October 2021 - Alicia Erickson
This month was full of beautiful experiences, and like I've always said - the people within the rodeo industry want to show you the details of their lifestyle if you’re willing to learn.
I went out to the Calgary Stampede Ranch where some of the most prestigious animal athletes graze the rolling hills of the southeastern badlands. Tyler and Vanessa Kraft (CS Ranch Manager) welcomed me out to help halter-break bucking colts, and I was so happy to just be a cowgirl for a day. We worked with all of the babies, and when you teach them to lead, it makes it easier (and safer) when they start bucking inside of a rodeo arena. This way they will hopefully remember to move forward off of pressure, which will make things flow smoothly for the athletes, and pickup men trying to lead a horse that’s done bucking out of an arena. This took up most of our day, but we had some time to brand yearlings. No tour of the Stampede Ranch is complete without visiting “the old boy” Grated Coconut. Before I left, we drove out to see the different pastures, the studs, etc. I was shocked to see that the famous Saddle Bronc horse, John Wayne is still happily enjoying retirement after his last performance at the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo - can you believe over $300,000 was won on this horse?
I guess I was so intrigued by learning the stock contractor side of things, that I had to head 5 hours
north to Lac La Biche - home of C5 Rodeo, and the 2021 Canadian Stock Contractor of the Year. Vern McDonald is one of our great program sponsors, and it was incredible to visit and see how they run the ranch. Tyson Cardinal (Verns nephew) lent me a horse, and off a couple of us were to go gather mares and babies to bring back home to brand. There is so much land, pastures, and trees, that honestly it isn’t hard to get lost out there. We had A LOT of excitement throughout our first day, but we got the job done. What most people see is the stock trailers unload at the rodeo, and load back up once the event is done. They don’t see all of the hard work behind the scenes, and the contractors putting their livestock before themselves when it comes to care, maintenance, and feeding. Thank you for having me out, I learnt so much, and am excited to see many of your great buckers at the WNFR in Vegas!
As we all gear up for the Canadian Finals Rodeo, I zipped over to Edmonton and visited the 840
CFCW studio. I had a great time recording with AJ Keller, talking about my reign, and all things CFR.
**Remember** if you can’t make it to the rodeo, CFCW is broadcasting each performance - so tune in, November 3rd - 7th!
The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association office resides in Airdrie, AB - and I know how busy they are with CFR, so I stopped in for a chat, and brought them some treats for the day. We are all very excited for the Ladies of Canadian Pro Rodeo Fashion Show on November 5th, and while visiting with Patty Auger in the office, there are still tickets available. This event supports the Cowboy Benefit Fund, and Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Med Team, and is always one of the most sought over events during the finals.
The 3rd annual Canadian Finals Breakaway was held in Claresholm by Craig and Margo Fitzpatrick, and I couldn’t believe that they had over $50,000 in payout for the lady ropers. They had me sing the anthem, and be the official “gate girl” for the day - which I enjoyed because I like being put to work. It was such a tough roping, but Bobbi Henderson took the win and over $17,000 home to Stettler!
This month has been all about prep work for the CFR, our competition, and reflecting on the past two years. Red Deer hosted a kick-off party for the rodeo, where myself, and two of our 2022 contestants attended to greet/mingle with guests. I was happy to speak on behalf of the rodeo, and see many familiar faces from the 2019 event!
After a long wait, we are so ecstatic to be back in Red Deer - Check-in for the 2022 contestants starts on Nov. 2, and the rest is still to be written. The competition can be such a stressful time because you put so much work into each little detail. I am looking forward to supporting our three contestants during the week, and seeing which one will be crowned.
This isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of me!
Once the new Lady in Waiting is crowned, she will be busy getting everything organized for her 2022. I will be attending the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals in Regina, SK, along with the WNFR in Vegas. My official last day on the job is December 11th.
See you all soon, Alicia Erickson - Miss Rodeo Canada 20/21