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Cowgirl Up with Miss Rodeo Canada 2019

Jaden Holle and her horse Rooster pose at the Ponoka Stampede

ATB Financial followed Miss Rodeo Canada 2019, Jaden Holle, for a day at the Ponoka Stampede. It’s counted as one among the five largest rodeos in the world.

During the first week of July, there are over 35 ro​deos that take place across North America. So, there is a tremendous amount of mon​ey to be won which is why this weekendis called "Cowboy Christmas." This is an extremely important time for cowboys and cowgirls in their quest to make it to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

cowgirl Jade Holle driving truck  

Jaden’s day begins with a production meeting at the rodeo office with all of the Ponoka Stampede staff. They run through the day’s events with each hour meticulously planned. Jaden’s official duties include carrying the Canadian flag during the national anthem in the rodeo, and running cattle back into their pens for the team-roping and steer-wrestling events. In between, she’ll mingle with rodeo fans to sign autographs and visit sponsor suites. Here, Jaden meets up with Miss Ponoka Stampede, Naomi Akkermans, who shares the same schedule.

child rides stuffed bull  

First, Miss Rodeo Canada attends the 20th Anniversary Ponoka Stampede Rodeo Challenge. Special-needs children aged five to eight are paired up with a rodeo competitor and try their hands at rodeo events.

“The children are so sweet. They always have a great time and it’s fun to see them smile,” said Jaden.

miss rodeo canada poses for photos  

There are strict guidelines Miss Rodeo Canada must adhere to. She is not only an ambassador for the sport, but also a role model for the littlest of rodeo fans. Public speaking and personality play equally important roles as horsemanship and rodeo knowledge.

Jaden speaks Spanish, French and English—and, as a Métis, is also learning Cree, the language of her grandparents.

Wild west willie bull and ponoka-stampede 
cowgirl riding bull with saddle 

Wild West Willie is a gentle giant from Bentley, Alberta. He gets his height from being half Brahma and size from being half Angus and weighs an incredible 1,270 kilograms. Willie and his owner, Doug Rogers, travel from rodeo to rodeo all summer long.

“I guess I should be careful. I’m wearing spurs. He is beautiful,” said Jaden.

two cowgirls walking  

With the childrens’ rodeo complete, Jaden and Naomie head back to the barn to prep their horses for the professional rodeo. They play a key role for several of the events. There is no time to stop and eat.

rodeo horse being brushed 
rodeo horse in barns 

Rooster came out of retirement specifically for Jaden to ride at the 2019 Ponoka Stampede. He’s a calm and gentle horse who doesn’t mind when Jaden adds the occasional dusting of sparkles to his back side.

“The kids really like the sparkles,” said Jaden.

cowgirls in the rain 
miss rodeo canada carries canadian flag  

Neither rain nor shine (nor even hail) will stop the rodeo or Miss Rodeo Canada. The prairie weather can sometimes be unpredictable during rodeo season, so she comes prepared. The Ponoka Stampede also runs over the Canada Day long weekend making it feel even more special to carry the nation’s flag.

cowgirl riding horse at rodeo  

Jaden and Rooster chase down livestock during the professional rodeo events. It sometimes comes as a surprise to some rodeo fans that the Miss Rodeo Canada pageant is more than just rhinestones and tiaras. Pageant contestants need to demonstrate excellent horsemanship in order to be crowned queen.

cowgirl cleans her boot while on horse  

Mud happens. Especially after a storm.

two cowgirls getting ready  

“Can you hand me my purse?”

miss rodeo canada signing autographs  

Once the team roping event is complete, Jaden makes her way up into the grandstands and visits with rodeo fans. Here she hands out paper Miss Rodeo Canada crowns to future rodeo stars and signs autographs.

“I just know the rodeo events so I keep and eye on that for timing of how long I have before I go back down to the in-field,” explained Jaden.

miss rodeo canada and miss ponoka stampede wave  

One last official duty before the end of the day: drawing names for the coveted prize of 40 bred heifers or $70,000. The draw is so important, jewelry must be removed and sleeves rolled up to leave no room for error.

Then it’s off to the hotel for a quick bite to eat, outfit change and makeup touch ups before the chuckwagon races and nightly concert, all the while mingling with fans.

Jaden will continue on to the Calgary Stampede. The next Miss Rodeo Canada will be crowned at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in the fall.

To learn more visit the Miss Rodeo Canada website.
ATB Financial

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