3 vie for Elks Pro Rodeo Queen title

Current High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Queen Brooke Monteith, top, poses with the three 2018 contestants. Left-right are Reann Cardinal, Hayley Cox, and Sarah Neill.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

One of three charming, well-spoken and beautiful young ladies will soon be wearing the crown of 2018 High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Queen.

Reann Cardinal, Hayley Cox and Sarah Neill are competing for the honour.

The three ladies have a busy week of competition July 26-29 leading up to the rodeo July 31 and Aug. 1. Long-time contestant organizer Leigh Blackhurst says the public is invited to attend any of the following three events:

* a fashion show July 26 at 7 p.m. at Christie’s Gardens and Greenhouses;

* prepared speeches July 27 at 7 p.m. at the High Prairie Agriplex upstairs;

* the horsemanship competition at the High Prairie Agriplex July 28 at 7 p.m.

The final part of the competition is the interviews by the Elks, which is closed to the public.

Contestants are also selling 50/50 tickets which also comprise part of the overall judging.

Cardinal, 16, is from Sucker Creek First Nation and has been raised around horses her entire life.

“I love my two horses, Izzy and Ash. They are my reasons I love horses so much and want to continue a future rodeo life.”

Cardinal will be seen riding Ash, 17, at the rodeo.

Cardinal continues a strong family tradition of rodeo. She is currently working her horses to compete in barrel racing in upcoming rodeos.

When she is not busy with her horses, Cardinal works at the Sucker Creek Band Office.

“I am very excited to be a contestant in the Elks Pro Rodeo Queen Competition this year. I can’t wait for the journey of competing for the chance to be Miss Elks Pro Rodeo Queen this year.

“I want to represent the Elks Pro Rodeo to be best of my ability and make the Elks Pro Rodeo bigger. I want to show people how much fun rodeo truly is.”

Cardinal wants to attain her diploma [she just completed Grade 11 at St. Andrew’s School], start her ranch life as soon as possible, and continue to barrel race in as many rodeos as possible.

She is the daughter of Alvin Cardinal of Sucker Creek.

Cox, 17, also just completed Grade 11 this year, at E.W. Pratt High Prairie School. She is on the Principal’s Honours List and recently received a scholarship in May from the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The scholarship perfectly ties into her goals.

“After graduation, I plan on pursuing Behaviour Neuroscience or Animal Health in university, but I am still undecided if I want to become a medical doctor or a vet.”

It doesn’t mean she will give up her love of horses, thus continuing the long and proud family history in rodeo.

“I am the daughter of previous CPRA saddle bronc rider Stacy, and Kerrie Cox. My grandfather, Sandford Cox, was a Calgary Stampede and Canadian Finals Rodeo saddle bronc champion. He continued participating in rodeos by raising National Finals Rodeo and World Champion bucking horses with his wife, Eleanor Cox.”

The rodeo bloodlines continue. She is also the granddaughter of Ken Cardinal, who has been a driving force and support system for her love of horses, and Sandra Callio.

Cox also enjoys volunteering. She has been involved with the High Prairie Repertoire Dance Society since she was four years old. She has also competed in barrel racing, and is a first-year member of the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Wranglers.

“I would be overjoyed to be crowned Miss High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Queen 2018 since it would allow me to promote the sport and culture of rodeo which has been instilled in me through family tradition, as well as to become a role model for youth. I believe that every child should have a positive influence in their life, and I strive everyday to make myself better in order to become that.”

Cox will be riding Cheques in the Mail at the rodeo.

Neill, 17, just graduated from E.W Pratt High School. Like Cox, she was born and raised in High Prairie.

“I fell in love with horses before I knew how to say the word,” she says. “I have since learned horses are the greatest part of my life and rodeo falls very close behind.”

Neill is currently a receptionist at Martin Deerline and plans on taking courses to become a Therapeutic Riding Instructor, along with an Equine Chiropractor.

Queen competition is nothing new to Neill.

“I have competed in the Miss Teepee Creek Queen competition in the past, I have also barrel raced and tried out trick riding before. I plan on getting back into barrel racing in the near future and continuing to be involved in the sport of rodeo.”

Neill is the daughter of Kyla Fjeld and Clancey Neill.

“I am thrilled to compete for the 2018 High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Queen title and I can’t wait to see how the competition goes.”

Neill will be riding Dakota at the rodeo.

“I aspire to be a role model and represent the sport I love so much. I would like to represent the sport and western lifestyle as best as I possibly can.”

Not winning the contest will not deter her love of rodeo.

“I would like to continue rodeoing for many years to come and represent the rodeo with or without a queen title.”


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