Surely at one time or another we\’ve all been sweet on the charming young gals flying around the rodeo arena in their spangled outfits and accoutrements – the princesses and queens, all curls and smiles beneath their glitzy cowboy hats. Recently, at one of our fall editorial brainstorming sessions, we wondered what the real life of a rodeo queen might look like. Behind the scenes. And out of the public eye.
And we thought, maybe, such a story might make a good story. A captivating story. Even an important story. We just needed the right queen to tell it.
In Canada, Miss Rodeo Canada is chosen in mid-November, at Northlands Park in Edmonton, and timed with the pinnacle of Canada\’s rodeo season, the Canadian Finals Rodeo. This year, Katy Lucas – incidentally also named as one of Western Horse Review\’s Top 25 Under 25 in 2013, and currently one of the magazine\’s writers – won the honour of wearing the crown for the year.
We couldn\’t have been more pleased with the choice. For we already knew Katy as a) an accomplished journalist; b) an ambitious and budding star in the rodeo world; c) a feisty soul unafraid to take on difficult subjects such as animal activism and other misconceptions of the horse world (don\’t assume for a second Katy\’s narrative will centre on bling and queen selfies); and, d) just the right combination of all of the above to take on the role of telling what it\’s really like to be a rodeo queen for a year, and just how such a queen can make a difference in how the rest of the world views our western way of life.
In a world increasingly populated with people disconnected with the agriculture way of life, and a lifestyle often misunderstood, judged and even attacked, we feel it\’s never been a more important banner to wear.
I\’m excited. And, you reader, should be too. Stay tuned, it\’s going to be a great ride.
So, without further ado, here is the first edition of Katy\’s blog. Look for future editions under her own blog banner, coming soon to this website.
~ Ingrid Schulz
Secrets of a Rodeo Queen
~ by Katy Lucas
Rodeo Queens are much more than a pretty face that can sit a horse. They have to wear an infinite number of hats, and from that necessity comes a great deal of stories to tell.
I was crowned Miss Rodeo Canada in November, and would love to share my experiences with you as they happen during my reign! Winning this title was truly a lifelong dream, I have been saying I was going to run since I was a toddler, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.
Rodeo queens will tell you that there’s more than the eye can see behind the flawless makeup and rhinestone covered outfits. So I’m pulling back the hazy curtain of hairspray to reveal the true life of a rodeo queen.
Rodeo Queen Secret Number One:
I once wore seven outfits in one day as a rodeo queen so there is nothing that gets left at home when I head to a queen event like the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. As you can see by the teetering tower behind me, my entire wardrobe made it to Vegas.
PS: I unloaded the truck and pulled that cart uphill into the hotel myself!
Rodeo Queen Secret Number Two:
Know your sponsors.
My dad laughs now when he tells the story of qualifying for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. His buddies were bugging him that he may have to take out a loan to pay the large entry fee for the finals, and dad, not realizing that fee was sponsored by Benny Binion, almost considered not going to the NFR!
Rodeo Queen Secret Number Three:
Just like a cowboy’s word is sealed with his handshake, rodeo queens loyally share their clothes.
Before I arrived in Vegas I had never met Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Teen, Elise Wade. Truthfully, I’d never even talked to her directly. But at the first event I walked in to at the MGM Grand, a young woman I’d never met before wildly ran across the room and embraced me like we were old friends that had been separated for a long period.
The reason? I had asked to borrow some clothes from her and she couldn’t wait to meet the girl from Canada that was going to carry her clothes into the famous Thomas and Mack arena.
On day two of our newfound relationship I started calling her my sister. Rhinestones are powerful binding agents…
Rodeo Queen Secret Number Four:
Every queen is different and all of them have talents of their very own. I happened upon a roping dummy at the Wrangler giveaway room and I couldn’t resist spending at least a few minutes of my day roping!
Roping is what makes me who I am, and I wasn’t afraid to show it.