New public art installation: 100 Years of Champions

Today, the Calgary Stampede officially unveiled the spectacular art installment 100 Years of Champions, honouring the champions of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and chuckwagon races. Champions_1

The oversized aluminum horseshoes represent the strength of the iron that protects the animals from harm; six to honour the six disciplines of rodeo and chuckwagon racing: bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping and chuckwagon racing.

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If you look closely, you will notice some gaps in the years between 1912 to 2012. Some history: The first rodeo took place in 1912. Following a hiatus, the Stampede returned in 1919 to honour soldiers returning from World War I. The festival became an annual event in 1923 when it merged with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition to create the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, now known simply as the Calgary Stampede.

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100 Years of Champions was funded in partnership by the Calgary Stampede and the Government of Canada through a contribution by Canadian Heritage through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage, Legacy Fund.

Spring fever for Stampede hotshot horses

After a blockbuster run through Texas earlier in the year, the Stampede Ranch bucking stock continues to make international headlines for their winning ways.

Last weekend in Lea Park, the horses enjoyed the show at one of Canada’s most beautiful rodeo settings – a lush green valley near Marwayne in Alberta’s east-central region. In the saddle bronc event, the highlight was the final round win by American cowboy Tyler Corrington, scoring 84 on the back of well-known Stampede star Sargeant Whitney. The Pro Rodeo website features Tyler and Sargeant Whitney in its weekly highlight. Read their story HERE.

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Sargeant Whitney is an eight-year-old gelding, out of a spirited mare named Frisky Whitney by Stampede stud Majestic Rocket. A seasoned roughstock star, Sargeant Whitney has been to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) and the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR), where he was also paired up with Corrington for a great ride.

Not to be outdone by the broncs, the Stampede’s bareback athletes upped the score a couple of notches, taking first and second in the final round.

Airdrie cowboy Russ Hallaby took top billing, scoring an 87 on one of the Stampede’s top stars – the formidable Special Delivery. This eight-year stallion earns a lot of respect both in and out of the arena, and was named Canadian Bareback Horse of the Year for 2012. See him in action in the video, below:

Stampede Reckless Margie took second fiddle by a tight margin, bucking out a score of 85.5 with Clint Laye from Cadogan, Alberta. The nine-year-old mare, out of well-known mare Erotic Margie by legendary Grated Coconut, emerged as a strong star on the pro rodeo circuit early on. She took time off of her athletic career to foal some new colts for the Stampede’s Born to Buck breeding program. Reckless Margie is now back and showing motherhood hasn’t slowed her down in the arena.

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Reckless Margie, Special Delivery, Sargeant Whitney and the other Stampede champs are looking forward to the rest of the season, including putting on a show in their home turf at the Calgary Stampede in a few weeks’ time.

 

Stampede horse shatters arena record in Houston

The Calgary Stampede’s star horses are stamping out their brand all over Texas this season, and none more so than Stampede Warrior. After a string of championship-winning rides already, Stampede Warrior set a new arena record of an astounding 94 points at Rodeo Houston this past Saturday.

Paired with veteran saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss of Louisiana, Stampede Warrior kicked out a fierce and powerful performance with her signature change-up moves. This sharp mare knows how to put on a show, and her kicks and performances grow stronger and stronger with each time out of the chutes since swapping from the bareback to the saddle bronc event this season. DeMoss was up to the challenge, meeting her moves with expert form. Together, the pairing scored an unbelievable 94 points, shattering the previous Houston arena record believed to be 91. Click HERE to view this historic ride on the Rodeo Houston website.

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(Above) Stampede Warrior and Cody DeMoss shatter the arena record at Rodeo Houston this past weekend. Photo courtesy Rodeo Houston.

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Stampede brings the Big Bucks to inaugural All-American

When it comes to big bucks in rodeo, a $1.1 million payday to a single cowboy is pretty much as big as it gets. When it comes to big bucks from the rough-stock, Calgary Stampede’s horses, particularly its mares, brought a lot of exciting horsepower to the party.

March 2 was an exciting day for the pro rodeo world with the launch of the inaugural All-American Rodeo, a unique event that drew 60,000 people to the football stadium in Arlington, Texas for a one-day showdown rodeo. The Calgary Stampede was invited to bring its best bucking horses, with 14 horses giving strong performances to help cowboys earn a lot of cash.

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(Above) Stampede Warrior makes headlines carrying Wade Sundell to the saddle bronc championship at the inaugural All-American Rodeo in Texas.

Cowboys vying for $100,000 purses in each event were invited by either being the top 10 in the world, or through lead-up qualifying events. The cowboys who got there the hard way were eligible for a $1 million bonus should they defy the odds to win.

And that’s just what bareback rider Richard Champion did, with the help of Stampede horse T-17 Twin Cherry. Richie drew Twin Cherry in the opening round, and this powerful young Calgary mare gave him a ride to the money round, scoring a strong 85 to get him to the final four shoot-out round. One more strong ride won the day, and Richie left Arlington with $1.1 million more green in his jeans.

Another $100,000 was won on the backs of a pair of Stampede mares in the saddle bronc event. One of the world’s top cowboys, Wade Sundell, drew Stampede’s Lynx Mountain in the long round, topping the round with a 90-point ride to earn his way in to the final four shoot-out round. There, he drew Stampede Warrior, another Stampede mare who just swapped from bareback event into the saddle bronc pen a few weeks ago. The pairing topped the board with an outstanding 92-point ride to win Wade the $100,000 purse.

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(Above) Stampede Warrior and Wade Sundell score a 92-point ride to win the saddle bronc championship at the All-American.

Another Stampede rising star launched her name into fame in the saddle bronc event. Texas Cherry was selected as one of four horses to compete in the final round alongside Stampede Warrior, a huge nod of confidence given the calibre of rough stock from across North America at the event. Two jumps and one of the world’s top cowboys hit the dirt, making 60,000 folks in the stands sit up and take note that this young buck is one to watch. Texas Cherry carries high expectations in the rodeo world to begin with, as the daughter of Flavoured Cherry and Grated Coconut, two legendary bucking horses that are now retired into its Born to Buck breeding program on Stampede Ranch by Hanna, Alberta. She will be one to watch as the 2014 season unfolds.

Looking forward to more great performances from Stampede’s champion horses as they shift their focus to Houston later this month.

 

 

A trip to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo

The Calgary Stampede has been a huge part of my life for many years and it’s a great honour to currently serve as president and chairman of the board. I’ve been a volunteer since 1987 and on the board since 1998. Before joining the board, I served on both the Rodeo and Chuckwagon committees, so it was a great experience to travel down to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

The Calgary Stampede has a strong presence at this event as a significant supplier of broncs to their rodeo. I was most proud sitting in my seat watching our animal athletes perform. They are the best of their breed.

On my final day Keith Marrington, director of rodeo and chuckwagon, invited me out to the facility where our horses stay during the San Antonio rodeo. I was able to mill among our tremendous athletes, up close and personal, and to see first-hand what healthy and well-cared for animals they are. The facility was relaxed, there was plenty of space for them to move around and enjoy the warm Texas sun.

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No sooner was I there, that Keith Marrington put me to work feeding the horses off the back of the hay wagon. Having a bit of farm boy in me (I’ve predominately lived in the country my whole life), it was quite natural for me to move, cut bales and distribute hay.

Of course all good things must come to an end, and I returned to Calgary to -30 degree (!) weather.

 

 

Stampede cowboys have lessons for racecar speed demons

What can Calgary Stampede cowboys teach speed demons at NASCAR, speedways and grand prix events? It turns out we know about far more than just horsepower!

The Calgary Stampede was invited to host a panel workshop for about 50 of motorsport world’s top event organizers in Dallas, Texas on Sunday, February 9. The Motorsport Workshop featuring the Stampede was part of the three-day National Sports Forum, an annual convention that attracts executives from the NHL, NFL, NBA, NCAA, NASCAR and other major sports.

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(L to R) Pat O’Brien, Jason Coxford, Rod Tate and Robert Wise presented at the Motorsport Workshop at the National Sports Forum in Dallas on February 9, 2014.

The Stampede has attended the forum for the past three years to keep abreast with our peers in major sports event management. This year, forum organizers felt some other sports could learn the ropes from the Stampede in some key areas.

“For a 10-day event, we attract the same level of ticket sales, sponsorship support and VIP experiences that many NHL teams would handle annually,” explains Patrick O’Brien, Stampede sponsorship manager, one of four Stampede panelists at the workshop. “Yet our event extends beyond the grandstand with a huge variety of audience experiences, one of Canada’s largest music festivals and activations throughout the entire community.”

“When you think of it, we have a lot more in common with NASCAR and other annual sporting events than we would have with other rodeos and western events.”

The Stampede attracts more than one million to its site over its 10-day run, and sells 300,000 tickets to its grandstand rodeo and evening shows each year, about 10 per cent of which are VIP packaged experiences. The Calgary Stampede is a “bucket-list” unique experience that attracts global tourists for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the western sport and huge country-themed community-wide festivities surrounding the main event.

“The workshop participants were very enthralled with the extent of our community involvement,” says Jason Coxford, ticket sales manager. “For a lot of these race cities like Daytona and Indianapolis, their events are tied into the fabric of their city. But the level of volunteerism and whole-city support for the Stampede is something they’re very curious about.”

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Coxford also notes many speedways are also striving to create more year-round programming as well, which the Stampede succeeds at with thousands of events hosted annually on Park. He says the balance is to adapt facilities for new programs while remaining aligned with their original brand and purpose.

O’Brien notes Stampede offers great year-round value to sponsors by connecting them with client events that book Stampede facilities year-round. During Stampede, widespread product offerings and variety of programing offers sponsors complex and varied options and great return on investment.

Promotions can run year-round and internationally, partnering with big hitters such as Disney. Yet being a relatively small organization allows the Stampede to be adaptable and nimble enough to capitalize upon an emerging trend, as they did when turning the mid-flood “Hell or High Water” rallying cry into a $2.1 million T-shirt fundraiser for the Red Cross. This earned the Stampede an international award for best social media campaign, beating out 4,700 parks and attractions from 97 countries.

View an interview about the workshop on Alberta Prime Time.

http://www.albertaprimetime.com/Stories.aspx?pd=6151

 

Seeking Your Best Buds Horse Tales

There’s a reason Budweiser’s Puppy Love ad was the runaway hit of the unofficial advertisement show-down that is the Superbowl. The puppy’s determination to be with his Clydesdale horse friend and his horse buddies rescuing him from being adopted and taken away makes me giggle while tearing up, each and every time I watch it. Budweiser, an official sponsor of the Calgary Stampede, hit the ball out of the park on this one, our Stampede community and fellow horse-lovers agree.

Here at the Stampede, we think we could all use more Best Buds love stories, so we’re asking  folks to share their Best Buds Horse Tales with us. We’re looking for anyone with a story to tell about a unique horse you love, and the unexpected friend it loves. It may be a dog, a goat, a cow or even a duck. We’re hoping to hear more stories that make the heart swell with wonder over the sensitive and social nature of these wonderful animals.

For example, Troy Flad’s chuckwagon race horse Nipper just isn’t himself without his little buddy, Oops, the miniature horse in tow. So Troy ensures Oops and Nipper are together whenever he travels, keeping both of these best buds happy.

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If you know of a great story, share it with us at a new page within our My.Calgarystampede website, a site created in the centennial year as a repository for sharing great stories within the community. A Best Buds page has been added, and is waiting for your Best Buds Horse Tales.

Submissions can be emailed to mystampede@calgarystampede.com .

Check out the submission guidelines at http://my.calgarystampede.com/share-best-buds.html  or read the stories being submitted at http://my.calgarystampede.com/#best-buds

Looking forward to sharing more Best Buds Horse Love through-out 2014 and beyond.

 

What do you see when you see this picture?

Internationally famous counselor and speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer is famous for saying “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – his reminder to remain soft and open in how you view the world and to be open to changing your mindset.

This immediately came to my mind in relation the story of the well-loved dog that travels with his owners to the Stampede – a family that raises and shows draft horses. The horses are hitched up in a team of eight to parade at the Calgary Stampede each year. It’s a busy time with a lot of activity. This dog, like others, likes to nap. Like most dogs, he has a favorite spot. His favorite spot happens to be in a quiet stall atop fresh woodchips, undoubtedly scenting his slumbers with the woodsy smell of days spent romping through the trees on the ranch that is his home. Pretty darn good life for anyone – man or beast, wouldn’t you think?

The Calgary Stampede posted an image of this napping dog to its Facebook page on a cold Monday morning this January, with the caption “Hit like if this is how you feel this morning.”

What I see when I look at this image: a well-cared-for dog, wearing a bright and clean coat with a clean collar, who has found himself a quiet spot and a bed a fresh wood chips to snuggle up on and have a snooze. The door to this bright, clean stall is open. It’s obviously a horse stall (and an immaculate stall, at that!) The dog is free to come and go, but has found this to be a sweet quiet secret spot for a nap.

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Hundreds of people clicked “like”. However, I was surprised to see this image elicited a few critical comments, a sad reminder there are people who may see the world through rage-coloured glasses that do, indeed, change the things they look at.

I ask myself who could imagine this image depicts animal abuse or neglect anymore than a snapshot of solo dog napping on grass? Where is the basis for statements this depicts “a helpless animal confined from family and nature”? What reasonable person would shout “shame on the Stampede” “this photo is just sad” and say “this picture is just wrong”?

At the risk of being accused of wearing rose-coloured glasses, I am baffled at how anyone could choose to view this image that way. I choose to recognize the wisdom in Wayne Dyer’s words and pause to consider before jumping to conclusions. And I will dream wistfully of the smell of woodchips and a soft nap on a cold January morning.

 

 

 

New year, new arena record for Stampede’s Princess Warrior

Nothing like starting the new year off with a big bang. Even better when it is THREE big bangs.

With 2014 only 11 days old, Stampede Ranch’s bareback bucking horse, Princess Warrior set her mark in rodeo history with a record-breaking 92-point ride in Denver on Saturday night. The ride happened during the finals of the Colorado versus The World, a unique rodeo showdown format that pits cowboys representing top rodeos like the Calgary Stampede against cowboys representing top rodeos within Colorado.

The 11-year-old mare put on a great performance and tough ride for 20-year-old Richie Champion, a Texan. Richie had two other great rides on Stampede horses to advance into the playoff rounds. Richie paired up with R20 Risque Elsie to score a great 88-point ride, then scored another 88 points on S3 Simply Marvellous, and finally won the championship round on Stampede Princess.

“I was a little behind at the beginning of the ride, but when I caught up with her (Stampede Princess), it felt awesome,” Richie commented to officials later. “That’s the highest score I’ve ever gotten.” Not only his highest score – the highest score ever awarded in Denver.

High scores are nothing new to Princess Warrior. In her seven years on the pro rodeo circuit, she has been a Canadian Finals Rodeo qualifier four times and to the National Finals Rodeo twice. She is living up to her top-notch bucking stock lineage as the daughter of F-51 Fearless Warrior, who qualified many times for the CFR and NFR, and sired by six-time world champion stallion Grated Coconut.

Three horses, three great scores. One arena record.

Pretty great way to start 2014 for Stampede Ranch horses flying the flag south of the border. Looking forward to even more titles and great performances from the 48 snowbird horses who will spending the next two months on the Texas circuit.

Snowbird Bucking Horses

Twas the month before Texas and all through the pens,

All the horses were resting and frolicking with friends.

The halters were hung in the tack room with care

In the hopes that more titles would soon be there.

The broncs were relaxing and being well-fed

With dreams of tossing cowboys with each toss of their heads.

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The holiday season was peaceful at the Stampede Ranch near Hanna, Alberta, where the herd of 600 horses is spread through various winter pastures and pens across the 22,000 acre ranch. A good blanket of snow bodes well for a good start to next year’s growing season and watering holes. Almost 75 mares are feasting and awaiting new foals in the spring. Young colts are growing up on the open range, free to run, buck, and learn from their elders as they are gradually introduced to halters, chutes and health checkups. The current stars of the pro rodeo circuit are enjoying some rest and relaxation in the off-season after posting incredible performances throughout 2013 across North America.

As the holiday season wraps up and folks get back to work, Stampede’s top bucking horses get back to work soon, too. But for these elite equine athletes, back to work means a return to warmer climates and green grass. Four dozen of the top bucking horses turn into snowbirds later this month, bound for the Texas rodeo run. Some 72 horses travel to Denver next weekend for the National Western pro rodeo, 48 of which then continue further south, bound for the sunshine of Texas. From late January to late March, these horses will be hanging out in the green pastures of the Lone Star State, with short shuttles to and from rodeo arenas for cameo performance appearances at big pro rodeos in San Antonio, San Angelo, Dallas and Houston.

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A new event shakes up the Texas routine for these snowbird bucking horses this year. Owing to the world-class strength and consistency of its Born to Buck breeding program, the Stampede has been invited to provide its top horse stars at an inaugural pro rodeo dubbed The American – a one-day, $1 million extravaganza rodeo being held in a football stadium in Arlington, Texas. This blow-out rodeo showcase could attract as many as 100,000 fans in a single day, putting Stampede’s best horses in the spotlight on the biggest stage of their careers.

This Texas circuit marks the first stage in a series of rodeos Stampede stock performs at this year. With a roster of hundreds of active pro rodeo bucking horses carefully managed to compete no more than about 10 times in a year, the Calgary Stampede showcases its stock at more than 120 performances in a year. Its stock trailers log more than 140,000 km annually (more than three times around the globe!). This all requires careful planning for the top care and comfort of our stock, welcoming pastures along the way, precise paperwork for crossing borders, and even a good understanding of preferred horse travel buddies.

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We look forward to keeping up to date on the adventures and triumphs of Stampede’s top bucking stars as the season progresses.

Farewell to an icon, a leader, a friend – the late Bill Collins

In his 89 years of adventure and exceptional horsemanship, the late Bill Collins covered many miles and acquired a lot of fans and friends, including royalty. The Calgary Stampede honours and remembers this incredible cowboy icon as news of his passing (on New Year’s Eve 2013) spreads through the Stampede family, the equine community and around the world.

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First as a rodeo star and later as a legendary cutting horse trainer/judge, Bill made the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1954 as a rodeo competitor, the only time Calgary Stampede rodeo was featured on the international magazine’s cover. Bill has been inducted into the Order of Canada and rodeo and equine halls of fame across North America. He taught cutting horse clinics worldwide and also served as a judge at competitions throughout North America, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and England.

Responsible for bringing the then-emerging sport of cutting horse to the Calgary Stampede in 1973, Bill had already caught the attention of Prince Philip, who invited Bill to bring the sport to England a decade earlier in 1964. This royal/cowboy friendship continued, with the Prince inviting Bill and his wife Pearl to return to England five years ago – more than 40 years after his first visit – to come for tea at the palace for a friendly catch-up.

Beyond cutting horse, Bill was an all-around horseman who also won the Canadian calf-roping championship title four times in the 1950’s, was a chuckwagon outrider for the Ron Glass and Orville Strandquist outfits, and was an accomplished show jumper.

Calgary Stampede September 20, 1954 X 1460 credit:  Hy Peskin - staff

Bill was undisputedly a celebrity within the global equine world, yet those who met him commented on how he not only taught horsemanship, he also taught people about themselves and epitomized the western values and spirit of integrity.

“Bill was as gracious a man as ever walked the earth. He was one in a billion,” recalls Pete Fraser, chairman of the Stampede’s Western Performance Horse committee.  “There was never a hand he wouldn’t shake, or a youngster he wouldn’t be eager to help become a good competitor and good citizen. Whenever Bill would attend an event, everyone – even the most accomplished and famous riders – would visit him and pay him their greatest respect. He had this ‘Ghandi’ effect where people would just want to be near him.”

The Calgary Stampede honours Bill Collins for his more than 40 years of leadership and volunteer service to our organization. He was awarded a lifetime Calgary Stampede membership in 2007, and is the namesake for the Bill Collins Youth Excellence Awards. He served as the chair of the Western Performance Horse and Cutting Horse committee for years. “Even 25 years after he stepped down as chair of the committee, whenever faced with a challenging situation, every chair since Bill always asked ourselves ‘What would Bill do?’,” says Fraser. “He remains our standard of wisdom and the innate ability to do the right thing.”

Hell Yah for The Duke

It’s a Calgary Stampede “first” for a famous veteran campaigner horse, that’s also a fun “first” for the National Finals Rodeo.

This year, the world’s top 20 professional saddle bronc riders decided to create their own award for the rough stock horses they know and love. Dubbed the “Hell Yah! Award”, the saddle bronc riders choose a saddle bronc horse that they are all excited to draw because they know they’ll get a great ride, the horse will always do its part to give them a great score, and they’ll likely be in the money. In short, they wanted to award the horse that makes them yell “Hell Yah!” when they draw it.

Famous for his signature rearing up out move out of the chutes, Stampede Ranch's John Wayne wins the inaugural "Hell Yah! Award" from the world's top 10 saddle bronc riders.

Famous for his signature rearing up out move out of the chutes, Stampede Ranch’s John Wayne wins the inaugural “Hell Yah! Award” from the world’s top 10 saddle bronc riders.

In its inaugural year, the Hell Yah! Award goes to John Wayne, a 22-year-old gelding from the Calgary Stampede Ranch. A contingent of saddle bronc riders presented the award at the Stampede’s annual reception party during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. They said they could not think of a better horse to receive this first award, as John Wayne has been a top bucking horse on the world stage for longer than most of them have been riding, and he always helps them shine.

From left, Stampede 2013 Champion Cort Scheer, Wade Sundell, Calgary Stampede's Keith Marrington, Tyler Corrington and Chet Johnson, presenting Stampede with the Hell Yah Award for bucking horse John Wayne "The Duke".

From left, Stampede 2013 Champion Cort Scheer, Wade Sundell, Calgary Stampede’s Keith Marrington, Tyler Corrington and Chet Johnson, presenting Stampede with the Hell Yah Award for bucking horse John Wayne “The Duke”.

Named John Wayne, the cowboys affectionately know him as “The Duke”, and engraved that nickname on the halter award they presented to Stampede’s Keith Marrington.

John Wayne has been a top horse in the Canadian and world rodeo circuit for 18 years. He has qualified for the Canadian Final Rodeo a total of 17 times, and has been invited to buck at the NFR ten times, including this year. He’s a proven and reliable horse, consistently powerful and strong in the saddle event – known for his signature move of rearing up just as the chutes open to start off each ride with a flourish. Even at age 22, The Duke continues to be the horse the cowboys want to ride.

Bradley Harter rides John Wayne "The Duke" during the 2012 Calgary Stampede.

Bradley Harter rides John Wayne “The Duke” during the 2012 Calgary Stampede.

Outside of the arena, though, John Wayne is  known amongst Stampede Ranch hands as a great “nanny” or “uncle” for the younger horses. His calm demeanor and familiarity with life on the road is invaluable at helping the younger horses get settled into their temporary homes and pastures while travelling to and between rodeos. This veteran campaigner helps the younger horses find the best spots in new pastures for food, water, shelter, and his presence is always calming when the horses are hanging out in the pens before a rodeo.

Stampede Ranch is proud to receive this award from the cowboys who best know great rough stock – the saddle bronc riders themselves. It’s a great honour for a distinguished Duke of a horse who lives up to his nickname in every way.

Cody Taton rides John Wayne The Duke in the saddle bronc event at the 2013 Calgary Stampede.

Cody Taton rides John Wayne The Duke in the saddle bronc event at the 2013 Calgary Stampede.

Shadow Warrior brightens day for world champion contender

Calgary Stampede’s Shadow Warrior brightened up the night for bareback rider Kaycee Field at the National Finals Rodeo Wednesday night.

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(Photo by Mike Copeman. Kaycee Field and Calgary Stampede horse S-65 Shadow Warrior teamed up to win round seven of bareback event at National Finals Rodeo on Wednesday, December 11, 2013)

Kaycee is a two-time defending world champion, gunning for a third championship and to tie the record for three consecutive world titles – a feat hasn’t been done since the mid-1970s. But in the first six rounds of NFR action in Las Vegas, his rides hadn’t been putting him in top spot.

That all changed in round seven when Kaycee drew S-65 Shadow Warrior, a feisty stallion born to many-time CFR and NFR qualifying mare F-51 Fearless Warrior and legendary bareback horse Grated Coconut – the holder of a record six world championship and six Canadian championship titles.

Shadow Warrior has qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo three times and this is his first visit to the NFR. He lived up to his champion bloodlines and own reputation as a smart, tough horse on Wednesday night. He burst from the chutes with a powerful and difficult bucking performance. Kaycee was on top of his game as well, and together the pairing scored an 83. That was enough to win the round and put the cowboy back on top of the world standings with three more rounds to go.

Read a bit more about the ride and what it means in Kaycee’s bid for a third consecutive championship in this article.

Double Trouble Stampede Broncs on Day 2 of CFR

After a strong start winning the Day One back horse go-round buckle on opening night at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Calgary Stampede Ranch horses stepped it up on Day Two with double trouble in the saddle bronc event. Stampede’s R-19 Roll Over teamed up with Taos Muncy for the winning bronc ride of the night with a score of 83.75. K-52 Knife Money was close on her heels, bucking out an 83.25-point ride with Calgary Stampede 2013 Saddle Bronc Champion Cort Scheer aboard.Cort Scheer action

CFR fans had their first look at R-19 Roll Over, as this is the mare’s first-ever CFR appearance. She was born in 2005 from a pairing of Stampede mare Excessively Rolly and legendary six-time world and Canadian champion bareback horse Grated Coconut. Roll Over started out as a bareback horse a few years back, but has switched to saddle bronc and is hitting her stride. In her rookie appearance at the CFR on Day Two, she and New Mexico cowboy Muncy were second up in the bronc bucking order, setting the pace for the rest of the pen. She bucked hard as she looped around to the left and gave the front-row audience members a good view as she sidled up alongside, close to the arena wall.

Another half-dozen competitors later, Scheer and Knife Money gave the pair a run for their first place money. Knife Money also looped around to the left, doing her part of get this Nebaska champ cowboy into the money at second place for the go-round. Knife Money is a savvy veteran of the pro rodeo circuit, having qualified many times over for both the CFR and NFR. Born in 2001, this strong mare represents a rare spot of outside blood in the Stampede Born to Buck breeding program. Knife Money was born after Stampede Ranch managers bred past Canadian and NFR qualifying mare Day Money with legendary stallion Wyatt Earp from Northcott Stock Contractors.

To learn more about the Stampede horses who are bringing the buck to CFR 2013, check out a few profile and video descriptions on our Stampede Ranch Webpage.

Muffled Cries takes first buckle at CFR

No sooner had the 40th anniversary edition of the Canadian Finals Rodeo began, and the Calgary Stampede Ranch had earned its first go-round buckle and the highest score of the night.

Muffled Cries

As Canada’s top bareback riders took on the nation’s top rough stock one by one, Stampede’s M-75 Muffled Cries patiently waited her turn to shine. Already a qualifier for the CFR and National Finals Rodeo many times over, this strong mare is in her seventh season on the pro circuit, and knows the drilll well. She  was teamed up with Ponoka’s own Jake Vold, and the pair competed 11th of the group of 12 in this opening event, just as the opening night crowd was settling into their seats and starting to warm up their cheering.

Muffled Cries sure gave them a lot of cheer for, exploding from the chutes with her signature style of hard, high bucking combined with some sideways steps that steps up the difficulty for the rider and pumps up her scores. Vold was up to the challenge, staying on top with great form to ride it out for a score of 87.25.

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That would be the top score in all bucking events for the night, and was more than enough to earn Muffled Cries the go-round buckle for bareback horse of the night, presented to Stampede Ranch director Keith Marrington.

Read a bit more about Muffled Cries on the Stampede Ranch webpages.