The Best Day at The Rodeo – Calgary Stampede

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Part 2

Saturday 13th July 2019 – Calgary Stampede Rodeo

After day one came the day I have been waiting for, for so long! I was going to witness my first rodeo. The excitement was insane. Maybe I like it because of the adrenaline factor. Also, I feel you have to be a bit crazy to sit on a bucking horse. As for sitting on a bucking bull, well, that’s screw loose material. But first, we still had a morning to explore other events on offer.

Calgary Rodeo – The Auctioneer Competition

Firstly, was the auctioneer competition. I thought it was a bit strange. And I clearly do not speak auction house, I couldn’t understand a thing. In conclusion, I need to brush up on my country speaking. It was good to witness to see how auctions work. The prize cattle on offer were magnificent and ranch owners were actually bidding on them.

Pigeon Racing at Calgary Stampede

A group of pigeon's flying towards the camera for the rac at Calgary Stampede
Pigeon Racing

As I said Calgary Stampede is full of many different events. In short, I personally love learning and seeing what others love to do. However, I was shocked to find out there is a serious league and prizes for a winning pigeon. This shows how impressive a pigeon can find his or her way home. The training and patience that goes into this sport are mind-blowing and admirable. Without a doubt, this was quite scary as the pigeons flew fast towards us before turning left to head back home. Plus, no poo when they took flight. Result in my eyes. Didn’t fancy being caked in poo for the rest of the day.

Calgary Stampede – The Rodeo

This was it, the moment I had been waiting for as we headed to the Grandstand, excitement reaching boiling point. The Show I wanted to see the most. They had an action-packed show with 6 events. Each and everyone was thrilling in their own way. Wildcard Saturday as it’s known. The last-ditch attempt for the riders to make the finals. And have their chance at the $100,000 prize money!!!

The First Event – Roping

The steer wrestling competition at the Rodeo
Steer Wrestling

This was against the clock the quickest to rope the steer went on through to the final. To see this skill in action was intense but this event doesn’t have the danger factor like so many others do but this puts skill at the front line. These cowboys were so quick, if you blinked you missed out. Personally, I have the worst aim in history so I would never be able to rope that steer.

The Second Event – Steer Wrestling

This event was more exciting as the cowboys had to jump on the steer’s back, get them to the ground, and tie them up all against the clock. One cowboy knew he wasn’t going to win, so instead of throwing the steer down pointlessly he just gave up. Again, another sign of the good sportsmanship that runs through the sport.

The Third Event – Bareback Riding

A cowboy riding a bucking horse bareback at The Rodeo
Riding a Bucking Horse

Now we were hitting the crazier events in my opinion. As the audience, you sat on the edge of your seat engrossed in the action. The cowboys had to stay on a bucking horse with no saddle for 8 seconds as well as get judged for points out of 50. One horse looked so good, the rhythm he had as bucked and bucked was insane.

The Fourth Event – Saddle Broncs

The same principle as the event above but the horses have saddles on. Again, you couldn’t turn away, these horses bucking were very impressive. Let’s say this wouldn’t be something I would like to try. All cowboys have a lot of guts and talent.

The Fifth Event – Barrell Racing

This time it was over to the cowgirls to take centre stage. Barrell racing is where the rider has to complete the course by riding around all barrels in the fastest time. This was a nail-biting competition as the top three cowgirls were very close. As a result, one rider took the top spot by the slightest of margins.

The Final Event – Bull Riding

Finally, the event I had been waiting for. The craziest event out of them all, these cowboys had to stay on a bucking bull for 8 seconds. Riding for their lives to have a chance at the prize money in Sunday’s Final. The riders were all very talented and the size and the bucks of the bulls were impressive and aggressive. All riders gave it a good go, I was biting my nails as the bulls bucked hoping for a safe landing for the cowboys. Unfortunately, one did suffer a kick to the head. I can’t even imagine receiving a kick from a bull let alone walking away as that one cowboy did. The guards were quick to get the cowboy to safety as well.

Nashville North Music Stage

After queuing for an hour, we were finally in. Yes, this is a popular stage and once inside you will see why. The music was good and non-stop with many different acts. Just like being at a festival. And when the acts were changing, they filled the time with something in my eyes that is so country… line dancing. We attempted this; my dancing skills are limiting but we had so much fun trying. The final singer I enjoyed most was Ryan Lindsay. He was so good and entertaining. He has blue eyes so that is always a plus.

Summary of The Rodeo

Wow, I have covered what the six events are and given snippets as to what happened. I just have to say I admire all the cowboys and cowgirls who took part and have nothing but respect for them. They put their lives on the line to entertain the crowds. The sheer sportsmanship between all shines on through. The cowboys and cowgirls always put the animals first.

A group picture of the young horses at The Rodeo
Showing off The Next Rodeo Legends

The animals aren’t forced to do it if they aren’t up to performing then that’s it for the day. The competition is over for them. Yes, sometimes it isn’t pretty and it does go wrong for them, I witnessed this first hand. Some may be against events like these. However, these animals, in particular, the horses are born to do the events they take part in. It is in their blood. And in my eyes, they are well cared for and well and truly loved by all.

To read about my final day at the stampede click here

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