Outgoing Williams Lake Stampede Queen Kaylee Billy officially handed over the reins Friday evening as she crowned 2018 Stampede Queen Laurin Hurd.
The crowning was part of the opening ceremonies and grand entry, which saw royalty and the Wild West Riders enter the arena for the Stampede’s second rodeo.
There were several tense minutes during the opening ceremonies because Emilie Nichols, 2018/19 Stampede Princess, was bucked off the horse she was riding.
As she lay motionless and flat on her back on the ground, rodeo officials and first aid attendants rushed to her side, bringing a stretcher.
Suddenly Nichols, while still lying on her back on the ground, raised both of her arms in the air, which caused the crowd to respond with a big cheer.
When she was carried out on the stretcher, rodeo announcer Tyson Pietsch asked the crowd to put their hearts together and say a prayer for the princess.
About 20 minutes later, Pietsch announced that Nichols was fine and directed to the crowd to the platform adjacent to the bull chutes where she was standing, waving.
At the end of the night, she told the Tribune she was going to be OK.
“I just have a lot of bruises,” she said.