Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Canadian Wild West, Part II

Half way through my post Calgary Stampede post, I realized that it was too long to make into a single post. If you did make it through the entire post, I commend you! It was long, even for me. Today, I finish up...

On day 4, we have the main attraction of the Stampede, the rodeo. This is an incredible show of athleticism of both man and beast. It's also amazing to see the cowboys jump on a bull or horse and just aim to sit on it for 8 seconds. The longest 8 seconds ever! I did pick up a few tricks about what to watch for when they're bucking those broncos or bulls! Not that I hope to ever have to use it... but first, lunch:

Jalapeno mini donut poutine (you read that right!)

ADW is a (Chicago style) hot dog connoisseur!
The rodeo takes place in the Grandstand--the same place as the chuckwagon races. They just corner a smaller section of it and it becomes a closed off arena of sorts. It is in the sun though, so we start out afternoon under the hot sun but are lucky that the sun is moving a shadow over us. The rodeo is amazing to watch. Our seats weren't too bad as we were on the second level. We watched the saddle bronc, bareback, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. There was a kids event of riding the wild pony. I tell you, you'll die because it's so freggin' cute.

ADW even sat next to a real cowboy who was there to watch his grandson compete in the novice levels. He competed in his younger days for some roping type events and I think ADW had a really enjoyable time chatting with him. The rodeo clowns... those guys are hilarious. The commentator clown was just killing the audience with his sense of humour and antics. He was highly entertaining while twerking (yes, that's right) and dancing up a storm between competitors.

I could not say I was the least bit disappointed with the rodeo. It was exactly as I expected it to be! Unfortunately, I didn't bring my zoom lens so I didn't get any photos but you'd get the same impression when I went to the rodeo at the Royal in 2013.


To finish our trip, we made our way to Spruce Meadows. T was actually there (from the stable!) and she told ADW that earlier in the week, she was watch some serious eventing. I love Spruce Meadows because there's no admissions to get on the grounds and the grounds are just amazing. Every lawn and garden is manicured to perfection. The amazing thing I noticed too was that the arenas were not sand rings.. but grass rings! I can't even imagine the amount of maintenance that is required to groom the grass arena after a show. But, everything looks absolutely perfect. We watched some show jumping and visited the gift/tack shop during our leisure stroll around the grounds.

Welcome to Spruce Meadows!
Amazing grounds where even the non-equestrian can even appreciate

Sailing over the jump effortlessly

Always amazing to see the sheer power of the horses pushing
 themselves and their rider over the jumps

Needless to say, this vacation was exactly what I needed before I get back into the swing of pulling my life back together. I definitely returned well rested and with a clearer head. 


  1. I love rodeos. Bronc/bull riders are crazy. I saw a kid sheep riding thing at a rodeo I went to. Spruce Meadows sounds amazing! I happy you had a great vacation.

    1. 8 seconds!!! totally in-sane. when they get kids involved with rodeos, it's SO FREGGIN' CUTE! those min pony races were so funny.

  2. I was totally hoping that you'd have a picture of the mini donut poutine! It sounds kind of awful, but I would eat one just for the experience, lol.

    I am glad that you were able to gain perspective through letting yourself rest, relax, and have fun! I have no doubt that you will be successful at whatever you do next :)

    1. i did have a picture; it's the first one. but it's hard to make out... it was really tasty, actually :D i wish i had another! i might do it myself this year when i make my way to the CNE.

      thank you! i am feeling much better just by refocusing things.

  3. Love the painted horses! Reminds me of when CowParade came to Boston. Love cows but horses are better :)))

    1. cow parade sounds intriguing! i really enjoyed the painted horses too!!

  4. what a great trip!! also love all those food pics (tho i'm now quite hungry haha)

    1. omg if you go to stampede, try all the strange foods. they're SO DELICIOUS. a little over priced, i suppose... but where else would you get a hot beef sundae or a dulce de leche and mini-donut popsicle (amb tried one!)!??!??!