Grab your boots and your hats as the Calgary Police Rodeo is back for its 37th edition when the event takes place on Aug. 10 at the Cochrane Lions Rodeo Grounds.
This year, rodeo events may include bareback riding, team roping, wild horse race, saddle bronc, break away roping, wild cow milking, ladies barrel racing, steer wrestling, chute dogging, boys steer wrestling, bull riding, steer scramble and mutton bustin. In addition to the rodeo, the family-oriented event includes a children's carnival, exhibitions, and concessions, and in the evening - cowboys and adult spectators enjoy a barn dance featuring live country music and entertainment. The event is used to raise funds and awareness for a charity called The Missing Children of Canada, whom the Calgary Police has partnered with for the last 15 years while raising over $100,000 in the process.
"There is a lot of history and pride in this event which first started back in 1983 with a small group of Calgary policemen that thought it would be a cool way to celebrate our western heritage," president of the Calgary Police Rodeo Association Mike Cavilla said when asked about the history of the event. "In the last few years, the size of the event has grown exponentially, it now includes all first responders – police, fire and EMS."
"This unique rodeo is for the members of a first responder agency (police, fire, and EMS) and their immediate families. Of course, the public is more than welcome and encouraged to attend the rodeo and cheer on the first responders in the arena as they try their hand at riding and roping the roughstock."
"It's not every day you get to see policemen, firemen and EMS workers riding bulls and bucking horses while sometimes flying through the air. This rodeo includes seven major rodeo events as well as some novelty rodeo events mixed in such as the kiddies calf scramble, which involves a team of three kids under the age of 12 where they have to control a calf and snatch a ribbon off of its tail before running back to the finish line."
The rodeo has been in Cochrane the past couple years, something Cavilla said has been great for the event to evolve into something bigger than what it once was.
"The Town of Cochrane has been unbelievable in their support of this event," Cavilla said. "Last year, over 3,000 spectators attended the rodeo and barn dance, and we are hoping for another huge turnout on Saturday. The Cochrane Lions Rodeo folks have also been very supportive and instrumental in helping us organize and run out the rodeo."
"There are some new events this year as we are having a special show at the intermission which involves police members and their K9 partners from the Calgary Police Service K9 Unit doing a K9 demonstration in the rodeo arena. This is something you will not want to miss. We are also once again hosting the always exciting Cowboy Poker, which involves Mexican fighting bulls from Ty Northcott’s stock, and this is also a one of a kind competition."
After the rodeo, local country music star Drew Gregory will take to the stage to finish off the night in thrilling fashion.
"We are always proud of the fact to have such a high-class entertainer like Drew Gregory perform at our evening barn dance," Cavilla said. "If you have never seen Drew perform, you won't want to miss this and can a cheap $10 ticket at the door."
Tickets can be purchased at the gate on the day of the event for $15 for adults, $10 for students, $5 for seniors and $20 for the all-day pass. Gates open at 8 a.m. with the rodeo beginning at 1 p.m. while the barn dance will kick off at 8 p.m.