Akkermans crowned Ponoka Stampede Queen 2015

Sylvan Lake's very own Ashley Akkermans, 22, was crowned Ponoka Stampede Queen 2015 on Ponoka Stampede grounds last Friday.

Ashley Akkermans of Sylvan Lake has been crowned Ponoka Stampede Queen 2015.

Sylvan Lake’s very own Ashley Akkermans, 22, was crowned Ponoka Stampede Queen 2015 on Ponoka Stampede grounds last Friday. As queen, she’ll act as an ambassador for the sport of rodeo for a year.

During Stampede week in late June, Akkermans will attend sponsorship breakfasts, participate in the parade and ride in the rodeos.

She’ll also attend rodeos in Innisfail, Caroline, Rocky Mountain House and Calgary.

“The main part of Stampede Queen is the rodeo and to inform people on the sport of rodeo,” Akkermans said. “You do that by attending various events and doing lots of public relations.”

Being crowned rodeo queen is a huge achievement for Akkermans. The feat, she said, has been a longtime dream.

Having been raised in Ponoka and attended the Stampede every year, Akkermans said she remembers watching the rodeo queens riding their sparkling horses and wanting to be one of them.

She said she always wanted to be a cowgirl, and was introduced to the western and riding world when she got her own horse.

“I started to realize what a rodeo queen actually does,” Akkermans said. “It’s so cool, you get to meet so many amazing people within the sport. I get to represent the sport that I am so passionate about, and that’s my job. I get to travel around riding lots of different horses.”

Akkermans competed in a one-day competition that included horsemanship, public speaking, modelling and an interview with members of the Ponoka Stampede Committee and a few past rodeo queens.

Out of all the competitions, Akkermans said she really enjoyed the personal interview.

“They asked me why I would be good for their queen,” Akkermans said. “They asked me questions on rodeo and animal welfare, and personal questions on my commitment to see if I would qualify to do this job and to handle it well.”

Stepping into the role of a rodeo queen will be a transition for Akkermans, who has been studying psychology at Red Deer College.

“It’s surreal, I think I am still in shock,” Akkermans said. “I’ve gone from being a college student to all of a sudden taking on this amazing role that will keep me very busy throughout the summer.”

Akkermans said after she completes her reign as Ponoka Stampede Queen 2015, she’ll have more opportunities because of it.

“To have that title of being a rodeo queen is a big deal,” Akkermans said. “People look at that and really appreciate it.”


Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Pirates force Whitecourt Wild to walk the plank

The Pirates have played their way to back-to-back wins to sit seventh in regular season standings.

Sylvan Lake students prepare for opening night of ‘Almost, Maine”

Students and staff from H.J. Cody have been hard at work since September to bring Almost to life

WATCH: Sylvan Lake’s Daddy/Daughter Dance

The event was put on by SPARC Parent’s Association on Nov. 17

West Central Midget Tigers pounce on Airdrie

The Tigers’ regular season record is 10-1-2 after two wins this weekend

Big Bear Energy makes a big donation to Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau

Big Bear Energy recently gave a donation to help families in need this holiday season

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

Ponoka’s Caleb Shimwell arrested after pursuit

Police allege that Shimwell rammed a police cruiser

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Most Read