• Alicia Erickson

August 2019- Jaden Holle

August started off with a beautiful drive from High Prairie to Regina, SK for the inauguration of the Pile O’ Bones rodeo held at Queen City EX. It was great to spend time with C5 Rodeo Company, who is a generous supporter of the Miss Rodeo Canada program. I was glad to get some face time with some of the best four-legged athletes in the business, and yes, I took a shameless selfie with everyone’s favourite bareback horse, Virgil, in the stock pens!

One highlight included working with Bob Tallman and Dave Poulsen, both of whose voices I have grown up hearing. The atmosphere of it all made me shiver with nervous excitement. If you blinked, you may have missed Trent Tunke and Steele DePaoli rope and dally in 4.3 seconds or Diane Skocdopole finish the barrel pattern in 13.477 seconds. Also, at this rodeo, I untied calves during the slack performance. It was one for the memories!

Next I drove to Strathmore for the last day of the Strathmore Stampede. It was great to catch the RCMP musical ride, chuckwagon races, and the last day of competition for our rodeo athletes. Congrats to a couple of the champions, Dawson Hay on a 90.75-point saddle bronc ride on Northcott-Macza’s “Get Smart” and Evan Spady on a speedy 3.9 second steer wrestling run.

There was no time to slow down as the next day I hopped on a plane to beautiful Dawson Creek, BC. I was stunned at the beauty of the area. The week started with a little bit of rain but the sun pulled through in time for the rodeo. It was fun taking in the ranch rodeo, the Battle of the North Chuckwagon races, and to be reunited with Grande Prairie Stompede Queen and Princess, Emily Roessler and Emily Henschel, Teepee Creek Stampede Queen, Megan Pettyjohn and meet the B.C High School Rodeo Queen, Gracie Chapple. There were some high scoring rides in the roughstock events where Dusty Hausauer (SB 89 points) Jacob Stemo (BB 89 points) and Edgar Durazo (BR 88 points) took home the win. Thank you to Dawson Creek for having me and to, “almost” 4-year-old, Pecos Moore for letting me ride your awesome gelding at the rodeo.

Next I found myself in Star Trek country at the Sid Hartung Memorial Rodeo in Vulcan. A favourite part for me is watching our aspiring up and comers ride the mini-buckers. My heart was also warmed when I saw a future bareback rider proudly sporting chaps and a protective vest, diligently practicing his riding form in the grass as the rodeo ensued behind him. As I got closer, I could see that this young cowboy was sporting Layton Green’s NFR back number. At this moment, I could see that the spirit of the sport is alive and well. Cowboys are leaving their mark on the next generation and it was evident in my 4-year-old friend. Young Jasper proudly told me about his hero Layton, and when I asked if he knew any other cowboys he began to list names like Zeke Thurston, Orin Larsen and Richie Champion. I left inspired and knew that this was an encounter I would not soon forget! Congratulations to our cowboys for leaving a positive mark on the next generation.

I headed back south of the border to Washington for the Kitsap Fair and Stampede. Not only did I find several Canadian contestants, I also ran into my neighbour Dennis Halstead, and Canadian stock contractor Big Stone Rodeo Company. It never ceases to amaze me how tightly knit the rodeo family is, and although I have never been to Washington, I was made to feel quite at home for the common love of the sport and with some rodeo queens that also love to dance in the arena! I followed in the footsteps of many other rodeo queens that have caught fish (check out the video on Facebook!) at the famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle and was proud to carry the gorgeous ten-foot Canadian flag on the opening night of the rodeo. Clint Laye split the win in the bareback with an 86-point ride and in the team roping Canadian Kasper Roy and roping partner Kal Fuller won it with a 3.4 second run.

I flew back to Canada in time for the Okotoks Pro Rodeo where I took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the ladies breakaway roping. I even tried my hand at announcing during this fast-growing event. I cannot wait to watch the ladies that qualify for the Canadian Finals Breakaway in Red Deer this year. It is an exciting time for women in rodeo!

I find myself back in beautiful British Columbia at the Armstrong IPE and Stampede to close off the month of August. I can hardly believe that this means the summer run has come to an end. Already this week, Ty Taypotat has broken the arena record in the bareback with an impressive 90-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Agent Lynx.

Come back next month to see how the rest of my week in Armstrong turns out.

Until then,

Jaden Holle

Miss Rodeo Canada 2019

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