Former Miss Rodeo Airdrie gets back to roots

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Growing up on a farm five minutes north of Airdrie is where Emily Marston’s, Miss Airdrie Rodeo 2016, credits the roots of her passion. Marston is hoping that passion will help her win the title of Miss Rodeo Canada Nov. 10 in Edmonton.

Marston said beauty pageants get a bad rap, but when she was eight years old one of her role models was crowned Miss Airdrie Rodeo and the rest is history.

“It never occurred to me that there’s an actual cowgirl behind them who can go play in the mud, get dirty, rope a cow and yet glam up and look amazing,” she said.

Marston said she believes her title has given her the best of both worlds. She said it’s important to have authentic skills while being able to be classy and professional in anything you do.

“Basically the skills in everyday life, even at school…all apply to what’s going on at Miss Rodeo Canada,” she said.

Becoming involved with the rodeo when she was only five, Marston started out doing sheep rides, wild pony races and eventually barrel racing.

“(People) just assume rodeo is a sport where we all go into the arena and run really fast and play with cows, but there’s so much more to it,” she said. “(There’s) many roots and history and stories that come with it.”

Marston said, if crowned Miss Rodeo Canada, she would use her platform to help people get back in touch with their roots.

“As communities expand and urban populations grow, we start to lose our rural land and that connection we have in our roots and in the dirt,” she said.

Miss Rodeo Canada is a full-time commitment but Marston, in her final year in the Land and Reclamation program at Olds College, said it’s a labor of love.

“There’s been times where I’ve been throwing up and going to events because you can’t cancel. You’re there to represent Airdrie and the sport of rodeo – so you better step up.”

Miss Rodeo Canada is the highest level of western pageantry in Canada. The winner becomes Canada’s rodeo ambassador and Marston is ready to take that on.

“A lot of girls will look and think just about the glitz and glamour, but it’s (about) having the opportunity to inspire people to get involved in the western world,” she said.

Starting Nov. 8 contestants will be judged on horsemanship, public speaking abilities, appearance and their standing in the people’s choice event. Marston said she hopes Airdrie can show her support by liking, commenting or sharing her photo on the Miss Rodeo Canada Facebook page.

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