This week I had a chance to catch up with our 2010 Calgary Stampede Queen, Katie Rochon. Katie is originally from Ottawa – but now considers herself a Calgarian. She is a student at the UofC, finishing a Psychology Degree and plans to attend law school after that. Katie has always loved horses and has been riding for 12 years, competing in show jumping. She is a wonderful young woman who along with the Princesses and Indian Princess truly has done a fantastic job representing Calgary and the Calgary Stampede around the city and country.

10 Questions With… Katie Rochon, the 2010 Calgary Stampede Queen

1. Congratulations on your 2010 Calgary Stampede Queen selection! Tell us a bit about the competition and what lead you to this point.

Thanks! I dreamed about being Calgary Stampede Royalty as a little girl,so I always knew that it was something I wanted to strive for one day. I am particularly fortunate in that one of my best friends was a former princess. She encouraged me to try out and supported me throughout the entire competition. The competition itself took place over a five week span and included public speaking, dinners, interviews, riding competitions, mix and mingle events… they didn’t really leave anything out!

2. Were you nervous at any point during the competition, since there is so much at stake?

Absolutely! You really put yourself out there in situations such as that, so it’s hard not to be nervous. I think the magnitude of the competition really hit us during the Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship’s Rodeo right before the crowning.

3. The Royal Trio is rich in tradition through the history of the Calgary Stampede. How must it feel to be a part of this history now?

Kirstie, Janelle, and I all feel extremely honoured to be a part of the Calgary Stampede. As our year has progressed and we have become increasingly involved and knowledgeable about the organization, our respect and appreciation for it has continuously grown. The employees and volunteers that devote their time to the Stampede truly are amazing.

4. How many public appearances does the Royal Trio plan to attend throughout the year, and more specifically, how many during the 10-day Calgary Stampede? You must have a very organized calendar to keep track of everything!

Over the course of the year we attend around 500 events. It certainly keeps us very busy! During the Stampede alone, we will attend around 200 events. I don’t anticipate much sleep for us during these ten days but we are very excited!

5. Your schedule sounds grueling but also quite exhilarating. Has there been a highlight event that you have attended thus far?

We were fortunate to be able to attend the Olympics as Calgary Stampede ambassadors! That was truly a once in a lifetime experience for us all. Another highlight for us was getting to spend the day with a little girl named Ava who sadly suffers from cancer. We helped to make her wish of becoming a “cowgirl for a day” come true. It was a very special day for us. The events that we attend are so varying in scope- we are lucky to get to experience so many wonderful things!

6. You ladies look so beautiful and put together at each and every event, how many wardrobe changes must you go through in a year?

We have quite the extensive wardrobe that we have accumulated throughout the year! We certainly go through a lot of wardrobe changes, but we are very lucky to have a fantastic team behind us to help us look our best!

7. Wearing a cowboy hat for so many hours will inevitably produce ‘hat head’…do you fight it or embrace it?

I think I fought it for about the first two months of our reign, but have since conceded defeat. I wear my ‘hat head’ proudly now. Luckily during Stampede we will basically be living in our hats!

8. Have you any advice for up and coming Stampede Queen and Princess hopefuls?

If this is something that anyone wants to try I would sincerely encourage them to get out there and do it! I realize that for some the thought of going through the competition can be a little daunting, but sometimes taking that first step is the most difficult and courageous one of all!

9. What are you most looking forward to during this year’s Calgary Stampede?

There are so many new exciting things on the Stampede line-up this year. There are plenty of new events for Calgarians to check out including the Rock and Roll Fantasy Ice Show and the Cowboy Up Challenge. I don’t think I can pinpoint just one thing that I am looking forward to! We are all just so excited to be playing a role in The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!

10. The “Promise” campaign has been distributed all over the media. What is your personal “Promise” for this year’s Calgary Stampede?

I promise I will try to bring a smile to the face of everyone that I meet, and be the best representative that I can be of the Calgary Stampede and our wonderful city. Our western values and heritage are something that we all can be proud of!

Thank you Katie, you are truly a delight! I hope you enjoy every minute of your busy Stampede schedule. Why not keep in touch with what the Royal Trio is up to by joining their own Facebook page, or stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to see some of their very own blog posts.

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