Stettler Stampede this weekend raises spirits

  • Aug. 12, 2009 7:00 a.m.

Richard Froese

Independent reporter

Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede has finally arrived for this weekend – Aug 14 to 16 – with great excitement swirling around the community as the popular event returns after an absence of about 10 years.

Stettler Exhibition Grounds will be rocking with saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling and ladies’ barrel racing in the rodeo sanctioned by the Canadian Cowboys’ Association (CCA) and the Chinook Rodeo Association.

“We’ve got 50 local entries which is fantastic and over 300 contestants,” said Ted Nibourg who co-chairs the organizing committee of the event hosted by Stettler Board of Trade and Stettler Agricultural Society.

“It’s certain to be a thrilling and entertaining weekend,” said co-chair Jerry Sinclair.

“Many of the semi-professionals will become the pros of tomorrow.”

Stettler Stampede is turning out to the biggest on the circuit this year.

“This could be the highest-paying rodeo in the CCA circuit,” said Nibourg.

Festivities with entertainment and food will kick of the weekend Friday night at 5 p.m.

Each show will surely be action-packed for a tight line-up of three hours with shows set for Friday night and Saturday night at 6 p.m. with the final show Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Other major events include a huge parade Saturday at 3 p.m., a dance Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and a cowboy church service Sunday at 11 a.m.

“We have over 60 entries and dignitaries for the parade,” said Nibourg.

Summer student Whitney VanLanduyt has worked hard to coordinate the parade, that will start at the fair grounds, the parade will proceed north on Main Street, west on 50 Avenue and out past the hospital and seniors’ lodges.

For more parade information, phone Norma Rairdan at 403-742-4076.

The last rodeo was held about 10 years ago, Nibourg said, a rodeo was popular when the board of trade conducted a survey last to gauge what major community event residents wanted in Stettler.

“People just want to have this outdoor rodeo ambiance this is so intriguing,” said Nibourg.

Support from the community businesses and volunteers has been tremendous, said Nibourg.

“It’s this strong support that will contribute to a very successful rodeo this year.”

After years of rodeos hosted by Stettler and District Agricultural Society, the event was cancelled because of a lack of volunteers and community support.

Based in Saskatchewan and founded in 1963, the CCA is the largest semi-professional rodeo association in Canada.

The CCA has been a major stepping stone for the careers of many professional Canadian Finals Rodeo and National Finals Rodeo champions and contestants.

Rodeo is always an exciting action-packed sport to watch and is annually enjoyed by over 1.3 million fans across Canada each year.

For more information, contact Nibourg by phone 403-742-7566 (day) or Jerry Sinclair at 403-742-5321 or the board of trade at (403) 742-3181.