The Miss Rodeo Canada organization is committed to selecting a special young lady to represent the sport of rodeo and to keep the western heritage alive. Our Miss Rodeo Canada is not only a representative for the sport of rodeo, she is a a horsewoman, a volunteer, an organizer, a public speaker and an educator.
Currently, Miss Rodeo Canada travels many miles in her year, appearing at between 400-500 events. She not only attends rodeos, but attends many community events, such as schools and hospitals, educating the public and entertaining young children.
Miss Rodeo Canada is an ambassador for her country and is a beautiful, well-spoken young woman who acts on behalf of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and the Pro-Rodeo Cowboys Association.
[Photo - Phyllis Backs, Miss Rodeo Canada 1959]
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Since the pageant first began in 1955 the Miss Rodeo Canada organization has seen many changes! The MRC organization is looking for your help! We wish to update the history of this website by expanding on our Miss Rodeo Canada alumni information.
We would like you to prepare an interview with our President. Contact her today! Your thoughts, photos, and pageant information would be a valuable asset to this site. For more information contact our Alumni Coordinator, Katy Lucas or our President.
If you have rodeo programs from 1974 to 2014 - we would also like to hear from you. Our Miss Rodeo Canada's and contestants are highlighted in every program and we are looking for program donations for our archives.
Be sure to review our Miss Rodeo Canada Spotlight! Each month we will be reviewing one of our ladies of the rodeo! Read about our Miss Rodeo Canada and how things have changed through the years!
Media - Newspaper Archives
Did you know we have historic articles posted on our newspaper archives page! Read about Miss Rodeo Canada from 1955 to present day here!
Miss Rodeo Canada - The Early Years
Rodeo queens have been around for many decades, appearing as early as 1910 at the Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon, but it was in 1946 when Canada began appointing a representative for its Canadian rodeos. The earliest "Canadian" Rodeo Queen hailed from the Calgary Stampede. It was in 1946 that Miss Patsy Rogers was selected by the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Board to serve as the first Calgary Stampede Queen. Miss Rogers represented the Stampede locally and regionally.
Miss Rodeo Canada, however, is an entirely different title from that given to the Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses. The Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses represent the Calgary Stampede, a rodeo which is not a sanctioned CPRA rodeo, but an invitational rodeo. The Calgary Stampede Queen and Princess only represent the Calgary Stampede.
Miss Rodeo Canada, on the other hand, holds the coveted title for all the professional rodeo circuits in Canada. In 1955 Mr. Herman Linder, a rodeo cowboy, announcer, and promoter felt the need to start a Miss Rodeo Canada organization when he saw Miss Rodeo America organize a year earlier. He felt the need to have ladies represent the sport of rodeo, acting as ambassadors and spokespersons in general. Herman got the Southern Alberta Rodeo Circuit (SARC) to endorse a queen contest. He called up some ladies he knew who were skilled horsewomen and who he felt would best represent Canada at a national and international level and soon the Miss Rodeo Canada organization was born. Miss Connie Ivins was crowned the very first Miss Rodeo Canada in 1955.
In the 1960's rodeo queens had to be skilled horsewomen, because they not only held a rodeo queen title, they also actively competed in the rodeo - usually in barrel racing. Miss Rodeo Canada 1978, Jerri Duce, won the barrel racing event at the CFR a total of 9 times and qualified for the NFR 3 times!
In the 1950's rodeo queens were selected by the contestant who could sell the most tickets to the rodeo. Today, we base our selection on the talent of the individual. Miss Rodeo Canada is judged on her poise, personality, public speaking, modeling, rodeo knowledge and horsemanship skills. View more information on our Pageant page.
For further history and stories - be sure to visit our Alumni page where contestants are interviewed about their Miss Rodeo Canada reign! We also feature a former Miss Rodeo Canada on our "Spotlight" page and post photos in our Photo Gallery!
MISS RODEO CANADA - THE ORGANIZATION
Herman Linders, a rodeo cowboy, rodeo promoter and rodeo announcer began the Miss Rodeo Canada pageant in 1955 after seeing the Miss Rodeo America pageant begin a year earlier. Herman Linders, The Linder Legend, Harald Gunderson, (1996) available on-line at: http://www.ourroots.ca/e/toc.aspx?id=8209 (Miss Rodeo Canada references at pages 84, 133-134)
MISS RODEO CANADA TITLE
- The first Canadian Rodeo Queen was Connie Ivins from Cardston, Alberta. After competing for the Canadian pageant in 1955, she competed nationally at the Miss Rodeo America pageant. Connie was 1st runner up in the Miss Rodeo America contest. She also crowned the next Miss Rodeo Canada, who was also from Cardston, Alberta (Mary Lynn Cook).
- Shelly (Sis) Thacker (Miss Rodeo Canada 1976) was crowned Miss Rodeo Canada at the first rodeo called the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton, November, 1975.
Many of the professional rodeos across Canada hold queen pageants. Each of these queens then have the opportunity to compete for the coveted Miss Rodeo Canada title.
- In 1948 the Ponoka Stampede committee held a queen competition and crowned Miss Bertha (Santee) Courser as their first rodeo queen. Throughout the years five Ponoka queens have won the Miss Rodeo Canada title. (1990 - Rhonda Hartman), (1997 - Jody Bourgerolle), (1998 - Brook Robertson) - (1999 - Karina Tees) and (2015 - Katy Lucas).
- Canada's first Miss Rodeo Canada Princess was crowned in November of 1991. Angie Lundgren was the first Miss Rodeo Canada Princess 1992.
- Taber's only running queen contestant, and winner of the Miss Rodeo Canada Princess title in 1993, was Tanya Vair.
- Twenty-one year old Bobbi-Lee Kjos competed on behalf of the Kamloops Rodeo Board in 2004. This Rodeo Board has never had a Rodeo Queen before.
- Miss Dixie Forsyth, Miss Rodeo Canada 1957 was the youngest Miss Rodeo Canada to be crowned.
- Joan Pardell, Miss Rodeo Canada 1981 was the first Saskatchewan cowgirl to be crowned Miss Rodeo Canada. In 1983 Kate Cornelston, representing Shaunavon's rodeo, won the title. The third Saskatchewan lady was Christa Lawrence in 2005.
- Karina Tees, Miss Rodeo Canada 2005 was deaf. She also was crowned by the Premier, Ralph Klein.
- “To be able to be the first Sundre girl to be crowned Miss Rodeo Canada is an honour I take very seriously and I’m very proud to hold,” she said. (Arleta Bowhay on being crowned Miss Rodeo Canada, 2012).
- Miss Rodeo Canada 2014, Nicole Briggs, was the second Miss Rodeo Airdrie to be consecutively crowned back to back. Miss Gillian Shields, Miss Rodeo Canada, 2013 passed down the crown.
- A past Miss Grande Prairie Stompede Queen contestant, Chyanne Freemantle, also ran for the Miss Universe Canada pageant.
- Cheryl Robson, Miss Rodeo Canada 1988, ran for the title of "Miss Canada" in 1987.
- Trish Kostelansky (Seitz), Miss Rodeo Canada 1991, previously held both the Alberta High School Title (1985) and National High School title (1985), before running in 1991. She won Miss Rodeo Canada too!
- Five of our Miss Rodeo Canada queens previously held an Alberta High School Rodeo Queen title. In separate years they competed at the National Finals High School Queen competitions and all made it to the top ten! These three queens were Trish Kostelansky (Seitz), Stacey Soffel, Jenna Berreth, Nicole Briggs and Katy Lucas
- Miss Rodeo Canada 2006, Aleaha More, was previously the Manitoba High School Queen in 2000.
- The smallest pageants: In 2003 and 2014, the Miss Rodeo Canada organization only had two qualifying contestants - (Shannon McCarthy and Breanna Ernst in 2003) and (Bronwen Bowhay and Nicole Briggs in 2014).
- Three of our Miss Rodeo Canada queens were previously Calgary Stampede Royalty. Sis Thacker (Princess 1974), Karina Tees (Princess 1995), and Tara Sergerie (Princess 2009).
- Medicine Hat brought us six Miss Rodeo Canada queens: Susan Hargrave, Wendy Lund, Dode Minor, Shelley Sodero, and Andrea Johnston and Aleaha More.
RODEO QUEENS AND RODEO CONTESTANTS
- In the 1960's Miss Rodeo Canada and Miss Rodeo America had to be athletes in the rodeo (usually competing in barrel racing events) before they could compete in the queen pageant.
- Jerri Duce, Miss Rodeo Canada 1975, was the first Canadian to qualify for the NFR in 1975. She also returned to qualify in 1976 and 1977. She won the CFR Ladies' Barrel racing event in 1975 as Miss Rodeo Canada 1975! She would go on to win 9 barrel racing championships!
- Merry Ann Reed (Miss Rodeo Canada 1977) never qualified for the CFR. However, her daughter, Sierra, is a four-time CFR qualifier.
- Miss Rodeo Canada did not begin wearing chaps until 1997 when Helen & Bill Gilchrist attended the 1996 NFR and noticed that Miss Rodeo Canada did not own a pair of chaps. Heather Beierback who ranches southwest of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan was immediately commissioned to make Miss Rodeo Canada chaps. The tradition had begun.
- Brook Robertson, Miss Rodeo Canada 1998, qualified for the 2014 Canadian Finals Rodeo. Former Miss Rodeo Sundre, Lisa Zachoda, also qualified.
- Katy Lucas, Miss Rodeo Canada 2015, won the Canadian Team Roping Finals in the #12 category in November 2014. Katy headed while her brother Kyle, heeled.
MISS RODEO CANADA CROWNS
- In the early years (1955-1974) , Miss Rodeo Canada, did not wear a crown. It wasn't until Shelly Thacker was crowned Miss Rodeo Canada in 1976 that a crown was used.
- Their have been six crowns used throughout the Miss Rodeo Canada pageants. (Thacker, Sodero, Bird, Bowhay, Shields and Briggs wear the designs - read the history of the crowns below.)
MISS RODEO CANADA TIDBITS
- After becoming Miss Rodeo Canada 2003, Shannon McCarthy landed the role of legendary markswoman Annie Oakley in a EuroDisney show. Annie Oakley, the woman Sioux Chief Sitting Bull christened Little Sure Shot, headlined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
- Christa Lawrence (Miss Rodeo Canada 2005) drove a wagon into the arena for her grand entry at the 2005 Grand Prairie Stompede. Riding shotgun was Aaron Pritchett, who sang our National Anthem.
- Ms. Britteny Foster appeared at the CCMA awards in 2010. Britteny Foster and Paul Brandt presented the Group of the Year award to the band "Doc Walker."
- During her reign as Miss Rodeo Canada 2013, Gillian Shields bungie jumped over 140 feet off the Auckland (Harbour) Bridge in New Zealand.
- Our Miss Rodeo Canada's also have talent. Gillian Shields, Miss Rodeo Canada 2013 can sing, play the violin and play the guitar - watch video.
- Stacey Soffel is a singer and still sings in a band today.
- Miss Rodeo Canada 1997, Jody Bougerolle (Brisebois) actively competes as a body builder in 2014.
- Tara Sergerie, Miss Rodeo Canada 2007 had a starring role in the hit series "Heartland." Tara played the part of -- a rodeo queen! Tara also worked in the film industry as a stunt double & horse wrangler for John Scott motion picture animals from 2007-2012. Tara worked on many travel Alberta commercials, some German films, Heartland as well as Hell on Wheels.
- Gillian Shields starred in a video with Canadian's musician Gord Bamford - Check out "Farm Girl Strong."
- Miss Rodeo Canada 2014, Nicole Briggs, and Miss Rodeo Canada 2015, Katy Lucas, were the first female team and rodeo queen team to rope a steer at a Professional Rodeo (Exhibition Roping - Ponoka Stampede - July 2014). They "slicked it" with a time of 5.4 clean! Nicole Briggs then roped two more exhibition runs with professional ropers at the TeePee Creek Rodeo in July, 2014. One with Ryon Tittel. The other with Mike Beers. All were clean runs. Nicole also roped, barrel raced and tried some "camp drafting" in exhibition runs in Australia at the Warwick Pro-Rodeo in October 2014.
- For the first time in 29 years, Miss Rodeo Canada (Samantha Stokes), Miss Rodeo Australia (Danika Boland) and Miss Rodeo America (Lauren Heaton) were all together on Australian soil was in October of 2015.
Miss Rodeo Canada did not wear a crown until the Canadian Finals Rodeo was held in Edmonton in 1975. Miss Rodeo Canada 1976 (Shelly Thacker) was the first to wear a crown. The first crown designed by the Miss Rodeo Canada organization was a maple leaf design. The crown was redesigned a number of times. The shape, design and weight were changed throughout the years. Below are the crowns as worn by several of our first ladies of rodeo!
Sis Thacker wore her own personal crown when she was crowned Miss Rodeo Canada 1976. This crown is owned by Sis Thacker and was presented to her when she won the Calgary Stampede Princess title in 1974. As Miss Rodeo Canada did not have a crown the year she won, she wore her Stampede Princess crown. Ms. Thacker is in possession of this crown.
Shelley Sodero is wearing the Miss Rodeo Canada maple leaf crown created in1981/82. This was the first official crown of Miss Rodeo Canada and was designed by Simon's Jewelry in Edmonton. The crown was retired in 1988 and a new crown was designed. This crown was returned to Simons Jewelry who owned it. According to interviews, this crown was supposedly melted down.
Crown worn by:
Jennifer Bird, Miss Rodeo Canada 2004 is wearing the full silver and ruby crown. In 1988 the Miss Rodeo Canada organization, along with Montana Silversmiths, designed the silver and ruby encrusted crown. This crown was worn from 1988 to 2005. Jody Bougerolle Brisebois (Miss Rodeo Canada 1997) currently has the crown in her possession.
|Arleta Bowhay, Miss Rodeo Canada 2012, is wearing the silver and gold crown. This crown was worn between 2006 and 2013. Due to the heaviness of the crown and the wear and tear, it was replaced in 2013.
Crown worn by:
Aleaha More - MRC 2006
Tara Sergerie - MRC 2007
Jenna Berreth - MRC 2008
Aaron Courchesne - MRC 2009
Britteny Foster - MRC 2010
Kezia Morrison - MRC 2011
Arleta Bowhay - MRC 2012
The Miss Rodeo Canada and Montana Silversmiths designed a new crown for Miss Rodeo Canada 2013. Gillian Shields is wearing the new black, gold and silver design. This crown was refurbished in 2013 for the Miss Rodeo Canada 2014.
In late 2013 the Miss Rodeo Canada organizarion decided to refurbish the 2013 crown by removing the black background and changing the color to white. Nicole Briggs is currently wearing the white, red and sliver design which is in use today.
Crown worn by:
In the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 Miss Rodeo Canada was joined by a Miss Rodeo Canada Princess. Miss Kirsten Braumandl (Johnson), Miss Rodeo Canada Princess 2011 is wearing the silver crown with blue stones. Anne Lamers, President, currently has this crown in her possession.Princess crown worn by:
Tara Slade - MRC Princess 2009
Dana Hansen - MRC Princess 2010
Kirsten Braumandl (Johnson) - MRC Princess 2011