One of the longest running races in Canada is back in its 102nd year in the Falkland with a record crowd of 5,000 in attendance each day.
Falkland is a small community of less than 900 people, but over the course of the long weekend it hopes to welcome thousands of visitors. Three days of rodeo action, entertainment and cowboy tradition are returning to the stampede area.
“We have all the major rodeo events. Everything from steering wrestling, calf racing, women’s barrel racing, breakaway horse racing and of course everyone loves, bull riding,” said Melissa Seaman, Falkland Stampede team manager.
Crowds filled the stands to watch cowboys and cowgirls from across North America compete. Saskatchewan’s Cruz McNulty, a professional equestrian.
“You basically tie your hand to the suitcase-style handle and hope for the best,” says McNulty.
The three-day car race began as a community picnic to mark the end of World War I. This is a traditional event but also an opportunity for fresh local faces to cut their teeth.
“Someone brought a horse and said it was never ridden, so someone bet they could ride it and that’s how it all started,” said Mervin Churchill, former stampede manager for know.
“They don’t have fences, fences or anything, all they have is a football field.”
All money raised from this volunteer event goes back to the community, this year organizers are using the money to build a shelter for the community skating rink.
The Falkland Stampede continues until Monday, May 23. The race starts at 1pm and the beer gardens are open until 7pm.
– With files from Megan Turcato