The Calgary Stampede (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

Once again the dust has settled on the Calgary Stampede and it’s still the best event we attend all year. This is my favorite time and rodeo of the entire year and our family makes a vacation out of it. Every day is sold out and the stands are full of enthusiastic and supportive fans. The Calgary Stampede was born in 1912 by Guy Weadick, who had a dream of having the best rodeo in the world.

Each year the rodeo committee votes for a contestant to receive the Guy Weadick Memorial award. This year I was chosen to receive this award, which is a two-foot bronze statue. Winning rodeos is something I work for and those wins come and go – but an honor like this is very humbling and stays with you. Mr. Weadick not only wanted to have the best rodeo and show in the world – but also wanted to know he left this world a better place and made a positive difference.

That philosophy is dear to my own heart and made this award very special. To make a difference in this world and to the people you come in contact with begins with those small, every day decisions we all make on a daily basis. It’s an accumulation of those small, common moments that define our lives and us.

Fred Whitfield won the calf roping. My new mare and I roped the fastest calf of the rodeo and won a round. Calgary is set up much like the NFR and I haven’t had much time to ride her in this type of scenario. I’ve owned her for two months and still haven’t run a practice calf on her. She just keeps getting better and by the time it’s over she may be the best horse I’ve ever had.

Speaking of dreams and making a difference, Allen Bach has come up with the idea for a Mentorship Roping Camp. This will be a thirty-day camp for young men between the ages of 18 and 22 who want to take their roping to the next level. We will be accepting applications for twelve team ropers, six headers and six heelers; and up to twelve calf ropers.

Allen and I will be teaching simultaneously in adjacent arenas and will conduct several half-hour Bible study sessions each day. This will be an invaluable experience for young ropers who want to be professional cowboys and athletes. Through the week other professionals, like us, will stop by to speak and get to know the students. If this is something that you or someone you know might be interested in, feel free to get in touch with me.