The shock likely won’t wear off for a while.
Alicia Erickson, 2018 Miss Ponoka Stampede, was literally stunned during the Nov. 1 performance of the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer after being named Miss Rodeo Canada 2020.
“I can’t really describe to you, I mean this hasn’t really set in and I said ‘can we wait one second, can I just go in the washroom?’” she said in an interview following the announcement.
“I went into the washroom and I can tell you, I just stood there and looked at my crown for a whole five minutes because I was so excited.
“Then I pretended I was maybe doing something, walked back out and said, ‘I have to tell you the truth. I really just went in there to look at this crown on my head.’”
The Trochu native was certainly surprised, although the week of activity prior to the crowning had her feeling great.
“I had an incredible feeling this week and I think a lot of that came from the amount of support I had from family, friends and my family inside of rodeo,” Erickson stated.
“I had so many people this week, and prior, come up to me just wishing me good luck, smiling and everything. It just made me feel so good and ready to run for this title.”
For Erickson, the grind of taking on the title for the next 12 months will be a little less shocking, considering her extensive experience. However, it was so satisfying for her to reach this huge goal.
“I did a little bit of high school rodeo, a little bit of college rodeo and I have held three previous queen titles — Carstairs, Hanna and Ponoka,” she added.
“Miss Rodeo Canada was definitely the biggest of my goals, and I just can’t believe that I have finally succeeded and all of this hard work and dedication to this sport has finally paid off.”
Erickson’s excitement was palpable, as she couldn’t stop from smiling or her cheerful laugh in answering questions about what led her to this moment.
“Everywhere that I have been, everywhere that I have represented — and especially my hometown of Trochu, the Ponoka Stampede, the town of Ponoka — they have done nothing but support me from the very beginning and I have felt nothing but love from them through my whole experience. They are my family, not even a second family, because none of them compare to that,” she said.
“I had so many role models when I was younger, one of them being a past Miss Rodeo Canada Katy Lucas. I looked up to her so much and she actually helped get me started in this sport and running for all of these titles.
“This sport led me on the right direction in my life. It helped me find a passion, find a role that I wanted to be committed to and I cannot wait to give back to younger kids and to the people of this sport that changed my life.”
As for what’s up next, Erickson wasn’t quite sure what the schedule will be like yet. She just wants to get going and show everyone what she is capable of.