Gillian Shields vying for title as Miss Rodeo Canada
By: Covy Moore
| Posted: Thursday, Oct 18, 2012 11:33 am
Last year’s Miss Rodeo Airdrie, Gillian Shields, has decided to throw her hat in the ring to become Miss Rodeo Canada.
Shields grew up west of Didsbury and competed in barrel racing in local rodeos. She has held the 2006 Carstairs Rodeo Queen title, 2007 Sundre Rodeo Queen title, 2011 Airdrie Pro Rodeo Queen title and was one of the top six finalists in the 2010 Calgary Stampede Royal Trio competition.
Shields is currently attending Red Deer College‘s bachelor of education program.
“Rodeo is a sport that is very near to my heart,” said Shields. “It is a family that values western heritage, strong morals and family values. ,” said Shields. “To be able to represent and be an ambassador for something that is a part of who I am is a great honour. I absolutely love volunteering and being able to help out in communities in Alberta.”
The competition begins Nov. 3, and will feature a variety of different events that will be scored by judges to determine this year’s Miss Rodeo Canada. The crowning will take place on the eve of the final day of the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Nov. 10 at Rexall Place in Edmonton.
Horsemanship, public speaking, modelling, personal interviews, written exams and personality and appearance will be judged during the competition.
“The part of the competition I am looking forward to the most will be visiting the Children’s Hospital and taking part in the therapeutic riding,” said Shields. “(I am looking forward to) being able to do a presentation ride at Rexall Place and getting announced and getting to wave to a stadium full of people.”
Shields says she is nervous about the competition, but said her previous experiences will help her out.
“I am definitely nervous because I want to make everybody proud,” said Shields. “I want to represent Airdrie to my fullest potential. It’s a roller coaster. There are some days where I am really excited, and some days where I am shaking because it’s coming up so fast.”
Shields spent one year representing the Airdrie Pro Rodeo with counterpart Rebecca McKay, and said her favourite memory from the year was participating in the Treecycle event, which benefited the Airdrie Food Bank.
“I loved Treecycle. That was a lot of fun, being able to help with the food bank. It’s hard to pinpoint a (favourite) Airdrie memory because there are so many. Every single person that I met at events in Airdrie are what made that special,” said Shields.
“Becoming Miss Rodeo Airdrie was one of the best years of my life. I learned no matter how big the city or town you become involved with, it is still a close-knit community. Volunteers are wonderful, and it made me realize that I always want to be a volunteer.”