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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.  

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 six Ponoka queens have won the Miss Rodeo Canada title: (1990 - Rhonda Hartman), (1997 - Jody Bougerolle), (1998 - Brook Robertson), (1999 - Karina Tees), (2015 – Katy Lucas), (2020/2021 - Alicia Erickson).
•    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.
•    Joanne Riou was the first Miss Rodeo Canada from Saskatchewan. Joanne was crowned in 1980.
•    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).  
•    Four of our Miss Rodeo Canada queens were previously Calgary Stampede Royalty. Sis Thacker, Karina Tees, Tara Sergerie, and Jaden Holle.
•    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.

  • Alicia Erickson (2020-2021) is the only Miss Rodeo Canada to hold the title for two years.

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