July 22nd, 2024

Horsemanship kicks off Royalty contest

By Tim Kalinowski on July 13, 2017.


The Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede held its annual Stampede Royalty contest’s first major public event Wednesday evening — the horsemanship competition.

The horsemanship competition was intended to test the eight competitors’ fundamental horse skills. A huge part of being the Stampede Queen or Princess is having the ability to keep your poise in the saddle while being under public scrutiny.

Stampede Royalty must also help gather up livestock during certain rodeo events, and take part in various parades and rodeos while being in horseback. It takes more than a pretty smile to be a Stampede Queen or Princess, it certainly takes good horse sense and riding skills as well.

To this end, this year’s eight contestants — Kali Duchscherer, Temara Ebelhar, Dionne Freimark, Ava Padfield, Lacey Palichuk, Abby Perrett, Allivia Sauer and Haley Schlenker — were put through their paces Wednesday night under the watchful eyes of the judges. Contestants were expected to show off their equine knowledge and prowess in the saddle in equal measure, through obstacle courses, trail patterns, a barrel race, serpentine, pushing stock as well as oral and written tests.

While challenging, the horsemanship competition is only the first step for these young ladies as they continue on with the formal speech night on Thursday, the fashion show and tea on Friday; and finally concluding with the crowning of the new Stampede Queen and Princess on Saturday night.

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