Miss Rodeo Canada- The Beginnings
Rodeo queens have been around for many decades, appearing as early as 1910 at the Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon, but it was in 1955 when the first Miss Rodeo Canada was crowned. In 1955 Mr. Herman Linder, a rodeo cowboy, announcer, and promoter felt the need to start a Miss Rodeo Canada organization when he saw Miss Rodeo America organize a year earlier. He felt the need to have ladies represent the sport of rodeo, acting as ambassadors and spokespersons in general. Mr. Linder got the Southern Alberta Rodeo Circuit (SARC) to endorse a queen contest. He called up some ladies he knew who were skilled horsewomen and who he felt would best represent Canada at a national and international level and soon the Miss Rodeo Canada organization was born. Miss Connie Ivins was crowned the very first Miss Rodeo Canada in 1955.
As it became more difficult to pick our “First Lady of the Rodeo” competitions were held to decide the winner. In the 1950’s Miss Rodeo Canada competed nationally and then went on to compete in the Miss Rodeo America pageant. In the 1960’s rodeo queens had to be skilled horsewomen, because they not only held a rodeo queen title, they also had to actively compete in the rodeo - usually in barrel racing!
In the early years, rodeo queens were selected by the contestant who could sell the most tickets to the rodeo or were selected by people purchasing tickets for their favourite queens. In the 1970’s the public voted for their favourite rodeo queen, and these votes counted for a large portion of the contestant’s final score! Today, we base our selection on the talent of the individual and with qualified judges! Miss Rodeo Canada is judged on her poise, personality, public speaking, modeling, rodeo knowledge and horsemanship skills.
1955 Connie (Ivins) Robinson
1956 Mary Lynn (Cook) Beazer
1957 Dixie (Broadhead) Forsyth
1958 Joanne (Sharples) Perlich
1959 Phyllis (Backs) Dahl
1960 Kay Thurman (deceased)
1975 Jerri (Duce) Phillips
1976 Sis (Thacker) Bjaranson
1977 Merry Ann (Reed) Stoney
1978 Marianne Cole
1979 Eileen Duff
1980 Joanne Riou
1981 Joan Pardell
1982 Susan (Gittens) Killam
1983 Kathy (Cornelson) Rumford
1984 Susan (Hargrave) Hanlon
1985 Dawn (Abbey) Gingerich
1986 Shelly (Sodero) Chomistek
1987 Kelly Fredell
1988 Cheryl (Robson) Daines
1989 Stacey Soffel
1990 Rhonda (Hartman) Miller
1991 Trisha (Kostelansky) Seitz
1992 Deedra Lybbert
1992 Angie Lundgren (Princess)
1993 Dode (Minor) Sears
1993 Tanya (Vair) Hines (Princess)
1994 Wendi (Lund) Paget
1995 Susie (Turton) Young
1996 Erin (Moore) Geymonat
1997 Jody (Bougerolle) Brisebois
1998 Brook Robertson
1999 Karina (Tees) Geleynse
2000 Shelia (Taylor) Walker
2001 Andrea (Johnston) Slofstra
2002 Shereen (Ziegler) Cameron
2003 Shannon McCarthy
2004 Jennifer (Bird) Rondeau
2005 Christa (Lawrence) Needham
2006 Aleaha More
2007 Tara Sergerie
2008 Jenna (Berreth) Verhun
2009 Aaron (Courchesne) Lucas (Queen)
2009 Tara Slade (Princess)
2010 Britteny (Foster) Smar (Queen)
2010 Dana (Hansen) Zannis (Princess)
2011 Kezia (Morrison) Grams (Queen)
2011 Kirsten (Johnson) Braumandl (Princess)
2012 Arleta (Bowhay) Thiessen
2013 Gillian (Shields) Grant
2014 Nicole Briggs
2015 Katy Lucas
2016 Samantha Stokes
2017 Ali Mullin
2018 Brittney Chomistek
2019 Jaden Holle
Did you Know!?
• In the early years (1955-1974), Miss Rodeo Canada did not wear a crown! It wasn’t until 1976 that Shelly Thacker wore a crown!
• CFCW used to run the Miss Rodeo Canada pageant and is our oldest sponsor, starting in 1975.
• There have been six Miss Rodeo Canada crowns to date – you can view them on our history page on our Miss Rodeo Canada website!
• Chaps were not used by Miss Rodeo Canada until 1997 when Heather Beierbach was commissioned to make some for our rodeo Queen. Ms. Beierbach noticed Miss Rodeo America had a pair at the NFR, but our queen did not!
• Jerri Duce, Miss Rodeo Canada 1975, was the first Canadian to qualify for the NFR in 1975. She also returned to qualify in 1976 and 1977. She won the CFR Ladies' Barrel racing event in 1975 as Miss Rodeo Canada 1975! She would go on to win 9 barrel racing championships!
• In 1948 the Ponoka Stampede committee held their first queen competition and crowned Miss Bertha (Santee) Courser as their queen. Throughout the years five Ponoka queens have won the Miss Rodeo Canada title: (1990 - Rhonda Hartman), (1997 - Jody Bougerolle), (1998 - Brook Robertson), (1999 - Karina Tees), (2015 – Katy Lucas).
• Canada's first Miss Rodeo Canada Princess was crowned in November of 1991. Angie Lundgren was crowned the first Miss Rodeo Canada Princess 1992.
• Taber's only running queen contestant, and winner of the Miss Rodeo Canada Princess title in 1993, was Tanya Vair.
• Twenty-one year old Bobbi-Lee Kjos competed for Miss Rodeo Canada on behalf of the Kamloops Rodeo Board in 2004. This Rodeo committee had never had a Rodeo Queen before.
• Kathy Cornelson was the first Miss Rodeo Canada from Saskatchewan. Kathy was crowned in 1983. It would be 21 years later when the next Saskatchewan girl was crowned (Christa Lawrence in 2004).
• Karina Tees, Miss Rodeo Canada 2005 was deaf. She also was crowned by the Premier, Ralph Klein.
• Trish Kostelansky (Seitz), Miss Rodeo Canada 1991, previously held both the Alberta High School Title (1985) and National High School title (1985), before running in 1991.
• Five of our Miss Rodeo Canada queens previously held an Alberta High School Rodeo Queen title. In separate years they competed at the National Finals High School Queen competitions and all made it to the top ten! These three queens were Trish Kostelansky (Seitz), Stacey Soffel, Jenna Berreth, Nicole Briggs and Katy Lucas.
• Miss Rodeo Canada 2006, Aleaha More, was previously the Manitoba High School Queen in 2000.
• The smallest pageants: In 2003 and 2014, the Miss Rodeo Canada organization only had two qualifying contestants - (Shannon McCarthy and Breanna Ernst in 2003) and (Bronwen Bowhay and Nicole Briggs in 2014).
• Three of our Miss Rodeo Canada queens were previously Calgary Stampede Royalty. Sis Thacker, Karina Tees, and Tara Sergerie.
• Medicine Hat brought us EIGHT Miss Rodeo Canada queens: Susan Hargrave, Shelley (Sodero) Chomistek, Dode Minor, Wendi Lund (Paget), Andrea Johnston, Aleaha More, Ali Mullin and Brittney Chomistek.
• Samantha Stokes, Miss Rodeo Canada 2016, was the first Queen to be invited to Nova Scotia!
Brittney Chomistek, Miss Rodeo Canada 2018, and Shelley (Sodero) Chomistek, Miss Rodeo Canada 1986, is the first Mother/Daughter duo to both hold MRC title.