Central Albertan crowned Miss Rodeo Canada 2020

Miss Rodeo Canada 2020 has been named and she’s from right here in central Alberta.

Alicia Erickson, a 23-year-old lifelong Trochu resident, was named Miss Ponoka Stampede in 2018. At Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer on Friday, Erickson achieved something she’s been working towards for as long as she can remember.

“My mom was actually a race meet queen back in Trochu and I remember looking at a photograph of her in an old newspaper and thinking ‘Wow, I want to do that one day.’ Now that it’s finally here, I don’t know what to do with myself,” Erickson quips.

“I think I was eight or nine when I saw the picture. I was just mesmerized by how a rodeo queen looked on her horse, and I just knew I wanted to be like that.”

Erickson’s upcoming duties in representing her country and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) include spreading the word about rodeo in venues such as schools and seniors homes, and in her words, connecting people with the sport and western heritage.

Also a barrel racer in her spare time, Erickson says she lives by the mantra “Be the person you needed when you were younger.”

“I’ve coached figure skating, worked at a youth club, and my education is in youth justice studies, so that’s where I’m headed,” she says. “The children I meet every day inspire me to become a better person. I remember when I was a little girl looking up to Miss Rodeo Canadas or my teacher at school and thinking I wanted to have their qualities, or I want to be good at what I do, or be a rodeo queen.”

To the greater population, Erickson says you’re never too old to start something new.

“I ran for the title of Miss Rodeo Canada last year and I was first runner up. I thought ‘I don’t want to give up on something I’ve wanted for so long, so how can I make this dream become a reality?’” she recalls. “I wanted to do what it took and apply myself to create my goal and make it happen. It’s important to never stop trying, and it’s never too late to try and live out your dream.”

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Erickson graduated from Trochu Valley School in 2014 and has a diploma from Bow Valley College in Youth Justice Studies. Next, she will be applying to Red Deer College’s bachelor in social work program.

In December 2020, at the end of her year as Miss Rodeo Canada, she will attend the Miss Rodeo of America competition held in Las Vegas as part of the National Finals Rodeo.

Erickson beat out four other finalists to earn her crown, including Alisa Brace of Sundre, Brittany Doyle of Moose Mountain, Haley Schlenker of Medicine Hat, and Jessica Craig from Hanna.

“I am so excited to be able to give back to the sport that’s given so much to me,” adds Erickson. “It truly helped me find my passion, and all I aspire to do is to be that for someone else and to lead them in the right direction in their life.”

Also on Friday at CFR, the first ever Rising Stars Rodeo Queen was named. Sadie Henn, 16, of Airdrie earned the title.