COWGIRL QUEEN DEFIES INJUR Y
A RODEO queen from north- west Queensland is taking Calgary by storm after bouncing back from a horror injury earlier this year.
Bessie Smits, the 2017 Australian Rodeo Queen, was seriously injured in a horse fall in February, receiving a grade- four cut to her liver, which means she will never ride again.
But that hasn’t stopped the 22year- old Cloncurry cowgirl from performing her duties at the Calgary Stampede.
Ms Smits’ time at the Calgary Stampede included square dancing, rope making and taking part in the Calgary Stampede parade, with organisers arranging for a stage coach so she didn’t need to ride.
“Technically I’m still on my sixmonths recovery,” Ms Smits said
“I was slightly concerned that I would get more fatigued than normal, but I am managing fine so far.”
Ms Smits said the Calgary Stampede street parade in front of 275,000 people had been one of the highlights.
“The stage coach Miss Rodeo North Carolina and I rode in is an authentic 1873 model,” she said.
“It used to travel to Fort Benton, Fort Calgary and Fort Edmonton.
“Also, it was held up by outlaws in Sharp Hills and even has a bullet hole in the roof.
“I am also riding in a carriage for the grand entry at Fort Worth Stock Show and a stage coach in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Parade.”
Ms Smits’s trip will also include rodeo queen duties in New York, Fort Worth, Dallas Texas, Las Vegas and Cheyenne, Wyoming before she returns to Australia later this month.