Meet Anna Woolsey, Miss Rodeo USA 2023

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Atop the bright blue felt, Jessie Lynn, the 2022 Miss Rodeo USA placed the perpetual Black Hill Gold Diggers Miss Rodeo USA crown. Anna Woolsey was crowned Miss Rodeo USA 2023! Today, we get to know Anna through some Q&A.

Q: Can you please tell me a little bit about yourself?

A: I am 23 years old and from Northeast Oklahoma. I have been showing horses since I was three years old. I have shown in the halter, reining, ranch riding, working cow horse boxing, all-around events, barrel racing, and I rope with my brother on my days off. I was on a full-ride scholarship for a collegiate IHSA team. I was a reserve national champion, a high-point rider of my region, and the team rider for both reining and horsemanship. I grew up with a father as a horse trainer and have a huge passion for the horse industry. I have been showing at the AQHA world shows since I was 12. I was a finalist in the ranch riding my final year in youth, as well as 6th in the nation for the year-end for the AQHYA. I started competing in queen contests when I was 13. Being a horse show girl crossing over into the rodeo queen world was the reason I have been successful in queen contests. That truly shaped me and made me who I am today.

Q: Can you please describe your experience running for Miss Rodeo USA? 

A: It was such an easygoing week. I had a great time. The chaperones were amazing, which the chaperones can really make or break the week for young women competing at a national level pageant. I went in knowing this would be my last time competing, so I gave it my all. I didn’t worry too much about studying. I wanted to be relaxed and just trust in myself competing. I know so many of the people involved in the MRUSA pageant that it was amazing being able to hang out with them for a week. I would compete for it again; it was that great.

Q: What is your favorite part about rodeo queening? What is your favorite part of representing Miss Rodeo USA?

A: There are many aspects of being a rodeo queen that helps us grow as people. My favorite part of that is the connections I make with rodeo committees. You’re able to come across people that really touch your heart and become friends for a lifetime. I am excited to meet more people as Miss Rodeo USA. I will be traveling out of state more than I ever have as a rodeo queen. Exploring this beautiful country is just a bonus!

Q: What are your goals while holding the Miss Rodeo USA title?

A: My goal is to create a better rodeo queen environment by educating and encouraging young women who have dreams of wearing a beautiful crown on their hat. I plan to release educational tutorials on all things rodeo queen. I truly believe there is a lack of correct information out there for future rodeo queens to learn from. With my background in horses, I can really help with the horsemanship for the girls to help their horses at home. We must change the narrative that rodeo queens can’t ride by being self-aware and giving young girls access to the information that will help them get better. I would love to be able to help bridge the gap with this issue.

Q: What was your platform speech about during the Miss Rodeo USA pageant?

A: My platform is Save A Life, Adopt A Dog. I have been rescuing dogs since I was 17 years old. I have volunteered countless hours helping my community. My platform is a tangible philanthropic problem that is happening globally. I have plans to travel to east Asia to aid with the No Dogs Left Behind Animal Rescue to learn more about animal trafficking overseas. People believe that my platform doesn’t relate to rodeo, but it does in more ways than most. I advocate for animals every day. To have someone as a national titleholder that can speak to activists trying to take rodeo away, I can connect with them on a level that most can’t. In turn, I will be able to show them our side and change the perspective of rodeos and the treatment of our animal athletes. It is so important for rodeo people to practice kindness and pet responsibility to take us further in preserving our western way of life. I love the animals I have saved and the people I have met involved in rescues. I have brought what I do into their world when they didn’t know what a rodeo queen was before. At the end of the day, it is about preserving and growing our sport in more ways than one.

Q: What advice would you give to those wanting to start their rodeo queen journey? And the advice you’d give to future Miss Rodeo USA contestants? 

A: I wanted to win a barrel saddle, that was why I entered my first pageant. Find a goal, whether it’s big or small, and go for it. You were put on this earth to do amazing things. Never let anyone take away from who you are and the legacy you were meant to leave. This can be a hard industry to stay in, but don’t let the opinions of others make you quit. Let that fuel your fire and drive to continue competing because it will open doors and change your life completely in all the best ways. If you are wanting to be Miss Rodeo USA, start now. Take lessons from speech and interview coaches, modeling lessons from runway models, and riding lessons from professional horsemen and women. Become a fan of the sport keeping up with the cowboys and cowgirls. Never be scared to message a past titleholder for assistance. We regret every opportunity we ignore due to fear or doubt. Anyone can be a rodeo queen whether you grew up showing horses, livestock, or just have a passion for the sport.

She ends with:

Every person can bring something to the table. Don’t be afraid to bring what you have to offer. Learn from your mistakes, watch who is winning and mimic what they do, and have the time of your life.

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