Fifty years of riding in the Nipawin parade for 68-year-old cowgirl

Photo courtesy Maureen Schreiner. Maureen Schreiner has ridden seven different horses in the local parades. Pictured is Zipper.

Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,

The Nipawin Exhibition Association hosted the annual parade to kick off the Nipawin Exhibition July 17-19 and a familiar face was leading the parade.

Maureena Schreiner rode in her 50th parade on July 17. She was born and raised in the Nipawin/WhiteFox area. Schreiner said her dad, Steve, and mother, Marjorie, were mixed-farm grain, cattle, pig and chicken farmers. Schreiner said her dad loved animals and that is where she got her passion, but, when she was a kid, they used horses only to farm.

Schreiner said it took a neighbour to convince her father to buy her a horse for her enjoyment. At nine years old, her first horse was named Dolly and she started competing in gymkhana events.

In order for Schreiner to enter more classes at the local fairs, her mother would sew her costumes for the different shows.

Comic, glamour and western parade, Schreiner participated in them all; this is how she got into parade fancy dress. When she was in 4-H, she rode with the club in the parades, but when she got older, decided to go in with her fancy costumes.

As a young girl, Schreiner dreamed of riding in the Calgary Stampede Parade. As many are aware, you need to be invited to the Stampede.

In 1989, a scout came to the Nipawin parade and asked her if she ever thought of going to Calgary. His name was Steve Puto from Hafford and he gave her his card and that is what Shreiner said started her dream. That year, they only chose six people, and Schreiner was one of them.

At the Calgary Stampede she was just happy to be there. Once judged, however, she found out she won first that year with her horse called Boo. She remembers how proud her parents were of her. She recalls wanting to find them in the crowd, but back then, no one had cell phones yet.

Schreiner was invited back for 10 years but was only able to attend three other Calgary Stampedes with Boo, as he did not like to travel long distances. Boo attended many local fairs with Schreiner.

Riding in the Nipawin parade has been a way to keep the parade dream alive. Schreiner said she has ridden seven different horses in the local parades. In 50 years, she has attended parades with Dolly, Lady, Tony, Boo, Copper, Magnum and Zipper.

Schreiner thanks her parents for getting her that first horse at a young age and her mother for the many beautiful costumes she has made by hand. The costume Schreiner wore for Nipawin’s parade was made by her mother 25 years ago for her second trip to the Stampede.

Shreiner said her husband Dale is not a horse person but has supported her and her horse addiction for 47 years. The community has also supported her as well. Shreiner said, “It’s easy to do something if you know it puts a smile on someone’s face.”

Schreiner was asked to lead the parade off this year just behind the RCMP.

“This 68-year-old cowgirl felt pretty special.”

Shreiner thanks the RCMP as they helped lead Zipper when her horse suddenly stopped mid-parade.

“I don’t know what will happen next year, but I have always said if I have a costume that fits and a horse to ride I will be in the Nipawin Parade.”