July 2019- Jaden Holle

July started on a high note with the championship round at Ponoka. It was an incredible experience to award the champions their buckles just seconds after they made their winning rides and runs. The crowd was hooked when tie-down ropers Tyson Durfey and Reese Reimer both stopped the clock at 9.3 seconds in the championship round, requiring a tie-breaker to see who would go home with that coveted Ponoka Stampede buckle. Ultimately, Tyson Durfey came out victorious. Congratulations to all the Ponoka Stampede Champions and thank you to the Ponoka Stampede for putting on a rodeo that made me tear up (just a little!) when it was time to say good-bye.

Next it was off to Calgary where I was a guest at the Ladue Ladies Luncheon. This luncheon honours the legacy of Flores La Due, a tenacious cowgirl, talented trick rider, and wife to the legendary Guy Weadick by providing scholarships to young women who embody this same cowgirl spirit. I was surprised with a generous scholarship to help further my education and I would like to thank the committee for your incredible support.

It was so great to be in Calgary and at my old stomping grounds for the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth and it was an honour to ride in the Calgary Stampede Parade once again. I was finally able to meet Amber Marshall, star of Heartland who was this year’s Parade Marshall. Other highlights include being reunited with Miss Rodeo Kansas and Miss Rodeo Florida from my travels down south, chatting with the legendary Bob Tallman, and attending the First Nation’s Princess Tea at Elbow River Camp. Thank you to the 2019 Calgary Stampede Princess Astokomii Smith for sharing your culture with me and for being such a great role model for young indigenous women.

Midway through the week I headed north to the Teepee Creek Stampede. This little hamlet puts on one incredible rodeo! The action was non-stop between the awesome Kesler stock, top rodeo athletes, wild horse races, wild cow milking, and more. I was also able to assist with the Queen competition. Congratulations to Megan Pettyjohn, the 2019 Miss Teepee Creep Stampede. While in Teepee Creek, I stopped in at Dominic Valine’s shop, my very talented spur sponsor. If you ever get a chance to see some of his craftsmanship, take a look.

Next stop? Home of the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Red Deer, AB for Westerner Days. Jeff Robson, manager of the CPRA, and I took part in the parade. My only disappointment was that I wasn’t quite able to get Jeff to volunteer to sit in the dunk tank set up on the midway. Thank you to Westerner Park for including us in your festivities and we will see you at the CFR.

My next rodeo was the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede. The newly crowned Queen and Princess, Rayelle Smith and Dionne Freimark welcomed visiting royalty from across the province. I had the best few days with these ladies meeting Brett Kissel and the Hunter Brothers, dancing our way through pancake breakfasts, waving to our little fans in the parade, and chasing stock at the 132nd edition of this event. Thank you for having me.

After Medicine Hat, I headed back north for the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo. The event kicked off with a parade, radio interviews, and town visits. After the first performance, the new High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Queen was announced: Shelby Cook. Congratulations, Shelby! There is one more performance of the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo, but already I know this: I will never stop being amazed at how these small towns can put together such incredible rodeos! Our rodeo family is incredible.

See you next month.

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