After a year of rodeos, touring the world and meeting all different types of people, Arleta Bowhay, the outgoing Miss Rodeo Canada, has had to relinquish the title.
The Sundre area cowgirl said she is going to remember all the people she had the chance to meet, the rodeos she got to go to and all the experiences she had.
“The people I was able to touch and who were encouraged because of me,” said Bowhay.
“They saw I was doing something and thought they could do it as well.”
As part of her term, she was able to travel all across Canada, the United States and even spent a week in Australia.
“We are the ambassador for Canadian professional rodeo and for Canada,” said Bowhay.
“I travelled to a lot of different rodeos, carried the Canadian flag, helped with awards, talked with the crowds, answered questions and did fundraisers for different organizations like STARS Air Ambulance.”
But the big goal of the Miss Rodeo Canada title is to raise awareness of what rodeo is and keeping the Western heritage alive.
“What we’ve done in the past is still stuff that we can do today,” said Bowhay.
Over the weekend, Bowhay passed the Miss Rodeo Canada crown on to another Central Albertan as Didsbury native Gillian Shields won the title.
“She was a girl I looked up to, because she is older than me,” said Bowhay.
“It was really exciting to be able to pass it down to a girl that meant so much to me, during my becoming a rodeo queen, and someone I know will do an awesome job.”
Bowhay is an accomplished pianist, has been involved with 4-H clubs for 10 years, including being club president as well as being on the club’s executive.
She plans to complete the Olds College business administration program, majoring in communications.
“I knew it was going to be a lot of fun, but I didn’t know how much fun and how much work it was going to be,” said Bowhay.
Behind the scenes, there is a lot of work that goes into being a rodeo queen and being a representative at various events.
“I’d say I learned a lot of independence this year,” said Bowhay.
“You’re not just jumping on a horse and going, there’s a lot that goes in to getting to that point.”
With her duties as Miss Rodeo Canada behind her, Bowhay said she plans to go back to school in the fall of next year, but for now she is looking work.