With the Calgary Stampede fast approaching, people will already be counting down the days to the famous Showdown Sunday. The Stampede starts this Friday, July 8th and carries on until the Showdown Sunday on July 17th. This year will mark the first year ever that the Stampede prize money tops the two million dollar mark! The Calgary Stampede is unique in that the 20 contestants in each of the six major events are competing by invitation only. The six major events at the Stampede include Bareback Riding, Bull Riding, Barrel Racing, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, and Tie-Down Roping. There is also Novice Bareback, Novice Saddle Bronc, Jr Steer Riding and Wild Pony Racing for the youngsters and up-comers of rodeo.
For those of you who don’t fully understand exactly how the “Tournament Style Rodeo” at the Stampede works I’ll give you a quick run-down:
1) Contestants are divided into 2 pools with 10 contestants in each pool. Each day of competition will act as a new rodeo as the contestants compete for $60,000 in prize money ($10,000 per each event).
2) The top 4 money earners in each pool will advance to Showdown Sunday while the remaining 6 competitors in both pools will compete on Wild Card Saturday. The top 2 in each event from the Wild Card Saturday will advance to the Showdown Sunday.
3) The Final (on Sunday) will consist of the top 4 contestants in each pool (8 total) plus the top 2 from the Wild Card Saturday making the total number of contestants who compete in the first final 10. The 4 highest scores/times from the first go will then advance to the Showdown Round. These top 4 will give it their all for a chance at the top prize of $100,000 and the Calgary Stampede Championship. With over $1,000,000 to be given away on Showdown Sunday it makes it the Rodeo’s Richest Afternoon.
You can check out all the competitors in each pool for each event including a bio about each of them by going here. Pool A will start July 8th and end on July 11th while Pool B will start July 12th and go until July 15th. Here is a list of the barrel racers in each Pool:
To check the broadcast schedule for the Stampede click here. You will also be able to find videos, photos, news and more by going to that link. For a complete list of the draws and results each day go here (at the moment this link shows results from 2010 but we can expect it will change within the next few days).