Stampede History Moment Presents: Merry Christmas from the Cosgraves

Dick Cosgrave looms large in Stampede history. Arena director, long-time chuckwagon record holder, stock breeder…Cosgrave did it all. Lesser known about Dick and his wife Olive is that they sent out great Christmas Cards! So this year, we celebrate the holiday season with some flashback greetings from the Cosgraves.

Cograve Christmas Card 1 Calgary Stampede

If only Santa had thoroughbreds instead of reindeer.

 

Cograve Christmas Card 2 Calgary Stampede

Writing the Stampede 2013 catchphrase, 60 years prior.

 

Cograve Christmas Card 3 Calgary Stampede

“As Christmas rolls around again, We’re just now dryin’ out, From that ’65 Stampede so wet; we coulda fished for trout.” Also applicable to 2016.

 

Cograve Christmas Card 4 Calgary Stampede

New event for next year’s Stampede: reindeer-wrestling.

 

Cograve Christmas Card 5 Calgary Stampede

“So with Christmas fast approachin’, It’s nice to make your home, Amongst obligin’ neighbors, who leave their livestock roam” …Remember western hospitality this holiday season.

Today, fourth-generation driver Colt Cosgrave and outrider Chad Cosgrave continue the tradition of competing at the Stampede started by their great-grandfather in 1926.

With 77,000 Christmas Lights and 500 hours of work, Stampede Park has a beautiful public display for the holiday season

“I like my blue trees the best, they’re my signature look,” said Sandy McAfee, park maintenance supervisor and Christmas lights display expert, when asked about the stunning lights display across Stampede Park.  McAfee shared that her team, which consist of two core lights-hangers, Kevin Smith and Glen Felt of the Park Maintenance team, as well as four to five additional helpers, bases the lights displays around the locations on Stampede Park. “We use blue and white for the BMO Centre, since those are BMO’s colours, and Stampede colours, red and white, for the Stampede Headquarters Building and main roadway.”

Christmas Lights Stampede Park

McAfee’s signature blue trees have been featured in a lot of surprising places – most notably, they were included digitally outside the Saddledome in one of the old NHL Hockey Xbox games!

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Where in the world is the Showband headed next?

The Calgary Stampede Showband is thrilled to announce that they will be travelling to compete in the World Music Contest (WMC) in Kerkrade, The Netherlands in summer 2017. WMC is the Olympics of music taking place over four weeks from Thursday, July 6 – Sunday, July 30, 2017. The event will feature more than 260 musical ensembles and 20,000 individual musicians. The Showband will be leaving right after Stampede to compete in the marching show band class on Sunday, July 30 against 60 other marching show bands from around the globe.

Photo credit: Kien Le

The Showband is a youth performance ensemble that rehearses and performs year round. Photo credit: Kien Le.

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Vegas, Baby!

On a football field out behind the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, 13 Calgary Stampede horses and two bulls are settling into their temporary home for the biggest rodeo event of the year, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Invited to compete because they are among the best-of-the-best, they will carry some of the top competitors in the sport over ten days of rodeo action.

thomas and mack

The trip from the Calgary Stampede Ranch to the glitz and glamour of Vegas isn’t a particularly quick one when travelling with livestock. With frequent stops along the way, Calgary Stampede livestock coordinator Ken Rehill (better known in the rodeo world simply as Goose) made the trip with the stock in three days. Now in Vegas, he’s turned their primary care over to the NFR’s team of caregivers. The animals are housed in a secure area where stock from other contractors is kept as well. Their well-being and safety a number one priority, they are checked regularly as well as fed and cared for.

“They’re settling in well,” said Goose, in the lead up to the big event, “they’re all quiet and relaxed.” He points to the airport flight path as the biggest issue they’ve had to deal with, with planes flying overhead. While not something they’d see at home on the Stampede Ranch, the horses and bulls are pros and easily adjusted to the noise.

With a little rest and relaxation they will be ready to compete come the start of the rodeo December first. And here’s a fun fact about our bucking horses that will be competing this year. Nine of the thirteen horses are offspring of our six time world champion, Grated Coconut.

Grated Coconut competes at the 2009 NFR (photo courtesy PRCA)

Grated Coconut competes at the 2009 NFR (photo courtesy PRCA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complete Calgary Stampede Stock List for the National Finals Rodeo

Bareback horses

S-65 Shadow Warrior

S-77 Soap Bubbles

S-83 Special Delivery

T-19 Tootsie Roll

T-29 Trail Dust

X-9 Xplosive Skies

R-82 Reckless Margie

 

Saddle Bronc horses

T-38 Timely Delivery

S-66 Stampede Warrior

T-65 Tiger Warrior

T-77 Tokyo Bubbles

W-16 Wild Cherry

W-46 Waning Moon

 

Bulls

003 Wranglers Extreme

201 Night Moves

 

Congratulations to the Western Legacy Award winners

On Thursday, November 17, the Calgary Stampede honoured three inspiring individuals and one remarkable group based on their commitment to western heritage and values at the 12th annual Western Legacy Awards. The 2016 Award recipients are community leaders who genuinely embody the values and commitment to community that southern Alberta is known for.

Robert Anderson is a man who keeps western heritage alive every day. He has been involved, in one form or another, with the Calgary Stampede since early childhood. Robert first participated in the Calgary Stampede parade with his father and brothers 70 years ago. A second generation volunteer with the Antique Show Wagon, over the last 20 years Robert has provided thousands of guests the opportunity to experience Western history. He has had a booth in the Agriculture Building during Stampede, sharing his passion for the equine species with everyone. Robert believes western lifestyle has a lot to teach people – from respect for nature to respect for others. Robert is committed to the community and embodies Western values.

Robert Anderson_Western Legacy Awards

Darby Young is an advocate for people with disabilities and applies her lived experience to help remove barriers. She served as the co-chair of Calgary city council’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility, advising city council on disability issues brought forward by citizens and organizations. Through this role, she created change for people with disabilities by increasing knowledge and environmental accessibility. Darby has been an invaluable volunteer with the Cerebral Palsy Association, along with a number of other organizations. Darby’s innovation is a tremendous example of the Stampede spirit to make the world as accessible as possible for everyone.
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8 buckles and a super-star bronc at the Canadian Finals Rodeo!

It would be a huge understatement to say that Calgary Stampede horses and bulls did well at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which took place November 9-13. We know they’re superstars, and they proved it over and over again in Edmonton. Six horses and two bulls carried cowboys to top paychecks over the five days of action, earning an incredible 8 go-round buckles.

One of those round winners, Wild Cherry, wowed the crowd and the judges in the final performance of Saddle Bronc riding. Combining with cowboy Layton Green for an 86.5, he was spectacular, earning himself the title of Saddle Bronc Horse of the CFR.

 Night Moves tosses Sage Kimzey into the mud at the 2016 Calgary Stampede

Night Moves tosses Sage Kimzey into the mud at the 2016 Calgary Stampede

Another notable performance came on Night Moves, a bull that put PRCA World Champion Sage Kimzey into the mud during the 2016 Calgary Stampede. Previously unridden until the CFR, the big black bull met his match in Tim Lipsett. Lipsett rode his way to a win and a big payday, with an 86 point score.

John Rule, Calgary Stampede Rodeo Committee Chair, with Canadian Steer Riding Champion Dixon Tattrie - Courtesy CFR

John Rule, Calgary Stampede Rodeo Committee Chair, with Canadian Steer Riding Champion Dixon Tattrie – Courtesy CFR

The Calgary Stampede would like to congratulate all of the newly-crowned Canadian Champions, including those who battled their way to the very top of the novice events. Committed to the future of rodeo, the Stampede works hard to support and grow the up-and-coming generation of superstars through our Novice tour and as a proud partner of the Canadian Finals Rodeo. We were thrilled to have Rodeo committee chair John Rule on hand to congratulate the winners at the Canadian Finals and we look forward to seeing the skills of Steer Riding Champion Dixon Tattrie, Novice Bareback Champion Tanner Young and Novice Saddlebronc Champion Kolby Wanchuk in the Calgary Stampede arena in years to come!

 

The 2016 Cutting Horse Futurity saw tough competition, new technology and western spirit

It was a case of go big or go home.

Cayley, Alberta’s Dustin Gonnet knew he needed a big score in the second round of the Open Final at the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity, after facing down a tough cow in the first round and having the judges penalize him.

“If I wouldn’t have been nailed with that hot quit, I might not have been near as aggressive as I was,” Gonnet said after the event, giving credit to the horse he was on, RPL Cat N Around, for eventually pulling off a big win in the class. “She is super confident about her job. She’s a show pony.”

Dustin Gonnet on RPL Cat N Around, owned by Ronald Patton of Nanton, Alberta

Dustin Gonnet on RPL Cat N Around, owned by Ronald Patton of Nanton, Alberta

As a National Cutting Horse Association sanctioned event, this year’s Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity attracted Canadian riders from across the prairies and American riders from as far afield as Texas.  In total, 331 horse-and-rider pairs competed in seven classes for a share of more than $355,000 in prize during the event October 12 to 16 in the Agrium Western Event Centre.

In the sport of cutting, each horse and rider is faced with a herd of cattle and just two and a half minutes on the clock. Working together they separate, or ‘cut’, a cow from the herd.  The rider then drops the reins and allows the horse to use its instincts, strength and agility to mirror the movements of the cow and keep it from the herd.  This can be repeated two more times as long as there’s time on the clock.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, and for guests interested in extra insight into each run, ‘Smart Bug’ personal listening devices were offered during the Saturday Night Cut of the West.

Earpieces

Used for the first time during the cutting at the Calgary Stampede in 2016, the ear buds were again extremely popular with the crowd at the Futurity on Saturday night.  Listeners were able to hear expert commentary and better understand the judging and incredible skills of the horses and riders.

Guests to the Saturday Night Cut of the West were also on hand for a very special award ceremony, as Travis Rempel was recognized as this year’s Calgary Stampede Western Elite Rider.

Calgary Stampede Western Elite Rider, Travis Rempel, with the Calgary Stampede Royalty and Western Performance Horse committee member

Calgary Stampede Western Elite Rider, Travis Rempel, with the Calgary Stampede Royalty and Western Performance Horse committee member

The award recognizes the incredible skills and success of the men and women who dedicate their talents and time to the versatility of the western performance horse.  Created in celebration of the three western performance horse events offered at the Calgary Stampede, the Team Cattle Penning competition, the Cutting Horse competition, and the Working Cow Horse Classic, the Western Elite Rider is awarded to the rider who earns the most points by placing in the top ten of at least two events.

A victory in the Open Finals of the Cutting Horse competition propelled Rempel to the top in 2016. Rempel says competing during the Stampede is a unique but incredible experience.

“It’s electric; the people, the music, the announcer and the fact that you’re here during the rodeo.” He says the honour of being named the Stampede’s Western Elite rider is extremely special to him, and it means even more to him to have achieved it surrounded by friends.

“To me the cool thing about this sport is that you can be in competition with someone, but they’re your friends and they want to you do well. It’s fun to be around. It’s the best.”

Full results from the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity are available here.

Wear a Poppy This November

Sir Douglas Haig, who during the First World War had served as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force, which included the Canadians, attended the Calgary Stampede in 1925. His visit to the Stampede was one stop on his cross-Canada tour promoting veterans’ causes.

Haig rode on horseback through downtown Calgary to Stampede Park. Thousands of Calgarians lined the route to cheer him on.

Haig rode on horseback through downtown Calgary to Stampede Park. Thousands of Calgarians lined the route to cheer him on.

When Canadian soldiers returned from the war, Canada was very different than when they had left. Jobs had become more technical and many veterans were unskilled labourers. Making matters worse, veterans’ pensions were very small because the government believed that they should only be supplementary to other income. Almost one in every three veterans had suffered debilitating wounds and countless more had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many could not afford to live in post-war Canada.

Haig met Hoot Gibson, movie star, rodeo champion and the 1925 Stampede Parade Marshal.

Haig met Hoot Gibson, movie star, rodeo champion and the 1925 Stampede Parade Marshal.

Supporting veterans fell to charitable organizations, including numerous national organizations as well as local and regional groups. Their intentions were good but there were too many groups that were too small. They feuded regularly over who would control monies generated by the Poppy Fund. Like today, each November, Canadians would buy and wear poppies. The profits from this campaign were divided between veteran organizations, but by 1925, the groups were so at odds with each other that the veterans did not receive the benefits they could have.

Haig’s trip helped remedy the situation. He crossed the country with a simple message of a united effort. He arrived in Calgary on Thursday, July 9th. His party included numerous representatives from Canadian veterans’ groups. They rode on horseback through downtown Calgary to Stampede Park. Thousands of Calgarians lined the route to cheer on Haig. He then attended the rodeo, met movie star Hoot Gibson who was the Stampede parade marshal that year, and talked with First Nations community leaders, who gave him the honourary name Chief Bull Head. The Stampede, an event wholly dedicated to building a unique and united community, helped Haig spread his message of unity and support to our veterans.

Haig was given the honourary name Chief Bull Head.

Haig was given the honourary name Chief Bull Head.

In November, the success of Haig’s tour came to fruition with the founding of the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League: today’s Royal Canadian Legion. The Legion quickly spread from coast to coast becoming a place of refuge, support and comradeship for veterans. Its programs supported disabled veterans and helped those in financial need. The Legion hall became a social hub for many communities. It also lobbied the government for better support and pensions for the country’s war heroes.

Since 1925, the Calgary Stampede has continued to recognize, support, and commemorate the service and sacrifice of the Canadian Forces. Buy a poppy this November. Wear it in proud reminder of our nation’s fallen and, in doing so, support our veterans through the important work and programs of the Canadian Legion.

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Stampede bucking stock selected for the Canadian Finals Rodeo

It’s post-season time for rodeo competitors in Canada and the US, and the Calgary Stampede Ranch is busy getting a large roster of our four-legged athletes ready for the championships to come.

The first of two major rodeo championships this winter is the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton, November 9-13. This is where the top rodeo competitors will face off against the top stock in North America for a chance to be crowned Canada’s National Champion in rodeo. Not only will competitors have an opportunity to win a national title, but their placement at the CFR could secure them a much-coveted invitation to compete at next year’s Calgary Stampede.

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh

Ranch Manager Tyler Kraft and his team work tirelessly to ensure rodeos from Ponoka, Alberta to San Antonio, Texas have the best bucking stock that the Calgary Stampede has to offer. And this year, that hard work and the quality of our horses and bulls were recognized in a couple of very special ways by the competitors of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. First, the Calgary Stampede was selected as the CPRA’s 2016 Stock Contractor of the year. Then the competitors selected 41 Calgary Stampede animals to compete at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Stampede bucking horse, Special Delivery

Stampede bucking horse, Special Delivery

Leading the pack into Edmonton this November will be some true Stampede greats like reserve world champion bareback horse Special Delivery; two-time horse of the Calgary Stampede, Tiger Warrior; multi-NFR and CFR qualifier Stampede Warrior; and perennial favourite Mad Money. The veteran squad is also taking along a few rookies, including You See Me who is only in his first full year of professional competition and has already put up some impressive numbers. Along with the horses five Stampede bucking bulls have also been selected.

Make sure you get your tickets to the CFR because it`s next week and the Stampede’s stars will be rolling into Edmonton to put on a show! Perhaps you’ll see some of these bucking stars at the Calgary Stampede next July. You can get your tickets now!

The full roster selected for the Canadian Finals Rodeo:

Saddle Bronc
L-2 Labeled Money
M-2 Mad Money
S-3 Simply Marvellous
S-66 Stampede Warrior
S-91 Shoshone Mountain
T-38 Timely Delivery
T-65 Tiger Warrior
U-7 Umber Bubbles
U-8 Uvid Bubbles
W-1 Weekend Departure
W-16 Wild Cherry
W-46 Waning Moon
W-7 Wiggle Lizard
W-74 Weary Joke

Bareback
Y-5 You See Me
X-9 Xplosive Skies
X-89 Xavier Joan
X-40 Xceptional Margarita
X-2 Xrated Dancer
W-84 Waskasoo Soot
W-34 Wanaka Rocket
W-32 Walleye Rocket
T-29 Trail Dust
T-19 Tootsie Roll
T-17 Twin Cherry
S-83 Special Delivery
S-77 Soap Bubbles
S-65 Shadow Warrior
R-82 Reckless Margie
P-65 Princess Warrior

Novice Saddle Bronc and Bareback
L-112 Labyrinth
N-57 Needs Ajax
R-62 Redon Acres
S-15 Sargeant Whitney
U-96 Unit Doctor
Y-55 Youngstown Rocket

Bull Riding
003 Wranglers Extreme
105 Uptown Funk
126 Jukebox Hero
193 Compton Bound
201 Night Moves

 

Artist Shannon Lawlor tells us the story behind the 2017 Calgary Stampede poster

Shannon Lawlor, an artist based in Nanton, Alberta, painted the original artwork for the 2017 Calgary Stampede poster. The Calgary Stampede is excited to participate in the first annual #LoveYYC Day! On Saturday, November 5 we are offering 2 for 1 pricing on select Evening Show tickets for Stampede 2017. Use promo code LOVEYYC to get yours here on November 5.

If you would like a 2017 Stampede poster, you can pick one up at Stampede Headquarters Reception, 1410 Olympic Way SE. Read on to learn more about Shannon’s journey as an artist and the story behind the 2017 Stampede poster.

CS 2017 Poster Lawlor 1 Retouch SF FLAT Bleed Oct17 FINAL_LOW RES

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For SAIT’s 100th birthday: Stories of SAIT and the Stampede’s shared history

SAIT is turning 100 this year–pretty incredible. Did you know that SAIT may not have reached this momentous birthday if it wasn’t for the Calgary Stampede? During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force used SAIT’s buildings as a Wireless Radio Training School for Allied soldiers. Rather than see the school shut down, the Stampede stepped up and offered SAIT space to run its classes. SAIT used the Grandstand as its temporary school until 1944, and even ran classes in July.

SAIT teaching under the Stampede Grandstand 1940

SAIT teaching under the Stampede Grandstand, 1940

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What makes a great pie? Julie Van Rosendaal weighs in in anticipation of the Community Fall Fair this Saturday

 This Saturday, October 15, Stampede is hosting a Community Fall Fair in ENMAX Park. A free event featuring pumpkin spice pancakes, wagon rides, live music around the fire, pumpkin decorating AND a Best Pie in Calgary contest! Food blogger Julie Van Rosendaal will be one of the judges at the contest. Here she tells us what she thinks makes a great pie and shares her favourite Saskatoon Berry Pie recipe.

A wise friend once said that the best kind of pie was the kind on your table. I heartily agree – although I do love a good pie, its best qualities tend to be who made it, and why, and with what ingredients? There are crisp and flaky pastries and juicy, flavourful fillings – but the best kind of pie is the one shared among friends. We’ve started having regular pie parties, at which everyone is asked to show up with a pie, which makes everyone insanely happy. Not only is an excuse to make pie, but to eat it – and I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love a good pie.

saskatoon pie 2

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Where does your Thanksgiving meal come from? Learn about key ingredients grown on Alberta farms

Well, Thanksgiving has rolled around once again. With snow flurries in the air, it’s going to be a cozy one. Have you ever thought about where your Thanksgiving meal comes from? Alberta farmers are hard at work all year to bring those delicious foods to your table. Here’s a little window into the story of your potatoes, wheat and turkey. This Thanksgiving, let’s all take a moment to thank our Alberta farmers!

Wheat

Of course no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without stuffing, and with bread as its core ingredient, wheat is at the heart of your stuffing. Here’s a staggering fact: wheat has been around for 11,000 years. A few more:

Alberta Wheat

  • Wheat is the third largest production crop in the world and the largest crop grown in Canada.
  • Wheat is grown on approximately 6.8 million acres of land in Alberta and 24 million acres in Canada.
  • Alberta produces 8.3 million tonnes of wheat annually.
  • Alberta’s wheat feeds consumers both internationally and at home.
  • Alberta produces enough wheat in one year to make 9,258,000 loaves of bread.
  • Wheat is on the Alberta flag!

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Jacket and gloves bought at Indian Village in 1956 return home

Back in early May, Jack Scott emailed me about donating few items his family had picked up at the Calgary Stampede’s Indian Village in 1956 to the Archives. He was emailing from Dalkeith, a small suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland but had plans to come to Calgary at the end of the summer and would like to bring the items along.

History Article_1

Jack, aged 6, and his sister at the 1956 Stampede. He had the original photo restored, but the Indigenous man’s face remains damaged.

Chatting over coffee, Jack marveled over how much Calgary has changed since he was here in 2001. In a thick Scottish accent, he explained that his dad was in the Air Force and so he, his sister and his Scottish mother moved around. A lot. Jack was born in Manitoba and lived in Whitehorse and Calgary before moving with his family to France and, eventually, Scotland. The jacket and gloves travelled along with them. “There I am, aged six,” he said, pointing at a young boy wearing a too-large headdress in the restored photograph he brought along. It was taken at the time that his family bought the jacket and gloves.

History Article_2

The front and back of the Stampede Archives’ newest donation: a jacket bought in Indian Village in 1956. On the back, “White Horse Y.T.” has been added in black and white beads. The family had recently moved from Whitehorse to Calgary.

Indian Village gloves

These well-loved beaded riding gloves with gauntlets accompanied the jacket.

“Sorry it’s dirty,” Jack said, pointing to the jacket. “I tried to get someone to clean it in Scotland, but they were too afraid to wreck the beading.” No problem. The wear and tear show how well-loved the jacket and gloves truly were. Jack’s sister used them for years when she was riding, though she complained that the jacket was not warm enough. To solve this, Jack’s mom brought it to a seamstress to line it with one of his dad’s silk sleeping shirts.

The maroon silk shirt that now lines the jacket was actually one of Jack’s dad’s sleeping shirts. It was added to make the jacket warmer.

The maroon silk shirt that now lines the jacket was actually one of Jack’s dad’s sleeping shirts. It was added to make the jacket warmer.

Despite offers from collectors, Jack firmly believed that the items needed to come back to Calgary. Because his family bought it at Indian Village, the Stampede’s Archives are a perfect fit to store, protect and – in the future – display them. Having travelled from Calgary to Europe to Scotland, the jacket and gloves have made a worldwide journey and are now back with the Calgary Stampede.
If you have any items you would like to donate to the Calgary Stampede Archives, please contact archives@calgarystampede.com.

Get your fall cozy on at the Community Fall Fair with horse-drawn wagon rides, live music around the fire, a local market, pumpkin spice pancakes and more!

On Saturday, October 15, the Calgary Stampede will host its first Community Fall Fair in ENMAX Park. Since officially opening in June of 2016, the beautiful park has hosted the President’s Event and been home to Indian Village during Stampede time. The Community Fall Fair is simply one more event that will showcase the spectacular new green space within Stampede Park.
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