What a Year!!!

I can not believe a year has come and gone. Feels like just yesterday Catherine, Danielle, Amber, and I were crowed the 2013 Royalty. Now the 2014 competition has begun and only a few weeks left of our rein.

Stampede was such an amazing experience, but a well needed break was very nice to have. After a few days off to sleep and unwind we were right back at it with rodeos, events, fundraisers, and tourism conferences. One event we were asked to attend was a Youth Ag-Summit. 120 youth from 20 different countries all gathered in Calgary AB to discuss the topic “Feeding a Hungry Planet.” It was great to see the youth of the wold so excited to discuss farming and ranching and working together to try to solve a problem. With the population of the world growing so rapidly, being able to feed everyone will become a concern. Everyone was so excited to be in Calgary and visit the Stampede Grounds. My Stampede sisters and I had the honor of white hatting everyone at the Summit. They were all thrilled to be given a real cowboy hat!

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Stampede 101 Has Arrived

The wait is over!!!!!! Ever since the crowns were put on our heads we have been counting down the days till Stampede. The volunteers and workers of Stampede have been working overtime to make sure Stampede 101 is the best year ever. It has been amazing to see everyone work together not just at the park but all over Alberta. The community feeling is everywhere. My heart goes out to those who were personally affected and lost all their belongings.

The show must go on and so do our busy schedules. We recently got invited to my home town of Arrowwood to participate in the parade, Arrowwood River Wranglers Horse 4-H Achievement Day, and ended the day off with the Rodeo. It was great to see all those familiar faces and be able to give back a little to the community that raised me.

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Danielle, Catherine, Amber and I got to spend Canada Day in the mountains. Even though Canmore was also affected by the flood they still went ahead with the festivities. We attended the Parade and it was great to see all the smiling faces even after a tragedy. We then loaded the horses up and headed to Banff to do parade number two of the day. It was a beautiful day and we loved promoting the Stampede to the people of Canmore and Banff.

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We have had some ups and downs but Stampede will always go on and Stampede 101 is no exception. Let’s join together and make this a great year, a year to remember, a year we are greatest together.

Let the Summer Fun Begin

Where has the time gone? I cannot believe it is already the end of May and Stampede is starting to creep up on us. It feels like just last week my Stampede sisters and I were getting crowned. Enough about that, time to tell you what Danielle, Catherine, Amber and I have been up to!

Our schedules keep getting busier and busier with Stampede getting closer. Promoting the Calgary Stampede is a must everywhere we go.  Whether it’s supporting our local 4-H clubs by judging lip sync competitions, giving a public speaking clinic to the Calgary Stampede Showriders, or going to Elementary School Carnivals, Stampede is always our number one topic.

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One of the events we attended recently was the Calgary Street Food Festival. It was held at the Kingsland Farmers Market where they had 12 different food trucks all serving their best dishes. We were invited to be guest celebrity judges along with two others. We all sat at a table and had the job of taste testing samples from each truck, talk about a hard life. They brought us chicken burgers, ice cream, perogies, pizza, sushi, and grilled cheese just to name a few. My favorite was the Saskatoon berry dumplings!!!! Mayor Nenshi also joined us at the event and we let him have a taste of a few treats also. It may have been a very tasteful event, but we sure were not in the mood to do much moving around after.

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The next event we attended we finally were able to show off all the hard work we have been putting into our Princes Hawk, Snoopy, and Kansas. The Little Britches Parade and Rodeo in High River was the official start of our rodeo season. We have been riding the Stampede Royalty horses for a few months now and were so excited to take them on the road. The Stampede Princesses and I may have had a few butterflies, but our trusty ponies were old pros and didn’t miss a beat. We all smiled and waved proudly during the parade promoting the Calgary Stampede and our western heritage. We may have smiled a bit bigger when running into the arena for Grand Entry!

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Each week brings new excitement as July gets closer. We may be excited for Stampede but taking one day at a time and enjoying every part of it is a must!

 

The City Gets a Taste of Country

What do you get when you put a whole bunch of children, farm animals, a rodeo, and farm equipment all in one building? Aggie Days!!!! This past week the Stampede has dedicated there time to teaching kids all about the farm life. Many people don’t realize that unless you grew up on a farm or close to one children may not know where milk, eggs, beef, pork or grain for their bread come from.

The two Stampede Princesses, Indian Princess and I have spent all week participating in Aggie Days and sharing our love for the rural lifestyle. Each morning we would attend the rodeo that was put on at the Corral. The first two days were for school groups only. All the classes came piling in and filled the majority of the seats. It was amazing to see so many kids experience there first rodeo. The rodeo had four events, Bareback, Saddle Bronc, Barrels, and of course the kids favorite Bull Riding. We would sit in the crowd and help cheer on the cowboys and cowgirls. When it was time for the Barrels the Catherine, Danielle, Amber, and I would help Harry the Horse demonstrate how the pattern was done. This consisted of three of us pretending to be barrels and one running the course with Harry, every once in a while we get to have a little fun! At the end of each rodeo the Royalty along with the cowboys and Ranch Girls would go into the arena and sign autographs for all the children.

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Everyone year at Aggie Days the Queens Alumni puts on an event called Giddy Up. This is where children with special needs and their families can come and experience Aggie Days without such a huge crowd. It is reserved just for them. We started our morning off by posing in a photoshoot with each child and a friendly little pigmy goat we named “Muffy.” Each child was so excited to be there and it was wonderful being a part of that experience for them

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The Indian Princess and I also had the opportunity to read a book to a group of children in the Scholastics reading corner. I have never seen a group of children sit so quietly and listen to the entire book. They soaked in every world that was read. After the book reading they were able to pick out a book that was about other farm animals or farming lifestyle to take home, all free from the Scholastic Books.

It may only be April but Stampede is getting closer and closer. Our schedules are filling up fast and before we know it Stampede will be here!!! Stay tuned to hear about the next events we attend!

Alberta Bound

Who knew that when we were crowned in October we would be given all these amazing opportunities? My Stampede sisters and I had a blast on our trips to Houston and Los Angeles but always happy to come home to our amazing city of Calgary.

Recently we have been surrounded with Flames Fever!!!! On our trip to L.A. Travel Alberta hosted a big promo right across the street from the Staples Center. They had booths to show case the marvels of Alberta. Live bands, an electric bucking bull, photo booths, and even a small man-made lake to try fly fishing were just a few of the attractions. We met many local people there and even a few that flew all the way from Calgary to support the Flames. As game time came closer we were invited to the Travel Alberta suite to watch the game. At first period the Royalty was escorted down to ice level and guess what happened next!? I got to ride along in the zamboni and practise my Grand Entry wave. It may have gone a lot slower than a horse loping full speed around an arena, but now I can cross that off my bucket list. Even though the L.A. Kings were the ones that came out on top we still had a great time mixing, mingling, and spreading our western hospitality to all fans.

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After only being home a few days we were fortunate enough to go to another Flames Game here on home ice for the Western Night on March 15. We handed out prizes to contestant winners and helped everyone find their inner cowboy or cowgirl. To stick with the Western theme, Gord Bamford was the special guest who came out to sing ‘Oh Canada’. We bumped into him and two of his children in the hallway and had to get a picture with him. I’m a big fan of his song Farm Girl Strong! Along with the sea of red, Harry the Horse got a break from the pasture to help represent and promote the Calgary Stampede. Of course Harvey the Hound was still there to get the fans involved and cheering. To add to a great night, the Calgary Flames won the game 6 to 3 against the Nashville Predators.

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With Stampede less than four months away, we will be going full force with Stampede Events. Our first one we will be attending is the 2013 Canvas Auction, where we will meet some of the Chuckwagon Drivers. The Trio will also begin riding the three Prince Horses next week, which I am very excited for. So stay posted to hear more about our journey from Danielle, Catherine, Amber and I and don’t forget it’s never to early to start preparing for Stampede! A new pair of boots or cowboy hat always looks great!!!

The Journey Continues

As you all have already heard the count down is on for our trip to the Houston Rodeo!!!! My Stampede sisters and I are so excited, this is a dream come true.  We will be promoting the Calgary Stampede and sharing our Western hospitality with the cowgirls and cowboys down south.

The one thing that is very important in any trip is having a good set of luggage to take with you. We were very fortunate to have Sears sponsor the Trio and supply us with three different sizes of suitcases each. Danielle, Catherine, and I have already tested them out on our trips to Banff, Edmonton, and of course Grey Cup in Toronto. They worked wonderfully and even could handle all our make-up, hair products, boots, and bling.

Even though we are very anxious to board the airplane and head out, we still have to keep focus on events around the city. Just last Saturday we had the pleasure of being invited to the 2nd Annual Calgary Bluegrass and Roots Music Festival where we were able to sit and listen to a few live bands play and mix and mingle with people who enjoy the Bluegrass style of music. Bluegrass is traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments and is a form of American roots music and is mixed with Scottish, English, Welsh, and Irish traditional music. It was very enjoyable to be introduced to this different style of music.

 

This is the last you will hear from me till we return from our trip. I can’t wait to go and represent the Calgary Stampede and share all our experiences with you.

 

New Year, New Rodeo!

Now that it’s the New Year, its time to get back into the swing of things. Our schedules are starting to fill up and now the countdown to Stampede has begun. Even though Stampede may be a few months away, people are starting to think about rodeo season and are starting to get their horses in shape for the big events.

The two Princesses’ and I are getting very excited to start working on our trusty steeds Hawk, Snoopy, and Kansas. These three geldings have been a part of the Royalty Committee for 5 years and make a great team. Since they work hard for each trio during the summer, they get the winters off to graze in the pastures. If they are like any other horse that winters well, I’m sure they will have a larger than normal belly on them that needs to be slimmed down. To get them back in to shape and ready for parade and rodeo season, the Trio will start riding at least twice a week starting in March or April.

The three horses are kept at Heathercrest Ranch which is one of our many amazing sponsors. We have access to an indoor arena so we can ride even on the chilly days and box stalls to keep the boys in the barn after giving them baths and making them look parade ready. The Royalty Trio is very grateful for the facilities at Heathercrest and we wouldn’t be able to have a successful year without them.

My two horses all fuzzy with their winter coats on.

My two horses all fuzzy with their winter coats on.

Grey Cup Fever

What a crazy few months we have had!!! We have been so busy with events here and there that I almost forgot Christmas is just around the corner. Even though the Stampede is keeping us very busy, they still make sure we look good at all our events. Our wonderful sponsors Fabu Hair Studio, Lushus Concepts, Aria Makeup and Janine’s Costum Creations are working overtime during these winter months for us.

 

One huge highlight of my reign so far was being able to tag along with the Calgary Stampede Grey Cup Committee while attending the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto. It was 5 days packed with appearances, signing postcards, visiting team rooms, pancake breakfasts, walking around downtown with Marty the horse, and visiting a school. The second morning of the trip we had to be up super early for a TV interview with Canada AM. Being so tired and not aware of where our drive was taking us for the interview we were very shocked when we walked through an underground parking lot and then right onto the field at Rogers Centre. I admit there may have been a bit of jumping and squealing but you can’t blame us. After posing for a few pictures at the 50 yard line and running the length of the field, it was time to put our professional faces on and answer a few questions for the camera with the Grey Cup right beside us.

  

Every year the Calgary Stampede Grey Cup Committee does some research and finds a school that is less fortunate and doesn’t have as much funding. We then arrange a day within our trip to spend a few hours playing with the kids, singing along with the band, and doing some dancing. A lot of the families at the school came from different countries all over the world, and it was so much fun to see the kids’ faces light up and watch their reactions when we entered the school. Even though they don’t have much they still had so much joy and laughter and it brightened our day.

 

Even though the wrong team ended up winning the 100TH Grey Cup, me and my three Stampede sisters all had a blast. We know the excitement is just beginning and can’t wait to see what will happen next. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

And it all Begins…

I still can not believe I’m the new 2013 Stampede Queen!!!! I’m so excited for this year and can’t wait to see what is in store. We already have begun the transfer from hick farmgirl to proper ladies, with brand new make up, nails, clothes and so much more thanks to all our sponsors. To help you all get to know us better we each partnered up with a Stampede sister and did a quick interview. I had the pleasure of asking Catherine Morneau, one of the Stampede Princesses a few questions.
What is your first memory of seeing the Queen and Princesses / Indian Princess?
Back in 2011 when I went to my first Stampede, I remember seeing the Royal Trio welcoming the crowd at the Grandstand and also riding during the grand entry. It looked so exciting to be part of the Royalty ! :)
If you’re able to teach your Stampede sisters one thing, what do you want that to be?
As the “frenchie” of the Trio I will make sure to give my Stampede Sisters some French lessons during the upcoming year :)
If you could donate a million dollars to one charity, which one would it be? If I could I would give money to different ophan/adoption/foster family organisations. I had an amazing childhood with a loving family and I wish every child in the world could have the same.
What is your horsemanship background?
I grew up on a big acreage with few horses and started riding at 5 years old. I did some barrel racing for fun until I was 12 and after that I decided to compete in Western Pleasure. I love competing but I also really enjoyed trail rides. No matter if it’s with friends or by myself, going for a horseback ride its just a way for me to relieve stress and relax. Since I moved to Alberta, I discovered a new discipline  “Cowboy up challenge”, it is so exciting! You have to do different obstacles with your horse as fast as you can. So now, I’m working hard to get my horse ready to compete in it !
What is one crazy adventure you have been on?
Now that I’m part of the Calgary Stampede Royalty, nothing that I’ve done seems really crazy ! HaHa… It’s nothing crazy but one day at Rafter Six when we got up to go feed the horses, there were a group of wild horses from the Stoney Reserve on the ranch. So we saddled up our horses and went to chase them on the field, in the forest, across the river and back to the reserve. That was one of the most exciting days of my life. I really felt like a cowgirl that day chasing those wild horses around !!! :)
Now you know a little bit more about our fun filled frenchie of the group.This coming weekend we are heading to the Canadian Final Rodeo in Edmonton and get to watch the crowning ceremony for the new Miss Rodeo Canada. We are very excited to attend and can’t wait to tell you all about it!