Cochrane resident vying for Stampede Royalty spot
Alexis Kendall is a rodeo royalty rookie.
The 22-year-old Cochrane resident was among a group of young women in the running for one of three Calgary Stampede royalty spots.
The competition began a month ago and Kendall has been keeping busy with equestrian and speech competitions, interviews and social events.
“I’m really enjoying the experience,” she said. “It’s an amazing learning opportunity no matter the outcome.”
Kendall grew up and attended school in Calgary, but moved to Cochrane in 2006.
The Stampede royalty pageant is the first she’s entered, but like many area residents, she’s been going to the Greatest Show on Earth since she was a young girl.
Whether it was going to the rodeo with her mom or uncle or riding with the Stampede show riders in 2006, both inspired her to enter the pageant.
“I’m passionate about the values it represents,” said Kendall. “Integrity and pride of place are two in particular, as well as community involvement. And I love Calgary, I’ve lived there almost my entire life. I’ve done a lot of travelling and it’s still my favourite city in the world.”
The pageant has given Kendall the opportunity to network, show off her equestrian skills and meet people from all over Alberta, which she said has been her favourite part of the experience. With the exception of a few early events, the contestants are constantly being evaluated on how they present themselves.
“I think you’re always being judged or evaluated on some level,” she said.
“You don’t feel like you’re being evaluated (during the events). I love meeting new people and I’ve learned a lot from the different competitions we’ve done. I’ve had this theory the whole time of being true to who you are and if they like you, they’ll choose you to be your ambassador. If they don’t, it was a great learning experience.”
The final six contestants were chosen Sept. 22 and results were not available at press time.
The three winners will be chosen at the end of the month, but not before the final equestrian competition and a number of appearances and luncheons.
Kendall said she is excited heading into the final leg of the competition.
“I’m excited, but you don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. “With whoever gets cut, it’s hard because we have a sense of camaraderie (among the contestants). Whether you stay or go, it’s difficult. We’ve grown to support each other.”