Making history: Calgary Stampede celebrates a rodeo icon for International Women’s Day

Today, Wednesday, March 8, 2017 celebrates International Women’s Day, a day that honours the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the globe. The Calgary Stampede has an illustrious history of showcasing the outstanding talent of women in western performances. At a time when women were refused the right to vote, western performance and rodeo stars such as Bertha Blancett and Flores LaDue were achieving success and fame as part of the first Calgary Stampede. For more about the exploits of these pioneer cowgirls, see last year’s blog post for International Women’s Day here.

Through the years, hundreds of women have performed in the Stampede Rodeo, and adding to this proud tradition is Mary Burger, a high-speed barrel-racing grandma from Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. For over 40 years Mary has been participating in barrel racing events, winning a slew of titles and victories on her way to being ranked number one in the world in barrel racing. At 67 years young, Mary dropped jaws and wowed fans as she achieved a clean sweep in the barrel racing competition at the 2016 Calgary Stampede.  Placing first in the competition for a remarkable four consecutive days, Mary would go on to win the event on Championship Sunday adding another trophy to what one can only imagine is an already cluttered mantle.


Mary Burger and her horse Mo picking up some speed!

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Kicking 2017 off to a great start!

It’s always fantastic to hear compliments from other rodeos about our Calgary Stampede bucking stock. But the horses’ recent performance in Denver at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo is drawing extremely high praise.

“They steal the show from the rest of the stock contractors that are there,” said Leon Vick, Denver’s Senior Director of Rodeo and Horse Show Operations.

Tootsie Roll and Richmond Champion earn 85 points in Denver

Tootsie Roll and Richmond Champion earn 85 points in Denver

47 Calgary Stampede horses were in Denver for the Colorado VS the World Rodeo on January 7, as well as the Pro Rodeo performances that followed on January 12-22. The results on the scoreboard from those events back up Leon Vick’s compliments. In Saddle Bronc, all three rounds of the PRCA sanctioned competition were won on Stampede horses, with Cody Wright riding Tokyo Bubbles for the top score in the finals.

Bareback competition also went well, with two second place finishes on CS stock in the first two rounds, a win for cowboy Jake Brown on our Reckless Margie in the finals, and a 87.5 point championship clinching ride for Tim O’Connell on Tootsie Roll.

“They’re just bigger, stronger and buck better,” said Vick, when asked what makes Calgary Stampede horses stand out from the crowd. “They’re good in the chute and guys get out on them easy. They really perform well, they’re very showy and they tend to help the guys win a lot of money. “

Tim O'Connell captures the championship thanks to another great ride provided by Tootsie Roll

Tim O’Connell captures the championship thanks to another great performance from Tootsie Roll

With competition in Denver wrapped up, the horses have now made the move to San Antonio, Texas. They will enjoy some well-earned rest and relaxation before returning to action at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, February 9-26.

A Wet and Great Stampede!

Yes, it was the wettest ten days I can remember in my 30+ years of volunteering (and in fact I now hear it was the rainiest 10 days since 1927), but definitely a lot of bright spots and great memories from the 2016 Stampede:

1. Pre-Stampede, on Wednesday, July 6 and Thursday, July 7, I was very busy with large and in some cases record crowds at the CBC Breakfast, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Parade, Tourism Calgary First Flip, the Field Law and Miles Davison LLP parties and Parade committee kick off BBQ. No question from those events that the city was very much looking forward to celebrating Stampede this year.

David Gray, host of the Eyeopener on CBC Radio (L) interviewing Codey McCurrach, chuckwagon driver (R) at the CBC Breakfast

David Gray, host of the Eyeopener on CBC Radio (L) interviewing Codey McCurrach, chuckwagon driver, (R) at the CBC Breakfast

Pancakes being flipped at the First Flip breakfast hosted by Tourism Calgary

Pancakes being flipped at the First Flip breakfast hosted by Tourism Calgary

2. Parade Day is always special and I never take for granted the thrill of being on horseback riding along the downtown parade route in front of hundreds of thousands of cheering spectators. Parade Marshals PB&J (Paul Brandt and Jann Arden) were great ambassadors for Calgary and the walking entry of about 100 representatives from the various Fort McMurray agencies involved with the emergency first response, re-location and re-settlement of that city received a huge and well deserved show of appreciation.

parade 2016)

Waving hello atop of Pa – the horse I rode this year from the Stampede Ranch

3. The Stampede Rodeo was great all week (even during the downpour on Finals Sunday, which I would argue just made it that much more challenging and exciting). Barrel Racer Mary Burger became an instant Stampede hit during the first go around and then continued to win over hearts and fans by pulling in the big prize on Sunday. Getting to award announcer Ron MacLean his own bronze for his 25 years of involvement with the Stampede Rodeo was also a very special moment for me.

Ron and Bill

Ron with his bronze and me

4. More often than not, the GMC Rangeland Derby and Evening Show faced the wettest moments of each day. The track held up magnificently and kudos to all the drivers for night after night of exciting and safe racing. The TransAlta Grandstand Show was one of the best I can recall and was designed in such a manner that “the show could go on” each night notwithstanding the weather. Great job by Dave Pierce, the Grandstand committee and all others involved in producing and putting on this show.

Exciting finish to one of the chuckwagon races

Exciting finish to one of the chuckwagon races

The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede performing in the Grandstand Show incorporating water in the show

The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede performing in the 2016 Grandstand Show incorporating water in the show

5. The Stampede is a great place to see, meet and host people and that includes politicians from all levels of Government. His Worship Mayor Nenshi rode in the Parade and then to his credit attended every community event in the city, or so it seemed. Premier Notley also rode in the Parade and she and many of her cabinet and MLAs attended many Stampede events on Stampede Park. We even had Justin Trudeau and his daughter Ella-Grace on Stampede Park for a few hours on Friday, July 15 (though as you can see from the attached below, even our Prime Minister was not spared the rain). PM visit 6. Beautiful Enmax Park and the new home of Indian Village was a hit with our guests and one can only imagine how popular that area of Stampede Park will become in future years with better weather. Photo Credit: Bill Marsh / Calgary Stampede 7. The main Midway attractions (Dog Bowl, Peking Acrobats and Bell Adrenaline Ranch) all received deservedly rave reviews. The Agriculture programming was also outstanding and saw big crowds for Cowboy Up, Stock Dogs, Heavy Horse Pull, Steer Classic and all the exhibits in Agrium Western Event Centre, such as the Cattle Trail and many others.

The Canine Stars at the Dog Bowl

The Canine Stars performed incredible tricks at the Dog Bowl

Heavy Horse Show in the Scotiabank Saddledome

Big crowds came out to watch the Heavy Horse Show in the Scotiabank Saddledome

8. By far the most enjoyable moments for me throughout the ten days was hand out the President’s Certificate of Appreciation to surprised long term Stampede volunteers all over Stampede Park. Such a privilege to honour so many deserving people who have given so much to Stampede and to their respective committees. Many thanks to Jennifer Jenson and Shane Ellis for taking care of all the logistics and making this work with my crazy busy Stampede schedule.

One of the recipients of the awards - Jill Cross.

One of the recipients of the awards – Jill Cross.

Thanks to all of you for what you do for Stampede. Hope all the employees and volunteers of the Calgary Stampede have a great and relaxing (and warm and dry) rest of the summer. You all deserve that. Bill

9 things I learned at Rodeo 101

Ok you guys, there are a lot of misconceptions about Rodeo out there. And I’m no expert. So this morning I made my way over to the Northern Lights Arena for Rodeo 101. You can catch the next edition tomorrow, Sunday, July 10 at 11 a.m. in the same location. Here’s a few things I’d like to share:

1. There’s a myth out there that the horses and bulls that compete in the rodeo live hard lives. In reality, these animals have it pretty good. For most the year, they live in a green pasture as a natural herd. They are well fed and card for. It’s important to keep in mind that these animals are bred and trained to be athletes. Their health and welfare is always top of mind. Learn more about life of bucking horses in this video.

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Baby goats, barrel racing and more at Aggie Days

Hey y’all, and happy Spring! You can sure tell it’s springtime when the horses start shedding and you can wake up to the “cheeeeeeeseburger!” call of the chickadee in the morning (I can’t be the only one who thinks that’s what they really say). Another sure sign is Aggie Days! We just finished a full week of spending time with the kids during the week and then the public on the weekend, and, just as I seem to say after every big event, I don’t know how it’ll be topped!

Stampede Royalty_Aggie Days_1

We’ve been looking forward to this week all year for the extra special reason that it would be our first event where we actually get to ride! Finally! We’ve been working hard all year with our princes, riding at least twice a week and building incredible bonds, and I don’t think it could have gone better. Of course the rehearsal run was a little nerve wracking, not knowing what exactly to expect, but I quickly discovered that my horse, Snoopy was just as excited as I was (if not more) to do his job and he took care of me the entire time. Turns out, O’Canada is his favourite song and he sure can dance to it (who can blame him), and as soon as we were out of the arena, I immediately wanted to turn around and do it again!

Aggie Days_Stampede Royalty_1

Our amazing horse wrangler, Jessica!

We got to help present awards of $2,500 to two deserving schools for the Aggie Days Art Challenge during the rodeos

We got to help present awards of $2,500 to two deserving schools for the Aggie Days Art Challenge during the rodeos

We even unexpectedly became volunteers to demonstrate the barrel race pattern for the kids, which may have become slightly competitive between the three of us and our stick horses. Princess Bailee did manage to show everything that you were not supposed to do by running the wrong pattern and then knocking over a barrel (we’ll say it was intentional, for educational purposes).

Aggie Days_Stampede Royalty_3

Every year, the Queens’ Alumni volunteer committee puts on their Giddy Up Aggie Days event: a free breakfast and exclusive access for special needs children. During the event, we got to spend some time hanging out at a photo booth with Darrel, the baby goat. We certainly couldn’t complain about cuddling that furry guy all morning! We then got to spend some time taking in Aggie Days, which was great! There’s so much to see and so many people passionate about what they do within the agriculture community that even the smallest visitors were excited to learn. We ended the weekend by spending Sunday afternoon at the Cowboy Up Challenge, presenting awards, and even getting to shoot the T-shirt gun…such responsibility. If you have never seen the Extreme Cowboy Challenges, I highly suggest taking one in; those horses are braver than I think I could even be!

Aggie Days_Stampede Royalty_4

Aggie Days_Stampede Royalty_5

Only 87 days until Stampede!


Princess Chelsey

Riding high in Houston with the Calgary Stampede

Canadian saddle bronc competitor Clay Elliott wasn’t too sure just how to react after his big Rodeo Houston win on one of the Calgary Stampede’s top horses.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” Elliott told local media. “I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with $50,000.”

The Nanton, Alberta cowboy scored the huge paycheck by winning a ride-off in the finals on board Stampede Warrior. It was one of many notable performances by Calgary Stampede horses at the Livestock Show and Rodeo in Houston, Texas. In total, Stampede horses competed 84 times in front of 1.3 million attendees over the course of 21 performances. And they definitely caught the attention of the cowboys and the crowd, as they do year after year.

Stampede Warrior competing at Rodeo Houston in 2014

Stampede Warrior competing at Rodeo Houston in 2014

“They captured an incredible 14 go-round wins and more than $110,000 in prize money in Houston,” says Robert Wise, director of Western Events & Agriculture for the Calgary Stampede. The highest marked ride of the rodeo was given to Austin Foss, who scored 91 points on the Reserve World Champion, Calgary Stampede’s Special Delivery. Continue reading

Small Spurs, Huge Futures

They may wear some small spurs for now but rodeo in southern Alberta has a big future. The Small Spurs Rodeo in Claresholm, Alberta gives tomorrow’s stars of rodeo a place to develop their skills.


Since Dusty and Travis Whiteside created the program it has taken off and today there are more than 400 entries on a given weekend for the rodeos. Kids ages 14 and under have a chance to test their skills in events like barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and even steer riding.

Today’s organizers, Ty and Hayley Elliot and Matt and Janessa McNichol, spend countless hours organizing and preparing as well as running each of the rodeos held over the winter months. Thanks to their dedication and hard work and the support of corporate partners like the Calgary Stampede, hundreds of kids have an opportunity to get involved in the sport of rodeo.


On March 11-12, the Small Spurs held their annual season finals and what an exciting way to cap off their season. The Calgary Stampede is one of the leading supporters of the program and along with contributions from many great corporate partners, there were more than 100 prizes handed out to the champions on the weekend.

Small Spurs_Finals_Fri-8244

Ty Elliot   is a former Canadian Finals Bull Rider who now focuses on developing the next generation of rodeo. He recognizes the lack of interest in the rough stock events and hopes that organizations like Small Spurs will help to revitalize the rough stock end of the arena.

“The kids need a place to try it out where the animals match their skill level,” said Ty as he explained how each kid is split into the A, B and C pools according to their size and experience. This is a great way to ensure that the kids will be able to ride an animal that suits their ability. The formula seems to be working and with more than 20 steer riders each weekend, the talent pool seems to be growing at the Small Spurs.


The steer riders treated their fans and sponsors to a special performance this past Friday and I was lucky enough to be a part of it, helping organize the event for the evening. Some of the stars of the sport were on hand to help out the riders such as former Canadian Champions Matt Lait and Wes Cyr. Stampede’s own rodeo announcer Dave Poulsen called the show alongside Mike Labelle and music director Ted Stovin. Multiple-time Rodeo Entertainer of the Year, Dennis Halstead, kept everyone laughing.

Coupled with great music, some fire in the dirt and a massive replay screen, the Small Spurs Rodeo was much like watching a miniature version of the PBR bull ridings and the kids rose to the occasion, riding over half of their animals and Cranbrook cowboy Lonnie Phillips came up with high score of 86 points. There were some very excited little cowboys walking away with some great hardware and some big plans of where their talents will take them next. Hopefully most are considering this summer’s Stampede Rodeo as one of their tour stops.

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Saturday’s events brought more great action from the timed event competitors and many more great moments as the rest of the 100 prizes were doled out to the event champions in many age categories. Dennis Halstead was still on hand and said that he is very fortunate to be a part of such a great event and a great organization. All of the personnel and helping hands are volunteers and they truly do a fantastic job creating a rodeo that would impress even the most seasoned of fans. The rodeo industry is alive and well in Claresholm and with the continued support of organizations like the Calgary Stampede we can rest easy knowing that rodeo will have stars well into the future. If you ever get a chance be sure to slip down to Claresholm and cheer on the big hearts that wear the “small spurs.”

History moment: Calgary Stampede remembers some of our greatest female contributors for International Women’s Day

To celebrate the centennial of Alberta women achieving the right to vote and International Women’s Day on March 8, let’s take a look at some of the pioneering women of western performances and rodeo who competed at the first Calgary Stampede. Continue reading

Labor Day Classic for Stampede Horses in Ellensburg

It may have been the Labor Day long weekend, but for the Calgary Stampede’s stock and crew it was business as usual out on the rodeo trail. The first stop of the weekend was the Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede. I joined Barry McGrath, Catherine Laycraft, Tyler Kraft and the rest of our Calgary Stampede help to produce one of the top rodeos in Canada. The crowds were outstanding for each of the five nightly performances of rodeo, and the Calgary Stampede’s stock gave them a lot to cheer about.

This year’s Calgary Stampede Champion Bareback Rider, Clint Laye, matched up with a young horse named Wanaka Rocket for an 87.25 score and the win in the bareback riding. This win helps secure Clint’s chances at qualifying for his first National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

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Cowboy Poetry Week: 100 Years from Now

In honour of Cowboy Poetry Week, Sunday, April 19 to Saturday, April 25, we are featuring poems by Doris Daley! Today’s poem is called “100 Years From Now.”

Born and raised in Southern Alberta ranch country, Doris Daley writes cowboy poetry that celebrates the humour, history and way of life of the west. Doris has been an emcee and featured performer at every cowboy festival in Canada as well as several in the United States, including Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Oregon. In 2004 she was named Best Female Cowboy Poet in North America by the Academy of Western Artists. At the November, 2009 WMA Awards Show, Doris won top honours for Best Female Cowboy Poet and best cowboy poetry CD.

Stampede Park art: "100 Years of Champions," to honour the champions of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and chuckwagon races.

Stampede Park art: “100 Years of Champions,” to honour the champions of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and chuckwagon races.

100 Years from Now

100 years from now, if the world’s still in the game, May the earth recall our footprints, may the wind sing out our names.
May someone turn a page and hearken back upon this time, May someone sing a cowboy tune and someone spin a rhyme.

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Aggie Days Action

Over the past five months your Royal Trio (with an unbelievable amount of support and guidance from our equine sub-committee) has been working hard to get our royal steeds in tip-top shape.  We’ve been out at Heathercrest Ranch numerous times a week to exercise and to really get to know our “Princes” before we begin a summer full of rodeos and parades, including Stampede!

All of our hard work was put to the test not too long ago at Aggie Days, which is a five day agricultural fair for kids at Stampede Park.  Princesses Shannon and Stephanie and I participated in the beginning of the rodeo for the grand entry,  then returned after taking care of our horses to enjoy the remainder of the show and sign some postcards.

(l-r) Princess Stephanie and Snoopy, Hawk and myself, and Princess Shannon and Kansas

(l-r) Princess Stephanie and Snoopy, Hawk and myself, and Princess Shannon and Kansas

Even though I’ve been on horses my whole life and often feel more comfortable on them than on my own two feet, it was quite nerve-racking waiting behind the chutes to enter the arena.  I had been waiting for that moment since the day of the crowning back in September: my first grand entry.  I can’t really recall my name being announced, but I didn’t have to worry about missing my cue; the second the gate in front of us opened, my trusty steed Hawk was off like a shot.

[Video] Caption: Hawk and I; and one of our first grand entries!

Due to all my worrying and nerves beforehand I forgot one simple fact: while I was very new to this whole grand entry thing, my horse was an old pro.  After we galloped around the arena and made our way to our position for the national anthem (in front of 3000 screaming and cheering kids!) I had a little time to think and relax.  I realized that the past few months of riding practice (and likely the numerous horse cookies gifted to him by me) had created a bond between Hawk and I, and I knew that if I ever had a little panic attack again, my horse would take care of me.


                                   Hawk and I post grand entry


Aggie Days has been one of my (many) highlights for this year, and the mini celebration of farm life, in addition to our first grand entry, has gotten me so excited for Stampede.  I can’t believe it’s only two months and twelve days away… not that I’m counting or anything.


New rodeo chutes offer added safety features

It may be the 101st year for the Calgary Stampede, but it is the first year for the newly installed rodeo chutes that take centre stage at the Infield. Built to last, these chutes have already survived floodwaters and will be up and running for Stampede.

Incorporating the latest technology and features, the new steel system for rodeo pens and chutes is specially-designed to anticipate and head off any potential snags or opportunities for risk to both riders and livestock. The new system was suggested to the Stampede by independent livestock handling specialist Jennifer Woods.

The new gates feature higher bars with less spacing between them, which minimizes the chance of a rearing bull or horse catching its hooves between the bars. In addition, the new safety spring-loaded latches are much easier to open if a bull or horse leans into the gate. Rubber safety pads absorb an excited animal’s kick. New grooved cement flooring packed down with infill give bulls and horses secure footing in the chutes. The steel panels all match from the animals’ pens, into the chutes, the arena and back again, which means the animal will not be spooked by seeing anything new or unexpected. Jennifer tells us the entire system is designed to keep the animal calm and feeling secure.

The new system replaces 30-year-old steel that remained very safe and functional, and experts say it was already extremely rare to see any problems. Even so, updating the new chutes aligns with the Stampede’s goal of doing everything possible to eliminate any foreseeable risks to animal and human health.

Canadian Tie Down Roper, Steve Lloyd, Has Eyes on the Prize

With over $2 million up for grabs, the Calgary Stampede offers the largest purse in outdoor rodeo. Cowboys come to Calgary from all over to show off their skills and compete for a chance to win the coveted Calgary Stampede Championship and $100,000.
This year, Steve Lloyd, of Alix, Alberta, will be one of 3 Canadian cowboys competing in the tie down roping competition.  The other 17 competitors are from the United States, mainly Texas.

In the rodeo world, tie down roping is considered the most technical event, where competitors must have a delicate balance of timing, hand-eye coordination and a special partnership with their horse.

We have no doubt Steve will make Alberta proud!  He has an impressive track record including 8 Times Qualifier to the Canadian Finals Rodeo, 2003 Canadian Champion Tie Down Roper, 2003 – 2005 Aggregate Champion at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, 2008 – 2009 Alberta Tie Down Roping Champion, 2009 Tie Down Roping Season Leader, and 2010 Calgary Stampede Final 4 Contestant in the $100,000 round.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask Steve a few questions with the help of his lovely wife, Deana Lloyd. Deana is involved in rodeo as well, as a barrel racer, but is not currently competing due to injuries she sustained in a severe car accident 3 years ago.

1)  How old were you when you started roping?

Six years old.

2)  How did you get involved?

At our family ranch.

3)  What is your favorite Stampede memory?

Qualifying for the final 4 in the $100,000 round in 2010.

4)  What Stampede experience or event are you looking forward to the most this year?

Tie down roping!

5)  What’s your best advice for a fun Stampede?

Bring the family and enjoy all the Stampede has to offer.

If you love rodeo, you better get your tickets quick cause they’re going fast! Tickets purchased in advance include admission to Stampede Park.


10 Questions With…Matt Lait, bareback rider.

Matt Lait and I at the rodeo office this morning.

My “Promise” for this year’s Stampede was to meet a real cowboy. I had the incredible opportunity to meet Matt Lait, a bareback rider and genuine, bonafide cowboy!! Matt is a five-time Canadian Finals Rodeo qualifier. In 2004, Matt was the reserve Calgary Stampede Champion, winning $25,000 for his efforts, at the age of 21!

Before we get started on his interview, here is a brief lowdown on what Matt’s passion is- Bareback.  It is one of the most physically demanding rodeo events. Using one arm, the cowboy holds onto the rawhide handhold of a riggin (a leather pad cinched around the horse’s girth). The handhold is snug-fitting and is customized to the individual’s grip. The stress on the rider’s arm is intense as the riding arm absorbs most of the horse’s power.
A bareback rider will be disqualified for touching the animal or equipment with his free hand, or bucking off before the end of the eight-second ride.
The bareback rider tries to reach as far forward as he can with his feet, then rolls his spurs back up toward the riggin. At the same time, he must keep from being pulled away from the handhold. The higher and wilder the rider spurs, the higher the marks. Sounds pretty crazy, right? Let’s read on and see what I learned from my chat with Matt this morning.

1. When did you start rodeo?

I was about 12 or 14 when I first got into it.  It was a slow entrance into rodeo…some kids are born into it but it was my best friend that got me into it.

2. What was your first big moment in rodeo?

I would have to say winning the $25, 000 right here at the Calgary Stampede in 2004 was my finest moment (so far!). That is a lot of money to win at the age of 21.

3. What did you do with your earnings?

Paid my truck off and went to school at SAIT for Petroleum Engineering Tech.

4. Where is the farthest rodeo you have travelled to?

Arcadia Florida is the farthest. That’s a lot of miles to put on!

5. Have you had any injuries that have hindered your progress in rodeo?

Unfortunately, yes. My biggest injury was a broken leg in 2004 that put me out for a year and half. Six weeks ago I broke my wrist so that has been really challenging. It’s difficult, lots of adjusting. When you’re healthy you let it hang out but when you’re hurt you have to change your technique to be in the least amount of pain.

6. Are you friends with your competitors?

Yes, it’s a pretty tight circle. Rodeo is like one large family. I am really lucky that my Mom and Dad are my biggest fans, along with my wife Allie. They try to travel with me as much as possible.

7. Do you have your sights set on winning big this year?

I had some big goals but being out for 6 weeks is going to maybe hinder them. But you can’t let them get out of sight… I’m still trying to accomplish them. I want to be Canadian Champion and make it to NFR (National Finals Rodeo) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

8. How do you get to NFR?

You have to ride a lot. Money won is points. It usually is about $68, 000 to qualify.

9. What is the hardest part of rodeo?

Being away from home, and staying healthy. Travelling definitely takes its toll.

10. I have been asking everyone I interview about his or her “Promise” for this year’s Stampede. I was surprised to learn you were actually IN one of the television commercials!

Yeah, I was in the Goth ad (to Promise Plaid is the new Black). For me, I promised my wife I’d win some money.

Matt, thank you so much for meeting me at the Rodeo Office today. I know how busy you are during Stampede- you are an amazing Cowboy and wish you all the best for the rest of this year’s rodeo as well as hope you make it to the NFR. I’ll be watching for you in the ‘big show’ on Sunday!

There are still lots of great seats available for the rodeo over the last few days of Stampede so come on down and cheer on Matt as he sets his sights on winning some big prize money. For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede , on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.