The Calgary Stampede is in full swing! Western Horse Review sat down with Meagan Peters, this year’s Calgary Stampede Queen about her experiences, her Stampede horse and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.
Q. What are you most looking forward to during the 2017 Stampede?
A. During our year as the Royalty Trio, we attend about 400 events. All those events prepare us for the 10 days at The Worlds Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! Thank goodness for all that experience because during those 10 days alone, we will attend 150 events. Throughout our year, I have most enjoyed getting to know the many committee members, volunteers, employees and sponsors involved in Calgary Stampede. I\’m very much looking forward to spending some time with them during Stampede and celebrating what we have worked so hard to represent all year.
Although, I am most looking forward to the grand entries at the rodeo. As horsewomen, we work very hard keeping the horses conditioned so they are prepared for anything that may come along the way. The feeling I get in my heart before we race into any rodeo arena is like no other. It is such a thrilling experience to hear your name announced and the crowd cheering. Every year that I have watched previous trios at the opening ceremonies at the rodeo, I have hoped and prayed that some day that could be me. The first day of Stampede was one of the happiest days of my life.
Q. What are your most memorable experiences to date?
A. There are so many wonderful and inspiring people that I have met this year and I am tremendously honoured to have been given the opportunity. I have loved traveling to Toronto for Grey Cup, Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo and Berlin for the International Tourism Convention.
My favourite trip was at the NFR, as the Calgary Stampede\’s bucking stock were featured in it. I think that is when our role as an ambassador finally hit me as to what we represent, along with our western values and heritage. One of my favourite events most recently was attending the Presidents Rodeo at the OH Ranch. We did a grand entry before the rodeo, joined 300-400 of Stampede members for dinner and were entertained by the talented Gord Bamford. I loved mingling with the guests and at this time, I really felt part of a huge family with the same passion for Stampede. I remember leaving that night thinking, \”This is where I belong and I\’ll never forget this day for as long as I live.\”
Q. What was your experience like applying for the trio and your feeling at the crowning?
A. I have auditioned 3 times to be in the Royalty Trio and twice I had made it to the top six contestants. Each year of auditioning, I had so much fun in the competition. I have met so many lovely competitors and volunteers involved that I wanted to stay in touch with them. Coming so close in the finals of the competition each year gave me the fire that I would do what ever it took to be in the trio. In preparation for my third time auditioning, I had taken a Dale Carnegie Public Speaking course. It was an 8-week program with intense speech preparation and impromptu practice. This gave me so much more confidence to speak publicly as I was more timid in my first two years auditioning.
On crowning night in September, this was the most nerve wracking experience of all. I had stumbled on my impromptu speech and my music did not work properly for my choreographed ride. I was dying of embarrassment and defeat. I was thinking, \”Great, I have just had the worst performance in front of 200 people and I just blew my chances of being in the Royal Trio.\” …And then my heart dropped when I was announced as Stampede Queen. I had never been so shocked in my entire life! Thank goodness the rest of the competition before crowning went well. I am only human and everyone has bad days. Every day since being crowned, I have worked hard to support my team with Princesses, Brittany Lloyd and Lizzie Ryman. They are amazing individuals!
- The Royalty Contest is now open and applications are being accepted until August 11, 2017! For more information, visit: www.csroyalty.com
Q. How has this year changed your life?
A. Everyday this year, I think how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity. I try not to let this year slip away too quickly and take in every experience to the second. Personally, I have become more focused on what all this has meant to me and how it has changed my life. I will always be involved with Stampede after my year is over. I would love to volunteer more of my time in the Queens Alumni and support future trio members. I cherish the ability to talk to people I do not know and value the life experience this program has given me for future careers and personal relationships.
Q. Please tell us about your royal horse?
A. \”Blue\” has been one of my favourite experiences this year. She is a 6-year-old blue roan and it is her first year in the Royalty Program. She has taken over for \”Hawk,\” as he will be retiring. She is very sweet but will throw some sass my way every now and then. She has been very quiet in parades and has found out recently just how fast she can go in grand entries which is every Queen or Princesses\’ dream. She has been trained by Clay Webster himself before our Equestrian Committee found her. Clay is a sponsor of our program and I cannot thank him enough for all the training he has given us a trio this year. I will be heartbroken to say goodbye to Blue and the end of our year but know she will be in great hands!
Q. Please describe a typical day in the royalty life?
A. Stampede time is really busy. But even prior to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, we were busier than ever and had many events to attend in a day. Our usual wake up time is around 5, 6 or 7 AM to get ready. Doing our hair and make-up has become routine and have become much faster than when were were first crowned! Before Stampede we attended pancake breakfasts in the morning at various schools and many fundraiser events. In the afternoon, we visited sponsors if we have the chance and either head home to change for the evening or grab lunch. In the evening, we attend Stampede Foundation meetings, Happy Trails at retirement homes, events that are going on at Stampede park or additional training on Stampede related events. If we did not have an event or training in the evening, we will ride our horses in Mossleigh, AB – which sometimes involves bathing the horses before a parade. In the summer months, we have been attending local parades and rodeos surrounding Calgary every weekend. I usually do not get to bed before 10 PM most nights but every day is worth packing it all in!
Q. Best beauty tips?
A. All of my beauty tips I owe to The Aria Studios! Liz has been an amazing sponsor and I use all of her make-up in my morning and evening routines. Liz\’s signature products is her lipsticks. We are constantly talking, smiling, taking photos and must always be \”camera ready\” in case a surprise interview comes up. A lipstick that stays on all day is key! The Aria lipsticks do just that! I also love her skin care, face masques/scrubs and foundation powders. I will always use her line of skin care and make up for life!
Q. Favorite outfit?
A. My favourite outfit is our new \”Blue Leathers.\” It consists of a turquoise fringe, suede skirt and a matching vest. Its has \”CS\” embroidered on the back, and a horseshoe concho on the front. And to top it all off, our turquoise and brown pointed boots sponsored by Lammles and our three ringed diamond jewellery set from Montana Silver. One of our other amazing sponsors is Janine\’s Custom Creations! Janine sews a lot of our shirts, skirts, and leather formal outfits herself. We have advisors that request a certain look and Janine will shape that idea and bring it to life. What would we ever do with out her and our wardrobe experts, Kary Otto and Laverne Peckham!
There are many sides to the talented and beautiful Calgary Stampede Queen Meagan Peters. If you get the chance to see her this week, be sure to say hi!