Thousands to converge during Ponoka Stampede

For one week of the year the small town of Ponoka becomes a cowboy metropolis that brings thousands to its small community

  • Jun. 19, 2014 6:00 a.m.

BY JEFFREY HEYDEN-KAYE

Ponoka News

For one week of the year the small town of Ponoka becomes a cowboy metropolis that brings thousands to its small community to enjoy the 78th Ponoka Stampede.

Organizers call it the Wild West of the ’36 and Stampede President Joe Dodds has a special phrase that many cowboys use when its rodeo time. “It’s better than Christmas, it lasts a whole week.”

If it has western roots or involves cowboys, the chances are rodeo lovers will be able to see some of the action over the busy Stampede week from June 24th to July 1st. Members of the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association work year-round to bring high quality entertainment, which starts with the Jace Harty Memorial Bull Riding Event.

This Professional Bull Riders (PBR) event was added to the Ponoka Stampede list of events last year and gets things going for rodeo fans.

“You kind of forget about your life for seven days,” said Dodds.

Events at the Ponoka Stampede are sanctioned by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and have the top 10 total payouts in the world.

Events during the week are geared for the entire family and involve pancake breakfasts, a three-mile long parade and midway.

Rodeo lovers will get their fair share of cowboys and guns during the Alberta Mounted Shooters Association show at the Calnash Ag Event Centre and in the evening, grandstand music performances by the likes of Corb Lund and Big and Rich are sure to keep country music lovers happy.

A total of four nights finish with a bang during the fireworks displays, which gets people excited for the next day of rodeo and chuckwagon action.

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association provides fans with six nights of entertainment, including the $50,000 Tommy Dorchester Dash for Cash.

The steer wrestlers (bulldoggers), calf ropers and team ropers have two go-rounds in a day; slack in the morning and then during the pro rodeo in the afternoon. This was done to give competitors a fighting chance to win.

Infield entertainment is always fun with rodeo clown Ash (Crash) Cooper keeping people laughing during the rodeo. Also horse trainer Bobby Kerr will show thousands of attendees the bond that can be created between a horse and his owner.

People from all over world come to the Ponoka Stampede for their vacation. Dodds has seen licence plates from Alaska, the Yukon and the United States.

“We try to put on a first class organization and it works all the way down.”

Another feature during the rodeo week is the Tough Enough to Wear Pink awareness day for June 28th. The idea was created by Wrangler to raise awareness for breast cancer and the Stampede Association took on the idea in 2007.

The Dash for Cash and the Stampede Showdown — which brings the best four riders in all the rodeo events in a final exciting showdown — on the last day of the Ponoka Stampede are a crowd favourite that has everyone involved on the edge of their seats.

reporter@ponokanews.com

 

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Most Read