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Ride ‘Em Cowboy!

A million people every year can’t be wrong – it really is ‘the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

The Calgary Stampede is a 10-day extravaganza of entertainment which transports visitors back in time to the Wild West of Jesse James, Billie the Kid and Wild Bill Hickok.

It’s the world’s largest rodeo, with bronco-bucking, wagon racing, bull-riding and gunfights galore, all set against the backdrop of a multi-cultural musical festival with hundreds of singers, dancers and musicians taking part in a spectacular stage show featuring some of the country’s biggest stars.

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Still holding true to its original agricultural roots, the Calgary Stampede has something for everybody, in a riotous combination of frenetic fun, nostalgia and trials of endurance.

The Chuckwagon races are the highlight of a never-to-be-forgotten holiday of a lifetime, when man and beast come together in a contest of nerves, skill and thundering hoof beats as the bravest of the brave harness their horsepower in the ultimate race to the finish.

The stampede’s roots go back to 1886, when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held their first local fair. But it was not until 1912 when the initial rodeo took place that the event really took off – making last year the official 100th anniversary and turning Calgary into one of Canada’s biggest tourist attractions in the process.

A century ago, hundreds of cowboys from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico competed for $20,000 in total prize money. Today, the winner of each major discipline picks up $100,000, making it the richest payout of its kind in the world.

Visitors are treated to a feast of daredevil skills, and not just on horseback.

Bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling and roping join bronco-bucking and bareback riding in an action-packed ten days of thrilling entertainment.

While You’re There….

Calgary is the gateway to some of the most breath-taking scenery on earth.

The Canadian Rockies are simply spectacular, from the Banff and Jasper National Parks to Lake Louise, the Cascade Mountains and the Icefields Parkway.

This 160-mile drive through rugged mountain peaks and forested valleys is a stunning panoramic journey not to be missed, culminating in the glacial scenery of the Columbia Icefield, one of the biggest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle.

For those with a passion for exploring the local surroundings under their own steam, Lake Louise is full of remote trails just waiting to be discovered, whether by hiking enthusiasts at the height of summer or cross-country skiers in the depths of winter.

  • The 2013 Calgary Stampede takes place on July 5 – 14th.

Nicki Williams is a content writer for sports specialiasts Gear-Zone, stockists of outdoor clothing, hiking footwear and camping gear.

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