Stampede renews Purpose and Vision

Earlier this month, the Calgary Stampede took a pen (red of course!) to our purpose and vision statements.

The changes were made after close evaluation with internal stakeholders and members our highly-valued external audience.

We wanted to know: What does the Stampede mean to people? Do our most important words align with what we actually do and where we are headed?

Across all audiences, it was agreed the Calgary Stampede generates a powerful emotional connection with all audiences, rooted largely in the exceptional experiences we deliver. But some updates were required to align our purpose with these benefits and connections.

Our former purpose statement, “to preserve and promote western heritage and values,” now reads “to preserve and celebrate our western heritage, cultures and community spirit”.

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The purpose statement aligns with the experiences stakeholders have interacting with the brand year round and incorporates the spirit of the world-renowned, community-focused event that has captivated Calgarians for more than a century. It incorporates the sense of celebration, fun or community spirit that makes the Stampede so unique.

The new vision statement also incorporates the Stampede’s important connections to the community.

The statement, formerly “to create a world-class year-round gathering place” now reads “to create a world-class year-round gathering place for the community”.

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Our research confirmed that the term “world-class” is important to internal and external stakeholders. It sets a high expectation for the Stampede organization to continually raise the bar, deliver exceptional experiences and attract global audiences.

With the purpose and vision statement clarified, we took a close look the Stampede’s core values.

  • Western hospitality is personified by the Stampede family going the extra step to show spirit and warmth to all of our guests.
  • Stampede Park is a special place and development plans show our pride of place is alive and well for the next 100 years.
  • Commitment to community drives Stampede’s reinvestment of all profits into youth programs, education, culture, facilities and programming.
  • And, finally, here at Stampede, we strive to do the right thing and build trusted relationship where ‘our word is our bond’ –that is what we mean when we talk about integrity.

Our focus groups felt these statements accurately reflect what the Calgary Stampede values, and

recommended that we add more context to demonstrate how the organization embodies them.

We will continue to build on our relationship with the community, to create space for education, western events, community, and world-class entertainment and experiences. We are proud of the Stampede legacy and excited for what the future holds.

Please watch Saddlebag for more examples of our purpose, vision and values in action.

Life after winning the 2014 Stampede Talent Search is “one good thing after another” for our Champion Layten Kramer

For many young performers, becoming a Stampede Talent Search contestant is an incredible stepping-stone that propels them on to exciting careers. Our 2014 Champion, Layten Kramer, is no exception.

Since captivating audiences on our stage during the 2014 Calgary Stampede with his original piece, “Sea of Glass”, and earning top prize as determined by industry professionals, Layten has been working hard.

He funded his debut album through an Indiegogo campaign and completed a 5 track EP called, Through the Days. It is now available for download on iTunes or streaming on Bandcamp. Not bad for three weeks worth of recording between his co-hometowns of Canmore, AB and Vancouver, BC. And remember, he just became our Champion in July…

Earlier this fall, the Digital Journal named him one of 5 top young Canadian acts to watch out for in 2015.

And if that’s not enough, he’s currently touring with and opening for our 2007 Champion, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, during his #waytoobig #waytooloud tour. This is a show you do not want to miss, and an opportunity to see two incredible Stampede Talent Search Champions in one great night of music.

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald.  Photo credit: Mark Maryanovich

Our 2007 Champion Michael Bernard Fitzgerald. Photo credit: Mark Maryanovich

What does Layten have to say about everything that’s happened in his career since being named the 2014 Stampede Talent Search Champion?

Well, when we catch up with him, we will be sure to ask. In the meantime, you can get updates about Layten, and many of our other Champions and finalists, on the Stampede Talent Search facebook page, by following us on Twitter @stampedetalent or on Instagram at #stampedetalentsearch.

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald’s show will be coming to Calgary on Friday November 28th, at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Show time is 8pm. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and start at $33.

 

We will be giving away two tickets to see Layten and Michael in concert!

Go to our Twitter or Facebook page, like or follow, and tell us what year Michael Bernard Fitzgerald won the Stampede Talent Search using #stsTime2Shine to be entered into the draw. The draw will take place Thursday, November 27th at noon.

Introducing the 2014 Western Legacy Award Winners

For the past decade, the Calgary Stampede’s Western Legacy Awards have recognized individuals and groups whose inspiring actions have preserved western heritage and promoted the western values of commitment to community, pride of place, integrity and western hospitality.

On October 17, the tenth annual Western Legacy Awards recognized Wentao Li (Youth), Janice McTighe (Innovation), Chief Rick Hanson (Sustained Contribution, Individual) and Project Warmth Society of Alberta (Sustained Contribution, Group).

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The Youth category is open to young people under 25 years of age, and recognizes youth who have demonstrated their commitment to making a difference.

With more than 839 volunteer hours, Wentao Li has achieved a feat that no other volunteer has in Youth Central’s 20 year history. Wentao has served in numerous projects around Calgary, including volunteering in the kitchen at The Salvation Army-Centre of Hope, working with children and youth at Between Friends-Camp Bonaventure, and various activities at Heritage Park. Wentao has gone above and beyond his call of duty and has built long lasting relationships with those he has served. Wentao has a thirst for volunteering and enjoys lending a helping hand wherever he can. It is clear that Wentao is a young man filled with passion, compassion, enthusiasm and kindness.

Innovation recognizes a person or group that has created a single visionary project that speaks to western values.

In the early 1970s, Janice McTighe had a dream and a vision. A dream of building an innovative, educational facility where children with special needs could have all the support they needed to develop to their full potential and a vision of a world of possibilities for every child. This dream became a reality in Renfrew Educational Services. Janice has centered her life’s work on her conviction that “every child is reachable and no child should live without hope and dignity”. This sustained drive, energy and vision has touched thousands of lives. Her constant drive to help families is recognized by those around her on a daily basis.

Winners of the Sustained Contribution category exhibit extraordinary community support over a number of years.

Rick Hanson was born and raised in Calgary. In 1975, he joined the Calgary Police Service and has been a member for over 37 years. Chief Hanson has held true and is committed to delivering the quality of life and safety in our community, ensuring we can reside, work and provide a safe place for people to visit. His vision has been clear in looking at crime prevention and reduction for our city. This has been demonstrated during his entire career, from the beginning as a street constable to serving as the Chief of Police for the City of Calgary for the past seven years. During this time, Chief Hanson has created and supported numerous collaborative ventures focused on early intervention with youth, domestic violence and homelessness. Chief Hanson is respected and consulted on police issues nationally.

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Project Warmth Society of Alberta assists the homeless and the underprivileged in Calgary by providing ‘warmth’ with blankets, parkas, gloves and items of warm clothing. These items are donated by people in our community and Project Warmth Society handles the cleaning and distribution to those in need. Our western heritage is filled with stories of families and communities helping each other and lending a hand during the early homesteading era and the depression, up to the present day with homelessness and poverty affecting so many individuals and families in Calgary.

This year, a Legacy Wall was installed on the south side of the BMO Centre, Hall B to commemorate the 141 Western Legacy Award recipients to date. The wall will serve as a reminder of the people, organizations, acts and values that have and will continue to make our community great.

For more information, visit http://corporate.calgarystampede.com/getting-involved/western-legacy-awards/.

Youth Development programs a stepping stone to longtime Stampede involvement

As ENMAX Park and Youth campus are becoming more and more of a reality, it’s thrilling to imagine the new experiences that will come to life in these spaces. As we look forward to the new development projects, the Calgary Stampede’s Capital Campaign reminds us of the many untold stories of the donors – each with a strong connection with the Stampede.

The McClary siblings are a great example of such a connection as they are eagerly anticipating Stampede Park’s expansion. Will McClary was in The Young Canadians for seven years and also competed in Stampede Debate tournaments. Having spent much time performing in the Grandstand show, a natural progression was to join the Chuckwagon committee production operations team. He’s also currently on the Next Generation committee with his sister Martha.

Martha was a member of the Calgary Stampede Showband and then became a volunteer on the Calgary Round-Up Band. Their brother Casey, inspired by Martha, was also a member of the Stampede Showband and is currently a Showband instructor, teaching marching and visual performance.

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Will performing in The Young Canadians

Will explains that because he comes from a musical family, “auditioning for the Young Canadians was an obvious choice.” He adds that since the program is provided by the Calgary Stampede Foundation to students, it attracts many young people and provides a great place to make friends while studying performing arts. This is why Will is most excited to see the new campus for Calgary Arts Academy and The Young Canadians in the Stampede’s future. “Calgary has an impressive arts community and I’m thrilled that the Stampede will continue to contribute to this community by helping to offer Calgary youth a place to learn and grow.”

Aside from the performance and travel opportunities that first attracted Martha to the Stampede Band programs, she treasures the long-lasting relationships that stemmed from her involvement. “I was fortunate enough to meet many friends as well as my husband through the Bands of Calgary. The Stampede will always remind me of home.”

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Casey as Showband instructor

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Martha volunteering with the Round-Up Band

Now in adulthood and knowing first-hand the importance of the Stampede’s youth development programs, it was easy for the McClary’s to make the decision to donate. Will has committed to an ongoing donation to the Capital Campaign and Martha took advantage of her employer’s corporate program that donates to support employees’ volunteer initiatives.

If you are interested in supporting the We’re Greatest Together capital campaign or the Calgary Stampede Foundation’s development programs, please visit http://foundation.calgarystampede.com/. The deadline to make a contribution for the 2014 tax year is December 31st, 2014.

Ring in the holidays with the Calgary Stampede Showband!

If you enjoy music and holiday cheer, join the Calgary Stampede Showband at its last two performances of the year!

Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade

Break out your mittens and toques! The Showband will trade in its iconic Smithbilt cowboy hats for some holiday themed headgear at the 33rd Annual Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade! The parade takes place Saturday, November 29, 2014 and begins at 11:00 AM. Other festivities taking place that day include a pancake breakfast (our fave!), pictures with Santa, and a free family movie. More information is available on the Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade Facebook page.

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Optimist Club of Calgary Festive Showcase

The Optimist Club of Calgary’s annual Festive Showcase at the Southern Jubilee Auditorium features some of Calgary’s most talented youth music ensembles including the world renowned Calgary Stampede Showband, Calgary Stetson Show Band, and Calgary Round-Up Band, joined by the always entertaining Band of Outriders and Heebee-jeebees. Special guests this year include the John G. Diefenbaker High School Choir and the Holy Trinity Academy Concert Band from Okotoks.

Date: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Time: 7:30 PM

Cost: $23.50

Tickets available via Ticketmaster

Stampede Showband recognized at City Council

The Calgary Stampede Showband received a very special recognition on Monday, November 17 at the Regular Meeting of City Council for their achievement this year at the World Championships in Brazil. The Showband won first place, marking their third consecutive win, and fifth win in total. This is an accomplishment that no other showband has achieved.

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To show appreciation and support for the Stampede Showband and all they do for Calgary’s community, Mayor Nenshi congratulated and thanked the group. Mayor Nenshi expressed his congratulations by saying we are very blessed to have such musically talented young people to represent our city. He also gave recognition to the Stetson Showband who won second place in their category at the World Championships. Mayor Nenshi exclaimed “hit it!” and around 50 members of the Stampede Showband filed into the Council Chambers filling the room with sounds of  trombones, trumpets, drums and more. This definitely started out the Regular Meeting of City Council with a bang.

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Showband - performing from afar

photo courtesy of City of Calgary

Following the surprise performance, Ann McCaig, board chair of the Calgary Stampede Foundation, also spoke of her deep sense of pride of the Showband saying the band “are excellent ambassadors for Calgary.” She is constantly impressed how the hardworking youth are able to juggle their responsibilities while committing themselves to the band. “[They] display leadership, a can-do attitude and world-class excellence.” Having told the crowd that the Stampede Showband sets the stage with world-class standard, it was time to see them in action.

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As an honourable action, Aaron Park, band director, Ryan Hancock, assistant band director, Maggie Scholfield, board of director – Calgary Stampede, and Ann McCaig signed the registry.

To conclude the Showband’s recognition, Mayor Nenshi restated how incredibly proud he is of them and joked that they should “always have a musical interlude to begin [the council meetings].”

To learn more about the Stampede Showband visit http://stampedeshowband.com/.

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photo courtesy of City of Calgary

Haley’s insight on her new role as 2015 Calgary Stampede Princess

Hi everyone! My name is Haley Peckham and I am one of the 2015 Stampede Princesses. With the competition in September and the multitude of events and training sessions we’ve already had, the last few months have been a whirlwind to say the least. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already have nearly two months under our belts as royalty!

Of those that knew me when I was younger, many were surprised to hear that I was trying out to be a member of the Royal Trio. I was fairly shy as a kid. Ok, REALLY shy…there was a point in my life where I wouldn’t phone the pizza man because it meant talking to a stranger. I also always considered myself a bit of a tomboy growing up and spent a lot of my time playing sports with the guys. Either that, or I’d be hunting and fishing with dad, or spending time outside at my family’s ranch west of Bowden. Just a week before the royalty competition began, I was camped out at Tsaydaychi Lake (aka the middle of nowhere, BC) fishing for rainbow trout. When I say middle of nowhere I mean it…it’s a 45 minute float plane ride from the nearest town into camp. And while the fish aren’t huge out there, you can’t beat the peace and quiet!

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While the sweatpants are usually replaced by blue jeans and boots back at home, the ball cap and lack of makeup are typical for me on our off days. However, I will admit it has been fun getting glammed up for our events!

Ultimately, what motivated me to try out for the trio was my involvement with the Calgary Stampede Showriders. I was a rider from 2009-2014, and came into contact with the Royalty at a number of events throughout those years. Because of spending so much time at the Stampede and representing the organization both locally and internationally, it’s something that I became very passionate about. They say that once you become a part of the Stampede family, you never really lose it. My Showrider family has been so supportive in this journey, and I’m so excited to be a part of the Royalty family now as well. I’ve already met so many incredible people on this ride and can’t wait to see what the rest of our year will hold!

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Lucky 7 at Agrium Centre this fall

This coming weekend marks the seventh major new event drawn to the heart of Calgary by the newly-opened Agrium Western Event Centre during the fall season alone. The World Professional Bull-riding’s championship finals event wraps up the fall season with a huge bang this Friday and Saturday evening.

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Top bull riders and bucking bulls will converge on the Agrium Centre November 21 and 22, with riders coming from Paraguay, Mexico, Australia, USA and across Canada, vying for the title of 2014 WPB champion. It’s sure to be a fun ride. Check out details and links to tickets HERE.

Since mid-September, the Stampede’s new customized livestock-centric facility has seen a steady round of an estimated 4,000 horses, bulls, cattle and even show-jumpers flow through Stampede Park for a series of client events. This fall’s new events at the Agrium Centre included an international horsemanship conference, a pro rodeo finals competition, team roping championship, team penning finals, showjumping and the bullriding championships.

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Two of the events are all-new – the Jonathan Field and Friends international Horsemanship Conference and the Royal West showjumping competition - made possible by this unique building. The other five have been held in other cities, but relocated to Calgary for the Agrium Centre. These have all drawn thousands of visitors to Calgary. For example, the 10-day elite Royal West showjumping event continued over two weekends (image from Royal West Facebook, above) and drew international competitors, plus thousands more viewers online to see the building in action.

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The Calgary Stampede’s own annual Cutting Horse Futurity competition (pictured above) was a five-day event earlier in October, shifting from its traditional home in the Stampede’s Corral to the new Agrium Centre. The new venue and some added commemorative prizing helped attract a large spike in entry numbers of horses and riders from across Western Canada and through the western United States.

All riders, horsemen, cowboys and livestock owners have been thoroughly impressed by the facility’s tailored features designed for the comfort, safety and top performance of their animals. Riders from across Canada and the USA have commented it’s among the top facilities they have visited of its kind in North America. Word is spreading, enticing ever-more horse and livestock events to consider Calgary for their coming events.

Whether groups are interested in hosting corporate rodeos to accompany big conferences, riding workshops, horse competitions or even special performances showcasing animals, the Agrium Centre is ready to ride for 2015. For more information on bookings, contact Stampede Sales and Events.

Reflections on becoming a Calgary Stampede Princess

Wow, this has been a crazy last few months! At the beginning of September, I was still a fourth year student working weekends at the Pinebrook Golf Course until it closed, and now I have the honour of calling myself a Stampede Princess! The competition was one of the coolest, craziest, and best experiences I could have ever done and I learned a lot about myself.

I got a lot of shocked “Wow, I never thought you’d do something like this!” when I told people I was running to become one of the trio and I never realized how quiet I can be. The competition puts you in situations you are going to have to face for the rest of your life like mixers with people you don’t know or speaking in front of a group of people. I loved that part because I knew I was always uncomfortable in those types of situations and it was the perfect place to practice. I even found myself having fun and enjoying myself after the first few events.

I like to think I am pretty down to earth and just a normal girl. I love the horse world and riding, and getting dirty is part of the package. With the job I had this summer I also found I am pretty good at pond weed pulling as I somehow managed to get wrangled into some hip waders for a few afternoons!

 

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The Stampede family has been fantastic and has managed to find my girly side and it’s been fun! Trying on different clothes and playing around with makeup is like a day in your mom’s closet playing dress up when you were little. They have managed to turn this pond munger into somewhat of a lady! I still love my jeans and paddock boots and my camo hat but playing around with lipsticks is kind of fun.

 

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Stampede horses dominate CFR

Three dozen Calgary Stampede bucking horses are happily frolicking in the snow-covered pastures near Hanna, celebrating a triumphant series of performances in the horse roughstock events at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

In the six CFR performances, ending Sunday, Stampede horses captured six buckles for round-winning scores. That’s half the available buckles to be won by horses. When the dust settled at Rexall Place and the rough stock awards were handed out, three of the top four horses of the CFR went to Stampede Stock.

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Unfortunate Carma won the 2014 Bareback Horse of the CFR after two astounding performances. This six-year-old mare won the second round with Matt Lait (pictured above, photo by Mike Copeman), teaming up to score an 87-point ride. She returned Saturday night with another strong performance that earned her great points with rider Colin Adams.

Unfortunate Carma is the grand-daughter of the legendary bareback horse, Grated Coconut. Born 2008, she is the daughter of mare Carma by sire Royal Wake, who is the son of six-time World Champion Grated Coconut by mare French Wake. All those great genetic qualities combined in Unfortunate Carma, a feisty filly that ranks as an “eliminator” bronc.

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Her travelling mate and uncle, Special Delivery (pictured above at the Stampede) - currently ranked as the number three bareback horse in the world – was named the runner-up in the Bareback Horse category. His first go-round was explosive, scoring him great points but up-ending top rider RC Landingham in a buck-off. The second time this spunky stallion took the arena, he carried Matt Lait to the top of the round and the championship title, winning with a score of 87.75. Special Delivery is a powerful and talented animal athlete, sired by Grated Coconut by many-time CFR and NFR Qualifier Zippy Delivery. Watch for him to solidify his world-class reputation at the NFR in December.

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Tiger Warrior  (pictured above waiting for his performance at CFR) took runner-up in the category of Saddle Bronc Horse of the CFR, scoring 85.5 points to win the opening round with Cort Scheer. His second time out, in the fourth round, Tiger Warrior carried Rylan Geiger to a top-placed finish with a score of 86.5. Two rounds, two top-placed finishes for Tiger Warrior. He was edged out for the Horse of the CFR title by Lunatic Party from Outlaw Buckers, a horse that was the Saddle Bronc Horse of Canada for this year.

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Considering there are 11 stock contractors with horses in the running, the Stampede’s capture of six of the 12 go-round buckles and three of the four Horse of the Year honours represents an impressive ratio that speaks volumes of the quality of the Stampede’s Born to Buck breeding program.

Go-Round Buckles:

Performance 1: Saddle Bronc – Cort Scheer and Tiger Warrior – 85.5 points

Performance 2: Bareback – Matt Lait and Unfortunate Carma – 87 points

Performance 3: Saddle Bronc – Cort Scheer and Lynx Mountain – 88.75 points

Performance 4: Saddle Bronc – Cort Scheer and Warped Logic – 85.25 points

Performance 5: Saddle Bronc – Rylan Geiger and Tiger Warrior – 86.50 points

Performance 6: Bareback – Matt Lait and Special Delivery – 87.75 points

CS+CS = Champion performances

Add to that a unique phenomenon –  the combination of the initials worn by our CS horses and a certain “C.S.” cowboy added up to the CFR’s Top Gun award.

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Cort Scheer (pictured above with Stampede’s Keith Marrington), the Calgary Stampede 2013 Saddle Bronc Champion, was on fire all through the CFR, taking home three go-round buckles all on the backs of CS-marked Stampede bucking horses. Cort kicked off the CFR with an opening-round win teamed up with Tiger Warrior, followed up a go-round ride with on Lynx Mountain on night 3 and another winning ride with Warped Logic in the fourth go-round, plus a fourth-placed finish on Until Kamloops in the final round.

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In all, Cort bucked out almost $63,000 worth of performances, teamed up with Stampede stock in four of his six go-rounds, earning himself the Top Gun award for the most money earned by any cowboy at the CFR. This huge run on great rides lifted Scheer from 10th place standing coming into CFR from season’s earnings, to a second-place finish, a mere $238 behind Tyler Corrington’s championship-winning tally.

 

Two nights, Two Buckles for Stampede Stock

Two days down, two stock buckles in hand! The Calgary Stampede Ranch horses are making their mark at Canada’s championship rodeo with a matching pair of go-round buckles from the opening two nights of competition.

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On opening night, Stampede’s Tiger Warrior  (above) tore up the saddle bronc event with 2013 Calgary Stampede saddle bronc champion Cort Scheer aboard. This seven-year-old stallion offers up the powerful, high bucks and a solid rhythm that makes for a good show, but ups the ante of difficulty with his tricky fishtailing – randomly swinging his hind quarters to the side in moves that can dislodge any cowboy if he loses his centre. Scheer stayed on point and the pairing kicked out a 85.5 ride – the top score for the roughstock horse events for the night, winning Scheer a big boost in his bid to the top of the bronc standings, and earning Stampede and Tiger Warrior for the go-round buckle.

Tiger Warrior has been making his mark this season, including winning the Saddle Bronc Horse of the Ponoka Stampede in early July, then two great showings at the Calgary Stampede, including a great ride with Cody Wright during the Final Round Sunday.

Tiger Warrior is the son of many-time CFR and NFR qualifier Fearless Warrior by legendary Stampede bareback horse Grated Coconut. Watch for Tiger Warrior again Saturday afternoon for another great performance.

Stampede’s second buckle of the CFR came on the second night in the bareback event. Matt Lait paired up with Stampede mare Unfortunate Carma for some very fortunate action. Their 87-point ride topped the event and brought this emerging star to the attention of the rodeo crowd. Only six years old, Unfortunate Carma made her mark throughout the entire season, highlighted with a title as the Bareback Horse of the Pendleton Roundup Rodeo in Oregon in August. She’ll be out again full-force at Saturday night’s CFR Round Five.

Another Stampede great – Mad Money (seen in video above) – put on a great show during round 2 in the saddle bronc event. Tyler Corrington matched up with Mad Money for an impressive 84.75 score, narrowly missing the go-round win, which went to reigning Stampede champion Dustin Flundra on a horse called Awesome. Mad Money rang the right bells on her run, with her signature stutter-style kick throwing her hind hooves well overhead, reaching for the rafters. She’ll be out again Saturday night for another match-up and a run at the title of Saddle Bronc Horse of the CFR.

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She’ll have some tough competition tonight, though, from emerging legend Stampede Warrior (pictured above), a full sister to Tiger Warrior. During his go-round victory interview last night, Dustin Flundra told reporters there’s a horse he’s really hoping to draw tonight – and that’s Stampede Warrior. That’s because he knows this eight-year-old mare is a champion-maker. This year alone, she set an arena and circuit record score of 94 points in Houston with Cody DeMoss, paired with Wade Sundell for a 92-point win at the inaugural All-American $100,000 rodeo in Arlington, and helped earn Flundra an 89-point score en route to his Calgary Stampede title on Final Sunday this year. All eyes will be on Stampede Warrior and her recognizable one-blue eye tonight and final round 6 on Sunday afternoon in the hunt for cowboy and roughstock titles at the CFR.

In the Bareback event, Special Delivery (featured in video, above) is the one to watch tonight and final Sunday at the CFR. Ranked as the #3 bareback in the world, Special Delivery has consistently delivered cowboys championship titles and wins for the past few years. The 2012 Bareback Horse of the Year in Canada, this stallion won the Hermiston Rodeo in Washington with Steven Peebles, and Canadian fans would have seen him winning the Lea Park Rodeo by Marwayne with Russ Hallaby. He’s in the hunt for titles at both CFR this weekend, and at the NFR in Las Vegas later in December.

See y’all at the CFR tonight and through the weekend!

A Family Farm’s Growing Season

One of the ways that my family agvocates is by sharing our family farm’s growing season in an annual video. My husband Jay works hard to film on his GoPro Hero 3+ cameras and his DJI Phantom drone for 7 months of the year: from seeding in the spring, to harvest in the fall. We farm approximately 6000 acres of wheat, canola and yellow peas east of Calgary in Wheatland County. We hope you enjoy our 2014 growing season video and please share!

Greetings from the 2015 Indian Princess, Maya Many Grey Horses

My name is Maya Many Grey Horses and I have recently been crowned the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess for 2015.

It was such an honor to have been chosen for this role and I am truly humbled. I have always looked up to the young ladies who previously held the title–what an inspiring group of women.

As the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, I will be an ambassador for the Indian Village, treaty 7 and the Calgary Stampede. I hold my culture close to my heart and I am very excited to be able to share this with other people–educating other people about the rich culture of First Nations peoples is important.

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In addition to representing my culture, I will be able to pay tribute to my grandfather, Alphonse Many Grey Horses, and my great grandfather, Long Time Squirrel, who were pioneers of the Calgary Stampede and contributed bucking horses to the rodeo stock. I am proud of this historical legacy and many other contributions made by Treaty Seven members to the Stampede.

I hope to share my experiences with young women in Treaty 7 and get them interested in this is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.

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The amount of support I have been getting from my home tribe, the Blood tribe, has been overwhelming. I am thankful for their support and encouragement.  I will strive to serve the Calgary Stampede with excellency throughout my year and  make my supporters proud.  I’m very excited for the year ahead of me!

Stampeding towards Canadian championships

With fall season comes end of season for Canada’s Pro rodeo tours, culminating in the Canadian Finals Rodeo, held in Edmonton November 5 to 9.

After weeks enjoying the pastures of the Stampede Ranch near Hanna (pictured below),  36 top bucking stars will soon climb aboard the Calgary Stampede trucks for the trip north - rough stock horses and bulls who qualified for Canada’s pro rodeo finals through consistently strong performances all season long. buckers3

This combination of Canada’s top bucking horses and top cowboys is sure to add to some great performances to determine Canada’s champion cowboys and Canadian horses and bulls. The Stampede stars are definitely in the running for go-round buckles and possible some bronze.

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In the saddle bronc event, 16 Stampede broncs will show their best at the CFR. This list includes Stampede Warrior (above), who has been astounding both north and south of the border in 2014, including a virtually-perfect 94-point ride with Cody DeMoss at Rodeo Houston to shatter the arena record that made headlines in Canada and abroad. You can see this amazing mare – sired by legendary Stampede bareback horse Grated Coconut – at the Friday night performance and again in the final Sunday round at the CFR.

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Also on the broncs list are mainstay stars like Lynx Mountain (above) and Mad Money, the “delivery brothers” of Urgent Delivery and Timely Delivery, plus a host of rising stars, such as Weary Joke, Warped Logic and Wild Cherry.

SpecialDeliveryCS2014

A total of 13 bareback horses qualified for CFR this year. Exceptional stallion Special Delivery won the 2012 Canadian Bareback Horse of the Year and is in the hunt for the CFR Bareback Horse title this year after an exceptional season. He’ll be the one to watch Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Bareback mare Twin Cherry is also up for the ride north to Edmonton after a spectacular season, which included boosting Richard Champion to a $1.1 million win at the new All-American Rodeo at Arlington in January – rodeo’s richest-ever single day payout to a cowboy. Watch for this feisty mare on Thursday and Saturday evenings at the CFR.

simplymarvelllouskitsap

Watch for other bareback stars, including Muffled Cries and Nightmare Rocket, both well-known stock highly anticipated by cowboys for great rides and consistently high scores. Up-and-coming stars making their mark include Simply Marvellous (pictured above), Wanaka Rocket and Unfortunate Carma, while mainstay bronc Licorice Baby promises a sweet ride for some novice cowboys.

LowLife

Six Stampede bulls are bringing some serious brawn to Rexall Place, including top-billed Pawn Star and Low Life (pictured above). Rodeo fans will be thrilled to welcome back Classic Hit,Man in Black, Gator and Burn it to the Ground, bulls well-recognized in rodeo circles as tough competitors sure to give the bull riders and fighters a run for their money.