The Williams Lake Stampede is a no-go this year, but that won’t stop them from choosing a Stampede Queen.
Stampede Director in Charge of the Royalty Program Chantelle Wessels says they felt it was important to give back to the community with something to keep the spirit of rodeo alive and well. “Rodeo is not forgotten, we don’t want the Stampede Royalty forgotten, so it was just really important we run the program this year,” Wessels says.
Wessels says they have three contestants, and a winner will be chosen at the end of June. The winner is decided on a number of things.
“In order to even qualify they have to send in an application, and they actually have to do a pre-screening of horsemanship skills to come into the competition, so if they can’t ride already, they, unfortunately, can’t come. We figured that it was important that when we are representing the stampede, we should be able to ride. Horsemanship is worth 50 percent of the mark. They also get judged on public speaking, they get coached on that for 6 months, and then they get judged on things like a fashion show, a personal interview panel, and at the end of it, things get sent to an auditor, and that’s how it’s all decided.”
Wessels says she tries to get the contestants out into the community as much as possible.
“With COVID-19 it’s been a little bit of a challenge. We still managed to help with the Rotary and Stampede breakfast that was on, and we’ve gone out to thank our sponsors, it’s really important, people love to see them.”
Wessels says they have their fingers crossed that some things are just postponed, and will hopefully be able host an event later this year.