The Draft Horse Town committee is well known for their creative ways of displaying their draft horses, with inventions such as the Incredi-Pull and The Big Shoe during the 10-day Stampede. So it is no surprise that they did it again! During the past Family Day weekend, the Draft Horse Town committee executive team hosted a sleigh ride at chair David Farran’s farm. Horses and sleighs were trailered in from across Alberta so that employees, friends and family members of the committee could enjoy the draft horses in all their glory.
(sisters Nelly and Shelly pulling a sleigh into the snowy wonderland)
This was not an official committee event, but something the executives have put on for the past few years as a way to showcasethe horses and the beautiful outdoors. As an employee of the Calgary Stampede of only one year, this was my first time attending. I was astonished that there were actual sleighs attached to the horses! In one of the sleighs, massive blankets of fur covered the seats to keep the riders toasty and warm.
Host and chair David Farran described, “Sleigh rides are like a magnet for bringing together friends and family– it was a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to all the staff and volunteers who work so hard to make Stampede the best that it can be,” adding, “there is nothing quite like dashing through the snow in a big, red Santa sleigh – it’s like a childhood dream come true”.
(David behind the reigns)
(guiding the horses can be funner as a team effort)
The event took place on a sunny weekend, right after a chilled-to-the bone kind of week, which made the experience even more magical. And come to think of it, with this sudden change in the weather, perhaps it was Santa’s sleigh after all…
All photos are credited to Mike O’Connor, current member of the Calgary Stampede board of directors and photography enthusiast.