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Mackenzie Skeels - Miss Rodeo Canada 2023

April was an exciting time for Canadian Professional Rodeo, as it started with the first CPRA rodeo of the year at Medicine Hat Broncs and Honky Tonks Indoor Rodeo!

Dawson Creek Spring Break-upDuring the three days I attended, I got to catch up with my Medicine Hat sash sisters and help with the ‘Princess for a Day’ program.

This month I had the opportunity to attend both the Grande Prairie Stompede, and Calgary Stampede tarp auctions. Both events were extremely successful and can't wait to see those wagons fly this summer!

During my time in Calgary, I made a quick stop at Smithbilt Hats to get my hat touched up, then off to Airdrie to visit the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association office. It was wonderful to get to know the team behind the scenes and watch them all in action. 

Later in the month I made my way back up north to Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede Spring Rodeo. Had the honor of carrying the Canadian flag on Canadian soil for the first time as Miss Rodeo Canada. This is a memory that will last a lifetime.

In addition to the rodeo in Dawson Creek, I got to spend a day at Longhorn Oilfield Services and meet some of their great team members. I am so honored that to be an ambassador for this incredible company this year and appreciate everything Dan and the Longhorn team do to enhance the Miss Rodeo Canada program.

Princess for a Day with Miss Rodeo Canada Lastly, while in Dawson Creek had the opportunity to share the sport I love with multiple schools. One of the smaller rural schools even had every student write a letter to me which was so kind, I enjoyed reading every one of them.

After Dawson Creek I made my way to my hometown rodeo, Ponoka Stampede, for the Miss Ponoka Stampede Crowning. Proud to announce Kaylee Shantz will be 2023 Miss Ponoka Stampede. So excited to pass my Ponoka crown to Kaylee at the Ponoka Stampede tarp auction in May, she will do a wonderful job representing Ponoka this year down the rodeo trail. 

Last weekend of April I headed back down south for the Taber Spring Classic Rodeo. During my time in Taber, a few rodeo queens and I had the opportunity to go bowling, might not be the best bowler, but it was incredibly fun. The next day, Escape Salon and Spa did my hair for the rodeo, what a lovely experience.

I also had the opportunity to spend a morning in Lethbridge at Peavey Mart for customer appreciation day! Thank you to Peavey Mart for your amazing support to our program.

Mackenzie Skeels - Miss Rodeo Canada - Horse Expo To finish off this month, I spent my last day of April in Red Deer, at the Red Deer Horse Expo where I got to watch multiple trainers and shows. I spent my time mingling throughout the trade show, and hung out in the Canadian Professional Rodeo booth. What a great month, can’t wait to see what May brings.

With Gratitude, 
Mackenzie Skeels
Miss Rodeo Canada 2023

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MRC travelsAs I entered into February, I'm happy to say that the shortest month of the year did not disappoint!

I started off by attending the Sundre Trappers banquet. This is an event that I have had the opportunity to go to a few times. Flashback to when I was Miss Rodeo Sundre 2019 I had a mouse who had made himself at home in my car. During this banquet in 2020 I got a crash course of how to set traps to catch a mouse. By the end of the evening, we were in luck, Mickey was captured. After I caught my little friend, I bravely got a nice gentleman to empty my trap. Moral of the story is I think I will leave it up to the professionals, but I am glad that I have learned the life skill of how to set a mousetrap.

From there my travels went international as I made my way to Kissimmee Florida for the Silver Spurs Rodeo! During my time down in the sunshine state we had the opportunity to visit 10 schools and educate them about rodeo. I always love being a part of sharing my knowledge and love of our incredible sport to the next generation. In addition, I got to be a part of the exceptional rodeo and was able to help my partner experience livestock and other fun activities like roping and barrel racing.

GatorlandIt was so cool seeing Florida from a local’s perspective! One evening we went blueberry picking. However, I am not much of a blueberry picker, more of a constant blueberry eater so when the other queens came back with their cups full of blueberries, I had a total of two left in my cup, but my stomach was full. I am happy to report that they were very good.

While in Florida I experienced the everglades on a airboat ride at Wild Florida, soaked up some much needed sunshine at the beach, went hog hunting, and I even attempted facing my fear of snakes at Gatorland. Update if you have not seen the Facebook and Instagram reel on my social media pages, I am still terrified, and I think I will stick to non scaly creatures. A special thank you to my host, Laura Kessler.

Once I made it back to Canada, I visited Janine’s Custom Creations where she surprised me with a custom leather Peavey Mart Vest! I am so excited to be able to wear it throughout this year.

I then attended ‘Skijordue’ held at the Calgary Polo Club, my very first skijoring event representing Smithbilt Hats, it was truly incredible all the talent and skill those competitors have.

As I made my way home, I stopped at Ponoka for the Hall of Fame concert and got to listen to local superstar Shalaine Stebner. All done in the first day back in Alberta!

As this short but action-packed month comes to a close, I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people I met, and all of the core memories that were made. 

With Gratitude, 
Mackenzie Skeels
Miss Rodeo Canada 2023

Skijordu Peavey Mart vest
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Montana SilversmithsIn the month of January my duties as Miss Rodeo Canada 2023 officially began as I embarked on this new journey.

I started off the month internationally as I attended the Dallas Western Market (WESA). At the market I was able to meet up with some of my amazing sponsors. Special thank you to Mike and Greg at Dan Post; Kathy and Jeff with Wrangler; Judy and Ted with Montana Silversmiths.

I had a special surprise from Montana Silversmiths when they presented me with my Miss Rodeo Canada buckle.

Another amazing moment was being interviewed live on the Cowboy Channel in Fort Worth, which was a bucket list item for me! 

From there I headed to Denver Colorado for the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo and was able to hold our nation's flag with pride on Canada night. In addition, during the stock show I helped at The Remarkable Roundup and Exceptional Rodeo and even got to meet Temple Grandin.

Western Sports Round-up We then toured the Colorado Saddlery and witnessed first hand how a flag boot is made. From there I was honored to be a part of the Grand Champion Steer drive, and to witness such hard-working youth be rewarded for their dedication towards their livestock.

Later on in my week in Colorado, I headed to Steamboat Springs for the 48th Annual Cowboy Downhill ski race. Mustering up all the courage that I had, I decided to take the jump during the race, which was worth it considering the hilarious pictures I got.

After the stock show my international travels for this month ended as I headed back up north to home.

Cowboy Downhill

With Gratitude, 

Mackenzie Skeels 
Miss Rodeo Canada 2023

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Mackenzie Skeels - Miss Rodeo Canada 2023Mackenzie Skeels was crowned Miss Rodeo Canada 2023 at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in November 2022.

Mackenzie is part of a fourth generation ranching family. She grew up on the family ranch, Anchor D Simmentals, just outside of Rimbey, Alberta. Her first cow was given to her as a young girl, and from there she has bought, traded and raised cattle expanding her herd to 35 head.

Mackenzie's leadership roles through her 12 years of 4-H and Young Canadian Simmental Association (YCSA) began her journey of promoting the western way of life.

Mackenzie won five national aggregate titles with the YCSA and competed in the American Junior Simmental Association shows in 2016 and 2018 as the Canada representative. Competing in regional level public speaking with 4H and being selected to attend the 2018 4H Canadian Citizenship Congress in Ottawa at Parliament.

Mackenzie was crowned 2017 Rimbey Rodeo Queen, 2019-2020 Sundre Rodeo Queen and Miss Ponoka Stampede 2022. Mackenzie is thankful for the experiences and knowledge each title has given her.

With her Media Studies and Professional Communications diploma, and current job at Direct Livestock Marketing Systems, Mackenzie is utilizing the skills she has developed to further her passion and involvement in the rodeo and agriculture industry. She plans on continuing to bridge the gap between urban and rural in various ways including educating people on where their food comes from. Bringing people back to their western roots while connecting them to the original extreme sport of rodeo.

Mackenzie is extremely honored to represent Canadian Professional Rodeo on a National and International level as Miss Rodeo Canada 2023.

* photo by Leslie Dawn Photography

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