Over the past five months your Royal Trio (with an unbelievable amount of support and guidance from our equine sub-committee) has been working hard to get our royal steeds in tip-top shape. We’ve been out at Heathercrest Ranch numerous times a week to exercise and to really get to know our “Princes” before we begin a summer full of rodeos and parades, including Stampede!
All of our hard work was put to the test not too long ago at Aggie Days, which is a five day agricultural fair for kids at Stampede Park. Princesses Shannon and Stephanie and I participated in the beginning of the rodeo for the grand entry, then returned after taking care of our horses to enjoy the remainder of the show and sign some postcards.
Even though I’ve been on horses my whole life and often feel more comfortable on them than on my own two feet, it was quite nerve-racking waiting behind the chutes to enter the arena. I had been waiting for that moment since the day of the crowning back in September: my first grand entry. I can’t really recall my name being announced, but I didn’t have to worry about missing my cue; the second the gate in front of us opened, my trusty steed Hawk was off like a shot.
[Video] Caption: Hawk and I; and one of our first grand entries!
Due to all my worrying and nerves beforehand I forgot one simple fact: while I was very new to this whole grand entry thing, my horse was an old pro. After we galloped around the arena and made our way to our position for the national anthem (in front of 3000 screaming and cheering kids!) I had a little time to think and relax. I realized that the past few months of riding practice (and likely the numerous horse cookies gifted to him by me) had created a bond between Hawk and I, and I knew that if I ever had a little panic attack again, my horse would take care of me.
Aggie Days has been one of my (many) highlights for this year, and the mini celebration of farm life, in addition to our first grand entry, has gotten me so excited for Stampede. I can’t believe it’s only two months and twelve days away… not that I’m counting or anything.