Former Airdrie Rodeo princess competing for the Calgary Crown
Former Airdrie Rodeo Princess Rebecca McKay is competing for a spot on the 2013 Calgary Stampede Royal Trio.
After a year spent travelling and promoting the Airdrie Pro Rodeo on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association circuit, McKay said she wants to become a member of the Calgary Stampede Royal Trio because of her passion for the world-renowned event.
“I spent my year in Airdrie interacting with and volunteering with the Calgary Stampede Royalty. I realized that they were having as much fun as I was,” McKay said.
“I have only one chance left to compete for any royalty pageant due to my age and it was clear my passions laid with the Calgary Stampede.”
McKay is 24 years old, the maximum age to run for any sort of rodeo royalty.
Among the various events she, and the seven other royalty candidates, will compete in, McKay most recently completed the prepared and impromptu speech competition, and the preliminary horsemanship event.
McKay put together a three-minute speech on the topic: ‘Why will the Calgary Stampede still be relevant 20 years from now?’
“The speech event was really awesome, I was very excited going into it,” she said. “In my speech, I investigated why the Stampede is relevant today and what can be done to maintain that and grow from those ideas.”
McKay’s family was in attendance and Airdrie Pro Rodeo Association past president Rob Breitzke and his family showed up to support the Airdrie native.
“I was really honoured that Rob, Haley and Deneeka attended the speech competition,” McKay said.
“It’s really amazing to see that the people that supported me during my entire reign in Airdrie are still supporting me during this new chapter in my life.”
Still to come in the competition are two more horsemanship events, personal interviews, sponsor visits and an evening at the Children’s Hospital for a bingo night.
“I am really looking forward to the final riding part of the pageant,” said McKay. “The pattern is something we design ourselves and it’s put to music so we really get to show our creativity.”
McKay is competing against seven women from all over the country. There are representatives from Ontario and Quebec as well as a number from Alberta, including Kelsey Reinboldt-Lynch, who ran for the Airdrie crown last year and won the Cochrane Lions Rodeo Queen title.
McKay says she appreciates the skills the other women are bringing to the competition.
“I think the other ladies I am competing with are all really great ladies. I am finding out each of them have different elements they can potentially bring to the Calgary Stampede Royal Trio,” said McKay.
“I feel like I will create friendships that will last many years.”
Before the crowning ceremony on Sept. 30, the Calgary Stampede Royalty committee will cut the number of competitors to six on Sept. 22.
McKay feels confident in her ability to make it to the top six.
“Given my previous experience in Airdrie, I feel like I have some skills that will help me excel in the pageant,” she said.
“I don’t want to say that I expect the crown, but it is definitely something that I want very much, and I am willing to work hard for it.”