MISS RODEO CANADA 2017
[Photo courtesy of Ian Neill Photography]
Roping and riding across the Canadian Prairies is where you will find Ali Mullin. This cowgirl got her start in the equine industry by ranching with her parents on their Manitoba quarter horse operation. Doctoring cattle, starting colts, and showing home-raised Clay Ranch Quarter Horses led to a keen interest in the horse business, and a rodeo career spanning junior, high school and college ranks. Besides rodeo, Ali was involved in a variety of sports and activities in her time as a student at Cartwright High School. Hockey, fastball, track and field, singing and 4-H filled her schedule. After high school, Alberta's opportunities in rodeo and post-secondary education caught her eye. In 2014, she graduated with honours from Lakeland College and a diploma in Agribusiness - Marketing Communications - as well as Cowgirl of the Year and High-Point Cowgirl honours from the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Since then, Ali has relocated to Redcliff, west of Medicine Hat, Alberta and has discovered a passion for Alberta's sunny south. Currently she remains involved with her family's quarter horse program back home in Manitoba, where her parents still ranch. Ali is in her second year of study at Medicine Hat College where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Visual Communications. Upon completion of her education, she intends to begin a graphic design career. Ideally, Ali would like to focus her work in those areas that she has a personal passion for, being small businesses, the equine industry, and other agricultural advertising. Having the opportunity to represent the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede as the 2015 Queen was an honour, and a fantastic experience. Ali will inevitably continue promoting the sport and lifestyle that she loves so much; being able to do so as Miss Rodeo Canada would be an incredible privilege. Ali Mullin
Miss Rodeo Canada 2017
Calender of Events
Miss Rodeo Canada has a very busy schedule. She attends between 400-500 events a year. Each appearance may consist of a day filled with numerous events. The following is Miss Rodeo Canada 2017's schedule her year. Canadian Finals Rodeo - November 6-14, 2016
Global TV - Interview - November 13, 2016
Sponsor Visits - Roper Warehouse - November 18, 2016
Sponsor Visit - Smithbilt Hats - November 18, 2016
Photo Shoot - Ian Neill - Airdrie, Alberta - November 18, 2016
ATB Financial - Partnership Visit - November 18, 2016
Wrangler National Finals Rodeo - Las Vegas, Nevada - November 27, 2016 - December 11, 2016
- Miss Rodeo America Pageant
- PRC Gold Buckle Gala - Wrangler - South Point Hotel - November 28, 2016
- Grand Entries - WNFR - Thomas & Mack - Dec. 1-10, 2016
- PRCA - Back Patch Ceremony - MGM Hotel - November 29, 2016
- PRCA Luncheon - MGM Grand Hotel - December 1, 2016
- Autograph Signings - December 1-10, 2016
- Gold Card Room - Dinner - Thomas & Mack Centre - December 1-10, 2016
- Bob Tallman WNFR Charity Bowling - Gold Coast Hotel - December 3, 2016
- Calgary Stampeder NFR Reception - South Point Hotel - December 3, 2016
- Sponsor Visits - Montana Silversmiths - December 5, 2016
- Nevada Children's Hospital Visit - December 5, 2016
- Sponsor Visits - Roper with Jim Nevada - December 7, 2016
- Spurs and Spikes Golf Tournament - Bali Hai Golf Club - December 9, 2016
Denver, Colorado - January 11-17, 2017
Groundhog Day - Balzac, Alberta - February 2, 2017
Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies Conference -February 3-4
Florida - Kissimmee Rodeo - February 12-20, 2017
Smith Chiropractic - Sponsor Visit - March 3, 2017
ATB Partner and Sponsor Visits - March 3, 2017
Alberta Treasury Board - Partnership Visit - March 4, 2017
Photoshoot - Kimberly Padfield Photograpy - March 7, 2017
Medicine Hat Tigers - Hockey Tournament - Rogers Hometown Hockey - March 7, 2017
Smithbilt Hats - Sponsor Visit - March 12, 2017
Medicine Hat Spring Bull Show and Sale - March 17, 2017
Jackson Doge - Sponsor Visit - March 17, 2017
Canada Cowboy Ski Race - Mount Norquay, Alberta - March 20- Sponsors
Alberta Treasury Branch - Sponsor visit - March 22, 2017
My 96fm - Radio - Manitoba - March 22-24, 2017
Smithbilt Hats - Sponsor Visit - March 22, 2017
Pro-Rodeo Canada - Sponsor Visit - March 22, 2017
Class of the Week Presentation - School - Manitoba - March 24, 2017
Frontier Western Shop - Sponsor Visit - March 26, 2017
Manitoba Winter Fair - Brandon Manitoba - March 28 - April 5 / Video
4-H Day - Manitoba Winter Fair - Brandon Manitoba
Jackson Dodge - Sponsor Visit - April 6, 2017
Medicine Hat Broncs & Honky Tonks Spring Rodeo - April 7-9, 2017
Hawaii - Island of Kauai - April 11-20, 2017 - Ali on the Beach
Chat Radio - April 5, 2017
Northlands - Meeting - April 18, 2017
The Mane Event - Red Deer, April 22, 2017
Alberta Equestrian Federation - Sponsor Visit - Red Deer, April 22, 2017
Alberta Cinch - Sponsor Visit - Red Deer, April 22, 2017
Cowboy Country - Sponsor visit - Red Deer, April 22, 2017
The Mane Event - Red Deer, Alberta - April 23, 2017
Ranchman's 45th Anniversary - May 27, 2017
Miss Rodeo Canada Alumni Clinic - May 28-30, 2017
MRC Alumni Seminar - May 1, 2017
Ranchman's - Calgary, Alberta May 1, 2017
Cowan Imaging Group - Truck Wrap Sponsor - May 3, 2017
K-Days - Media Launch - Northlands - May 4, 2017
Miss Rodeo Canada Meeting - May 5, 2017
Rippin and Roarin' Bull Riding - Manitoba - May 7, 2017
Radio Interview - Rippin and Roarin' Bull Riding - May 7, 2017
Cowboy Country - Sponsor visit - May 7, 2017
Cartwright School - May 15, 2017
Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede Royalty Program - May 23, 2017
840 CFCW Listener Appreciation Night - Fundraiser - Rivercree Casino Edmonton, Alberta - May 27
Grande Prairie Stompede - Sponsor Visit Keddie's - Grande Prairie, Alberta May 31-June 4
Leduc - Black Gold Rodeo - June 2, 2017
Brooks Kinsmen Pro Rodeo - June 9-10, 2017
Medicine Hat WPCA Chuckwagon Race -Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede- June 15-18
High River Rodeo-Guy Weadick Days-High River Rodeo Grounds-June 21-25
Ponoka Stampede - July 2-3, 2017 | Bullriding!
Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede - July 1, 2017
Ladue Ladies Luncheon- July 6, 2017
Calgary Stampede Parade - Calgary, Alberta- July 7, 2017
Calgary Stampede - July 9, 2017
Calgary Queen's Alumni - Giddy Up - July 10, 2017
Teepee Creek Stampede - Queens - July 13-16, 2017
Cowboy Country Photoshoot - July 19, 2017
K-Days Rodeo, Edmonton, Alberta- July 21-23, 2017
Sponsor Visits - Chateau Lacombe / ATB Financial / Northlands / 840 CFCW
Northlands - Monday Morning Magic - July 24, 2017
Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede - July 25-30, 2017 / Sponsor Visit - Jackson Dodge / Scott Guenther
Cheyenee Frontier Days - July 27-30, 2017
High Prairie - Elks Pro Rodeo - July 31 - August 1, 2017
Brandon, Manitoba - August 2, 2017
Cartwright Rodeo-Cartwright, Manitoba- August 5-6
Short Go - Strathmore Stampede, Strathmore, Alberta - August 7
Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede - August 10-12, 2017
MRC 2017 Function - August 19, 2017
Kitsap County Fair - Washington - August 28, 2017 | Bremerton, Washington - August 28, 2017
Jackson Dodge - Annie - Canadian Pro Rodeo Roots Tour - August 29, 2017
Armstrong IPE - August 31 - September 3, 2017 | Video - Grand Entry |
ATB Team Partner - with Zeke Thurston - Armstrong, BC- September 3, 2017
Pendleton, Oregon - Pendleton Round Up - September 13, 2017
Video - Pendleton, Oregon | Grand Entries - September 12, 2017 | Video
Olds Octoberfest Rodeo-Olds Rodeo Grounds- September 14-16
Hanna Pro Rodeo - September 23, 2017 / Video Hanna Pro Rodeo with Dennis Halstead
Sponsor Visit - Red Velvet Hair and Body Bar - September 28, 2017
Grassroots Finals - Calgary, Alberta - September 29-30
ATB Financial - Alliance, Alberta - October 11, 2017
Edmonton Northlands - Recording for #CFR44 - October 11, 2017
Media Launch - Northlands, - October 24, 2017
Australia - October 13-30, 2017
- Travel to Australia - October 13, 2017
- Great Barrier Reef - October 13, 2017
- Kuranda Scenic Railway, Queensland, Australia - October 14, 2017
- Tours - October 17, 2017
- Tours - October 18, 2017
- Video-Sash Sisters Dedication - October 19, 2017
- Australia Zoo - October 23, 2017
- Australian Professional Rodeo Association - October 24, 2017
- Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre - October 27, 2017
- Meeting FallonTaylor - October 28, 2017
- Travel - October 30, 2017
CFR Kickoff- Churchill Square - November 3, 2017
Lammles - Sponsor Visit / Announcement
Rodeo Kids Corral - Strathcona - Edmonton - November 4, 2017
Canadian Finals Rodeo - November 8-13, 2017
Miss Rodeo Canada Competion - November 5-13, 2017
DIARIES OF MISS RODEO CANADA 2017
Canadian Finals Rodeo - November 2017
Well, it's here. My final day as #MissRodeoCanada. In a matter of mere minutes, now, I will ride into the arena as #MRC2017 one final time, remove that gorgeous crown from my hat, and set it atop that of my very capable successor. There are so many words I would like to use to fill the space here, but since we all know that a picture is worth so much more, I'll leave my emotions in the form of images. If I were to thank all of the people that deserve thanking, I'm sure that I would break Facebook with the length of my list, so please just know that if you were a part of my year - even if it was from a great distance - I feel so much gratitude towards you. Like those who came before me, and those who will follow, I am truly honoured and humbled to have had the privilege of representing this lifestyle, this sport, and this country. Rather than goodbye, I'll wish you all the best, until next time. Keep your eyes on the horizon, your feet in the stirrups, a song in your soul, and a dream on your mind. With a happy heart,
Miss Rodeo Canada 2017
Ali Mullin - Farewell
With the passing of time, we return to Edmonton to celebrate what was the 2017 rodeo season, and to declare Canadian champions. As the year closes, I turn to music to express what I can’t vocalize myself. The cast from the musical, RENT, may have said it best, “525 600 minutes, how do you measure a year?”
For me, this year will be measured by the places I have been, the things I have done, and the people I have met along the way. Every handshake, laugh and challenge shaped my year as Miss Rodeo Canada 2017 into one of the most memorable of my life.
This journey began long ago, and the first recognition must go to the special people that believed in a ranch girl from Manitoba, starting in my hometown of Cartwright, moving to Vermilion, and all of the places in between. Most recently, representing the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede as their 2015 Queen saw me gain a whole new community within the City, and the surrounding Cypress County. Their added support is what made this particular dream a reality.
Finally, wearing the Miss Rodeo Canada crown as we celebrated 150 years of our beautiful country was a special honour that I hold close to my heart. People often ask to know my “highlight.” Instead of a specific event, I reference the moments I regularly experienced, simply sitting, soaking in life, and thinking, “Wow. I really am Miss Rodeo Canada.” For me, that’s the best kind of “highlight.”
Growing up with horses was an avenue that allowed me to explore two of my greatest passions: rodeo and travel. That proved true this year, as I discovered some of the most beautiful places in Canada, the United States, and Australia, all while representing my country, and my sport.
To the cowboys and cowgirls of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association; the personnel, contractors, committees, royalty, and fans that allowed me to be part of their world; this truly has been a dream come true. The Miss Rodeo Canada Board, sponsors and supporters made this possible, and for that I am grateful. Most of all, thank you to my family and friends – whose ranks have grown exponentially this year – for being the source of my energy and my passion.
Simply competing for the title of Miss Rodeo Canada was a privilege, and I would like to congratulate each of our contestants for exhibiting the courage that it takes to compete on this level.
For my part, I am thrilled to join the ranks of our talented alumni, passing on my title here at Northlands like so many before me. My parting request is that if you have taken the time to read this, please also take a few moments to greet the new Miss Rodeo Canada. Say hello, have a conversation, and help her feel welcome in an environment that is so new to her, the same way that you made me feel welcome.
Best of luck to our contestants here, at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, and to those of you representing us at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your Team Canada, and remember to make the most of your next 525 600 minutes.
Miss Rodeo Canada
Time flies at this time of year!
“Time flies,” seems to be what the outgoing Miss Rodeo Canada says, at this time of year. Being in that position now, I can’t come up with anything more fitting. Why does a year as MRC go by so fast? You work towards the title for so long, your dream is realized, and it takes time to sink in. By then, you are in the height of busy season, and there is little time to consider the preceding months! Having transitioned into fall, I’m finding more time to reflect – or maybe I’ve just become accustomed to the pace! Did I have a crazy schedule? Yes. Were there challenging times? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. Every second.
The month of September started in Armstrong, BC where I was actively involved in the Canadian Pro Rodeo Tour Finals, and the Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede. This was the first Finals I attended, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The committee was warm and welcoming, the atmosphere was absolutely electric, and the rodeo crowds were like none I had seen or heard before.
After Armstrong, was the charming Medicine Lodge Fall Roundup. I was so pleased to be able to attend their rodeo, and to hear the history of its development into a staple annual event for the local area. The rodeo grounds were privately owned, and family-run. The location was complete with its very own covered dance floor, office, and concession, and you can bet that it appealed to my small-town heart!
Next, it was straight through to the Pendleton Roundup, a personal “bucket list” rodeo. While in Oregon, I cheered on our Canadians over two days of slack, and enjoyed tours of the Pendleton Underground system and Woolen Mill. Thanks to generous hospitality, I watched the rodeo and Happy Canyon Pageant from front row seats! It was a thrilling rodeo, true to its roots, and to its slogan, “Let ‘er Buck!”
A quick trip delivered me to Oldstoberfest, and it was certainly worth the drive! If there is a rodeo that can be described as “unique,” this was certainly it! The Bavarian theme paid respect to the beginning of Oktoberfest in Germany. With a ceremonial “tapping of the keg,” traditional costumes, and an Oompah band playing O Canada, they truly pay attention to every detail, making this rodeo as fun as it is exciting!
All too soon I found myself in Hanna, Alberta, for my last regular-season rodeo. Though bittersweet for me, it was an awesome one to be part of! I participated in the all-horse parade, witnessed the gunfight on Main Street, and had the honour of singing the National Anthem for all three performances. The level of competition that the contestants exhibited at this rodeo in particular certainly made for a great show.
The Grassroots Finals in Calgary brought September to a close. The Sponsor Draft took place at Ranchman’s, followed by two days of some of the best competition of the season. Contestants jostled in the standings, striving to qualify for the Canadian Finals Rodeo. For my part, I was again honoured to open the rodeo performances by singing O Canada, enjoyed catching up with CPRA contestants and personnel, and we all shared our passion with Colby, a very special cowboy who came to us from the Make A Wish Foundation. I can’t think of a more perfect way to wrap up the season!
As I write this, I am also preparing for the CFR and a trip to Australia. Though I know both of these signify that my time as MRC is ending, I am proud to wear this crown and represent Canada on one more trip – this time to the land down under! I am taking lots of SPF, and will see you at Northlands in November!
Miss Rodeo Canada
Seventeen shades of lipstick... Seventeen shades of lipstick, twelve cups of coffee, nine horses, six Sharpie markers and three sets of chaps. This was my August. In the past four weeks, I travelled 10 463.9 kms through four Canadian provinces, and two American states by boarding nine flights, three ferry rides and one truck. This took me to upwards of sixty different appearances, of which thirteen were rodeo performances.
When the month began, I was in the Peace country, attending the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo. While there, I was involved in hospital visits and sponsor visits, the parade, and a fun grand entry. Attending rodeos hosted by small communities and seeing the passion their volunteers have, is always so inspiring.
From High Prairie, I took off – literally – and flew to Cartwright, Manitoba for the annual Ponderosa Days celebrations! Having grown up in Cartwright, I took the MRC crown to many events I had watched and participated in during my youth: the pie auction, Bedlam Races, talent show, parade, and ranch rodeo. The sweetest surprise of all was finding that the community had added to the town sign, "Home of Miss Rodeo Canada 2017 - Ali Mullin." I am so proud to be from this area of amazing, supportive people.
Things wrapped up for Ponderosa Days, but there was no time to waste! Immediate departure was necessary to participate in the final day of the Strathmore Stampede. This particular rodeo is a part of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Tour, being one of the high-profile rodeos in Canada. I truly enjoyed being part of such a quality showcase, and having the honour to ride in the arena, and sing O Canada.
A few days home in Redcliff provided enough time to wash laundry, before departing for, "The Greatest Show in the Peace," the Dawson Creek Exhibition & Stampede. I enjoyed catching up with other visiting royalty during the parade, pancake breakfasts and rodeos. On my last day, I even had the pleasure of touring the city of Dawson Creek and surrounding area, taking in some of the beautiful scenery there.
We were thrilled to add The Aria Studios as our new makeup and skin care sponsor! A photo shoot for Canadian Cowboy Country magazine was an ideal way to try the products, and provided a chance to wear fun outfits by Roper, Stetson and Wrangler and the gorgeous new line from Montana Silversmiths.
Pointing the big red Dodge west, I made my way to the Kitsap County Fair and Stampede in Bremerton, Washington – a first for Miss Rodeo Canada. The committee ordered a brand new Canadian flag for the occasion, and I had the honour of presenting it during our anthem at all four evening performances. Besides sponsor visits and autograph sessions, we were able to tour Seattle for a day, experiencing many famous Seattle attractions. Among these were a tour of Seattle’s underground, “Wings Over Washington,” Pike Place Fish Market, the Gum Wall and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit.
As August winds down, I find myself in Armstrong, BC for the Interior Provincial Exhibition. This weekend is the last rodeo of the 2017 Canadian Pro Rodeo Tour. I’ve long anticipated my journey to Armstrong, and have been happy to find that every ounce of excitement and enthusiasm I was promised is here – and we haven’t even reached Saturday night yet! I’m doing my best to soak up every last drop of the two months that I have left as Miss Rodeo Canada. On the radar next month are stops in Medicine Lodge, Pendleton, Olds and Hanna. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying the ride.
From High Prairie, I took off – literally – and flew to Cartwright, Manitoba for the annual Ponderosa Days celebrations! Having grown up in Cartwright, I brought the Miss Rodeo Canada crown to many events I had watched and participated in during my youth: the annual pie auction fundraiser, Bedlam Races, talent show, parade, and ranch rodeo. Dad even had some calves for me to help doctor at home! The sweetest surprise of all was finding that the community had added a panel to the town sign, "Home of Miss Rodeo Canada 2017 - Ali Mullin." I am so proud to be from an area of incredibly supportive people.
Miss Rodeo Canada
And they're off! July had “Annie” and me beating up and down the Alberta highways from one Canadian Pro Rodeo to the next. (For those of you who don’t know, Annie is the shiny red truck from Jackson Dodge that I enjoy driving!) We wrapped up the Ponoka Stampede over the Canada Day long-weekend. While there, twice I had the incredible honour of singing O Canada to open the rodeo performance! Once from the back of a horse, and once from atop the infamous Ponoka Stampede Stagecoach!
With little time between, Annie’s wheels turned towards the bright lights of the Calgary Stampede. While there, I participated in the Ladue Ladies Luncheon, Visiting Royalty program, Stampede Parade, Giddy Up Grits, the Indian Princess Royalty Tea, and various functions hosted by ATB Financial. Of course, there was also time for the Rangeland Derby, sampling new midway foods and rodeo action.
Another voyage to the north introduced me to the Teepee Creek Stampede, and I am already planning to return! This amazing little community came together to host a phenomenal rodeo, and I truly enjoyed the privilege of being involved. Taking in the “Teepee Terror,” assisting queen contestants, helicopter rides and even a visit to historical “Sorken Ville,” gave me some incredibly unique memories.
Déjà vu was a common theme, revisiting the place where my time as Miss Rodeo Canada began. For the first time, a CPRA rodeo was one of the attractions at the annual K-Days celebrations in the “Oil Capital of Canada.” What a special treat, to be able to enjoy a rodeo at Northlands Coliseum in the summer! I was even lucky enough to be a witness when Straws Milan tied the Canadian steer wrestling record of 2.9 seconds! It felt great working alongside Northlands, and C5 Rodeo Company again, both of which were instrumental in orchestrating the rodeo itself. Beyond that, I was able to take in much of what K-Days had to offer, including the parade, night shows, and the incredible Monday Morning Magic event that has been occurring annually for 40 years! During downtime, I managed to slip over to the Cirque du Soleil show, Kurios, that was playing right next door, and truly did have the full K-Days experience.
Finally, the long road turned south, and I was able to spend time at home during the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede. A number of pancake breakfasts, sponsor visits and dinners provided the structure of our days. From there, we filled in with Visiting Royalty Day, a tour of Pioneer Village, the parade, night shows, autograph sessions, Country in the City, the annual ranch horse competition and sale, and rodeo performances! It was lovely to be back in The Hat, even if it was just for a short time. Traveling is one of my greatest passions, but it does always feel good to bring those new experiences and memories back home to share with family and friends.
On that note, I am looking forward to a trip to Manitoba, as well! Next month, I will be visiting my ORIGINAL hometown: Cartwright, Manitoba! The 300 citizen population is a far cry from the huge cities that I’ve visited this year, but I am so very proud to call those 300 my neighbours. First of all, I’ll be spending the end of July at the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo. For two days, I’ll be helping with the High Prairie Rodeo Queen program and the Pro Rodeo, before departing for Cartwright, Manitoba and their Ponderosa Days! Wherever you’re going this summer, please go safely! I’ll talk to you all next month.
Miss Rodeo Canada
On the road again! I can’t wait to get on the road again! Willie Nelson’s familiar lyrics echo, as I add miles to my Jackson Dodge truck. Early this month, that truck took me to Northlands in Edmonton for a media launch announcing their summer schedule. Included on the list was a new stop for the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, the K-Days rodeo in July. From there, I headed east to the Rippin and Roarin Bull Riding at Killarney, Manitoba’s Shamrock Centre. Having grown up a short distance down the road, it was wonderful to attend a local event in the area, as Miss Rodeo Canada! In Manitoba, I also visited Cartwright School, where I studied from kindergarten to grade 12. Once finished, it didn’t take long for them to put me to work at Clay Ranch Quarter Horses! Branding calves, riding horses, taking photos and doing paperwork – stepping back into that old routine was a great way to catch my breath before I hit the ground running for summer rodeos! Returning to Alberta, I was invited to an information session at the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede grounds to benefit future Rodeo Royalty contestants. It always feels good to give back to an organization that has given me so much! The month of May was rounded out with some of the best people. At the Newcap Radio station in West Edmonton Mall I had a blast doing promotional recordings for our long-time sponsor, CFCW. Perfect timing allowed a chance to meet and visit with Canadian country music artist, Gord Bamford! Just two days later, our Miss Rodeo Canada auction fundraiser was held in conjunction with the annual CFCW Listener Appreciation Party. Their enthusiastic listeners were so generous in their support of our program. The Dungarees led off the evening concert, and much fun was had by all – myself included – especially when presented with the opportunity to meet the night’s headliner, George Canyon! After shaking hands with two country music stars this last week, I am seriously considering a trip to Nashville! Having passed the mid-way point of my time as Miss Rodeo Canada, I am compelled to reflect on memories already made in this amazing year. Since competition week and crowning during the Canadian Finals Rodeo at Northlands in Edmonton, I have flown to Nevada, Colorado, Florida and Hawaii. Now, I’m looking forward to a summer of touring Canada, celebrating our country’s 150th year, as well as the annual trip that Miss Rodeo Canada makes to Australia! Some people that I knew from television or radio are now people that I have had the privilege of meeting: Clyde & Elsie Frost, Matt Shiozawa, Ivan Daines, Martha Josey, Sharon Camarillo, Levi Simpson, Jeremy Buhler, Trevor Brazile. It has been such an honour, to be a person that someone else would look up to or want an autograph from. As for the amazing feeling of being introduced as Miss Rodeo Canada – an ambassador of our sport, culture, lifestyle, and our beautiful country – that just never gets old. Coming up in June, I’ll be continuing this unbelievable year at arenas in Leduc, Grande Prairie, Brooks, Medicine Hat, High River and Ponoka! Watch for me this summer, and be sure to check out www.missrodeocanada.ca or find me on social media (@MissRodeoCanada) for booking information! Ali Mullin
Miss Rodeo Canada 2017
After travelling abroad for a large part of the winter, I made it to my first Canadian Pro Rodeo of the 2017 season! The Medicine Hat Broncs and Honky Tonks Spring Rodeo was a perfect way for me to kick things off in April: presentation rides, autograph sessions, and their annual Princess for a Day contest.
Pretty soon, it was time to pack my bags again, and board another airplane! This time, my destination was the town of Princeville on Kauai, Hawaii! A week of sunshine and sand on the beautiful island was made complete by visits to Omao Ranch Lands, CJM Stables, and the Smith Family Garden Luau, as well as a scenic horseback beach ride.
Arriving back in Calgary just in time for the Mane Event in Red Deer, I was pleased to be there both Saturday and Sunday. Over the busy weekend, I took in as much of the expansive tradeshow as I could, a number of horsemanship clinics, and caught up with some of our generous sponsors. It was fun to share with each of them where my journey had taken me already this year! Additionally, I watched the annual Trainers’ Challenge – a colt-starting contest between three different horsemen, judged on the quality of each of their training sessions, as well as their execution of a large obstacle course as part of the grand finale. When the scores were tabulated for each of the talented cowboys, I was excited to present the championship prize to Martin Black of Bruneau, Idaho, a good friend of mine. The Mane Event allowed me opportunity to visit with many existing friends, and to form some great new relationships.
Next, I journeyed again to central Alberta, for the 45th anniversary celebration of Ranchman’s Cookhouse in Calgary. There was certainly an air of sadness among the attendees, as founder and co- owner of Ranchman’s, Harris Dvorkin, had recently passed away. Besides being a very successful business owner, Mr Dvorkin was an enthusiastic supporter of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. It was a fitting event to be able to celebrate his legacy, and his life as well.
The month was rounded out by attending the fourth annual Miss Rodeo Canada Alumni Pageant Seminar, held this year in Olds, Alberta. I had attended this very event in the spring of 2015, with the intention to run for the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Queen title. In 2016, I was back, representing Medicine Hat and planning to run for Miss Rodeo Canada in the fall. It was very satisfying, being able to come full circle and return to the event, now as Miss Rodeo Canada. Not so long ago, I sat, eagerly absorbing all that I could at the seminar. To be able to pay that forward, helping the excited Canadian rodeo royalty and hopefuls that attended was very rewarding. I worked alongside MANY talented Miss Rodeo Canada Alumni for the weekend, as well as Lauren Heaton (Miss Rodeo America 2015) and Siera Bearchell (Miss Universe Canada 2016). To be included on a roster of such strong, powerful and passionate women was a truly incredible feeling.
The months are flying by, and it is so exciting to be say that rodeo season is here at last! I look forward to maintaining this busy schedule throughout the summer months! Please be sure to say hello and to get a picture with me if you spot me in your area, this summer. As always, you can follow my journey on social media @MissRodeoCanada, and check www.missrodeocanada.ca for booking information.
Miss Rodeo Canada 2017
As the weather heats up, so does my schedule! March was full of milestone events, including the arrival of my Canadian Professional Rodeo Association membership card, and the first drive in my truck, sponsored for the year by Jackson Dodge. Goodness knows I’ll put those to use as the year progresses!
Early this month, I spent time in Medicine Hat. There are three ATB Financial branches in the city, where I introduced myself and shared our exciting partnership. The Rogers Hometown Hockey tour stopped in “The Hat,” and I was pleased to participate in the festivities. My family has a great passion for hockey, so meeting stars like Rob Niedermayer, Lanny McDonald and Ron MacLean was an amazing experience!
Just two days later, I was invited for a ceremonial puck drop at the Medicine Hat Tiger’s hockey game. The days flew by, while I attended Colour Me Culture, the annual Pheasants Forever Dinner, and the Medicine Hat Spring Bull Show and Sale. Each of these events was special, as I have been involved with them in the past, and it was fun to attend now, with the Miss Rodeo Canada crown on my hat.
Mount Norquay was the home of the Canadian Cowboy Ski Race this year. Presented by Back On Track, this fundraiser benefits the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team and the new Ty Pozzobon Foundation, both of which are tremendous supporters of the rodeo scene, here in Canada. A quick stop at the CPRA office had me loaded up with “swag” to distribute to rodeo fans throughout my year. Also in the Airdrie area is the Roper Warehouse, and they had me outfitted with the most stylish western fashions in no time. Of course, I needed to stop in at my favourite hat shop – Smithbilt Hats in Calgary, and even managed visits at the two ATB Financial Branches in Airdrie, and one in Crossfield.
As March wore on, I explored a new career option by co-hosting the morning show with Kim Johnston of My96.1 FM in Medicine Hat. This rewarding experience included early mornings, Tim Horton’s coffee, impromptu interviews, a Throwback Thursday Throwdown, Girl Guide cookies, and a pizza party for the Dr. Roy Wilson Grade 5 class, among other things. Having the opportunity to learn first-hand some of the magic that goes into producing a radio show is not something that I will soon forget!
The end of a busy month saw my journey home to Manitoba, for the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. Growing up in southern Manitoba, I regularly attended the Winter Fair, so to have it as my homecoming event as Miss Rodeo Canada was amazing. It was very fitting that I attended for 4H Day, as my Grandpa, Elvis Mullin, was a member of Canada’s first 4H club in Roland, Manitoba, and I moved up through the 4H ranks myself. Radio interviews filled the morning, in the afternoon, I spoke to audiences about my journey to the title of Miss Rodeo Canada, and sang the Canadian and American National Anthems during the evening’s opening ceremonies, and assisted in handing out championship ribbons. All in all, I had a blast at the Fair, and was so pleased to be able to return there.
With spring finally here, my next appearance will be at the Medicine Hat Broncs and Honky Tonks Spring Indoor Rodeo, and I am eager to get the summer rodeo season with the CPRA underway. As always, you can easily find my journey on social media (@missrodeocanada). Until next time, keep your heels down, and keep your elbows up!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2017
What is a girl to do when she gets the winter blues? For starters, I attended Groundhog Day celebrations at the Blue Grass Garden Centre in Balzac, Alberta. Balzac Billy did not heed my request for an “early spring,” instead calling for another six weeks of winter! Thankfully a delicious pancake breakfast and local music were supplied to keep everyone cozy.
The next option was a trip to Edmonton for the Alberta Association of Agriculture Societies Conference. In theory, discussing upcoming summer events could be a way to fool myself into feeling warm, but two days can only go so far. So how did I finally manage to thaw out this month? Florida.
Kissimmee, Florida, and the Silver Spurs Rodeo, to be precise! I joined a number of rodeo queens for a week in the sunshine state. Though I will always be a Canadian girl, I could take an annual Florida trip!
Communicating with kids is a big part of my job, so the daily school visits were an enjoyable routine. However, I was able to interact with children in a new way for one evening at a unique non-profit resort. “Give Kids the World Village” supplies families of children suffering life-threatening illnesses cost-free vacations. This magical place touched my heart, and I hope to return as a volunteer again in the future.
What is a Floridian trip without reptile exposure?! For many of us, Wild Florida was our first introduction to airboats and alligators. As the name suggests, it was a fun-filled trip on the wild side! A tour of the Kenneth Kirchman Foundation’s Lake X was our next close look at native flora and fauna. The natural ecosystem of Lake X is preserved for educational purposes. We were also encouraged to learn about ourselves, through teamwork and obstacle course challenges. Finally, Gatorland Park provided countless photo opportunities with tarantulas, flamingos, pythons and – of course – alligators. We even enjoyed their zipline course, and a variety of shows featuring fascinating animals and a good sense of humour.
Later in the week, we got our thrills by attending Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament! Based in the days of kingdoms, we (the audience) were enlisted to observe a horseback contest between knights of the realm. As the story progressed, we enjoyed our roast chicken and potato dinner authentically – no silverware allowed – and cheered on our own Green Knight! For me, the excitement continued through to my last day in Florida, when I enjoyed the special privilege of exploring both Universal Studios theme parks in Orlando. Being a huge Harry Potter fan, (or “Potterhead,” for those of you who are not privy to such intimate details about my life) it was nothing short of a dream come true.
Around being a tourist, I did manage to fit in some rodeo action! I was honoured to be included in grand entry for the “Largest Rodeo East of the Mississippi,” sponsor visits, and the Silver Spurs Exceptional Rodeo. A dedicated team of committees, a truly amazing host family, and the largest calf scramble I have ever seen made this trip incredibly special! It felt good to be back in the rodeo arena, and left me eagerly anticipating our first full CPRA rodeo of 2017 in Medicine Hat, Alberta this April. Ali Mullin
Miss Rodeo Canada 2017
List of things that I know rodeo queens are good at...
List of things that I know rodeo queens are not quite as good at...
- riding horses
- public speaking, and
- rodeo promotion.
Attending the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado was an amazing start for 2017. While there, I was involved in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association performances in many different capacities. Helping out with the Mutton Busters, carrying sponsor flags, and presenting our beautiful maple leaf during the opening ceremonies were experiences to remember. Being a good two months into my reign as Miss Rodeo Canada, I still have the occasional "wow" moment: a time I must physically stop and think, "Wow. I'm really Miss Rodeo Canada." This month, the wow moment was on Canada Night at the NWSS. Riding with my hosts, Miss Rodeo Colorado - Kelsie Winslow, and Miss Rodeo America - Lisa Lageschaar, I had the privilege of carrying the Canadian flag for the opening ceremonies. Every light was black, save for the bright spotlight on the flags we held in the centre of the arena. Stepping forward with my flag for the Canadian anthem, I felt absolute awe. That role, in that place, at that time... such a simple moment, and everything was perfect. I was so humbled. While in Denver, I was sure to take in the festivities of the Western and English Sales Association Market. To see so many western exhibitors in one place was a thing of dreams! Of course, I stopped for visits at a few favourites: Roper/Stetson/Tin Haul, Wrangler, and Montana Silversmiths. My marketing brain even got some special fun at the revealing of Tin Haul's new boot and clothing lines for the year! Towards the end of a busy week, it was time for a trip to Steamboat Springs for their 43rd annual Cowboy Downhill Ski Race! If you�ve never seen it, this particular event is just as entertaining as you might imagine: dozens of rodeo cowboys and queens populate the slopes, complete with chaps and hats. Now, growing up in Manitoba, I had a brief introduction to skiing during a couple of school trips in junior high. As an estimate, the outing at Steamboat was about my fifth time on skis, and admittedly, the ski jump on the course did get the better of me! Fortunately, I was un-hurt, and the organizers and sponsors of the Cowboy Downhill Ski Race were thoughtful enough to prepare an amazing prize package for the prestigious title of Best Wreck that I was thrilled to win! For this championship, I received my very own sets of skis and bindings, a GoPro camera, and Beats headphones, to list a few items. I've already been out practicing, and am doing my best not to repeat THAT championship next time! A happy 2017 to all of you, and I look forward to meeting you down the rodeo trail this year! Ali Mullin
- resisting good shopping,
- travelling light, and
- ski jumps!
Miss Rodeo Canada 2017
As 2016 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting. For me, the main transition has been adapting from life as a small-town Manitoba cowgirl, to the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Queen, and most recently, Miss Rodeo Canada 2017! Even now, I'm not accustomed to the title, but am excited for all that is in store over the next months. If December has been any indication, great things are coming!
The big story this month was my first international trip as MRC, taking me to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada! Having never been to Vegas, let alone to the WNFR, I was ecstatic to wrap up my semester at Medicine Hat College, and get started in my new role.
Arriving in Las Vegas after dark meant the lights of "The Strip" were all in their glory! Thank goodness I had Nicole Briggs (MRC Board member, and MRC Alumni 2014) to coach me through the maze of slot machines that we had to navigate at the MGM Grand Hotel. Our third teammate was Katy Scott (Miss Rodeo Australia). I met Katy at the Canadian Finals Rodeo last month, but was able to get to know her better after staying together for two weeks in Las Vegas! In the days preceding the rodeo, we took in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. It was a nice change, seeing a competition from this new perspective, instead of being a judged contestant! Miss Rodeo America 2016, Katherine Merck, crowned Miss Rodeo Texas, Lisa Lageschaar as the new Miss Rodeo America 2017. Lisa will be my international counterpart over the coming year, and I am so thrilled to get to know her as we work together to promote our sport and lifestyle!
Once the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo began, our routine became fairly regular: autograph signings by day, and rodeo performances by night. Each evening, we enjoyed supper in the Gold Card Room - a space reserved for the Gold Card members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. I was more than a little star struck at this incredible privilege! After eating, it was time for grand entry. The very first time I rode down the famously long "tunnel" to enter the Thomas & Mack Arena at the WNFR is a snapshot in my mind. I will cherish it as an honest to goodness dream come true. Next, we watched the rodeo: sometimes from the stands inside the arena, or on a straw bale in the warm up tent, and sometimes on the television in the hotel room, with some much-needed Chinese food! Afterwards, we helped present the Montana Silversmiths Championship buckles to the go-round winners at the South Point Hotel and Casino. It felt so special to be involved in the different parts of such a prestigious rodeo.
Between appearances, we managed some tourist time! We took photos at the Las Vegas sign, walked "The Strip" and even squeezed in shopping at the tradeshows, set up for the ten days of WNFR. Living in Las Vegas for two weeks, I still wasn't ready to leave. The stream of entertainment and activity led me to the resolution that I will just have to go back... and maybe even make the WNFR trip an annual one!
Safely landed in Edmonton, I made a few sponsor visits within the city before returning to Medicine Hat. Now in Manitoba for the holidays, I'm relaxing and getting ready for the New Year! Merry Christmas, everyone, and all the best to you and yours in 2017!Ali Mullin
Miss Rodeo Canada 2017
[Photo by Nicole Marie Photography Co] Crowning Announcement at the Canadian Finals Rodeo - Ali Mullin, Miss Rodeo Canada 2017! Talk about a whirlwind!
The weeks leading up to the 43rd annual Canadian Finals Rodeo were a blur, but they were nothing compared to the rush of the Miss Rodeo Canada Competition itself.
In preparing for the stay at the Chateau Lacombe Hotel in Edmonton, I spoke with many alumni. Each of them advised that I was in for a week of extremely high pressure, matched only by the incredible amount of fun and amazing memories that were in store. Thankfully, it did not disappoint!
During the contest, we visited a number of delicious local restaurants, and many other generous Edmonton-based sponsors. We enjoyed trips to the West Edmonton Mall, the Stollery Children's Hospital, FarmFair International, and of course, the Canadian Finals Rodeo at Northlands Coliseum. All the while, as contestants for the title of Miss Rodeo Canada 2017, we were subject to adjudication by various public and secret judges, as well as friends, families, and fans of the rodeo community.
After evaluations concluded in the main scoring categories (personal interview, horsemanship, public speaking, written exam and modelling) the official crowning ceremony took place in the arena dirt, during the November 12, 2016 afternoon performance of the CFR. That experience is one that I still struggle to describe. The single most popular question I received afterwards was, "What emotion did you feel when they announced that you had won?" The truth is, it's simply impossible to pick one emotion. That goal was something I had worked towards for years. It was something I had planned for months, and hoped for in every breath and every thought for countless weeks.
Thrilled? Nervous? Relieved?
In that single moment, hundreds of hours of preparation came to fruition, and a huge dream became reality for me. In short, I felt everything and I felt absolutely nothing, all at once. I was heavy as a tonne of bricks, and light as a feather. No words can accurately describe a feeling quite like that.
Of course, I know that the time I spent preparing for competition was matched by three other individuals. Alongside Desirae Jackson, Jadey van der Vlis, and Miranda Pybus, I grew individually, and had the pleasure of seeing them flourish. Though only one person can receive this particular title, I know that each of these talented ladies will conquer the world, and hold many prestigious titles of her own!
Thank you to all of my supporters, particularly those in Manitoba, Medicine Hat and surrounding area. You got me to competition week. Thank you to my beautiful fellow contestants for being my teammates all the way to the finish line. I look forward to a great year, full of once in a lifetime experiences, that I am so excited to share with each of you! I am incredibly thankful to be able to count you all as my friends, and I am honoured and humbled to be awarded the title of Miss Rodeo Canada 2017.
Miss Rodeo Canada 2017