July 3rd marks the beginning of the Calgary Stampede. More than 1.6 million people are expected to attend the upcoming Calgary Stampede Rodeo, which takes place at Stampede Park in Canada.
With more than $2 million of prize money at stake, the Canada Stampede represents the richest Western event on the planet.
Every afternoon at 1:30 P.M. western athletes compete in a number of events that include:
The 2014 Calgary Stampede rodeo committee at Bow River
- Bareback riding
- Barrel racing
- Bull riding
- Saddle bronc riding
- Steer Wrestling
- Tie-down roping
- Chuckwagon racing
The Calgary Stampede rodeo participants are divided into two pools of competitors. The top four cowboy and cowgirl money winners in each group go on to compete in Showdown Sunday.
The remaining six athletes in each group compete to ride in the Wild Card Saturday event. The top two in winners on Saturday then have the chance to compete in Showdown Sunday.
At the end of Sunday night’s events, the cowboy or cowgirl amassing the most points walks away with $100,000 and the title of Calgary Stampede Champion.
History of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo
Once a traveling vaudeville and Western performer, Guy Weadick came to Calgary, Canada in 1912 with a proposal for hosting a six-day event entitled the “Frontier Day Celebration and Championship.” Four affluent ranchers liked the idea and offered their support.
The first rodeo featured bronc riding and roping cowboy events along with saddle bronc riding and trick riding cowgirl competitions. Though desiring to make the spectacle an annual event, the Great Depression overshadowed Weadick’s plans.
However, in 1919, the ranchers contacted the performer and invited him back to Calgary to help them host a Victory Stampede to commemorate the end of WWI. By 1923, the Calgary Stampede combined efforts with the Exhibition and became an annual July event.
In addition to the professional competitions, novice athletes of all ages are welcome to participate in specially scheduled bareback, saddle bronc and junior steer riding events.
There will also be a wild pony race and the presentation of an RCMP Musical Ride. Along with the daily afternoon rodeo events, the location plays host to nightly concerts, chuckwagon races, and a carnival midway.
Nightly entertaining shows include a wide variety of options that include celebrity performers, kiddie tractor pulls, magic shows, daredevil motorcycle acts and draught horse demonstrations.
Arts, crafts and food vendors will be on hand along with a number of exhibits. Displays include a variety of agriculture based topics from live animal exhibits to animal husbandry demonstrations. The excitement, fun, and festivities begin on Thursday with an opening parade and a Heavy Horse Show.
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