Elizabeth Stampede crowns 2023 royalty

Kyra Doud will be queen, Isabelle Piche is chosen as attendant

The 2023 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo Royalty competition was held on Sept. 10 at Casey Jones Park. It was a blustery, rainy Saturday for the four girls who competed for rodeo queen and attendant.
Even during the rain, Casey Jones Park was alive with excited energy on competition day as the girls, their parents, the judges and the royalty committee were engaged in the day’s events. Three outside judges were brought in to judge the competition to eliminate any bias toward one contestant or another. Scott Candeleria, Kelly Sweigart and Karen Carter were judges for the day.
This year, there were four enthusiastic girls trying out for either queen or attendant. The competitors included Kyra Doud of Parker, Isabelle Piche of Castle Pines, Madeline Williams of Elizabeth and Madison Montoya of Elizabeth.
The competition is extremely rigorous, encompassing a wide range of skills and abilities. The competition is divided into multiple categories for judging. Half of the points awarded to each contestant come from horsemanship. The remaining points are awarded for personal interviews, a history test, a speech competition, modeling and group impromptu questions.
The competition began with the horsemanship tack up where judges went around the damp lot to score the contestants, observing how they interact with their horses, their grooming practice, and how they handle the overall tacking-up process. The girls shared information about their relationship with their horses, including how long they’ve been riding.
Followed was the horsemanship competition. The contestants must ride a prescribed path, answer impromptu questions from the judges, ride with a flag and show off their queen’s wave. As each rider gave her queen’s wave and made her way around the stadium on horseback, the crowed of parents cheered.
“They certainly did not miss a beat competing in the horsemanship with the cold and rain,” said Jill Stuebner, chair of the Elizabeth Stampede Royalty Committee. “Beautiful smiles and attitudes all around.”
Following the horsemanship competition, each girl was ushered into a room of the Casey Jones Pavilion one-by-one as they were interviewed by the judges. Each was adorned with Western wear, exemplifying their love for the Western way of life. The girls then took a history test over knowledge of the Elizabeth Stampede and rodeo culture.
“In order to prepare for this competition, I exhibited at Douglas County’s rodeo royalty pageant in July to get some practice. I made note cards with everything from current PRCA events to Elizabeth Stampede knowledge to horse biosecurity,” said Doud. “I rode my horse whenever I had a free day to practice picking up the correct lead, backing up, and mounting and dismounting. I would also quiz my friends and family on the parts of the horse and the parts of the Western saddle.”
After a rigorous day of competition, Doud was named the 2023 Elizabeth Stampede rodeo queen and Piche was named her attendant. This day begins the exciting journey for Doud and Piche as they serve as queen-in-waiting and attendant-in-waiting until the current Thomas sisters, Josie and Hannah, serve the remainder of their 2022 term. Doud and Piche will officially begin their reign on Jan. 1.
“I was honestly shocked when my name got called for the title of the 2023 queen,” said Doud. “I am super excited and feel honored to be chosen to represent the Elizabeth Stampede for this next year.”
“Winning the attendant position was a very superior moment for me. It was the feeling of accomplishment that was extremely overwhelming. It was truly the moment I had realized that all the time, tears and hard work had finally paid off,” said Piche. “I don’t think people truly understand the work and what people have to give up to make it far in this sport or to even compete. For me the competition wasn’t about winning, it was about experiencing something new and getting out of my comfort zone and proving to myself that hard work really does pay off.”
“It was a success! All four ladies did a beautiful job competing. Wish we could have had all of them join our rodeo family,” said Stuebner. “Kyra and Isabelle are going to be outstanding ambassadors for our rodeo.”
You can find the new Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo queen-in-waiting and attendant-in-waiting at the 365 Health Fair at the Elbert County Fairgrounds on Oct. 8 from 8 a.m. to noon. You can also find them at them at several fall festivals around Elizabeth and Kiowa as well as The Patch special events.
“I am looking forward to everything in 2023. I am especially looking forward to the National Western Stock Show, Cheyenne Frontier Days, and of course, the Elizabeth Stampede itself,” said Doud. “I can’t wait to represent the Elizabeth Stampede, the sport of rodeo, and the world of agriculture in 2023.”
You can find more information on the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo Royalty on their Facebook page at facebook.com/esrqueens.
For more information on the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo, visit elizabethstampede.com.
“The girls are true ambassadors for the rodeo world,” said Steubner. “They travel over 1,000 miles promoting the Western way of life.”
Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo, Elbert County, Douglas County, Colorado


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