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  • Miss Rodeo Canada

July 2023 - Mackenzie Skeels

Happy Canada Day!! My July started by wrapping up my “hometown” rodeo, the Ponoka

Stampede. It’s always a special rodeo and we were able to make one dream come true for a Make a Wish recipient Darby Sullivan, who also happens to be a fellow Simmental breeder. When the Ponoka Stampede came to a close, I made my way to the greatest outdoor show on earth, the Calgary Stampede. During my time in Calgary I was a part of the famous parade downtown Calgary, visited Elbow River Camp as well as watched the chuckwagon performance along with the evening stage show on day one. Saturday was bright and early as we headed to two different pancake breakfasts to celebrate 100 years of pancake breakfasts. The first pancake breakfast was held on the back of a chuckwagon to help promote the chuckwagon

performances at the Calgary Stampede. From there the chuckwagons and the pancake breakfasts grew so much in popularity resulting in us celebrating 100 years of chuckwagons and pancake breakfasts this year. After breakfast we put on our dancing shoes and went square dancing. For lunch we stopped at the clubhouse on stampede park and were introduced on stage during the rodeo performance. Sunday we had the honor of visiting the Alberta Children's hospital where we met so many inspiring children. Checking something off my bucket list, we had lunch at the Calgary Tower which was a really cool experience. Later on that evening we explored Stampede park and went on some midway rides to round out our day. During my final two days at the Calgary Stampede I attended the giddy up grits event, and was able to meet a beautiful Make a Wish recipient named Elly whose wish was to be a Stampede Princess. I am so honored that I was able to be a part of her magical day at the Calgary Stampede, and that I was able to present this beautiful cowgirl with one of my Montana Moments from Montana Silversmiths.  

From Calgary my travels took me north to the Teepee Creek Stampede where I spent four days in the wild! During my time in Teepee Creek they crowned the new Miss Teepee Creek Stampede Queen Ria Mulligan, who is going to do a wonderful job representing this year! Congratulations on a year well done to your outgoing Teepee Creek Queen Olivia MacLennan. In addition to the rodeo, I toured Sorkenville, a historical sight at Teepee Creek. I always love learning about the history of the places that I get to travel to this year. 

From there I jumped on a plane and headed to the “Daddy of em All” in Cheyenne at the Cheyenne Frontier Days. It was so wonderful to catch up with some of my American sash sisters this week. First thing on my agenda in Wyoming was a queens brunch celebrating the Cheyenne Frontier Days royalty. From there I led the charge at the parade, and had the opportunity to do two fly-by’s during the performances, along with VIP box visits and a tour of the chutes. On one of the mornings we flipped pancakes on the VIP wagon before departing for the cowgirls of the west brunch. During the pancake breakfast they had all of the visiting royalty introduce themselves and say one fun fact about their state. I decided that my fun fact about Canada would be that our country is bilingual. Putting my grade 9 French to use I was able to say “Bonjour, je m’appelle Mackenzie, Hello my name is Mackenzie and Canada is a bilingual country.” Well, my French must have been very convincing as after a French Canadian came up to talk to me in French, and to her disappointment, unfortunately I don't actually speak French… as she discovered lol. Later on that evening I attended the Old Dominion and Chase Rice night show concerts before packing my bags and heading back to Canada. 

When I made it back to the home land I drove south to the Medicine Hat Exhibition &

Stampede where I met up with some of my fellow Canadian sash sisters. We toured Pioneer

Village, met some four legged friends at the petting zoo, and had a full city tour on the Medicine

Hat trolley. Before heading to a hosted tour of some midway rides we got to watch the night

show concert featuring Dean Brody and Tyler Joe Miller. Thursday I got up bright and early to

head over to the parade starting area and attend one of the best pancake breakfast of my year,

before heading back to the rodeo grounds for the rodeo performance that evening. Friday

morning I visited Dr Don Smith Chiropractic to get an adjustment before heading back over to

the park to help with the Kiddies Day activities, and to participate in the celebrity watermelon

eating contest. Before the end of the month, I made a stop at the Alberta Young Canadian

Simmental show to watch before heading home. With July coming to a close, I am so thankful

for all of the wonderful places and people I have got to meet along my journey and I can not wait

to see what next month has in store for me!

With Gratitude, 

Mackenzie Skeels

Miss Rodeo Canada 2023

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