Thursday, July 21, 2011

Calgary Stampede!

Last week, when all those posts were coming in a nice, timely manner...well that's because I scheduled them out that way. I was busy traveling to Canada, where Adam was competing in an auctioneering competition. I went along, wrote one article for a newspaper, and we deemed it a working vacation kind of trip.
We had a blast, and jammed in as much as we could on our week-long excursion. More posts are forthcoming! The big stop for this trip was the Calgary Stampede, which the auctioneering competition was held in conjunction with. Below is a sampling of what we saw during my second and his first trip to the Stampede.

We took full advantage of our contestant and media passes, and took in the famous chuckwagon races from behind the bucking chutes, and along the rail, on two separate occasions.

Perhaps our favorite event we saw was the heavy horse pull. They were BIG horses. We also watched this two days in a row, and were enthralled.

These guys were only the medium weight class, and the winners pulled 11,500 pounds. They were incredibly well trained and very impressive to watch in action.

Of course we took in a cattle show, being who we are. Behind us is the Speckled class, which is Canadian carcass oriented breed. There was quite a variety of quality in the class, so I'm not sure what they're "supposed" to look like, beyond being colored with black and white spots.

We also took in some rodeo action along the rail, which was really the only place we could find to watch it from. There was a huge crowd both days we were on the grounds.

Behind the chutes was another option we had for viewing, thanks to my press pass.

Of course we took in some auctioneering. We spent the first day of the competition at a local sale barn in Strathmore, then watched the final round the following day in the Big Top Tent (that's what everyone was calling it) on the Stampede grounds.

We enjoyed the fireworks associated with the night show.

And watched most of the night show. Sorry Canadians - the Frontier Days combination of a rodeo and a concert is better in my opinion, but I am a Wyomingite too.

These guys were particularly impressive, and I had been telling Adam how much I wish he could have seen them, as they were part of the night show the first time I was at the Stampede. Then, much to my delight, they came onstage!

In conclusion we had a great time, and the people were all very friendly and polite, except the volunteers working at the Stampede. They were ridiculous, and just because they became a volunteer so they could watch all the rodeos and other events for free (and get a powertrip off wearing a weekend badge) doesn't make it okay to jump on any paying spectator whenever they stop walking for more than half a second - that got very old very fast.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now. All the other people we ran into were exceptionally nice and polite.

The events, booths and educational activities were also great, and we enjoyed looking through the barns, watching shows, and meeting and visiting with people involved in Canadian agriculture. If you've never been, I would definitely say it's worth attending at least once in your lifetime.


  1. Very cool! My family and I were at the Stampede as well. It amazes me that there are so many different events taking place at once! Some that you mentioned, like the heavy horse pull and the cattle show I missed, but willdefinitely have to check out in the future. By the way, I love your rodeo photo in this post--so cool that you were right up on the action!

  2. I am so glad you got to take in the Stampede. You did all my favorite things. I grew up spending a lot of time in the Big Top Tent.