The Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association announced its 2017 Ponoka Stampede Queen April 5 in Ponoka. Michele Greer (right) takes over the role from current stampede queen

Ponoka Stampede announces its 2017 queen

This will be a big year for Michele Greer who was announced as the 2017 Ponoka Stampede Queen.

This will be a big year for Michele Greer who was announced as the 2017 Ponoka Stampede Queen.

Greer’s win was announced April 5 at the Calnash Ag Event Centre after the pageant concluded.

The process to become a queen for the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association involves a condensed pageant, explained director Bruce Harbin, who is also a member of the stampede queen committee.

Greer spent the last year preparing for the competition. The 23-year-old Ferintosh area lady said being a rodeo queen came on her radar in 2014 when she met then Miss Rodeo Canada Nicole Briggs. “What she stood for and how she treated people,” is what stood out for Greer.

Seeing Briggs speak with fans and sign photos on her day off made Greer want to be part of the experience.

Living on an acreage by Ferintosh, Greer grew up loving horses. “I wanted everything to do with them.”

“I read books. I watched movies…and I joined 4-H at a young age,” she added.

From there Greer worked and volunteered at summer camps and horse barns to gain more experience with the animals. She graduated from NAIT as a personal trainer and has completed her Kinesiology degree from the University of Alberta Augustana Campus.

Once she decided to take the road to being a Ponoka Stampede Queen, Greer did her research. She spoke with former stampede queens and asked their advice as well as found a coach who guided Greer through the ins and outs of being a rodeo queen.

On top of that Greer took reigning lessons and expanded her horsemanship. As for the competition, she enjoyed the camaraderie with the other candidates and wants to use this experience to get her closer to the goal of being Miss Rodeo Canada.

Outgoing queen Jadey van der Vlis is excited for Greer. She will officially hand over her crown on May 5 during the World Professional Chuckwagon Association Tarp Auction in Ponoka.

Van der Vlis had three pieces of advice for Greer:

First: To be genuine and to be herself

Second: To remember that Greer is now a representative of the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association. “This is the most amazing committee in the whole world,” added van der Vlis.

“They picked you for a reason, remember that.”

Third: To walk with strength and dignity. “Not only when you have the crown on but when you have the crown off,” adding that this will be a memorable year.

For Harbin, the decision was not an easy one; there were four contestants in total, all of whom came prepared. “It’s more like a job interview. Ladies send in their resumes and bios.”

Along with their resumes, the candidates provide their background and history and then, if selected, they compete on selection day showing proficiency in public speaking, impromptu speaking and horsemanship.

“All the ladies were extremely talented and made the judges really earn their keep,” said Harbin.

That said, Greer was chosen because her character aligns with that of the Ponoka Stampede.

“She’s genuine, honest and she has good forward looking goals,” he explained, adding that Greer’s desire to be a mentor was a plus during the selection process.

Seeing such a strong caliber of contestants is a good thing in the eyes of the Stampede Association. The committee is looking for someone who will represent the association on a public level and seeing candidates prepared makes Harbin feel that the western rodeo heritage is strong.

“To have the talent that showed up too. That’s a blessing and a good sign that there’s youth that still care about the things we stand for,” explained Harbin.

 

Just Posted

AMBER ALERT: Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Fighting financial fraud against seniors

Alberta Securities Commission hoping to curb seniors being taken for granted

Dual credit benefiting WCPS students

School division working on expanding program into nursing, business studies

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Wildfires have forced more than 9,000 people from homes in northern Alberta

People in other communities remain on evacuation alert and could be told to leave quickly

Pride divided: Edmonton leadership under pressure as LGBTQ community looks to future

Most of the conflict can be traced back to 2016 Toronto Pride when Black Lives Matter staged a protest

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Work on splash park close to completion

Work at the “mercy of the weather”

High Level on alert, as wildfires put more people on the run in northern Alberta

Thousands in High Level were just allowed back home, and now must get ready to leave again

Most Read