Although all six of the lovely Rimbey rodeo queen contestants seem worthy of the title, only one will be given the honor.
Shelby Bushnell, 20, from Millet, grew up with horses and has been riding since she was a youngster.
“I grew up with horses and my family is in rodeo. Being involved in rodeo is a natural for me. It just works.”
Bushnell enjoys meeting new people and attending rodeos. She has been involved in 4-H and also spent some time breaking horses before they are sold.
Caitlyn Malyk, 17,who lives on a horse farm near Clive, is a Grade 11 student at Lacombe Composite High School.
Malyk, who was last year’s Rimbey rodeo princess, is again vying for the title of rodeo queen.
“I enjoy the rodeo and I love horses,” she said. “It’s the best way to combine being a girl; riding a horse, being at the rodeo, it’s like heaven.”
Malyk believes her talents of being a good rider, a competent public speaker and a friendly, outgoing person will benefit her should be selected as rodeo queen.
Kellyn Christensen, 19, from Ponoka, works at the Centennial Centre. She also volunteers in the brain injury unit.
Christensen lives on a small acreage and has three horses. She works with her horses regularly, sometimes competing in fun horse shows in the area. When she’s not busy working, volunteering or spending time with her horses, she is busy working on her 1986 Chevy truck.
The fact that her mom, Tova Christensen, ran for Ponoka Stampede Queen in 1986 and won Miss Congeniality, prompted Kellyn to follow in her footsteps.
“I enjoy the challenge, the teamwork and a chance to promote Rimbey,” she said.
Twenty-one-year old Brittany Kroening from Millet plans to go to Vermilion Agricultural College to study agricultural business.
She works horse shows at Amberlea Meadows near Nisku and is pleased to be part of the grand entry team for the Ponoka Stampede.
Kroening was inspired to run by a neighbor, Michelle Williams, who was the Ponoka Stampede Queen in 1993.
She sees the rodeo queen as someone who encourages success and represents rodeo in a positive way. “I’m excited to see how the actual rodeo weekend goes,’ she said.
Lakia Steeves, 18, from Bluffton, works at Buist Motors and Happy Valley Restaurant in Rimbey.
She is at home on a horse having spent time rodeoing and competing in barrel racing and roping. She has even spent time out in the pasture on a horse checking on the cows. Steeves also enjoys going to the mountains for trail rides.
“I grew up going to rodeos and I always thought rodeo queens were someone little girls could look up to.”
Eighteen-year-old Shelby Hall is enjoying the rodeo queen competition.
“It’s exciting to be able to get to know the girls,” she said.
Horses were a part of her growing up years. More recently, she worked as a horse trainer.
Although she rodeoed as a youngster, a serious illness held her back for a short while. However, Hall plans to get back into it. Her future goals are to go to school for social work and help troubled teens.
She has always admired rodeo queens.
“Growing up, those were the girls you looked up to,” Hall said.
Rimbey Rodeo is July 12 to 14.