WL Stampede Queen 2017 KB.jpg

Kaylee Billyboy            2017-18 Stampede Queen 

 

Photo provided by About Face Photography - Craig Smith

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Queen Appearance Requests & Sponsorship Opportunities can be emailed to the Committee:    wlstampederoyalty@gmail.com

 

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Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of. If that is so, what do you suppose Rodeo Queens are made of?
Getting up early, curling your hair, doing your make up, riding your horse, waving and smiling are all key components of being a Rodeo Queen, but I learned through my reign as the Williams Lake Stampede Queen 2017 that it takes so much more. 
Starting off my adventure with our very own 91st Annual Williams Lake Stampede was a great experience as I got to take in so many events that happen within the community the July long weekend. 
Following that weekend, I got to attend one of the biggest highlights of my reign, which was the Calgary Stampede. There I got to take in Stampede activities throughout the city like the rodeo, parade, square dancing and so much more. I also got to meet so many wonderful people like other rodeo royalty from Alberta, Australia and the United States, also the ranch owner of Heartland, John Scott and his grandson Jake Church, who is the character Jake on Heartland. I was also lucky enough to use one of the Heartland horses in the parade that was a joy to ride. Throughout this whole weekend I was treated amazingly and very well taken care of, making the whole experience that much more memorable. 
Although the wildfires may have put some rodeos on hold I got to attend one of my favourites: the Omak Stampede and Suicide Race. This was my first time out of Canada and the town was so welcoming that it still felt like I was at home. Here I got to take part in many events like the parade, tours around the town and the rodeo, which made the weekend quite busy. I got to borrow a great horse, our hotel room was sponsored, and I was fed amazing food and well looked after the whole time I was there. This trip was a fascinating experience for these reasons and so much more. The biggest highlight was the world-famous Suicide Race that they have, which is incredibly crazy and gives you quite an adrenaline rush. I couldn’t imagine how the racers feel. It is, in a way, like the mountain race at our Williams Lake Stampede. In Omak the riders race straight down a steep hill and at the bottom of the hill is a river they have to swim across and then race up a track where they finish in the arena. It all is a lot to take in, in such a short amount of time making it incredible to watch. It also reminded me of the brave people back home who race in our mountain race. With this trip being my first time out of Canada it was a fabulous experience that I will never forget!
Another highlight of mine was the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton. There, I got to take in the Miss Rodeo Canada pageant where I said my goodbyes to the 2017 Miss Rodeo Canada, Ali Mullin and congratulated the 2018 Miss Rodeo Canada, Brittney Chomistek. All week I got to watch some great action in the arena as the cowboys and cowgirls competed to win the Canadian Champion titles. My most memorable moment of the week was watching my favourite team roping team, the 2016 World Champion Team Ropers, Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler. I was also lucky enough to run into them and get a picture while wishing them the best of luck throughout the rest of the week. I eagerly cheered them on as I watched them claim the 2017 Canadian Champion titles! The Canadian Finals Rodeo is always amazing to watch the best of the best compete but with it being the last time in Edmonton it made it that much more special. 
These rodeos were just some of my favourite moments throughout my reign. I was also lucky enough to attend rodeos in Olds and Hanna, Alberta, also in Merritt, Smithers, Alkali, Kispiox, and Vanderhoof just to name a few. I was fortunate in attending many events in Williams Lake like Hometown Hockey where I got to meet Tara Slone and Ron McLean and also many hockey games, fundraisers, Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo and so much more. All have their own unique memories that I will carry with me for a long time. I not only got to experience all of these rodeos but I also got to learn so much within the rodeo world and communities and within myself as this experience has helped me build my confidence in so many ways that I didn’t even know were possible. 
With saying that, I would like to acknowledge all of those that made my year possible as I would not have been able to do what I have done and become who I have become without you. Thank you to my mother as she is always there whether it be sewing an outfit or staying up late to make sure I got to each rodeo. She was the biggest and best support I could ever have asked for. Thanks to my dad, sisters, Terris and Justine; you all have helped and supported me in every way you could. To my grandparents who are some of my biggest fans who make sure to tell everyone what I have been up to; you have given me endless love and support just like the rest of my family who I thank as well. Thank you to all of those who have ever loaned me a horse - all the horses I used were outstanding. Thank you to all the rodeos who invited and hosted me at your rodeos, you made many of my dreams come true. Thank you to all the sponsors of the Williams Lake Stampede Queen program and a huge thank you to the organizers who put on the program. Also, a big thank you to the Williams Lake Stampede Association and the City of Williams Lake for allowing me to represent not only the sport of rodeo and the Stampede but the City of Williams Lake. It was truly an honour to be able to experience this year as 2017 Williams Lake Stampede Queen and definitely one I will never forget! This was an experience that not only shows one the rodeo world and way of life, but it shows them so much more within themselves. So while little girls may be made of sugar and spice and everything nice, my experience as a Rodeo Queens made it so that I could add a few more ingredients. 
-Kaylee Billyboy, 2017-18 Williams Lake Stampede Queen


WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR OUTSTANDING SPONSORS THAT GENEROUSLY SUPPORT OUR ROYALTY PROGRAM

Williams Lake Stampede Association
City of Williams Lake
Williams Lake Stampeders
Gustafson’s Dodge
About Face Photography

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