For the first time in over 10 years hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls will flock to Stettler this weekend for a rodeo, including over 50 locals including a handful of cowboys who compete on the professionals circuit.
The Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede is a co-sanctioned event with the Canadian Cowboys Association and the Chinook Rodeo Association.
The Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede allows some professional cowboys and cowgirls to compete.
This decision allows many local big names the opportunity to perform in front of a home crowd, something that has not been done in a long time.
Many semi-professional rodeos do not allow any professional competitors.
The stampede includes events such as steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc, bare back, tie down roping, ladies barrel racing as well as kids wild pony racing and performances by Ladies of the Heartland.
The rodeo kicks off Friday night with many local professionals competing for the top prize.
In steer wrestling there are three locals including Donalda’s Cody Cassidy and Curtis Cassidy as well as Big Valley’s Jeremy Harden.
In team roping that same evening Stettler’s Matt Fawcett and partner DJ Woodward, Stettler’s Jimmy Cooper and partner Shane Adarson and Stettler’s Steve Thiessen and his partner Big Valley’s Wayne Skocdopole will also compete for the top spot.
Harden will also compete in the saddle bronc event on Friday evening.
Skocdopole, Thiessen, Curtis Cassidy, as well as Erskine’s Mark Neitz and Guy Neitz will compete in the tie down roping.
Donalda’s Shannon Leguerrier and Stettler’s Melissa Thiessen will represent the area in the ladies barrel racing.
Saturday sees the likes of many more locals competing including: Dace Harper in steer wrestling, Alyssa Gelech, K.R. Robinson and Joanne Poole in barrel racing and J.T. Robinson in tie down roping.
Locals competing in team roping on Saturday include Matt Friars and J.T. Robinson, Cody Anderson and Ricky Anderson and Kyle Smith and Dace Harper while Garrett Dunn competes in bare back.
Sunday will see Dawn Gertner and Wade Meston as well as Monty Gertner and Jenner Meston competing in the team roping, Ron Boston and Levi Harden in saddle bronc, Troy Robinson in bull riding and Justin Aspden and Cody Cox in bare back.
Dawn Gertner, Dian Skocdopole, Jamie Bala and Crystal Wilkinson round out the locals in the ladies barrel racing on Sunday afternoon.
There are also many local names included in the Saturday slack performances which begin at 9 a.m.
Accompanying the stampede performances is a dance, beer gardens, parade and other local events.
The return of the Stampede allows locals to come out and support not only our local cowboys and cowgirls but all of those who make an effort to do their best during the rodeo.
A reminder to anyone wanting to take in a performance or two at the stampede that all seating is rush seating and tickets are $10 a person.
There is free on-site camping available and designated parking for seniors on the grounds.