Hannah Braun who was the 2022 Airdrie Pro Rodeo Princess has set her sights on an even more queenly title. She will be competing for the title of First Lady of Canadian Professional Rodeo this November.

"It's always a dream when you're a rodeo queen to become Miss Rodeo Canada," Braun said. "There were a few moments throughout my year, but it was on Canada Day at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo. I was carrying the Canadian flag and the power of our Airdronians as they were singing the Canadian anthem while I went around. It was a moment I'll never forget. That was the moment that set in stone; I'm going for it and I'm going all in."

The competition involves a series of challenges, including horsemanship, a written exam, a personal interview, public speaking, modelling, as well as program ad sales. While rodeo queens and princesses may make riding a horse look flawless and stylish, Braun said it isn't nearly as easy as one would think it is.

"Everyone always thinks appearance is a big thing and it is in a sense, but when we're there we're being judged on who we are as people. Horsemanship, it's not easy at the competition. We aren't riding our own horses," she said. "We show up and we are given other people's horses to ride and we have to go through do a wave lap, a flag lap and then run a few patterns through. But for me, that's kind of fun of it - it becomes a lot more challenging when you have a different horse." 

Braun is one of several Alberta rodeo queens/princesses who have been named to the competition. And although she will be competing against them in Red Deer this fall, she is also good friends with her competitors.

"Every single name on that list I know and I can call them friends. Some I've competed against before and a majority I've spent the last year queening with. I think that's what makes this competition really special; even though we're going to compete against each other, I would be absolutely thrilled to see any one of these girls win the title," Braun said. "You always hope it's yourself, but I have competed against Harleigh [Harleigh Zach - Miss Rodeo Wainwright]. we go to rodeos together, we're in hotel rooms together, we travel together. I just know that all the girls are going to go out there and do their best."

But between now and November there is plenty of work to be done. Braun is spending her days prepping, and studying, and continues to be actively engaged in the community. When asked what she believes is the most common misconception about rodeo queens, Braun said some view the entire rodeo queen/princess circuit as nothing more than a beauty contest.

"Rodeo Queens are representative of the town and of our [town's] rodeo and we're here to support our rodeo athletes and spread the word about the rodeo. We're not just a pretty face. We study hard, we work hard, and we train hard. For a lot of us - this is a dream come true and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Other Alberta Rodeo queens/princesses who will also be vying for the top spot in the competition include, Martina Holtkamp who is Miss Strathmore Stampede, Codi Wilson, Miss Rodeo Edmonton, Shaylyn Hunt, Medicine Hat Rodeo Queen, Kaylee Shantz, Miss Ponoka Stampede, Jasmine Dahl, Miss Rodeo Stavely, Jessie Ferguson, Miss Rodeo Taber, and Harleigh Zack, Miss Rodeo Wainwright.

Last year's Miss Rodeo Canada 2023 was awarded to Mackenzie Skeels. Miss Rodeo Canada 2024 will be held at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer. 

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