By Terri Gilbert
Our 2022 Rodeo Queen Maddie Gray has been a wonderful ambassador for the Warwick Show and Rodeo travelling to rodeos all over Australia including the magnificent Mt Isa Rodeo promoting Australia’s most famous Ariat Warwick Rodeo and Pryde’s EasiFeed Warwick Gold Cup Campdraft.
The 26-year-old works in Kyogle as a SharePoint/Training Administrator while also studying part-time. She is working on a diploma in health, specialising in naturopathic medicine.
Maddie has a strong passion for horses and runs a small business with her fiancé where they work with racehorses.
“My greatest achievement has been my horses,“ she wrote in her Queen entrant bio. “I didn’t grow up in a rodeo/horsey family so I am incredibly proud of my journey to owning two talented horses that will help me achieve my goals of winning a barrel racing title.“
Maddie has spoken at length about her love for the rodeo and her experience joining the community of competitors.
“The kindness I was shown when I started out with rodeos and divisional barrel racing is the reason I chose to participate in the Warwick Rodeo Queen Quest,“ she said.
She wants to continue encouraging and supporting current and future competitors in the sport of rodeo.
In her speech prior to being crowned Queen, she spoke of the “spirit of the rodeo“.
She said that “the energy that fills the grounds is one of anticipation, determination, and tradition for what has passed and what is to come“.
“This spirit is what I think a rodeo queen should embody and I believe that this is the main role of the Warwick Rodeo Queen.“
Maddie said she considers it her role to keep the spirit alive by inspiring future competitors, encouraging current competitors and representing the tradition of what has come before her.
“I want to make sure that I acknowledge the origins of rodeo, the hardworking cowboys and cowgirls that have roped calves to doctor them out in paddocks, the station hands that have trapped and broken feral horses to use as workhorses and the families who have dedicated a large portion of their lives to ensuring that the tradition of rodeo continues in Australia.“
Maddie said she aims to set “a good example of what it is to be an honest and humble cowgirl.“
“This title is a privilege to hold and one that is not to be taken on lightly.“