Despite intermittent rain, the Calgary Stampede took place as scheduled from July 3 through July 12. From the time the gates at Stampede Park opened until 10 days later, 1,168,509 spectators visited exhibits, attended shows, enjoyed the carnival-like midway and cheered every afternoon for each cowboy and cowgirl who competed in the richest rodeo on the planet.
Prize money totaled more than $2 million. Professional Western athletes from Canada and the United States thrilled crowds while vying for top ranking in six main events.
The Winner’s Circle
The Stampede in Calgary, Canada started off with a celebratory parade that boasted marching bands, more than 100 elaborately decorated floats and hundreds of horses and riders. Each afternoon at 1:30 P.M., male and female contestants entered the rodeo arena and fearlessly put their steeds through their paces.
After each event, the top cowboy or cowgirl advanced to the next round of competition. By Sunday, the winners were announced and each walked away with a check for $100,000. Athletes deemed champions for the 2015 Calgary Stampede included:
- Bull Riding-Sage Kimzey from Strong City, Oklahoma
- Saddle Bronc Riding-Zeke Thurston representing Big Valley, Alberta
- Bareback Riding-Clint Laye hailing from Cadogan, Alberta
- Tie Down Roping-Timber Moore from Aubrey, Texas
- Steer Wrestling-Trevor Knowles represented Mt. Vernon, Oregon
- Barrel Racing-Lisa Lockhart from Oelrichs, South Dakota
This year’s Canada Stampede was sponsored by the Ak-Chin Indian Community and the Earnhardt Auto Road Team. The Cowboy Lifestyle Network provided the dates, details and times of the celebration. They additionally feature information about numerous Western events throughout the year.
History of the Calgary Stampede
In 1912, traveling Western performer Guy Weadick ventured to Calgary and offered to host a six-day presentation he called the “Frontier Day Celebration and Championship. The idea appealed to four wealthy local ranchers who agreed to support the endeavor.
The rodeo included bronc riding and roping cowboy competitions along with saddle bronc and trick riding cowgirl contests. The show was a success and Weadick sought to make the event an annual festivity. However, the Great Depression materialized. The fallen economy and recovery took priority over celebrations.
Nevertheless, six years later, the ranchers contacted Weadick and invited him to coordinate efforts to present the Victory Stampede, which was organized as a celebration after the end of the First World War.
In July of 1923, the Stampede merged with the Calgary Exhibition. The event introduced the now popular chuckwagon pancake breakfast. The Western celebration became an annual festival and soon attendance exceeded 200,000. The city continued hosting the rodeo that commemorated historic Old West traditions.
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