Huron's Hendriks crowned first-ever IPM Princess - Sept. 28, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Brooklyn Hendriks from the Lucknow area has been crowned the first-ever Princess in International Plowing Match (IPM) history.
It is perhaps fitting that a young Huron County woman was the first to win the crown at a provincial level due to Huron’s 12-year history with the Princess competition, spearheaded by George and Ruth Townsend.
The Townsends were on hand to crown Hendriks, who was named to the position on Saturday afternoon in the Mutuals Tent at the 100th IPM in Walton. Barb Terpstra from the Grey Ward of Huron East was the chair of the committee and Saturday was an emotional day for her.
Terpstra teared up when talking to the over 150 people who took in the competition, saying that the Townsends have made a remarkable difference in the lives of so many young women from Huron County over the years, including her daughter Emily, a former Princess, who also emceed the event.
Terpstra recalled how Ruth has made hundreds of phone calls over the last 12 years soliciting contestants for the competition and ensuring its strength in the future.
George and Ruth also spoke, explaining how proud they were to see that 15 upstanding young women had chosen to take part in the competition from all over the province.
George said that seeing the Princess competition on the IPM stage had always been his dream and, as he fought back tears, he said that his dream had turned out to be a pretty good one.
In the end, however, it was Hendriks who prevailed. Hendriks was the president of the Huron County IPM 4-H Club, responsible for the Huron County 4-H tent at the IPM. She has been involved in dozens of 4-H projects over the course of her 16 years.
The final five contestants were Hendriks, Brynn Depencier from Chatham-Kent, Abbey Cocking from Haldimand County, Alexandra Carkner from Leeds County and Rebecca vanDonkersgoed from Oneida.
After all 15 contestants presented their speeches to the judges – Tim Prior of Brussels, Ruth MacLean from Kingston and Pam Emmott from Princeton – the top five were chosen and those contestants then gave a short, impromptu speech, based on a question they were asked by the event’s emcee.
After nearly a half-hour of deliberation on an extremely hot day, the judges returned with their decision that Hendriks would be the one to wear the crown.
Throughout the course of the presentation, Terpstra thanked the members of her committee for making the competition possible, including Samantha Terpstra, Nicole Noble, Jennie Schimanski and Emily Terpstra.
Hendriks then addressed the crowd after she was crowned, saying she was happy and surprised to be named the winner. She spoke again later that day after she requested to speak at the IPM’s closing ceremonies on the main stage.