Hi everyone! Princess Jaden here! Crowning was back in September and only now is that getting sort of normal to say out loud!

I wanted to introduce myself, “officially” and tell you a little bit about how and why I became a princess, and what exactly that means!

I was born and raised in High River, Alberta and for the past two years I have been living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan taking my Bachelor’s of Education through the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program.

Several months ago, I announced to my family and friends in Saskatoon that I was going to move back to Alberta in pursuit of my childhood dreams. I wanted to be a princess. (Doesn’t everyone!?)

My family and friends didn’t quite understand what that meant, and although I had an idea, I didn’t really know what to tell them.

They were very supportive throughout the competition process, although it became apparent that no one really understood what I was doing. I would receive text messages asking wishing me luck in the “Queen of the Rodeo Tryouts”, congratulating me on the “Prairie Pageant” and most often, asking me how that “rodeo thing” was going.

Upon being successful and being crowned “Princess of the Rodeo in my Prairie Pageant,” it became clear that it wasn’t only my friends and family from out of town who didn’t quite understand what this was all about, a lot of Calgarians are unsure about what exactly the Royalty does.

This is where I come in! Here are some myth-busters and little known facts tackled from a (fairly) newly crowned princess:

MYTH-BUSTER: Although there is a competition process that determines the Royal Trio (which is what we liked to be called), it is by no means a “beauty pageant.”

How did I get here? I am asking myself the same question!

Yes, thank you (I know), I am beautiful, but it took more than good genes to get this crown on my hat! The process to become crowned includes a month long competition with riding components, prepared and impromptu speeches, interviews and several mix and mingle style events. Competitors are judged on their ability to speak and relate with people of all ages and walks of life. We are not judged on our “beauty”, but on our potential and ability to perform well as ambassadors for the Calgary Stampede, the city of Calgary and in some cases, Canada.

FAQ: What do you do?

Great Question!

Did you know that the Calgary Stampede is about so much more than a 10-day festival each July? The Stampede is a year- round, community-focused organization that celebrates our western heritage, culture and community spirit! As the Royal Trio, we attend different events and share these values wherever we go! These could be anything from corporate events, to schools, to senior homes! The public can request us to come to an event through the Event Booking website.

Wherever we go, we showcase our western hospitality for which our city and the Stampede is known.

MYTH-BUSTER: Princesses cannot run again to become Queen.

Although there are two princesses and one queen, our roles are essentially the same. I could not “run again” to become Queen in the future, because I would have already fully lived out the experiences and opportunities during my year as a princess.

FAQ: Why did you become a Calgary Stampede Princess?

As a young girl, I was always fascinated with the Calgary Stampede Royalty. They were beautiful, they were well-spoken and they wore a lot of glitter! I dreamt of becoming one of them one day. As I got older I found out that the Calgary Stampede’s Royalty Program is a youth development program, This means we are given training and experiences that will help us gain skills we can carry on into our lives. When I found out how much more there was to being Stampede Royalty, aside from their outfits, I knew I wanted to become involved.

MYTHBUSTER: You do not have to have a rodeo background to become part of the Royal Trio.

In fact, your very own Princess Jessica has a show-jumping background! I should add, however, that riding is a very important aspect of our role and safety and good horsemanship is a requirement. A rodeo background is not mandatory, although we do complete training concerning various aspects of rodeo and learn a lot about rodeo throughout the year. This is because our main role is to represent the Calgary Stampede to everyone we meet, showcase western values and welcome guests from all over the world to our city. Western values include things like helping your neighbour, working hard and showing integrity. These are values that are passed down and have stayed strong due to our agricultural heritage. Although these values are especially strong in rodeo, the Calgary Stampede understands that anyone can embody and share western values, even if they didn’t grow up on a ranch.

FAQ: What do we call you?

You can call us The Royal Trio, the Stampede Royalty, or the Calgary Stampede Queens and Princesses. Don’t worry; we won’t be offended if you call us all rodeo queens or rodeo princesses!

So there you have it, hopefully now you have a little bit more of an understanding about this “rodeo thing” that Lindsay, Jessica and I are part of. I do hope you come say “howdy” to us, grab a picture and tell us why you love the Stampede. We love meeting new people and we hope to meet as many of you as we can while we live out this awesome dream of ours. I know that people will always be a little bit confused about who we are and what we do, but in the end, it’s all about sharing our pride in the city and the values it was built upon! You too can be a princess (or queen!)—just lend a helping hand, do a little line dance, and remember to get back on whatever horse life has thrown you off of. It’s a Stampede thing! Yahoo!