Tennessee Cowgirl Wins the Mid-South Rodeo Queen Crown


On Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, Josie McGrew of Cedar Hill, TN, was crowned Miss Mid-South Rodeo Queen 2023 at the Rodeo of the Mid-South, held at The Landers Center in Southaven, MS. She is the daughter of Drew and Casey Bender.

(L to R) Lauren Lewis, Teen Mid-South Rodeo Queen 2023, Josie McGrew, Miss Mid-South Rodeo Queen 2023, Fallon Frisby, Jr Mid-South Rodeo Queen 2023, and (front) Paisley Swint, Mid-South Rodeo Princess 2023. Photo by Kevin DeBusk.

McGrew is a 19-year-old sophomore at Hopkinsville Community College in Hopkinsville, KY, where she is studying Agriculture Education. Her career goal is to be a teacher. In the future, she has plans to transfer to Southern Arkansas University to complete her ag education degree while participating on the school’s rodeo team. 

For the past two years, Josie has been competing on the rodeo team at Frank Phillips College. Her rodeo events are breakaway roping, team roping and goat tying. Previous rodeo queen titles include Teen Miss Rodeo Tennessee 2018-19 and National Little Britches Rodeo Queen 2020. 

Additional winners of the Mid-South Rodeo Queen Pageant include: Lauren Lewis of Hernando, MS, taking the title of Teen Mid-South Rodeo Queen 2023; Fallon Frisby of Brandon, MS, earning the title of Jr. Mid-South Rodeo Queen 2023, and Paisley Swint of Clinton, AR, winning the title of Mid-South Rodeo Princess 2023. 

All competitive age divisions were judged in horsemanship, public speaking, modeling, personal interview and impromptu question over a two-day pageant held in conjunction with the Rodeo of the Mid-South, sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. 

As titleholders, these young cowgirls will represent and promote the 2024 Rodeo of the Mid-South and recruit other young ladies to compete in the Mid-South Rodeo Queen Pageant. 

Additional awards included the Pageant Director’s Award, which was earned by Paisley Swint of Clinton, AR, the Best Photo Award went to Caroline Wilson of Athens, AL. 

The highest rodeo ticket sales award went to Lauren Lewis of Hernando, MS, who received a Cinch gift certificate and a Harper and Morgan merchandise gift certificate. Second place rodeo ticket sales went to Brylee Wilson of Covington, TN, receiving a Harper and Morgan merchandise gift certificate. 

The Senior Horsemanship Award winner was Josie McGrew of Cedar Hill, TN. She received a custom-tooled saddle blanket, made by Van Beasley of Van’s Leathercraft in Byhalia, MS. 

The Princess Horsemanship Award winner was Paisley Swint of Clinton, AR. She received a custom halter for her horse, crafted and donated by Zion Tack of Columbia, TN. 

The Spirit of the Mid-South Award, voted on by the contestants, went to Lauren Lewis of Hernando, MS. She received a Montana Silversmith necklace, sponsored by Jerry and Connie Nanney of Austin, AR. 

All winners were awarded a tiara, trophy buckle, banner, flowers by Lynn Doyle Flowers, a custom bronc halter by Zion Tack, a gift certificate to Frontier Ranch Supply and Western Store in Olive Branch, MS, and a custom leather flag boot, made by A2 Custom Leather of Hamburg, AR. 

Additionally, the winner of the Miss age division receives a scholarship award sponsored by the Mid-South Fair, and a custom trophy buckle, made by Maynard Buckles of Thoreau, NM. 

The pageant offered competition in five age levels, including the Miss division, ages 18-25, the Teen division ages 14-17, the Junior division, ages 10-13, the Princess division ages 6-9 and the Sweetheart division ages 3-6. Pageant sponsors include; the Mid-South Fair, Frontier Ranch Supply of Olive Branch, MS, Lincoln Glass and Nurre Glass of Memphis, TN, Lynn Doyle Flowers of Memphis, TN, Jim and Susan Hudgins of Drummonds, TN, No Limits Tutoring of Memphis, Reed Bullock of Piperton, TN, Trena Street of Collierville, TN, and Harper and Morgan Rodeo Company. 

For more information about the Mid-South Rodeo Queen Pageant, follow us on Facebook and Instagram or email midsouthrodeoroyalty@gmail.com


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