February 2019- Jaden Holle
I started off the month of February with a bang when I headed to the hometown of Balzac Billy! That iconic groundhog came out of his burrow and his shadow was nowhere to be seen, meaning an early spring and hugs all around!
It was a fun morning at the Blue Grass Garden Centre, where they served pancakes, hot chocolate and coffee, and we all listened to live music while we waited for Billy’s prediction.
The very next week I got to cross off a bucket list item as I headed to Quebec City for the Quebec Winter Carnival, or the “Carnaval de Quebec!”
As Calgary and Quebec are sister cities, I was able to join forces with the city of Calgary to bring the spirit of the west and be a rodeo presence at the carnival.
I was able to tour old Quebec, host Quebec city councillors at a City of Calgary Carnival kick-off reception, help serve pancakes with a good old fashioned flapjack breakfast and attend the iconic parade. However, the best part of it all was sharing my love of rodeo with the citizens of Quebec, who were all very excited to see a cowboy hat in the middle of the city!
I spoke lots of French and drank lots of hot cocoa, and before I knew it was time to get on another flight, this time to somewhere a lot sunnier; the Sunshine State itself!
I arrived in Kissimmee, Florida just in time for the 75th Anniversary of the Silver Spurs Rodeo, the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi!
It was great to be reunited with Miss Rodeo America, many of the State Queens and meet the local royalty. Together, we went to many schools in the county, educating them about the sport of rodeo and demonstrating how widespread this sport really is!
I got to see gators of all shapes and sizes courtesy of Gatorland, ride on an airboat, take in the Florida sun, and ride in the back of a convertible for the Silver Spurs Parade! Pretty good for February if you ask me!
Some of the most memorable experiences in Florida were those spent with the kids. It was a pleasure to spend an evening at the Give Kids the World Village, where kids from the Make A Wish Foundation can stay and live their wildest dreams! (Ice cream for breakfast, anyone?) We participated in their Halloween party, because Halloween comes every week in a place where dreams come true! I was so inspired by the resilience of these kids and their families. We had a wonderful time giving out candy and line dancing with tiny little Spidermans, princesses, and mummies.
You can see more about this organization at their website: https://www.gktw.org/
The Silver Spurs Exceptional Rodeo was another special youth event. At this rodeo, the kids are the athletes! It was inspiring to see these cowboys and cowgirls try their hand at different adapted rodeo events. This was my partner for the day, looking comfortable on a horse!
The rodeo itself was a wonderful experience, and it was a pleasure to represent Canada in the arena.
I even ran into local cowboy Spur Lacasse.
And my very own boot sponsor, Terry Duffy from Dan Post! Thank you so much, Dan Post, for keeping me outfitted in the most beautiful boots!
It was cold when I landed back in Alberta after a week in Florida, but I didn’t mind because I got to go to Innisfail, Alberta to pick up my brand new, 2019 Dodge Ram Truck! Thank you so much to Innisfail Chrysler, CVS, and Smithbilt, for sponsoring me such a gorgeous, reliable ride as I travel this year. I have come to love this vehicle so much already and am earnestly brainstorming names for my shiny white baby.
On February 23, I got to test out my new ride as I headed to the Calgary Polo Club for the 3rd Annual Skijordue! Skijor is one of the fastest growing winter sports in Canada, and it involves horses, skis, and a whole lot of fun! I felt truly proud to be Canadian as I carried the flag in the grand entry amidst those brave souls not afraid of a little winter weather! Although a chilly day, I had so much fun watching the races, making new friends, and of course, eating fondue! If you ever get the chance to see or take part in this event, do it! It was my first time in attendance, and I don’t intend on missing it ever again!
I left Skijordue and headed south to Claresholm, the hosting place of the Chad Besplug Invitational Bull Riding! As some of you know, I carried the title of the first CBI Queen to the Miss Rodeo Canada pageant in October. It was such a neat experience to be at my namesake event, now with the Montana’s Silversmith Miss Rodeo Canada crown on my hat. It was a high-energy night made extra special when hometown boy, Logan Biever, took the win! I would like to thank Chad Besplug and his team for believing in me from the beginning and having me back in Claresholm for such a wonderful event.
The month ended just as strongly as it started. On Feb. 27th, I joined my friends at ATB Financial in support of Pink Shirt Day to take a stand against bullying. I celebrated this day by donning my pink shirt as I judged the All Saints High School “Poetry in Voice” school finals. I thought it was very fitting to be listening to students as they took the stage, one by one, all eyes on them, letting their voices be heard. I was moved and inspired by their performances. I was happy to see many students at the school wearing pink shirts, and I made sure to grab a photo with a few of them.
It’s my hope to see a world with more kindness, compassion, and support for one another. Days like Pink Shirt Day move people to think about how we can push for positive change. I am to have an amazing sponsor like ATB Financial that helps inspire that kind of action.
Cheers to another amazing month. I can’t wait to see what adventures March brings!
Until next time,
Miss Rodeo Canada 2019