The Greatest Grand Show in the World – Calgary Stampede

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Part 3

Sunday 14th July 2019 – The Final Grand Show

Finally, is it the last day of the Calgary Stampede and the final Grand Show, well for 2019 anyway.  ‘The greatest outdoor show on earth’; is a statement I agree with now having witnessed so many different events. It didn’t disappoint and I was kind of sad for this to be the last day. I didn’t want this experience to end. I was fully entertained throughout the three days that my friend and I spent on the grounds in Calgary. We fully submerged ourselves in all the Calgary Stampede had to offer. I felt like a tourist the whole time as this was the first time experiencing what I call ‘real country’. Yes, country music is my favourite.

The German Light Show

This incredible piece of art by a very talented German group of people. As a member of the audience, the slow movement of the light as it travelled across the stage draws you in. There was a giant and a star as the main characters in the story that it was telling. In addition, you really got the feeling that this particular giant was friendly and had compassion for the star. The show was very well put together leaving you unable to look away. A real masterpiece.

The Calgary Stampede Fair Ground

There are many rides and games on offer to keep you entertained between competitions. Although, we only went on the Cable Car to get a bird’s eye view of the grounds. I personally didn’t enjoy this because the wind picked up making the cable car sway and stopping it every 3 seconds. 

In amongst the fairground was the Freestyle Motor-Cross Show. Dirt bikes put on a show consisting of high-flying flips and daring tricks. The danger factor shone on through and left the audience gasping as the rider tried a variety of tricks.

The Heavy Horse Pull Competition

Two horses pulling weight in heavy horse pull competition on the Grand Show Day
Heavy Horse Pull

I think this event gripped me the most. This was all about the power of this breed of horse. They look great and the size of them! Quite unbelievable. The arena was dead silent. You could feel the anticipation throughout the crowd as everyone silently watched the competition. As the weight was attached the horses settled, and on commend, they pulled.

The beauty of these horses was impressive, however, the amount of weight that they can pull was even more impressive. The winner won because they moved 13,000 lbs. Yes, you read that right 13,000 lbs. The winners tried for the recorded but just fell short… the attempt was 13,400 lbs.

Yet, what struck me more was the unity between competitors. The united front no matter what. This is a theme throughout the Rodeo. The equipment from one team snapped as the horses attempted to pull the weight. Everyone’s reaction was quick, horses checked over, all good. Another team lent their expensive equipment so the team could try to attempt the record again. No hesitation in the choice they made. Great sportsmanship.

The Final Grand Show

Our final event in what has been an action-packed weekend. Also, I would love to come back every year to witness ‘the greatest outdoor show on earth’. The Grand Show was packed with the last rodeo event, a show by the Trailblazers, and a firework display.

The Chuck-Wagon Race Competition

The start of a chuck wagon race at the Grand Show
Chuck Wagon Racing

Chuck-Wagon racing is where four thoroughbreds pull a wagon around the racetrack. The wagon has two flankers (2 single horses and riders) who also race around the track. Before heading around the track, they have to go around a barrel. It was exciting to watch as everyone cheered as they made their way around.

As the last race got underway the four teams were neck and neck as they came around the third corner. The race was so intense you couldn’t take your eyes off the pack as they came along the home straight. That’s where you noticed it, one team was missing. All the flankers for each team raced back to that third corner where the crash happened.

The back-room staff was quick to cover the area so the public could no longer see. Unfortunately, as quick as they were, you only saw one horse get up. It is with great sadness that three horses passed away during that race. For this reason, it reminded me of The Grand National Horse Race from England, and not in a positive way. The Grand National sometimes ends up with an injured horse being put down.

This time it was under the worst circumstance that the compassion and sportsmanship were again on display. The theme throughout the rodeo. No horse or man was left behind.

The Trail Blazers Grand Show

After, all the events of the weekend the 132 young Canadians take to the stage every night to wow the audience with their show. The show was full of energy from start to finish. It was amazing to watch and I’m sure many of those young Canadians have good careers in front of them.

The Final Firework Show

The last hooray to what has been an incredible last three days of ‘the greatest outdoor show on earth’. I have been left with a thirst for The Rodeo, it is something I could go and see every weekend. This incredible experience ended with a simply beautiful firework display. A fantastic grand show finishes a great weekend.

The grand show fireworks at the Calgary Stampede
The Spectacular Fireworks

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