Davana Mahon was crowned Stampede Queen Saturday night in a ceremony held at the Elks Hall.
In a switch up to normal procedure reigning Stampede Queen Savannah Davies-Laviolette was called upon to present her crown to Davana before the princess was announced, leaving the crowd to ponder what was happening.
Then it was announced that both of Davana’s fellow contestants, Alexia Colton and Bobi Bracewell, would serve together as the 2011/12 Stampede princesses because the voting among the judges was just too close to name one as princess over the other. Outgoing Stampede Princess Nicole Roberts had the honour of crowning two successors.
Davana won the award for public speaking in what was also described as a “very, very, very” close competition. She also won the awards for personal interview, and written exam on knowledge about rodeo and the City of Williams Lake and a new award.
Janice Sapp, who taught the contestants horsemanship, said each of the contestants could ride long before they came to her, but she asked them to keep an open mind when she was coaching them.
Alexia won the award for best horsemanship; Davana was runner up in horsemanship and Bobi won the award for most improved horsemanship.
There were many speeches and well wishes offered by outgoing royalty, candidates, and guests as well as a video presentation by Savannah and Nicole recapping their busy year.
One of the fun parts of the evening happened early on when Savannah and Nicole joined with the contestants in singing a comical version of I Just Can’t Wait to be Queen.