The Dogpound Stampede 2016 – A Historic & legendary Rodeo!
The charm of the Old West was alive and well at this year’s annual Dogpound Stampede.
This 111 year old event was started back in 1905, when summer picnics were a community affair and a small “stampede” was an important part of a get-together.
Dog Pound Stampede proudly boasts the fact that it is Alberta’s oldest ranch rodeo; even older than the world famous Calgary Stampede. It is held annually on the third Wednesday in July at the Dog Pound Rodeo grounds.
At this legendary event there is no such thing as a bad seat! At this stampede you are sure to be immersed in the full experience! You can expect everything from dusting the dirt off your jeans after a horse gallops by, to occasionally needing to wipe the airborne bull snot off your arm.
As I watched the day’s events unfold, I was captivated by the lifestyle these cowboys and their families are trying to hold onto. It was like seeing the lyrics of a country song come to life in front of me. Phrases like “it’s a pride passed down …” and “we work hard and live right” kept bouncing around in my head as I listened to the good-natured jokes between Wes Cummings, the rodeo announcer and funny man Dennis Halstead.
There is a standard that rodeo promotes; an unwritten code of ethics that is so fundamental to Alberta’s ranching and farming communities. This code of ethics is based on respect, responsibility and determination.
There are elements of spirited-individualism, a respect for nature, animals and wide open spaces, a willingness to help your neighbours and sense of brotherhood behind the chutes, in which cowboys help each another do their very best in the arena.
A few times spectators were riveted to their seats as they watched the next hazardous spill unfold. Not even a monster piece of homemade pie from the ladies in the community could pull the crowd away, as we watched three contestants being packed off the in-field by stretcher.
Many people ask why they do it? Why put yourself on the back of an 1800 lbs animal just to test your skills and luck for the day?
Rodeo is not for the faint of heart! It’s been call the toughest sport on the planet, requiring strength, nerve and endurance. Rodeo is one of the only professional sports based on the historic lifestyle of ranching and the daily work of our early pioneers.
In this certain way of life, there is a strong belief in passing down traditions; everything from family recipes to learning how to get back up after getting knocked down.
It was an incredible experience to be part of crowd cheering on the cowboys & cowgirls, as they displayed outstanding horsemanship, limitless skill and unwavering bravery as they raced, roped, tied and wrestled their way into the history books.
Congratulations to all the FCA Competitors for putting on such an amazing show! We can’t wait to see you again next year.