No Rodeo like This One

I was one of the first round contestants for the title of Calgary Stampede Queen in 1971. There used to be a photo of us all displayed in the Calgary Stampede alumni building, but that has been gone for some years now.

I have only missed the Calgary Stampede twice since 1971, and many times I am recognized by vendors because I am one of the regulars.

I grew up on a farm riding horseback, so the Stampede’s atmosphere, agriculture, and horse events draw me there like a magnet. For me, the Calgary Stampede has always been the best time. I have attended many rodeos over the years, but there is no rodeo like this one.

The Grandstand shows are amazing and even after all these years, the Chuckwagon races still thrill.

When you are a regular visitor of the Stampede, you becomes familiar with the names of families who compete. It's hard to pick a favorite to cheer for because you feel like you know them personally. On the nights my sister and I aren't there we watch the races on television. We keep track of the results for the Chuckwagon races more faithfully than hockey results. My brother was an outrider for the chucks many years ago and I still think of him when I watch these talented riders. He passed away a long time ago but I think he's still riding fast somewhere.  Everything about the Calgary Stampede is fabulous. Although I live in BC now, I feel such pride in this event. Everybody that knows me takes for granted, that come July I'll be headed back to Calgary for the Stampede and this year, 2012, will be no different. Next to Christmas, it is my favorite time of the year.

Congratulations on 100 exceptional years of entertainment!!


Valerie Hutchinson (formerly Valerie Finch)