Medicine Hat, AB – July 29-30
Strathmore, AB – July 29-August 2
Abbotsford, BC – July 30-August 1
Bruce, AB – August 1
High Prairie, AB – August 3-4
Irricana, AB – August 7
Grimshaw, AB – August 7-8
La Crete, AB – August 9-10
Dawson Creek, BC – August 13-15
AIRDRIE, AB – The rodeo committee in Strathmore, Alta. has been diligently working on the grounds in preparation for the five-day Strathmore Heritage Days Stampede, which kicks off July 29.
“We started in the spring with the tune up of the infield and the race track, and from there we moved into the final stages, which we’re doing now,” reveals Pascal Del Guercio, chair for the rodeo and chuckwagons.
Del Guercio, who has been on the Strathmore Rodeo Committee for more than 35 years, says careful attention is paid to ensuring the ground is just the right depth.
“We start right from the bucking chutes for the stock, making sure they’ve got some good proper footing, while making sure we’ve got enough material if a cowboy lands hard on the ground he’s got a little cushioning and not just firm ground.”
They also take pride in offering the barrel racers the best surface to run on that they possibly can.
“We had (veteran barrel racer) Deb Renger here the other day and we marked all the barrels and prepped all of that and also made sure that the runway for the barrel racers is perfect and the ground around the barrels is being worked every day just to make sure it’s the depth that they want.”
Another hard-working committee has been working hard, getting for a weekend of rodeo. The Medicine Hat Stampede is set to go on July 29 as well for three days of “high caliber” competition.
Rodeo chairman Brian Palichuk says, “there are some new acts on the midway, the night show line-up is outstanding, and the rodeo entries are good. We’ve got lots of World champions,” he smiles, “It’s all good, really.”
The city of Medicine Hat and surrounding areas suffered at the hands of Mother Nature in early June, and have been rebuilding ever since. According to Palichuk, the rodeo is coming at a good time.
“It is,” he confirms. “I think everybody is looking forward to it. And we’ve come through such a long haying season, too, that I think everybody is ready for a three day break.”
He chuckles, “I know I am, and I know there are a lot of people in the same spot as me.”
One province over, in the city of Abbotsford, the Mighty Fraser Pro Rodeo gets underway on July 30.
“It’s the best bang for your buck anywhere,” says Don Curtis, from the Abbotsford Agrifair board of directors. “We charge $10 admission, and that gets you into the fair, and the rodeo is part of the admission. You can’t go to a movie for what we charge for all of it. And, of course, we’ve got Bruce Sunstrom back with Big Stone Rodeo. He’s got amazing stock. It’s a good little rodeo and we hope we put on a good enough rodeo for everyone coming out.”
Curtis himself is “really looking forward to (saddle bronc rider) Kaila Mussell. She’s such a huge draw out here. She’s riding on Sunday night and being that she’s from Chilliwack, which is only about 30 km from here, it gets the crowd going. Hometown girl. I’m also looking forward to the debut of our new rodeo clown, and just all in all having a great show!”
Please visit rodeocanada.com for more rodeo results and standings.