Katy Lucas’ first and only blog as MRC
An Early Throwback Thursday for MRC 2015
I ended my last diary entry by remembering the day I nervously met one of my greatest heroes, that hero was Miss Rodeo America 1995 Jennifer (Douglas) Smith. Well, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this year came full circle for me when I got the chance to meet her for a second time, 18 years later.
It was right after the Miss Rodeo America crowning where they celebrated the 60th Anniversary by bringing back their alumni, I hurried through the auditorium to talk to an alumnus that was very special to me. As we stood to take a few photos together I began to well up with emotion over how this special person had influenced my life.
When I met Jennifer Smith as a toddler, I decided I wanted to be a rodeo queen. That was something that would have been life-changing on it’s own, but she inspired much more than my tiara dreams.
After watching Jennifer for so many years doing interviews at the Wrangler National Finals, I decided to attend Lethbridge College’s Communication Arts Program, where I specialized in Broadcast Journalism, and now broadcast at our Canadian Professional Rodeos, still with the hopes of entering the Thomas and Mack someday with a mic in my hand.
Now, I couldn’t explain all this to Jennifer as I choked out the few words I could muster through the tears pouring down my face, but I hope she knows how much meeting her meant to me.
That special moment was one of many I will never forget from the 2014 NFR. I will never forget my first ride into the Thomas and Mack, where the atmosphere seemed almost hazy and I still don’t know if that was from the pyro or my disbelief.
I’ll never forget the kindness shown by the people that put the show together, Angie Burton always made sure the grand entry was nothing but safe and executed precisely, Ashley Baca shared her flag horse “Amos” with me and always knew exactly how many holes the stirrups had to go up, and the crew with the Cowboy Hall of Fame hosted me with open arms every night at the Gold Card room.
I’ll never forget how surreal it was to sit and watch so many passionate girls compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America. Congratulations to former Miss Rodeo Oklahoma, Lauren Heaton, on winning the title! I can’t wait to get to know my “American Counterpart” a little better this year.
The final thing I’ll never forget is the interactions I had with some of the top rodeo athletes in the world. Whether it was being paired up with Steven Peebles, Richmond Champion or Kaleb Driggers during autograph sessions, or having the chance to visit with Fallon Taylor, Matt Shiozowa, or our very own Curtis Cassidy during the buckle presentations each evening, I know what an honour it was to be in the presence of those rodeo greats and appreciated their kindness towards this small town Canadian girl.
I couldn’t possibly name everyone in this diary entry that made the National Finals Rodeo unforgettable but I hope you know who you are!
I’ve got a bit of a break over Christmas time so, until next time, Happy Holidays to everyone!
26th blog: October 31st, 2014
A Final Month to Remember, Nicole’s Final blog as MRC
The month started with the first Grassroots Finals Rodeo in Calgary, Alberta. I had the opportunity of carrying the Canadian flag, chasing out stock and visiting the VIP area.
After the rodeo in Calgary on Saturday my chaperone and I boarded a plane to Australia! Our first destination upon landing was in the beautiful City of Hobart, Tasmania. We toured this fascinating state and took in its gorgeous scenery. We visited the Tasman National Park and the historic Port Arthur (one of Australia’s first prisons established in the 1800’s). In Hobart, we visited the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and had the chance to see many of Australia’s wildlife including kangaroos, koala bears and the Tasmanian devil. We even had the opportunity to feed a few of the 87 kangaroos on site!
Three days later, we made our second stop in Melbourne, Victoria. During my stay in Melbourne we drove the Great Ocean Road, viewed the 12 Apostles and took in the gorgeous scenery along the coast. The City of Ballarat was our next stop. Here we visited Sovereign Hill, an old town created like those in the gold mining days. These historic buildings come with people who portray characters from the past. There was a baker, a blacksmiths and even a doctor! I even had a chance to practice some team roping and breakaway roping at our host home!
From Melbourne we flew into beautiful Port Douglas, Queensland where we had the chance to visit the beach and scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef thanks to Quicksilver Tours and the Hibiscus Resort and Spa! Scuba diving was amazing – we fed fish and were introduced to many of the reefs aquatic life forms.
Surfers Paradise on the beautiful Gold Coast was our next stop. We spent a day in Surfers Paradise walking the beach, shopping and taking in a breathtaking view from “Q1,” one of the tallest buildings that rises seventy seven stories high! Our final night in Surfers Paradise was spent at the Australian Outback Show! We were sponsored by the Outback Show’s corporate partner, the Calgary Stampede. The show portrays the working Australian Outback as well as the story of the famous Australian racehorse, Phar Lap.
Our final destination was the Warwick Pro Rodeo. In Warwick, I spent four days partaking in grand entries, school visits and sponsor visits. A huge thank you to the Warwick Show and Rodeo committee for treating us like gold! I had the opportunity to try “campdrafting”. This event is a unique Australian equine sport that is a mixture of what we call “cutting” and “working cow horse” events. I even got to team rope during the Friday night performance of the rodeo and barrel race during the Saturday night performance!
On our return to Canada, we had the chance to visit the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in Sydney. At a stopover in San Francisco, we visited downtown San Francisco and have lunch on the wharf.
I am now looking forward to the CFR and the 2015 Miss Rodeo Canada pageant in November. As my year comes to a close I have to thank all the sponsors, rodeo committees, host homes, the Miss Rodeo Canada Board of Directors and the CPRA for all of their support and for making my year as Miss Rodeo Canada such a huge success. I will take the memories I’ve made this year and treasure them for a lifetime.
See you down the trail,
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
25th Blog: September 30th, 2014
Where did the summer go?
I have made a lot of stops since the last time I checked in! I attended the Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede alongside the 2013 & 2014 Miss Grande Prairie Stompede and Miss Teepee Creek Stampede! We enjoyed 4 full days of sunshine, fall fair, the parade, rodeo performances and chuckwagons. Following Dawson Creek I had one quick week off where I spent time with family and friends riding in the mountains. It was a nice recharge before heading out to a very wet and muddy Lethbridge Whoop Up Days! Starting with slack, it rained every rodeo performance up until the final bull bucked. I attended multiple breakfasts, BBQ’s and media interviews during Whoop Up Days.
The Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede brought me to the month of September. I rode in the parade, took part in every rodeo performance under the lights, and had a ton of fun with the wonderful people, committee and 4-H’ers at the fair during the day. Directly following Armstrong’s IPE, I was honoured to help present medals at the TransCanada Corp. World Triathlon Finals awards ceremony in Edmonton. There were champions from all around the world!
Not long after I attended the Cattle Round Up in Red Deer. The Round Up is a fundraising event for the Central Alberta Healthcare Foundation. One of the highlights of September was attending the Canadian Country Music Awards Fanfest and Awards Gala here in Edmonton. I had the opportunity to meet some of Canada’s greatest country music artists including Tom Cochrane, Brett Kissel, Dean Brody and Michelle Wright!
Then I travelled to Pendleton, Oregon for the famous Pendleton Round Up. This could be my favourite US rodeo so far! Pendleton is one I have wanted to attend for years and it sure was something seeing the rodeo on the grass! I also had the chance to tour this historic city, seeing the Pendleton Wool Mills, many museums and the underground city. I watched some of the slack and attended two rodeo performances, including the finals.
October is my final month and it shows no signs of slowing down! October kicks off with the Grassroots Finals in Calgary and finishes off with three weeks in the beautiful country of Australia!
We are getting closer to the Canadian Finals Rodeo and the 2015 Miss Rodeo Canada Pageant. I encourage everyone to take a look at our website, www.missrodeocanada.ca, which includes our 5 contestants for this year’s title and the information on all our pageant categories open to the public. Everything will take place in Edmonton!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
24th blog: August 11th, 2014 – Looking Back Over Cowboy Christmas
The Ponoka Stampede marked the beginning of the very busy July stretch of CPRA Rodeos! Throughout the week I attended five rodeo and chuckwagon performances, took in the Jace Harty Memorial Bull Riding, attended multiple pancake breakfast and BBQ’s and ran a steer down the long score with Miss Ponoka Stampede, Katy Lucas, during the team roping on the Sunday afternoon!
My entire week wasn’t spent just in Ponoka! I made the drive down to my “home” rodeo, Airdrie, to take in two of their rodeo performances. I was great to be back at the rodeo I represented at the Miss Rodeo Canada pageant!
Right after Ponoka, I was off to the Calgary Stampede! The week began with greeting international arrivals at the Calgary Airport, followed by the LaDue Ladies Lunch and the University of Alberta Stampede Alumni Reception. I joined 23 queens from across Canada, the United States and Australia for the visiting royalty program at the Calgary Stampede. We were introduced on stage at the chuckwagons, rodeo and at pancake breakfasts. Myself, Miss Rodeo Illinois, Washington and Iowa even had a chance to spend the day in the mountains, visiting Banff and Lake Louise!
The Teepee Creek Stampede was the next stop on the schedule. I spent four days at the pro rodeo and chuckwagons. Again, I was able to run two steers in the team roping, switching ends from Ponoka and headed, and again had clean runs both times. Maple Creek Saskatchewan marked the next stop for the Cowtown Pro Rodeo.
The busy July stretch didn’t end there. One day after Maple Creek, I was off to the Daddy of em all, Cheyenne Frontier Days! I spent five days attending the rodeo, night shows, sponsor dinners and even had the chance to do a fly by in front of the stands during the a performance! The moment my plane hit the ground in Calgary I was on the road and off to the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede. I spent the first two days with visiting royalty from across Alberta and Saskatchewan, attended pancake breakfasts, BBQ’s and two rodeo performances.
I drove all night following the Friday evening performance in Medicine Hat to arrive in Bonnyville for the Bonnyville Pro Rodeo and Chuckwagons Saturday morning. High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo July 29 & 30 lead me right into the start of August and the Strathmore Stampede! I took in a wonderful rodeo performance, the running of the bulls and the chuckwagons! My last stop was the Big Valley Jamboree where I was invited by our wonderful sponsor Cowan Graphics/Welshes Saddlery to take in the Bulls for Breakfast and watch the headlining acts, Kip Moore and Miranda Lambert from their VIP tent.
August is still going strong with the Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede, Lethbridge Whoop Up Days and the Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition as my next few stops!
Miss Rodeo Canada
23rd blog: June 29th, 2014 – Cowboy Christmas with Miss Rodeo Canada
June has been a great month so far and I know it is only going to get better! After stops in Grande Prairie and Leduc, I was off to Brooks for the Kinsmen Pro Rodeo. I spent June 6 & 7 in Southern Alberta taking in two rodeo performances, slack, a parade and the Little Britches Rodeo. During the Brooks Rodeo, I was accompanied by Miss Rodeo Airdrie, Pincher Creek, Hanna, Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat and Taber! We braved the cold and rain at the parade Saturday morning. We also made a quick stop along the parade route for coffees at Tim Horton’s – they were quite shocked to see a few horses at the drive-thru window! We were blessed after the parade finished as the clouds moved on and the sun started shining! That afternoon we attended the Little Britches Rodeo. We helped out with the many events they held for the kids including a calf scramble, mutton busting, barrel racing and a greased pig competition. Once the rodeo was over, the visiting royalty participated in an ad-hoc greased pig competition. I’m proud to say after a fast, wild chase I manage to capture a pig!
The weekend after Brooks, I attended the 54th Annual Daines Ranch Pro Rodeo in Innisfail. It was no surprise that the skies opened up and it rained before the first performance on the Friday night which made it a muddy crowd pleaser! I attended all four performances. I took part in the Innisfail Rotary Rodeo Parade Saturday morning and had the honour of carrying the Canadian Flag behind our RCMP during both grand entries. Although we had rain the Friday night, the other performances were filled with sunshine! I would like to thank Jack Daines and the Daines family for inviting me to their wonderful rodeo!
I also enjoyed the Sundre Pro Rodeo from June 20-22nd. I arrived Friday afternoon and spent the day with the 2014 Sundre Rodeo Royalty contestants before they announced their new Miss Rodeo Sundre Queen that evening. Congratulations to the new 2014 Miss Rodeo Sundre, Desirae Jackson, and Sundre Rodeo Princess, Jessica Craig. It was wonderful spending time with all these wonderful young ladies. We attended an ATB Financial BBQ and visited with the residents at the Sundre Seniors Home. We also attended the pancake breakfast and parade on Saturday morning and had a great time (and sunshine) for all the performances!
June is flying by! I will be attending the Ponoka Stampede until the beginning of July. The next couple of weeks also include the Airdrie Pro Rodeo, Calgary Stampede and Teepee Creek Stampede.
22nd blog: June 5th, 2014 On the Road Again
It has been a very busy last two weeks! Since my last entry, I have only had four days off! The summer stretch began May 21st with the 790 CFCW Listener Appreciation Concert held at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. CFCW has been a major sponsor of Miss Rodeo Canada since 1975. They graciously allowed us to hold our annual Miss Rodeo Canada Silent Auction during their event to help raise money for the organization. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and introduce Brett Kissel on stage as well watch the majority of the concert from backstage! Following the concert I was able to meet many of the CFCW listeners as well as Gord Bamford, High Valley and the Boom Chucka Boys!
The next day we were off to the 1st Annual Miss Rodeo Canada Pageant Seminar, put on by Kirsten Braumandl, Gillian Shields and other past MRC Alumni. We had seven ladies take part in the three day seminar covering all aspects of a rodeo royalty pageant. We were fortunate enough to have Brandon Thome from Prairie Therapy and a member of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team, Ted Stovin (discussing animal welfare, media and hat shaping/building/care), Justine Gardner (skin care and makeup) and Sara Rutley from Energy Equine (discussing horse wellness and anatomy). Of course many members of our Miss Rodeo Canada Alumni were on hand to speak on various pageant categories – their experience was invaluable as they presented to our seven attendees on various aspects of a queen competition. The history and knowledge presented by these keynote speakers made for an amazing seminar!
The very next day I was packed and ready to attend my first CPRA stop of the year — the Grande Prairie Stompede! I was able to spend three days in Grande Prairie alongside, Miss Grande Prairie Stompede, Miss Rodeo Airdrie and the two contestants competing for the new Grande Prairie Stompede title! I had the honour of attending the Bust-Out BBQ to kick off Stompede, the parade, many breakfasts, barbeques, school visits and radio interviews. Amongst the rodeo activities, I was able to attend the entire Miss Grande Prairie Stompede Pageant and had the opportunity to watch the horsemanship, emcee the fashion show and judge the personal interview portion of the pageant. Thank you to my Grande Prairie hosts for a wonderful time!
Following the Thursday night performance of the Grande Prairie Stompede, I was back on the road heading to the Leduc Black Gold Rodeo for Friday morning activities! I started the Leduc Rodeo by attending the Leduc Rodeo of Smiles. There were over 150 special needs kids in attendance and we all had an amazing time. It was great to be a part of such an event. Leduc went by very fast! I had the honour of carrying the Canadian Flag before each rodeo’s performance, helped carry sponsors flags with the amazing Leduc Black Gold Riders, and chased out stock.
June looks to be a very busy month as well! My next stops include Brooks, Innisfail, Sundre, Ponoka and Airdrie!
I hope to see you on the trail!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
21st blog: May 23rd, 2014 From Guthrie to Grande Prairie with Miss Rodeo Canada
During April 8-13, I had the opportunity to travel to Oklahoma for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR) with 18 state queens and Miss Rodeo America. While in Oklahoma we were able to visit the Express Ranches Clydesdale Barn and the Oklahoma State Capitol where we were introduced in front of the Senate and the House of Representatives. We also had a tour of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and of Guthrie, OK. Oklahoma has some wonderful sites and I made some wonderful friendships!
One of the highlights of the trip to the RNCFR was the Shotgun Sporting Clay Shootout at the Oklahoma City Gun Club! We were placed in teams consisting of two RNCFR contestants and two queens. Although our team didn’t come out on top, we had a great time and shot a total of 63 clays out of 100.
The RNCFR ran April 10-12 and consisted of a total of five performances. I attended all performances and helped carry Circuit and Sponsor flags during each rodeo. Before each performance we signed autographs, greeted guests and helped out in the fan zone.
Following Oklahoma, my next event was an autograph signing at our sponsor, the Alberta Equestrian Federation, booth at Mane Event held in Red Deer. I was then off to Lethbridge for their Annual Aggie Days. I spent two days signing autographs and meeting many elementary students who attended to learn more about the agriculture industry.
The latest stop was a visit at our sponsor hotel, the Chateau Lacombe, in Edmonton. Later that afternoon, I made a stop at the Stollery Children’s Hospital to visit and play with some of the patients. I spent the afternoon playing with many of the kids as well as reading them a story at “the beach.” I also made a few stops to visit some of the kids who were unable to leave their rooms.
May now marks the beginning of what will be a very busy summer! The next couple stops include the Miss Rodeo Canada Pageant Seminar taking place in Airdrie, followed by the Lethbridge Whoop Up Days Media Scrum and my first two CPRA stops; the Leduc Black Gold Rodeo and Grande Prairie Stompede.
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
20th blog: April 3rd, 2014 Florida – Arizona – Alberta – Oklahoma
The last time I checked in I was sitting by the pool in Sunny Florida! It has been a busy month of March since then, completely filled with rodeo! After Florida, I flew straight to Arizona where I attended Parada del Sol in Scottsdale.
There were quite a few Canadian friends in Scottsdale and it was a pleasure to see so many familiar faces in and out of the arena. I spent five days with Anne Lamers in Phoenix, soaking up as much sunshine as I could get before heading back home to Alberta.
I landed in Edmonton March 1st and was welcomed back to Canada with a bone chilling temperature of -44C. I spent the majority of March attending the final Canadian College Rodeos of the season competing and trying to make the Canadian College Finals in Edmonton at the end of the month.
The hard work throughout the season paid off and I qualified in the team roping, goat tying and breakaway roping at the Canadian College Finals Rodeo (CCFR) in Edmonton, Alberta, March 27-29th. I also had the opportunity to carry the Canadian Flag as Miss Rodeo Canada during the opening ceremonies each night. It was a busy weekend juggling Miss Rodeo Canada events at the Farm and Ranch show, CIRA President duties and competing in three events!
I am excited for the next trip on my journey as Miss Rodeo Canada! Next week, I will be on a plane back to the United States for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
19th blog: February 26th, 2014: Cheering on Canada from Florida
This is my last day here in Sunny Florida and this has been another amazing trip! Again this year we broke the record number of visiting rodeo royalty at the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee!
I had the opportunity to meet and become friends with 23 wonderful ladies from across the United States. For the past week I have been taking in all Florida has to offer with Miss Rodeo America and the State Queens. We were busy doing school visits, signing autographs, riding, and visiting sponsors at the rodeo.
This trip wasn’t all business though. We all had the chance to experience air boating, hog hunting, zip lining, rock climbing, and have some close encounters with the Florida wildlife. A full day was spent at Cocoa Beach laying in the sand and taking in the beautiful sights of the ocean! I even had the chance to eat some of the Florida delicacies including catfish and alligator! We lucked out and had perfect weather the entire trip.
Since this trip was during the Olympics, I introduced most of the state queens to the dedication Canadian’s have to the sport of hockey during the gold medal run for both the men’s and women’s teams. Even in Florida I sported my Canadian mittens and cheered on Team Canada! I have to give a special thank-you to the Kessler family for organizing this amazing trip, for being a great host family and giving us memories to last a lifetime!
My journey in Florida may be ending today but I will be catching a plane to Phoenix, Arizona to begin a new one! I will be spending the next few days at Parada del Sol in Scottsdale before returning back to the Great White North!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
18th blog: February 17th, 2014: Florida Bound
The month of February has already been a great one and it’s only going to get better! I started the month off with a busy weekend. It began bright and early in Airdrie at Bluegrass Nurseries for Groundhog Day. I joined Miss Rodeo Airdrie as we watched Balzac Billy wake up and predict an early spring!
Right after the Groundhog Day event in Airdrie I was headed north to Red Deer. Four Miss Rodeo Canada Alumni and I took part in the With This Ring… Bridal Gala, modelling the latest in bridesmaids and wedding dresses! I had an amazing time taking part in the two fashions shows.
The following week I was off to Edmonton for the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies Convention. During the afternoon, Miss Rodeo Airdrie and I took in the trade show and the many booths, including interacting with some reptiles. That evening I had the opportunity to meet Premier Alison Redford, the Minister of Agriculture, Verlyn Olson, and many other government dignitaries.
Next stop: Kissimmee, Florida for the Silver Spurs Rodeo!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
17th blog: January 29th, 2014: Bringing in the New Year
We are now into the New Year and gearing up for the new season, which happens to be just around the corner! During this month, I spent two days volunteering at the Stollery Children’s Hospital Radiothon in Edmonton.
During these two days, I took the time to answer phone calls from people donating money to help purchase much needed equipment for the hospital. Over the course of two days, the radiothon raised over $1.4 million dollars! It was great to be a part of an event raising money for a great cause.
Upon the completion of the radiothon, I had a chance to spend some time with a couple little girls who had spent much of their life in the hospital and have now been able to return home. It was great being able to answer a bunch of questions they had, take a couple pictures and sign some autographs.
Although January has been slow, February is looking to be a great start to the 2014 year. After completion of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, I am preparing for my next adventure which is representing Canada at the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida. The Silver Spurs Rodeo takes place February 21-23 and it is the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi.
Until Florida, I will be keeping busy attending a few community events throughout Alberta and by spending some time roping at a few local jackpots.
All the Best,
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
16th blog, Second blog for Nicole Briggs – January 6th, 2014: The Most Amazing Feeling – Representing Canada at the NFR
December marked my first official appearance as Miss Rodeo Canada at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada! I arrived in Las Vegas on December 3rd and my journey began the moment we arrived. The first day consisted of getting settled at the hotel, picking up and naming our rental car (“Jenny”), Grand Entry rehearsal at the Thomas & Mack Center, and attending the Miss Rodeo America Cowgirl Kickoff Party!
During my time in Vegas I was able to attend all of the Miss Rodeo America pageant events including public speaking, the fashion show, horsemanship, impromptus and the coronation. This is something I have wanted to watch for many years and to be able to take it all in was amazing!
Each day in Vegas was filled with autograph signings at each of the western trade shows for our sponsors Wrangler and Roper, Stetson, Tin Haul. Not only did I get to meet people from all over the world at the autograph signings, I even had the chance to sign alongside many of the contestants of the WNFR.
Before each performance of the WNFR, I had the opportunity to spend time and assist at the Gold Card Room. I met and talked with many interesting individuals who have had a hand in helping the sport of rodeo grow to the great sport it has become.
Following the Gold Card room I would head to Thomas & Mack Arena for the WNFR grand entry. Hearing my name called as Miss Rodeo Canada and riding into the arena was the most amazing feeling! It was an honour to participate in the grand entry while representing Canada at one of the most prestigious rodeos in the world!
I wrapped up each evening’s rodeo by helping present buckles during the Montana Silversmiths Buckle Presentation ceremony for the go-round winners. I was able to personally spend time with Chenae Shiner, Miss Rodeo America 2013, and the newly crowned Miss Rodeo America 2014, Paige Nicholson, during these presentations.
Some of the other events I had the chance to attend were the Bob Tallman Charity Bowling Tournament where I tried my hand at ten pin bowling and actually witnessed one of our teammates bowl a perfect game! My game was not as pretty!
During my Las Vegas stay, I was interviewed by many radio and rodeo personalities, including Will Rasmussen on the stage at the Cox Pavilion before the rodeo on Canada night. To end my stay, I finally rode the roller coaster at New York, New York! After twelve days in Vegas I arrived back home in Alberta.
Being able to be a part of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was a dream come true. I was able to experience so much and I met so many wonderful people! 2013 sure was a year to remember and I cannot wait to see what 2014 has in store.
Wishing everyone all the best in 2014,
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
15th blog: November 30th, 2013 first for Miss Rodeo Canada 2014, Nicole Briggs
My name is Nicole Briggs and I am honoured to be able to represent Canadian Professional Rodeo as the newly crowned Miss Rodeo Canada 2014.
We began the pageant on November 5th and were hosted by the wonderful Chateau Lacombe Hotel. During the next few days we competed in a public speaking competition, personal interview, written test, horsemanship and a fashion show.
This was the first year in which our modelling competition was part of the Ladies of Canadian Professional Rodeo fashion show. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of this event. I had a week I will never forget with a wonderful young lady, Miss Rodeo Sundre, Bronwen Bowhay.
This year was also special as this was the first year in which all three national queens were together in Canada. I was able to spend time with Miss Rodeo Canada 2013, Gillian Shields, Miss Rodeo Australia, Mallory Doyle and Miss Rodeo America, Chenae Shiner. Hearing my name called as the new Miss Rodeo Canada 2014 was an unbelievable feeling. I remember thinking to myself “Is this real?”
Having the opportunity to hold this title is a dream come true and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends, community and committee. Thank-you! A special thank-you to the Miss Rodeo Canada board and to all the Miss Rodeo Canada sponsors. Without them, none of this would be possible!
My first week as the newly crowned Miss Rodeo Canada was filled with media interviews. During this week I was hosted in studio at 93.1 The One, Leduc’s country music station. I spent the afternoon being interviewed by the drive home host Andy Captain as he asked about the competition and what my year will bring. I was also invited to help present awards at the Sturgeon 4-H District Awards night. This really meant a lot to me as I spent 10 years in the Sturgeon District as a light horse member and now as a 4-H leader. I had the honour of helping induct 16 past 4-H leaders in to the Sturgeon District 4-H Wall of Fame and presenting the 4-H Awards of Excellence to the members. 4-H is such a great program and is extremely rewarding. I am very lucky to continue to be involved and help the youth of our society.
The following week I made a trip down to one of our great sponsors, Smithbilt Hats. Here I received my two new beautiful 100x hats! I am excited to be taking these with me and wearing them proudly in Las Vegas, Nevada for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. That evening I attended ‘Twas the Night at the TD Square in Downtown Calgary. I spent the evening modelling clothing and accessories from Chichi Couture, clothing and accessories found in Smithbilt Hats new downtown store. I spent the evening with five other wonderful ladies in a flash mob style fashion show through the mall. I would like to thank Smithbilt for inviting me to such a unique event!
Next stop is the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada where I look forward to representing Canada and the CPRA!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2014
14th blog: October 31st, 2013 “Australia with Miss Rodeo Canada”
First off we landed in Auckland, New Zealand. Exploring black sand beaches, glow worm caves and getting to know the native Maori cultural traditions were breathtaking. One dare I did the really took my breath away, was bungee jumping off the Auckland bridge! Something that was completely out of my character, but so glad and proud that I did it! I would like to send my sincere gratitude to Dixie Rawlinson for hosting Sharon Koke and I, and showing us around.
Next we flew into Sydney, Australia, where we took in the harbour life and enjoyed the main sights: The Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Sydney Opera House, and Darling Harbour. Next we flew to Cairns, and were hosted in Port Douglas by the Port Douglas Tourism manager, Doug Ryan. Sharon and I were able to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. I have never seen such diverse wildlife. I was completely over taken by the reef’s beauty.Thank you to Quicksilver tours for hosting us that day! We even got to do the typical thing you should do in Australia, see Kangaroos and Koalas! I was able to hold a Koala and feed Kangroos all morning. Just the few perks of being royalty. Thank you to Doug for making sure we got the best of Port Douglas!
Adelaide was our next stop. We were picked up by the South
Australia Festival State Rodeo Circuit Committee. They welcomed us with open arms and really made sure we enjoyed our stay in Marrabel. The Marrabel Rodeo was definitely a different Rodeo experience. It was an easy going atmosphere with the enthusiastic crowd that all Rodeos are know to capture. I was honoured to carry the Canadian flag in the Grande Entry, and sing our national anthem on horseback! The exhibition grounds even had a little museum and a life size statue of the famous horse Curio. Curio was a famous bucking horse from the early days of Rodeo in Australia, and is the trademark of the Marrabel Rodeo. It was a great day that I will never forget.
The Miss Rodeo Australia pageant was next on our agenda. We headed to Ballarat and were hosted by the Southern Cross Rodeo Circuit Committee in the home of Teresa Jones and Bruce Marsh. Caitlyn McPhee a former Miss Rodeo Australia also spent the week with us and showed us around the area. This included taking a day down the Great Ocean Road and going to the Ballarat Thoroughbred races. Mallory Doyle was crowned the 2014 Miss Rodeo Australia! I even had the honour of crowning her, which was very cool. Thank you so much to the Southern Cross Rodeo Circuit for hosting us!
Our last days in the land down under were spent in Melbourne, Australia. It was an amazing city known for it’s art and coffee. We said our goodbyes and headed home! Now it’s time for the CFR madness to begin, as we search for Miss Rodeo Canada 2014 and I finish my amazing year!
13th blog: September 24th, 2013 “Australia Bound!”
Looking back on the summer of 2013, I am so lucky to have travelled and met many exceptional individuals. I still have not slowed down and have been staying busy this fall. I was able to change things up from Rodeo, and was hosted at the World Professional Chuck Association Finals in Rocky Mountain House the third week in August. There I even had my try at Wild Pony Racing! Definitely an experience I’ll never forget, and I think the crowd enjoyed it too. A huge Thanks to the WPCA for allowing me and the sport of Rodeo to be a part of their finals. That weekend I also was extremely honoured to be at my hometown Rodeo of Didsbury. I was able to ride in the parade and visit with all of those who supported me. Very neat to be there.
Next I headed to Whoop Up Days in Lethbridge. I have gotten to know this committee throughout this year, and they have treated me so outstanding. I am definitely going to cherish my time with them and will be back to visit! I travelled over to beautiful British Columbia for the Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition. This was my last CPRA Rodeo as Miss Rodeo Canada. Very bitter sweet to finish in Armstrong. The fair had amazing world class food and there were some many events and festivities going on around the fair. The night Rodeo was a blast to be apart of. The crowd was sensational and the bright lights at night made it extra neat. I want to extend my gratitude to the committee and my awesome host family, Doug and Kristine Henry for the amazing experience.
Let ‘er Buck! Before I knew it I was in the state of Oregon for the famous Pendleton Round Up! A few PRCA State Queens and I had the chance to explore the beautiful state. We we able to meet the Governor, see the coast, tour the Pendleton Underground, go boating, and of course the Rodeo! This Rodeo was so neat. The entire atmosphere of the entire exhibition was phenomenal. Watching it all take place on that grass football field was so different than anything I have ever seen! I especially enjoyed the Ladies Barrel Racing, watching girls run an average of 29 seconds. A huge thank you to the Miss Rodeo Oregon board for hosting me during this amazing week!
I had the privilege of helping out with the Hell or High Water Rodeo held in Millarville this past weekend. It was nice to see some familiar faces before we all start gearing up for CFR, and help those affected by the flood. This just goes to show the the Rodeo community is not only there for each other, but anyone that can use a helping hand.
Today I am in store for a long flight. Off to the land down under, Australia!
12th blog: August 21st, 2013 “No Slowing Down Yet”
I am still busy as ever as your Miss Rodeo Canada 2013! The summer has yet to slow down and I am still loving every minute.
A couple weeks ago I was brought back to where my Rodeo Royalty adventure began. The Carstairs Rodeo. It was very special for me to be there and catch up with all those who have supported me. Miss Katy Lucas, a fellow Carstairs alumni, was able to be there and crown the new royalty with myself. Hoping to see these girls in the near future running for more titles.
The ‘Daddy of em all’ was my next stop. The Cheyenne Frontier days was an unforgettable experience. I had the pleasure of being hosted by Arlene Kensinger, an inspiration to all women in the western way of life. She is in six different hall of fames, and has been involved with the Cheyenne Frontier Days since 1931! After losing her leg in a water skiing accident, I was amazed at her strong will to continue to be involved in the Rodeo community. Her entire basement was it’s own museum itself. Pictures, outfits, saddles, you name it she had everything there. She gave me some of the best advice, “ You need to remember three things to be successful in life: 1) You need discipline 2) You must love what you do 3) You need to have fun too. And you must do it in that order.” I was very honoured to spend the time I did with Arlene, she is truly a living legend.
After flying in from Cheyenne, I repacked and headed to the Medicine Hat Stampede and Exhibition. I had a fabulous time with a fantastic committee and had the chance to spend some time with the new royalty. This committee treated me so well and were a blast to be around. Always in good humor.
The next day I was very honoured to be apart of the centennial celebration of the Bruce Stampede. I got to lead the parade that morning, and be apart of the longest one day Pro Rodeo in Canada. Congratulations to the Bruce Stampede on 100 years.
The way I would describe the Strathmore Stampede would be a Rodeo Family Reunion. I loved spending time with everyone there and had a ton of fun. A year ago I had the opportunity to work with this committee so it was very cool to be back as MRC. Running with the Bulls is always great entertainment, and I even played on stage with TC & Company. Can’t wait to go back next year!
I then headed south across the border to Omak, Washington for the Omak Stampede. They had a royalty record at hosting 48 girls. There was one little girl who was also there, and I will never forget her. Her name is Maddie, she is a cancer survivor, just reaching remission and has battled cancer since she was ten months old. Today Maddie is five, and having cancer basically her entire life has made her have to grow up a whole lot. I was lucky enough to have her grabbing my hand and taking me where she pleased. Her Grandma told me that Maddie doesn’t let just anybody get in her personal space. Until that day Maddie had refused to be near any horse. Maddie got on her very first horse with me! My heart sank every time that little girl came running to me and seeing her smile. That is a moment I will treasure my entire lifetime. Maddie is one of those little girls that will teach you so much about yourself and life. So glad I met her.
Miss Rodeo Canada 2013
11th blog: July 18th, 2013 “Hats off to Cowboy Christmas”
It has been a solid month of non stop rodeoing for this Miss Rodeo Canada. Looking back at my last blog, I cannot believe I left off at the very beginning of what has been a phenomenal summer!
The Brooks Kinsmen Pro Rodeo provided a ton of fun. Not only did I see some CPRA action that weekend, but I also got to take part in the Little Britches Rodeo too. There is nothing better than watching the next generation of Cowboys and Cowgirls get down in the dirt.Whether it was catching chickens with a butterfly net or scoring high in the mutton busting, those smiles were absolutely priceless. Thanks to the Brooks Kinsmen for putting on a great Rodeo.
The Daines Ranch Pro Rodeo is where is spent the following week. It was a beautiful week, not as much rain as usually predicted for this particular Rodeo. I was joined by Shelby Simmonds, Miss Ponoka Stampede. I truly felt like I was with family that weekend. Heading to the Daines family campsite for homemade meals and marshmellows after every performance, was the highlight of the week. Sitting around that fire Cheryl Daines, an MRC alumni, shared many fond memories of her year with me, and Dave Poulsen roasted me some top of the line marshmellows. Can it get any better than that? I also received a gorgeous buckle donated by Duane Parsonage. Duane donates a buckle every year in memory of his father. I was overwhelmed and very honoured to have received this. Thank you to the Daines family for being my family for the week!
Once again, I had the pleasure to spend the week with the beautiful Shelby Simmonds at the Ponoka Stampede! I wish to extend a big thank you to the Ponoka Stampede for treating me like a million dollars and being a treat to work with. Being able to carry the Canadian flag at the biggest Pro Rodeo in Canada was a dream come true. There is nothing like watching the drill team flat out and then hearing the herd come down the track. It was that part of the performance where I would feel so proud to be apart of this sport and family that makes this all happen.
The Airdrie Pro Rodeo also kicked off during the Canada day weekend. This kept me fairly busy driving back and forth to make both Rodeo performances in Ponoka and Airdrie. I was truly honoured to be at the very Rodeo I represented running for Miss Rodeo Canada, which felt like going home again. It was hard to believe that one year ago I was passing my Airdrie crown over and saying my farewell to my committee. It was bitter sweet to be back. Congrats to Nicole Briggs and Samantha Bilsborrow on a job well done! Thank you to the Airdrie Rodeo Ranch Association for welcoming me back to my home grounds!
Hell or High Water the Calgary Stampede continued! I had a great time at the Calgary Stampede Parade and Rodeo. It was absolutely heart warming to watch Southern Alberta come together to ensure the production of the ten day event. The amazing spirit evoked by this tragedy has truly solidified the Calgary Stampede’s reputation as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
Recently I just returned from 4 days in the wild! My first time ever experiencing the Teepee Creek Stampede was one I will never forget. Not only was I apart of the Rodeo, but I had the opportunity to take on the stage with my fiddle! I wish I could do it all again. My favorite part about the Teepee Creek Stampede is that almost everyone was at the pancake breakfast because that was the only place to get it! A great crowd and a great committee! Thanks to the Teepee Creek Stampede for a great weekend!
Next stop the ‘Daddy of ‘em All’ Cheyenne Frontier Days!
Miss Rodeo Canada
2013 Gillian Shields
Tenth blog: June 6th, 2013 “Here We Go!”
Well, it’s official! I am in full swing for the 2013 CPRA Rodeo Season! It has been great being able to meet and get to know all sorts of individuals. I am living my dream! I started my busy streak with the 790 CFCW Listener Appreciation night. I was able to meet Joe Diffie and Mark Chesnutt and listen to their fabulous entertainment. The silent auction proceeds also went to Miss Rodeo Canada. Thank you so much 790 CFCW for your on going support of Miss Rodeo Canada!
The next day I hopped on a little 12 seater plane and flew south to Lethbridge for their media release party. The Lethbridge Whoop Up Days Exhibition committee is such a great group of people. I am looking forward to being there this August.
Bonnyville was my next stop, and my first CPRA Rodeo of the season. I had the pleasure of getting to know some wonderful young women in the BPRCA Rodeo royalty pageant. Visiting schools, sponsor visits, and of course the Rodeo kept us all very busy throughout the week. Congratulations to the new BPRCA Queen and Princess, and Amanda Griemann on a great year as the 2012 Queen! Thank you to the BPRCA committee for hosting me at their Rodeo!
I had a special guest fly all the way from Denver, Colorado to join me for the Leduc Black Gold Days Rodeo. Miss Sarah Weins, Miss Rodeo Colorado 2013, blessed us with her presence this past weekend. I had so much fun with her, and I know all of you who had the opportunity to meet her would agree that she is an amazing ambassador. Actually making Rodeo history, Sarah is the first PRCA state queen to ever attend a CPRA Rodeo. A huge Thank you to the Leduc Black Gold Rodeo and Exhibition for their amazing hospitality and allowing Sarah to come up and join me!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2013
Ninth blog: May 22nd, 2013
It seems that the more I get to be involved as Miss Rodeo Canada, the more and more I fall in love with this amazing sport, and the people that make it all happen. First off, I would like to thank Bryan Mandeville for inviting me to help out at his benefit that took place at the Ranchmans on May 3rd. I was overwhelmed with the support that was given to him during his benefit. Bryan is one of those individuals that make this sport such a blessing to be around. I am truly inspired by his determination, and his kindness to all whom he comes across. He has contributed so much to our sport, and to be able to see everyone come together to contribute to his road to recovery and health, was truly amazing. I wish him all the best in his journey, as do all of us.
Another great individual who has given so much to the Miss Rodeo Canada program is Jim Nevada. Jim presented us with a cheque of $5,000.00, which was raised during the Roper Warehouse Sale on April 6th. Jim and his wonderful ladies at Roper have always treated me and past MRC alumni so well. Thanks Jim for being apart of MRC, and making my year so wonderful.
The last person I would like to recognize is Dwayne Erickson. I send my condolences to his friends, family, and all that knew him and loved his writing. I had the chance to really get to know Dwayne when I worked at last year’s Strathmore Stampede. I can truly say he was very much a man who loved his work. I am very glad I had the opportunity of getting to know him. His writing will always be remembered and never forgotten.
Tonight I am off to the 790 CFCW listener appreciation night. 790 CFCW are the very founders of Miss Rodeo Canada, and have been with us since day one. The busy Rodeo season has already begun! My next Rodeo is Bonnyville! Cannot wait to see you all around.
Miss Rodeo Canada 2013
Eighth blog: April 26th, 2013
I am so glad it is starting to warm up and snow is starting to disappear. This of course means I am getting busier and busier. For the first time ever Miss Rodeo Canada attended the World Professional Chuck Wagon Association Canvas Auction. Vold Jones Vold provided auctioneer services and I escorted the drivers on stage. I had a great time getting to know everyone, and am looking forward to attending future WPCA events!
The Miss Rodeo Sundre Fashion show was a great hit! I got to show off my modelling and dancing skills along with the Sundre Rodeo Royalty. We were able to model some great apparel during the show: Roper, Stetson, Tin Haul, Deltaz Girlz and Ulla la Boutique. Thank you to Tim Edge for being our MC and to Jo Lawes for putting together a great show!
Today I flew back from my adventure in Beautiful British Columbia. The Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo is the second largest BCRA rodeo. Along with Mr. Dennis Halstead and Mr. Brett Gardiner, I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with an amazing committee. I also had the privilege of spending time with some BC Rodeo Royalty, including the Williams Lake Stampede Royalty. I had a great time in the Williams Lake community entertaining seniors, visiting schools, and meeting some awesome Rodeo fans. I would like to thank Sharon MacDonald for making this visit possible, The Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Committee for their fantastic hospitality, and the Everett family for lending me their awesome horse Doc!
Along the way I had was able to witness where one of my sponsors makes some of my custom made outfits. Ann and Sherri Belcham live in Ashcroft, BC. They have sponsored many shirts and have also crafted all of my dresses. It was so great to visit and see where the magic happens.
Today I hopped off my plane and jumped into my RAM 1500, and made my way to Lethbridge, AB. I am now here for their Aggie Days. Kids are definitely a major source for my entertainment this year. I am excited to meet even more tomorrow and here what they have been learning about in the agricultural world!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2013, Gillian Shields
Seventh blog: April 8th, 2013
Things have yet to slow down for me this spring. I have had a great last couple weeks spending time in the mountains, playing music, and sharing my love of Rodeo!
My first event back home was visiting the Trochu Valley Elementary School. I had so much fun educating over 200 students on our western values and the sport of Rodeo. The kids had their try at roping, chair Bull Riding and even a little Barrel Racing! I have to say that school visits are one of my favorite things I get to do! That same day I headed south for the GMC Rangeland Derby Tarp Auction. I had the chance to catch up with some familiar faces and finally got to meet the Calgary Stampede Royal Trio and Indian Princess.
Lake Louise was my next stop, for the first ever Twisted Tea Ski Louise Stampede presented by Ranchman’s. This was a very eventful day, watching some Cowboys and Cowgirls having their go at “Bucking the Mountain”. The Hanna Pro Rodeo Queen and Miss Strathmore Stampede and I had our own fun getting to do some snow tubing. A big thanks to Lake Louise, Ted Stovin, and the CPRA for putting on an amazing day and awards banquet. I really enjoyed seeing everyone in a different element on the slopes.
The following week also turned up being busy. I had the privilege of playing some music for some seniors in Unit 4 at the Didsbury Hospital. They are no doubt one of my favorite audiences to play for. My day was made and I hope I made some of their days too.
I then headed back to a familiar place. Northlands Park in Edmonton for the Canadian National College Finals Rodeo. I carried our beautiful flag to the anthem and carried flags throughout the night. A special thanks to Nicole Briggs the CIRA president, and Northlands Park.
The Roper Stetson Warehouse held the first ever Miss Rodeo Canada Warehouse Sale. Opening it’s doors up for some lucky shoppers, the warehouse was packed with the proceeds going to the Miss Rodeo Canada program. I cannot thank Jim Nevada, Dana Kuzik, Casey Lamoine, Mary Brooks, and, Jeannette Palmer enough for making this possible. I am still so lucky to have the community of Airdrie behind me. I am so blessed to know and have all these people in my life. I have to also give a shout out to my wonderful Miss Rodeo Canada Board, and all the royalty who came out and helped out for the evening.
Next week I am heading to Beautiful British Columbia for the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo!
Miss Rodeo Canada
2013 Gillian Shields
Sixth blog: March 18th, 2013
After traveling for an entire month in the Southern United States, I have finally made it home! I had such a great time in Florida and Arizona representing the CPRA, and Canada. It was so great to be able to see some fellow Canadians compete, and enjoy some sunshine too!
After saying goodbye to beautiful Florida, I landed in sunny Arizona. I was able to spend three weeks with the beautiful Jayme Smith, Miss Rodeo Arizona 2012. I attended three different Rodeos: Tuscon’s La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, Scottsdale ‘s Parada del sol, and Queen Creek’s Roots and Boots. We also worked alongside the Arizona Agriculture Bureau with some school presentations. Being able to teach children about agriculture, Rodeo, and Canada was an absolute blast. I met so many amazing people, and made some life long friends.The Rodeo Family I gained in Arizona were so much fun to be around and work with, and I am already missing them dearly.
Since Arizona is home to so many Canadians in the winter time, I felt quite at home too. I was running into everyone I knew, even my next door neighbors! I want to Thank the Miss Rodeo Arizona Committee for being so accommodating to Miss Rodeo Canada these past couple weeks. I am very excited about the new relationship we have built, and looking forward to seeing everyone again.
Already feeling like a seasoned Rodeo Queen, I am even more ready for our Rodeo season to start. I am so excited to get to know and work with everyone that makes the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association so wonderful. I am especially looking forward to being a part of the first ever Ski Louise Stampede! Hope to see you all soon.
Happy Trails Miss Rodeo Canada 2013 Gillian Shields
Fifth blog: February 20th, 2013
It is my last sunny day here in beautiful Florida. Lucky for me I am now heading to another sunny destination, the Grand Canyon state of Arizona! I have had a wonderful time here and cannot believe how fast it flew by!
This past week I had the opportunity to make life long friends with 23 amazing ladies. This year once again broke the record for the most visiting state queens hosted at the Silver Spurs Rodeo. We were busy visiting schools, signing autographs, riding at the Rodeo, and having a little fun as well! We all got to experience air boating, zip lining, hog hunting, and discover the various wild life Florida has to offer. I even ate a few delicacies: frog legs, alligator, and cat fish. Let’s just say, I think I will stick to my Alberta Beef.
My favorite day was the day we went to Coa Coa Beach. I sat there looking at the ocean thinking to myself, who would have thought I’d end up on a beach in Florida, all because of Miss Rodeo Canada! I am loving every minute of this adventure and am so glad this is my job for the rest of the year. Once again a huge thank you to the Kessler Family for putting on such a wonderful program, and giving girls the trip of a lifetime!
Today I am catching my flight to Pheonix, Arizona! I am for excited to be attending three different Rodeo’s. La Fiesta de los Vaqueros in Tuscon, Parada del Sol, and Roots and Boots in Queen Creek! The wonderful Jayme Smith, Miss Rodeo Arizona will be hosting me and traveling with me to all of these Rodeos. I am very excited to be there and represent Canada and the CPRA, especially since Arizona is full of Canadians. I am sure I will run into some of you!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2013
Fourth blog: February 7th, 2013
My first busy weekend at home was absolutely spectacular! I started off with the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies Convention held at Northlands park. With the Airdrie Rodeo Royalty joining me, we were able to meet some amazing individuals including the Minister of Agriculture, Verlyn Olson. I said grace, we had a wonderful meal, and then we were headed south again!
We were up bright and early for Groundhog day. Bluegrass Nurseries host a Groundhog day celebration every year, where we get to see Balzac Billy wake up and possibly see his shadow! He did not see his shadow this year, so hopefully we will have an early spring.
Red Deer was my next stop for the With This Ring Bridal Gala. On my way I was able to stop by Ocean Front Saddlery in Bowden and pick up my chaps Kenton Hubschmid made for me! The chaps are absolutely beautiful and I cannot wait to sport them on my next stop, Florida! I had an absolute blast at the bridal gala and hit the run-way in a few different wedding gowns. It was so much fun and I will hopefully be at the next gala in September.
I also have a few more exciting things to let you all know. The wonderful people at Alberta Dodge have set me up with a truck for the year! I want the thank them immensely for their support and faith in the Miss Rodeo Canada program! If all of you were able to see the Ram Truck commercial for the NFL Super Bowl XLVII then you would completely understand how we are all so lucky to have Dodge support our wonderful sport of Rodeo and our agricultural foundations.
Telus has also stepped up to the plate this year and has supplied me with my very own Samsung Galaxy lll and covers all billing expenses. Thank you so much to Telus and Dodge for being so great to work with and helping me get down the road! Stay tuned to hear about my adventure to Kissimmee, Florida for the Silver Spurs Rodeo!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2013
Third blog: January 15th, 2013
January has been an amazing month for me. Bringing in the new year with the Ultimate Cowboy Challenge in Ponoka was great to be apart of. It was quite entertaining to watch 15 cowboys compete in every rodeo event and really show their skills. In the end, it was Jeremy Harden of Big Valley, AB, claiming the Ultimate Cowboy title. A big thank you to Scott and Julie Wyzykoski for putting on such a great event and treating me so well!
Denver, Colorado was my next stop. There I took part in The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo and the Western and English Sales Association Market. I had the opportunity to meet Paul Andrews, President and CEO of the National Western Stock Show who was extremely welcoming. I attended the Colorado versus the World Rodeo Performance and saw two Canadians compete, Straws Milan and Curtis Cassidy. Calgary Stampede also had their stock there. I assisted with presenting the champions awards with a few other State Queens.
The Western and English Sales Association Market gave me a chance to catch up with a few of my sponsors. Montana Silversmiths had my new buckle ready. I can truly say it brought back the feeling of being crowned again. I also caught up with Wrangler and Roper-Stetson. Jim Nevada from Roper-Stetson not only has given me a huge amount of support but also gave the Sundre and Airdrie Rodeo Royalty the chance to experience Denver. I want to send a huge thank you to Jim and his crew for always taking care of us.
Hope all of you are keeping warm!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2013
Second blog: December 22nd, 2012.
Wrapping up the year with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was an incredible experience. It was a busy 10 days but I enjoyed every minute. Watching the Miss Rodeo America 2013 pageant in person has been something I always wanted to do since I have been watching the videos over the years. Getting to know Miss Rodeo America 2012 Mackenzie Carr was also a blast. Since we were both in the grand entry at the Rodeo and helped with the Montana Silversmiths buckle presentations at the South Point, we got to share quite a few memories. Hearing ‘How bout them Cowgirls’ made famous by George Straight (Who I also got to meet!) was a surreal feeling because that was our cue to take off into the Thomas and Mack. It is an indescribable feeling, to hear that crowd roar after they called my name, and every time I finished my lap I came out with a big grin on my face. I am truly living my dream.
During the WFNR I also had the opportunity to do some autograph signings for my amazing sponsors: Roper, Tin Haul, Stetson, Wrangler and Montana Silversmiths. This gave me the opportunity to meet Rodeo fans from around the world. After signing so many autographs I think I am almost a professional name speller. A few charity events I attended were Bob Tallman’s Charity Bowling Tournament and the PRCA Exceptional Rodeo. Both were quite memorable days. George Straight’s guitar player, Joel Manuel taught me how to ten pin bowl which really improved my game. As soon as he told me which bowling balls to use I immediately got a strike. That was a huge improvement for hitting the gutter almost every time.
At the Excpetional Rodeo I got to spend a day with an amazing kid Azure. Once he sat in the saddle for a real horse ride, a smile immediately appeared on his face. It is so overwhelming to realize the obstacles some individuals have day to day. Making Azures day reminded me that I will have the opportunity to do that quite frequently this year with many kids. That is something I am most looking forward to doing. I am so blessed and honoured to have had this experience.
I would like to thank everyone for their supporting words along the way and also Jack Daines for presenting MRC with $1000.00 Cheque! What a great way to end 2012. This also means that 2013 is about to begin! I am so excited to be a part of the Everything Cowboy team! I will be heading Denver National Stock Show and Rodeo in January next and I am so looking forward to what looks like a fantastic year! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2013
First blog: November 27th, 2012.
My name is Gillian Shields, and I have been crowned the new Miss Rodeo Canada 2013. After a week long pageant, consisting of: horsemanship, personal interview, public speaking, and written exam, it still has not completely sunk in. I remember standing there in the dirt and hearing Les McIntyre call my name. I was excited, nervous, and in shock mostly.
I remember repeatedly looking back at Arleta for the instruction on what to do next. Definitely a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life. I would not have gotten this far without the amazing people who have been behind me throughout this journey. I would like to thank my family, friends, sponsors, the Airdrie Rodeo Ranch Association, and the City of Airdrie. I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity to represent a sport and family I am so proud to be apart of.
So what is next? The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada! I have already been preparing myself for the eleven day trip, and have been visiting quite a few of my sponsors. Thank-you to Wrangler, Stetson, Tin Haul, Roper, and Smithbilt Hats for keeping me looking the part!
I will have quite the schedule while I am down in Vegas. I will be able to experience the Miss Rodeo America pageant, Bob Tallman’s WNFR Charity Bowling Tournament, WNFR Buckle presentations, WNFR Grand Entry at the Thomas and Mack arena, various autograph sessions, and meeting rodeo fans from all over the world! I have never been to the Las Vegas, let alone WNFR, so I am so excited that I am able to be there representing Canada. I also wanted to send a huge thank-you to Ted Stovin at Everything Cowboy for allowing me to share my experiences with all of you.
Miss Rodeo Canada 2013
About Miss Rodeo Canada 2013: Gillian Shields
Gillian is an active volunteer in her community with the Mountain View Arts Society, The Didsbury Agriculture Society, The Didsbury Outlaws 4-H club, and regularly performs for seniors and patients at the Didsbury hospital with her violin. In her spare time, Gillian enjoys music, fishing, traveling, and being with family. She would like to thank her friends, family, and sponsors who have supported her on this amazing journey.