Katy Lucas names Miss Rodeo Canada
Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 06:00 am
After competing against four other contenders, 21-year-old Katy Lucas was crowned Miss Rodeo Canada 2015 on Friday, Nov. 7 at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton.
It was a tough competition, said Lucas, and although she has spent years preparing herself, “it was by no way an easy competition…(the other competitors) definitely kept me on my toes the whole time. There was no room for mistakes throughout the competition.”
The competitors are judged on horsemanship, public speaking, a fashion show, a personal interview and a written exam including horsemanship and rodeo knowledge, she explained.
She did really well in the horsemanship category, where she had to ride three horses that she’d never been on before. Her skill of reading horses served her well in that portion of the competition, she noted.
“I was very, very nervous for public speaking. I’m usually not so nervous about it, but my knees were rattling the entire time I did my speech. But I feel that I am a very strong public speaker and it’s something I’ve done some training with, going to school for communication arts specialized in broadcasting, so I was quite happy with that too.”
Her new crown has been a lifetime in the making, as she decided she wanted the position when she was about three years old, she said.
“So for the past 18 years I’ve been preparing for this title. I did a lot of studying. The last month leading up to it was a lot of hard studying of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) rulebook and their media guide which has bios on all of the top contestants.”
She also studied CPRA news releases to keep up with news in the organization and made sure to read up on current events around the world as well.
“When I was getting ready for the competition I kept asking past rodeo queens: if they could give me one piece of advice what would it be. And not one of them said anything different – every single one of them said you need to be yourself.”
So after studying exhaustively prior to the competition, she reached a certain point where she decided she would rather get one question wrong and present herself in the best way possible, than to get everything right and go into the competition tired and not feeling her best.
“So it kind of changed for me. I studied, studied, studied for – well 18 years I’ve been prepping, but at one point I said to myself ‘OK you’ve done the research. You’ve done enough hard work. Now let’s just relax and be yourself.
“It’s hard to have a personality when you’re a zombie,” she joked.
As for how she feels about taking the title, she said it still hasn’t really set in.
“I look out the window and I’m really surprised to see my brand-new truck waiting for me, and I open my protective hat box and I’m really shocked to see the (Miss Rodeo Canada) crown in there instead of my Miss Ponoka Stampede crown.
“So I don’t think it’s set in yet and it probably won’t set in until my first big event, which is the National Finals Rodeo on the fourth of December, so it’s still very surreal to me,” she added.
“I think when you prep for something for 18 years, and then it all of a sudden comes down to one super-fast week that just flies by, it’s kind of hard to believe that it’s happened.”
She thinks it’s exciting that Mountain View County has had two Miss Rodeo Canadas in three years. Didsbury-raised Gillian Shields was crowned in 2012.
It’s going to be a very busy year for her, as her predecessor made 400 appearances during her tenure as Miss Rodeo Canada and she said she’s excited to see what the year has in store.
One goal she has made for herself is to raise awareness of the treatment of animals in the rodeo world.
“Because rodeo is so foreign to other people there are a lot of misconceptions that come along with it, specifically with animal welfare and how we treat our animals in rodeo.”
“I want to use my position this year to spread some knowledge and education to people outside the rodeo world.”
She noted that Jo Lawes, a Didsbury woman specializing in coaching upcoming rodeo royalty, has coached her since before she had the Carstairs Rodeo Queen title in 2008.
“And she’s always been a great mentor to me. With (Miss Rodeo Canada) you’re not allowed to have a coach with you there, but she did help me prepping a little bit before Miss Ponoka Stampede, and she’s the one that gave me my start and then I just kept building on the solid foundation that she gave me.”