June 26 saw the crowning of Martina Holtkamp as the new Miss Strathmore Stampede!

Being Miss Strathmore Stampede is something Martina has dreamed about as a kid, but it isn't her first time being a rodeo queen. She was also the Rimbey Rodeo Queen in 2014.

"I decided I wanted to be a rodeo queen when I was seven years old when I saw a rodeo queen, and I was like 'I want to be her someday'."

Initially, Martina was mainly interested in the rhinestones, pretty horse and flag. But as time went on, she learned to embrace the responsibilities of a rodeo queen, and looks forward to promoting the rodeo and stampede to everyone.

"Being in the rodeo community, actually learning what a rodeo queen does, how they are the bridge connecting the people in the stands or outside the rodeo to people in the rodeo arena and around rodeo. Acting as that connector to build the rodeo community and help everyone feel a part of rodeo."

While Martina hopes to engage with everybody to get them involved, she has an especially strong focus towards kids.

"I'm a huge believer in engagement in youth. I love school visits; the kids are always excited to see us and talk about rodeo. Lots of kids don't know, if you don't come from rodeo or have much of a connection you're kind of outside it. So I want to be that connection and engage with kids and tell them about rodeo, invite them to the Strathmore Stampede, and just share about the rodeo."

She added that the Strathmore Stampede in particular has great engagement with kids, which played a big role in why she wanted to be Miss Strathmore Stampede.

"They (The Strathmore Stampede) really focus on their youth and they actually put on a rodeo school after the stampede on August 15-18. I thought that was really cool and how they include breakaway roping and really look to building the future of rodeo. I really loved what Strathmore Stampede stood for, it really aligned with what I think about personally, and that's why I wanted to run for Miss Strathmore Stampede."

To become Miss Strathmore Stampede, you are judged in various categories like public speaking, personal interview, written exam, horsemanship and personality. It wasn't an easy journey to get here, but Martina said the group of competitors helped a lot.

"It was an intense weekend, but I had a really great group of girls that I competed with. We were just building each other up and supporting each other, there was a lot of camaraderie. It made it so much fun."

As Miss Strathmore Stampede, Martina will now represent Strathmore at rodeos all across Alberta. She will also be involved in community events, school visits, and senior home visits. She can also now run for Miss Rodeo Canada, which is something she is looking forward to.

"I would love to represent the Strathmore Stampede at Miss Rodeo Canada. I would be the 14th Miss Strathmore Stampede to run, and I couldn't be more proud to represent such an awesome community and committee."

The new Miss Strathmore Stampede is also very active in Rodeo and you may have seen her in past years competing across Alberta in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and ladies cow riding.

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