Stampede Queen 2016/17
Curl your hair, do your makeup, pick your clothes, get to the rodeo, smile, wave, rinse and repeat.
That is the life of a rodeo queen. Or at least that’s what you picture. That’s what I pictured before being crowned.
This year, however, has taught me so much about myself, the sport of rodeo, and what it actually means to be rodeo royalty.
My year started in the dirt at our hometown rodeo, the 90th Williams Lake Stampede. This was an eyeopener to me.
In a few short weeks I went from a rodeo competitor and spectator to an ambassador and volunteer.
The feeling was amazing! Next I went to the great Calgary Stampede where I had the honour to engage with other amazing rodeo royalty, some of whom will remain long-term friends I’m sure.
On from Calgary I had the opportunity to attend Billy Barker Days in Quesnel, as well as the BCRA Finals to follow in the fall, both owning a special place in my heart as I was able to use my own main mare. Following that it was time to head to the great U.S. for the rodeo in Omak, Washington.
This rodeo, and its suicide hill race, gave me yet again more reason to respect the courage that goes into rodeo.
My next stop on the rodeo road was the Armstrong IPE where I got to spend time with and learn from our amazing 2016 Pro Rodeo Canada Queen Samantha Stokes.
The word “whirlwind” would describe the way I was feeling at that point, being honoured to ride through some of the most spectacular arenas in our nation and visit with some of the greats in the rodeo and ranching industry.
Little did I know that the best was yet to come! Edmonton CFR, wow, that was the experience of a lifetime. CFR, Canadian Finals Rodeo, hosts the best of the best and being able to go with Willie Crosina’s bus tour made it that much more phenomenal.
Throughout all of these rodeos the greatest things I learned were simple. I learned to stop and talk to the children, no matter what I was doing.
They only want a moment of time and it will absolutely thrill them!
I learned that being able to talk to people at rodeos would transfer over into my everyday life and help me so much.
I learned that above all else, the glitter and shine, all of this happened because as a little girl I fell in love with horses and rodeo and that is what I needed to hold onto.
I would like to thank all of those who helped me to get to this moment.
Thank you to Mueller Electric Div 2 Ltd. and Karen and Barry Sokolan, who were my competition sponsors and great friends.
Thank you to Alexis Forseille for making the program possible for me at the time and by extension thank you to Amanda Fuller and Davana Mahon for taking over the program and helping me through my last stretch.
Thank you to Simmone Fowler at Diamond 7 Performance Horses for pushing me when I was dragging my feet and lending me the equipment I needed for some rodeos.
Also I would like to thank all of the incredible sponsors who support and allowed this program to be successful, and helping me reach my goals and dreams as 2016 Williams Lake Stampede Queen.
Most of all thank you to my amazing family without whom I definitely could not have done this.
The countless weekends and hours I was away that they took care of my animals was so vital!
Thank you to my mom. She was with me at almost every event, no matter how far, curling my hair when I was too tired to lift my arm and feeding me when I needed it went a long way.
Thank you and God bless.