Cowgirl in Cowtown – my first rodeo experience at Calgary Stampede

After a quick downtown tour, we headed towards the Stampede Park for the most exciting big show! The Stampede Park is conveniently located outside the Victoria/Stampede Park station. It’s hard to miss the stop as the CTrain station has a huge Calgary Stampede sign over the pedestrian bridge. Also, this was where most people got off. Just follow the crowd~

Victoria Park / Stampede 站

Victoria Park / Stampede station

Victoria Park / Stampede 站

Victoria Park / Stampede station

Throughout the stampede week, the park opened at 11 am on most of the days. We arrived shortly after 11 and the entrance was already flooded with people! Good news was there were multiple ticket windows so the line moved quickly. Entrance ticket costed CDN$16 for adults and CDN$8 for children and seniors.

Stampede Park

Stampede Park

As soon as we bought our entrance tickets, we headed directly towards the Grandstand to buy standing tickets for the rodeo, which started at 1:15 pm daily. The standing tickets were the cheapest, costed CDN$14 for adults and CDN$7  for children, while reserved tickets costed at least CDN$20.

牛仔表演站票

Standing tickets for the rodeo

Before the show started, we wandered around the midway to grab some snacks. You could find all sorts of interesting (and unhealthy) carnival food here. Any food you could think of, you could find their deep-fried version here. For example, deep-fried jalapeno, deep-fried pickle, deep-fried cheesecake, deep-fried candied strawberries, deep-fried oreo, and deep-fried sushi!

油炸小吃攤

deep-fried snacks vendor

炸醃黃瓜

deep-fried pickle

炸墨西哥辣椒

deep-fried jalapeno

deep-fried veggies

deep-fried veggies

炸 oreo

deep-fried oreo

Of course, you could also find more normal food here, such as Japanese-style mac and cheese, pizza on a stick, and burger.

日式起司通心麵

Japanese style mac and cheese

棒子披薩小吃攤

pizza on a stick vendor

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

The most unique (and scariest) food they had was the scorpion pizza. Oh my!! I don’t even dare thinking about it, let alone eating it.

Besides food, you could also find rides and games on the midway. Here, you could challenge your skills and win prizes.

遊戲攤販

Midway games

Fun rides for kids:

IMAG2225 IMAG2224 IMAG2222 IMAG0053

Scary thrill rides for adults:

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

It was about time for the rodeo! At the entrance, we spotted the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and quickly snapped a photo with them.

IMAG2213

IMAG2215

The stadium is huge and can hold more than more than 20,000 people. Since we bought the standing room tickets, our allotted space was right in front of the stage. We could see the events closely, but with an obstructed view. Most of the time, we needed to look at the big screen in order to see clearly.

牛仔表演現場 Photo Credit: Bill Marsh / Calgary Stampede

Stampede Grandstand
Photo Credit: Bill Marsh / Calgary Stampede

The show began with the RCMP Musical Ride, a 30-minute equestrian performance brought by the Mounties in red serge, riding on the sleek black horses.

加拿大皇家騎警表演 Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

RCMP musical ride
Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

This was our first time watching the rodeo. We didn’t realize that it actually consisted of 6 different events! Below are short descriptions for each event.

Saddle bronc and bareback riding

In saddle bronc riding, the rider tries to stay on the horse, which attempts to buck him off, for at least 8 seconds. The horse is equipped with a saddle, stirrups, and a rein that is held by the rider with one hand only. The rider will then receive a score that reflects his skills and technique as well as the horse’s bucking ability.

馬鞍騎乘 Photo Credit: Chris Bolin / Calgary Stampede

Saddle bronc
Photo Credit: Chris Bolin / Calgary Stampede

Whereas in bareback riding, the horse is not equipped with a saddle.

Photo Credit: Chris Bolin / Calgary Stampede

Bareback riding
Photo Credit: Chris Bolin / Calgary Stampede

 Tie-down roping

It is also called calf roping, where the rider, mounted on a horse, tries to catch the calf with a rope and tie its three legs together in the shortest time possible.

套小牛 Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood / Calgary Stampede

Tie down roping
Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood / Calgary Stampede

Steer wresting

In this event, the rider, mounted on a horse, chases the steer, grabs its left horn and tosses it onto the side. This is a slightly more cruel event. We witnessed two steers getting injuried 😥

博牛  Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood / Calgary Stampede

Steer wrestling
Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood / Calgary Stampede

Ladies barrel racing

Finally, the ladies can also show off their skills! In this event, the rider and the horse tries to circle 3 barrels in a cloverleaf pattern as quickly as possible.

女子繞木桶比賽 Photo Credit: Bill Marsh / Calgary Stampede

Ladies barrel racing
Photo Credit: Bill Marsh / Calgary Stampede

Bull riding 

The highlight is of course the bull riding! It is definitely the most dangerous event of all. The rider tries to stay mounted on a bull for 8 seconds, with one hand holding onto the long braided rope, while the bull attempts to buck him off. As soon as the rider fall from the bull, the rodeo clown will distract the bull to protect the rider from being attacked. So brave and fearless!

騎牛 Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood / Calgary Stampede

Bull riding
Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood / Calgary Stampede

We had so much fun watching the rodeo. Quite an unforgettable, unique experience!

Other activities and entertainments at the Stampede Park can be found on my next post. Click here to read on~

About Calgary Stampede
Calgary Stampede Official Website: http://www.calgarystampede.com/
 
Note: This post is submitted as part of the #WeekendWanderlust link-up. Big thanks to A Brit and A Southerner and other co-hosts for organizing this event! To read more travel articles for this week, simply click on the image below or search #WeekendWanderlust on social media. Have a great day 🙂
 
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4 thoughts on “Cowgirl in Cowtown – my first rodeo experience at Calgary Stampede

  1. Pingback: Cowgirl in Cowtown- ending Calgary Stampede with Rangeland Derby and Grandstand Show | For Two, Please

  2. Pingback: Munching My Way Through Global Cuisine (Taste of Calgary) | For Two, Please

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