We had the privilege of joining Mary Ashley Rohsrcheib, Miss Dixie National, and Makenzie Richardson, Miss Junior Dixie National, at this year’s Dixie National Rodeo! Not only are they representing the Rodeo, they are also inspiring role models for young girls across the state.
Mary Ashley says, “You need to be a good example in all aspects of your life for the young ladies and children who are looking up to you.” She and Makenzie will be visiting nursing homes, hospitals and schools this year, spending time with Mississippians and spreading their infectious love for the sport of rodeo. Adam + Adam Photography beautifully photographed them during the Dixie National, and we had the pleasure of sitting down with the newly crowned queens!
Mary Ashley, Miss Dixie National, was born in Cullman, Alabama. She says, “My parents had me on horses as soon as I could sit up on my own! My mom would put me on her good horse by myself and have me follow her on the Bankhead Forest trails when I was just two-years-old. I can’t even imagine not riding or owning a horse!” We asked Ashley more about herself and her new title:
~ How did you prepare for the Miss Dixie National pageant?
“There is a lot of work preparing for a rodeo pageant! I study, study, study! You will be asked about their rodeo, stock contractors, sponsors, rules of the rodeo events themselves, current events, etc. If you are going to be the ambassador and represent their rodeo, then you need to know the inner and outer workings of what goes on during the event. I also spend countless hours practicing my horsemanship patterns, getting my horse to smoothly change leads and be consistent.”
~ Your new title seems like a wonderful opportunity to be a role model for young women throughout the South. How do you plan to promote the rodeo and educate young women about the sport?
“It is a great opportunity! As far as being a role model, that is more than just having pretty hair and fancy clothes. It is a standard. You need to be a good example in all aspects of your life for the young ladies and children that are looking up to you. Social media posts, how you handle stress, the crowd you hang around and just your overall demeanor are all very important. I feel it is important to keep a check on those things in your private life, just as much as you do in your public life.
As far as promoting the rodeo and educating young women about the sport, I will be visiting many schools, doing public presentations, meet and greets, radio interviews and hospital visits to really share with folks what this great sport is all about.”
~ What are your other interests/hobbies? Is there anything else you would like to add?
“I am actually hoping to go skydiving for the first time sometime this year. I am also pretty active as an assistant instructor teaching the Equalizer Women’s Self Defense Program with my mom. She is a police officer and we go into the public schools in our county, teaching girls how to defend themselves and protect their personal space. I believe every woman and child should understand they have a right to protect themselves.”
Makenzie, Junior Miss Dixie National, is a junior at Brookhaven Academy. She smiles, “God blessed me to be born into a family of competitive horsemen. My dad and my brother are accomplished team ropers, and my mom is a barrel racer. Horses have always been my passion and I love to compete. I rode in my first rodeo at age two!”
How did you prepare for the Pageant?
“I prepared by riding my horse everyday, studying notes (including rodeo facts and rules, horse anatomy and health, and current events) and getting together outfits to wear. When people hear the word pageant they think of a stage, but a rodeo pageant is SO much more to prepare for!”
What is like being a role model for young women across the state?
“I am so proud to be able to represent my Magnolia State! It is such an honor to me to have been crowned Jr. Miss Dixie National. It is my job as queen to be a role model to all fans, young and old. Rodeo queens are the ‘face of the rodeo.’ Part of our duty is to fill the seats and in the process make those people forever fans. I'm looking forward to visit schools, hospitals, and retirement homes in order to share my love for the sport of rodeo.”
Congratulations, Mary Ashley and Makenzie, and thank you for so warmly welcoming us to the Dixie National Rodeo! We look forward to seeing you spread your joy and love for the sport of rodeo throughout the state of Mississippi this year!
Thank you, Adam + Alli Photography, for the wonderful photographs! Click here to view more of their amazing work!