboy Christmas Marketplace where I got to watch the girls compete in the Justin Boot parade. I also ran into none other than champion barrel racer herself, Fallon Taylor. I have always liked Fallon for a few reasons, the way she blends western and street fashion being one of them. So it was even more exciting that I happened to be wearing the pants she designed that day! After Cowboy Christmas we headed over to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR). Boy is that a rodeo like none other! I think my favorite part of it is when the athletes get to run in on horseback behind their state flag. They then all line up in the arena while Miss Rodeo America does a hot lap, and then they follow her out. For those of you that don’t want to do the math on how many athletes are in the arena at one time, trust me when I say it’s a lot!
I am headed off to my next adventure in Colorado! Follow my travels on Facebook and/or Instagram to stay up to date on the latest adventure. Thank you for taking the time to get to know more about me and supporting me on my journey.
Avalon Irwin, Miss Rodeo Oregon 2022
January, the start of 2022. What a year and a few months to prepare for the year to come! In the month of January I'm looking forward to my coronation on the 15th where I will have a tri tip dinner, both a live and silent auction, dessert dash, and dutch auction for my saddle. This event is being held at the Elks Lodge in Enterprise Oregon, starting at 5 pm with the social hour and 6 pm with dinner. Until then, I will be working on gathering items for my auctions, and desserts for the dessert dash.
Some cool items I have gotten for my live auction so far include a bison skull, handcrafted silver earrings, a 3 night stay at a lake vacation rental, a macrame elk shed flag, and a wooden wall art flag, just to name a few. Other cool items have been coming in from local supporters in my community like a coffee themed basket, wool blanket, quilt, and many welding horseshoe art and decor. I have also been working on getting more professional photos taken with the crown and some outfits. I really enjoy having photos for posting on social media.
After my coronation, I plan to continue my search for sponsors for my year and in-kind donations of items or services. Some amazing sponsors I have gotten are Legacy Dodge, RDF&P, Red Rose Boutique/Kellerman Logging, and Ground and Sky Health for twice a month acupuncture. I have received sponsors also for my nails for my year, hair products, and Robert McLean Photography. I have my chaps ordered (hope they are done by coronation), a belt with my initials and sunflowers, my breast collar and serape and purse that will pack my autograph sheets. I am also working on the autograph sheets.
Outside of rodeo and the preparation of my coronation, I have been active with friends teaching them how to ski and learning myself how to jump while skiing and do tricks. I also have been busy riding my horses Whisper and Brinn. Whisper and I are getting ready for horse shows in the spring while Brinn and I are learning how to run barrels and poles at the What Would Jesus Do barrel club in Lewiston. School has also been crazy with the start of the new year; scholarships are also starting to open and deadlines are nearing. I have been working hard on typing essays, updating my resume and more!
I plan to keep pushing the way I have been up to this point, like add more rodeos and events to my list for the year, gather and gain more sponsorships, get more hours out on the slopes with skiing, and better my bond with Brinn with our runs and prepare Whisper for upcoming shows.
I can’t believe it’s already 2022! It feels like just yesterday was the first day of the pageant. I’m super excited to see what 2022 has in store for me as I travel around the great state of Oregon!
My first appearance as Lady in Waiting was the Miss Rodeo Oregon pageant. It was fun to watch the girls compete! 2022 MTRO Destiny and I got to help sell programs during Horsemanship too. Later that day we headed to the ice cream and cupcake social put on by the Canby Rodeo Court. It was so much fun! I, unfortunately, missed the coronation in the arena, but I am very excited to spend this year with Avalon!
My next event as Lady in Waiting was going to the NPRA finals. Zoe Brooks the 2022 Miss NPRA Lady in Waiting and I, along with a few Little Miss NPRA’s and a Miss Rodeo Oregon Sweetheart, got to walk around and thank all the vendors for coming to the rodeo. Later that night we all got introduced. I was also able to get the crown and both pairs of chaps from Morgan for my first photoshoot! Natalie Kate Images did an amazing job!
Another event I went to as Lady in Waiting was attending the Tillamook County Rodeo Queen Coronation. I got to help carry live auction items and desserts for the dessert auction! I got introduced and spotted two of our Miss Rodeo Oregon board members, Julie Singer and Lynn Haynes! I was able to pick up a few silent auction items for my coronation on February 12th, 2022 at the Officers Mess Hall in Tillamook! It was such a fun night and I am overly excited to be able to spend 2022 with Queen Cassandra, Jr. Miss Piper, and Little Miss Tilly’s Ainslee, Brooklyn, and Susie!
My second to last appearance as Lady in Waiting was being in the Tillamook County Light Parade. I was escorted by Shana Juarez and her mini horse Concho! We started off decorating the pony cart in lights, ribbons, bows, and bells bright and early Saturday morning, we were having second thoughts about going since it was non-stop raining the entire time, but luckily it stopped just before the parade started. It was such a fun night, thank you, Shana!
Finally, I had my last event of 2021. I went to the Hoof ‘N Holler New Years’ Eve Rough Stock Rodeo in Albany. 2020/2021 JMRO Morgan Brownell was also there to officially crown me as the 2022 Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon at midnight!
Currently, I have been busy planning my coronation, held on February 12th, in Tillamook! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get tickets. I have also been working on getting my custom chaps made!
I am so excited to get to spend 2022 with so many amazing sash sisters, especially Destiny and Avalon!
2022 Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon
Miss Rodeo Oregon Queen's Clinic