Even before being officially introduced and crowned on Sept. 2, Riley Larsen had been busy preparing for her role as the Cochrane Lions Rodeo Queen.

The magnificent Labour Day Weekend Rodeo kept her busy fulfilling a multitude of duties expected of a Rodeo Queen, and she loved every minute of it.

"There's never a dull moment from mutton busting, picking up little kids, handing out trophies, chasing out stock out of the arena after events like tie down, roping, and breakaway, stuff like that," says Queen Riley. "And then, of course, doing our big wave laps or flag laps and really getting the crowd into it.

"It's such a big role and it, and it's really it's truly such an honor. This has been one of the best weekends I've ever had. It's been such an honor to be here representing the Cochrane Lions, and I couldn't ask for anything better."

Rodeo queenLions Rodeo Queen Riley Larsen receives her official belt buckle from Lions president Chris Connon.

Riley was a contestant for queen last year and says it was an easy decision to once again put forward her name.

"The Lions are phenomenal, so over the last year, I really worked on who I was as a person and it definitely really came true, you know, chasing that dream as a little girl and finding a spot for myself and being a representative for the Lions and being a rodeo queen really stays true to that."

Over the next year, she'll be highly visible in the community while representing the Lions but somewhat serving as an unofficial ambassador for the community. Between community activities and rodeos across southern Alberta, she'll have a full itinerary of between 50 and 60 events.

rodeo queen 2Rodeo Queen Riley Larsen assisting in the rodeo arena.

She especially looks forward to representing the Cochrane Lions at next summer's Calgary Stampede. Although originally from Saskatchewan, attending the Stampede was a treasured family outing.

"So, I'm going to be really excited to walk in that parade and be in the grandstands representing the Lions. Everything is a full-circle dream for me."

Riley, 23, works full-time at a veterinary clinic in Calgary.

"I have the best employer ever. They're so supportive and they actually encouraged me to come back and represent our Lions and be the rodeo queen. It's super awesome having support from both."

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