Calgary Stampede – part 3 guest post by Cathy R
I wanted to sample as many Western / Cowboy events as possible, but we were both wilting in the heat. We found two events, both indoors in the relative cool, which were great fun. One was team cattle penning, and the second was Cowboy-Up racing.
The team cattle penning required teams of three riders to single out three cattle all of the same number from the herd and direct them into the pen in the shortest possible time. The announcer doesn’t tell the riders which animals (ie which number) they have to separate out until they are already galloping towards the group.
The speed and agility of horses and riders were thrilling, and had the audience cheering and clapping when the three target animals were successfully penned. Often, though, a wily steer either snuck back into the herd it had been got out of, or one with the wrong number got past the riders and disqualified the team!
Cowboy-up could be described, I guess, as a combination of a Western version of show jumping and an obstacle course. The course comprises a variety of fun and complex obstacles and challenges for horse and rider to negotiate as fast as possible, whilst accruing the minimum number of penalties. It was a huge amount of fun to watch. The horses and riders had to make sudden transitions from flat out galloping to calmness and control, from rapid turns and stops to dainty tests of surefootedness, and cope with all sorts of stuff I never knew horses were bothered by.
So, two days of the Calgary Stampede – and they were everything I’d hoped for, and more. This holiday revisited several places we’d been to on our honeymoon 18 years ago (although the Stampede was new), and it was just wonderful from start to finish.
Now, back to those hundreds of photos …. got to get that photobook finished soon!
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