Miss Rodeo Canada Princess 2011
Special to the Tribune
June was a busy month as I hit the road in my Cariboo GMC Equinox. The first stop was the Kispiox Valley Rodeo, located in the beautiful mountains one hour north of Smithers, B.C.
I was very excited to be back in my home province and to be attending a rodeo in such an amazing location.
Arriving Thursday evening to a rodeo ground, I was surrounded by campers full of rodeo contestants and fans. My first task was to judge the Kispiox Valley Rodeo Queen Horsemanship Competition with five contestants running for the title who were between the ages of 10 and 15.
Joining 2009 Williams Lake Stampede Queen Savannah-Davies Laviolette, the weekend was full with school visits, a rodeo kick-off barbecue in the town square in Old Hazelton, dinner under the cottonwoods with Joy Allen, president of the Kispiox Valley Rodeo, and her family, pancake breakfasts, grand entry, signing autographs, assisting with mutton busting and the crowning of the new Kispiox Rodeo Queen Sarah Lazzarotto.
My most memorable grand entry occurred at this rodeo. Davies-Laviolette’s horse was a tiny sorrel quarter horse where mine was a big, black, bred-bucking horse named Princess who was apparently used as a pleasure horse. I had to be hoisted atop of her because she was so tall.
Sunday during the last rodeo performance I assisted with the clown act. The clown, originally from Australia, was really into bullwhips.
He asked me to stand in the middle of the arena with a piece of paper in my out-stretched hand. With the bullwhip he cut the paper in half. It was a little scary but I still had fun.
I was sad to say goodbye when the rodeo ended but I left there with some amazing memories and new friends.
After a long drive back over the Rockies I attended the Lea Park Professional Rodeo. Unfortunately Lea Park did not show up in my GPS. When I arrived I realized why. The Lea Park Pro Rodeo is nestled right next to the beautiful North Saskatchewan River surrounded by thick trees and is just a rodeo ground and campsite. I was happy that the sun was shining when I arrived and was excited for the rodeo to start. My job for the weekend was to carry in the Canadian flag and to help with push out.
For the grand entry the amazing Lea Park Riders and the sweet Canadian Girls would join me in the arena. While carrying the flag during the Canadian anthem, I was followed by the Canadian Girls; it was so cute watching the little girls having so much fun in the arena with me.
During the weekend I also attended pancake breakfasts and signed many autographs for rodeo fans.
The Lea Park Rodeo Committee was a great host; they really do run an amazing rodeo!
I met up with Miss Rodeo Canada Kezia Morrison at the famous Innisfail Professional Rodeo, also known as the Daines Ranch Rodeo. I was warned before attending that it is usually extremely wet, and sure enough it rained the majority of the weekend.
Our rodeo spirit could not be dampened.
Morrison and I helped with push out stock. By the end of the first slack performance, we were covered head to toe in mud, which we learned very quickly would be a regular occurrence for the weekend. We did everything from carrying in the Canadian and American flag during the grand entry, pushing out the stock, and attending the Innisfail Parade. No matter how muddy, wet or cold we got Morrison and I enjoyed every second we had at the Daines Ranch Rodeo!
Morrison and I headed down the rodeo trail to the Sundre Professional Rodeo. We arrived early on June 24 to join the current royalty and the three contestants.
Before the rodeo started we were invited to help out with the B.S. Bingo. Morrison and I picked the names and companies who bought a square and placed them in random spots.
It didn’t take long for the bull to pick the winner if you know what I mean!
When rodeo time came around we grabbed our horses, Nikkie and Bob, and got ready for grand entry and the crowning of the new Sundre royalty.
I would like to congratulate Bronwen Bowhay, Miss Rodeo Sundre 2011, and Chelsea Mathers, Miss Rodeo Sundre Princess 2011. Morrison and I were asked to carry the Canadian flag and help push the stock out for the rest of the rodeo.
The next day we woke up bright and early to attend a pancake breakfast with other visiting royalty followed by the parade and the first performance of the day and second rodeo performance that day.
The Sundre Pro Rodeo committee, Jo Lawes, the Bowhey family, and many others made our weekend in Sundre as amazing as it was!
From here Morrison and I each took a different fork in the rodeo trail and I headed back across the Rockies into beautiful British Columbia for the famous Williams Lake Stampede.
It felt good to be home, seeing old friends and family. What an action-packed weekend, from school presentations, pancake breakfasts, four great rodeo performances, the parade and volunteer dinner. The weekend was over before I could take a breath.
Thank you to the Williams Lake Stampede Association for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Stampede performances and to share my Canadian title with the community of Williams Lake
Jamie Tanis, Sarah Roberts, Lorne Doerkson, the 2010 outgoing royalty Savannah Davies-Laviolette and Nicole Roberts, 2011 Stampede Royalty Davanah Mahon, Alexia Colton and Bobi Bracewell — thank you all for making this a wonderful and welcoming weekend for me. You are the best! Thanks to Sarah for loaning me Butterscotch, Katie and Harvey for lending me Dolly for the parade, grand entry and arena work. Willie, Colleen and Tracy, thank you for allowing me into your turf in the arena.
Just like that the month of June was gone and July had already begun.
After yet one more trip back over the Rockies to my second home Alberta, my next adventure was the Calgary Stampede — “the greatest outdoor show on Earth.”
My seven days in Calgary were filled with many different events; there truly is something for everyone. From pancake breakfasts, barbecues, youth events, meeting other rodeo royalty from all over the world, daily chuck wagon races, rodeo, and grandstand shows to cowboy-up challenge, beef and horse shows, carnivals, and agricultural displays, the action never stopped.
It was great to be able to spend time with our new royalty — Mahon, Colton and Bracewell — on their first road trip. You will have to wait to hear their adventures.
Nothing could have excited me more, though, than when I received a text from my mom saying that Anna Dell was successful in winning the title of Miss Canada International, Congratulations, Anna.
With the end of our time in Calgary and saying goodbye to the Williams Lake Royalty, I headed to my Edmonton host family for a day to repack, do laundry and head off to Teepee Creek, Alta with Morrison.
Next on my list for July are Maple Creek, Sask. and Abbotsford Mighty Fraser rodeo.
To keep up with Morrison and I on our busy rodeo season check out missrodeocanada.ca, become a follower on Twitter, or look us up on Facebook.
Best wishes and happy trails!