MEET MISS PONOKA STAMPEDE 2022
Mackenzie Skeels grew up with her family at Anchor D Ranch Simmentals, just outside of Rimbey which has driven her passion for the western way of life. Her first cow was given to her and from there she has bought, traded and raised cows expanding her herd to 35 head. Her leadership roles, through her 12 years of 4-H, and the Young Canadian Simmental Association (YCSA), helped her begin her journey of promoting the western way of life.
The Ponoka Stampede has been a part of Mackenzie’s life right from the beginning. Her mom Karen is also a former Ponoka Stampede Queen, in 1992. Mackenzie’s birthday is during the Ponoka Stampede on June 30th, and at the time her father Dan Skeels was a volunteer who helped look after the box suites. When Mackenzie was born Dan stayed in box number 5, and Mackenzie's first rodeo was the Ponoka Stampede at only a few days old.
Some highlights for her are winning 3 national aggregate titles with the National YCSA, competing in the American Junior Simmental Association shows in 2016 and 2018 as the representative from Canada. Volunteering for the 80 riders for the 80-year opening ceremonies at the Ponoka Stampede. Competing in regional level public speaking with 4-H, and being selected to attend the 2018 4-H Canadian Citizenship Congress, in Ottawa at Parliament.
With her Media Studies and Professional Communications diploma, and current job with Direct Livestock Marketing Systems. Mackenzie is excited to use the skills that she has developed to further her passion in being a spokesperson for the western way of life. She plans on continuing to bridge the gap between urban and rural by educating people on where their food comes from by bringing people back to their western roots.
Skeels loves how the Ponoka Stampede brings this amazing community together. It has always been a family event for her. Skeels looks forward to a great year of being the Ponoka Stampede Queen and is honored to be a part of the comeback this year. She is excited to see all the families who are coming to the Ponoka Stampede to create memories that will last for a lifetime.
Successful candidates will be interviewed by a selection committee and then will have the opportunity to meet and greet citizens of all ages in and around town, while attending many delightful events throughout the community in the busy weeks that lead up to the thrilling seven days of rodeo action, concerts, wagon races, parade and hoopla that always goes with the Ponoka Stampede. All of the ladies vying for the 2022 Stampede Queen title will be hosted along the way by a congenial Stampede Queen Committee, which includes members of the community and the PSA.
Miss Ponoka Stampede 2022 will receive a trophy saddle, trophy buckle, wardrobe and the possibility of competing for Miss Rodeo Canada. The new queen will also become a colorful ambassador of the Ponoka Stampede and the town and county of Ponoka at numerous other rodeos, parades and other special events throughout Alberta and beyond. Her ongoing adventures in the rodeo world promises to be both challenging and rewarding, as well as a great inspiration for whatever future endeavors she may choose to pursue.
Along with countless new attractions such as Canada's largest midway, dances, and much more the Ponoka Stampede committee decided to invite participants to vie for the honor of becoming the first Rodeo Queen in 1948, with Bertha (Santee) Courser receiving the coveted crown.
Many former Ponoka Stampede Queens over the years still live in and around the district, have married and settled down to raise their families, but are still very much involved in the great and growing sport of rodeo. The list includes:
- Mary Ellen (Jones) Wilson 1956
- Jean (Dodds) Twa 1959
- Sheila Stickney (Koller) 1966
- Shannon (Boles) Howorko 1984
- Cheryl (Robson) Daines 1985
- Lynnette (Scott) Galloway 1986
- Shelley (Houston) Dyrland 1987
- Colleen (Bexson) Coleman 1988
- Rhonda (Hartman) Miller 1989
- Tracy Crawford 1990
- Angie (Lundgren) Andersen 1991
- Karen (Black) Skeels 1992
- Michelle Williams 1993
- Jessie (Randles) Scott 1994
- Diana (Davies) Austad 1995
- Jody (Bougerolle) Leach 1996
- Brook Robertson 1997
- Karina Tees 1998
- Kim Hughes 1999
- Nadia Content 2000
- Bobbie Jo Sauder 2001
- Brianna Ernst 2002
- Mandy (Angelveldt) Dux 2003
- Cody Jo Lawes 2004
- Crystal Albers 2005
- Nichole Campbell in 2006
- Shelby Simmonds in 2013
- Katy Lucas in 2014
- Ashley Akkermans 2015
- Jadey van der Vlis 2016
- Michele Greer 2017
- Alicia Erickson 2018
- Naomi Akkermans 2019