By JUSTIN SEWARD Southern Alberta Newspapers on June 11, 2021.
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID, the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede Rodeo Royalty contest application is open for 2021/2022 until June 18.
Successful contestants will be judged on horsemanship, personality and speeches from July 15-17.
Contestants must be female and be between the ages of 18 and 24 as of July 1, and have to be within a 175-kilometre radius from Medicine Hat for one year prior to the contest.
The contest will be livestreamed.
The application window is shorter this year, having opened at the end of May.
“We had to come up with a few scenarios based on the restrictions as they open and how our competition will look based on the restrictions,” said Lori Siedlecki, committee chair.
The Queen committee’s hope is for the turning over of the crowns at the outdoor rodeo.
A backup plan would see the crowning of the new Queen and Princess after one of the events during competition week.
“Times and all that will be based on restrictions,” she said.
Events could be modified based on the number of people who can attend outside facilities.
Siedlecki says there is potential where the contestants, if it’s not opened for anybody to watch, will be on a timed slot with judges and social distancing.
“If it’s opened up to the world, and still have to do some form of social distancing, then we’ll open it up for sure to the families and friends that can attend,” she said. “But if everything opens up fully, I guess we’re back to how it always has been.”
She says the contest helps promote Exhibition and Stampede.
“Usually, we try to promote all the events that are there, but with COVID, some of that hasn’t happened,” said Siedlecki.
The hope is to take four contestants based on restrictions.
A full list of qualifications and registration can be found at http://www.mhstampede.com/rodeo-royalty/