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Rayna Rogers Named 2023 Oakdale Rodeo Queen
All smiles, newly named Oakdale Rodeo Queen 2023, Rayna Rogers tries to contain her excitement as 2022 Queen Katie Serpa adorns her with the ceremonial sash during the Queen Coronation on Thursday night, April 6. Photo By Teresa Hammond
There was a bevy of rodeo royalty from throughout the region in attendance Thursday evening, April 6 for the 2023 Rodeo Queen Coronation hosted at the Oakdale Cowboy Museum. Photo Courtesy Jennifer Allen

It was a large as well as supportive crowd on Thursday, April 6, as the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Oakdale Cowboy Museum for the 2023 Oakdale Rodeo Queen Coronation.

As Rayna Rogers took it all in, it may have felt a bit full circle for the Jamestown cowgirl. Rogers’ sister was named Rodeo Queen in 2020 and many years before her grandmother was a Rodeo Princess.

Prior to turning over the mic and passing on the sash, outgoing Rodeo Queen Katie Serpa thanked the community, as well as the Oakdale Saddle Club, for a successful reign as the 2022-2023 Rodeo Queen.

“It was such a special privilege being able to do this,” Serpa said, “being born and raised in Oakdale, this has been my dream. I remember being a little girl, sitting right here on the curb watching all the queens ride past.”

As Rogers greeted the crowd, she shared that while she’s from a town just 30 minutes away, she understands there is a lot for her to learn about Oakdale.

“I have always loved the Oakdale Rodeo,” she said, noting her family’s Oakdale rodeo royalty history. “So, it’s always sort of been a family thing.”

Growing up around rodeo, the Rogers family has been part of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse for three generations. They’re also involved with the Sonora Rodeo, prompting her to shadow rodeo queens at a young age.

Rogers’ mother was a rodeo queen as well and now works as a coach and coordinator. Rogers herself acquired her first rodeo royalty title in 2013 as Clements Junior Stampede Little Miss Buckaroo.

“I’m very thankful for this opportunity and I wish we could have had a full contest,” she said of being the only contestant for the 2023 Rodeo Queen. “But I’m super grateful and I’m very excited to be continuing this family legacy.”

Rogers participated in gymkhanas when she was little, was active in 4-H and then got hooked on the Rodeo Queen contests. She recently began taking cutting lessons.

“I love the sport of rodeo and how it’s such a traditional sport,” she stated. “Everybody is so patriotic and passionate about the Western lifestyle. It feels like a huge family versus other sports where it’s more competition based.”

As for her goals while serving as the Oakdale Rodeo Queen, Rogers has created an acronym, TACO: Travel; Advocate; Community; and Outreach.

“I’m kind of like a bridge between the fans and the competitors, so that’s super cool,” she said of her goals as they pertain to her acronym.

Rogers is currently studying to get her BS in Communications through the University of Phoenix with plans to graduate by the end of 2024.

“My dream job would be a commentator for the Cowboy Channel. That would be a super amazing thing to do,” she shared.

For now, though, she will focus her attention and energy on her new assignment: Oakdale Rodeo Queen.

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity. I’m grateful to the Oakdale Saddle Club, to Jodie Moffatt and Katie Serpa, both of them have been absolutely wonderful,” she said. “And I’m so thankful for my family. They have been so supportive.”