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Fort McMurray Evacuee Achieves Lifelong Dream

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull is Canada’s premier pulling competition, with teams arriving from across North America to vie for top honours.

From July 15 – July 17 in the Agrium Western Events Centre, teams in three different weight classes will pull more than five times their body weight a distance of 14 feet. “We are pleased to welcome the high caliber competitors who are joining us this year from across Canada and the United States, including a number of past winners” said Laurie Jacob-Toews, Chair of the Heavy Horse Pull Committee. Nineteen competitors will be competing this year including Rocky Dempsey who has had a lifelong dream to compete at the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull.

Dempsey, who is from Fort McMurray, will be competing in his first Heavy Horse Pull at the Calgary Stampede. Evacuated from his home during the Fort McMurray fire Dempsey loaded his horses, including two miniatures horses, and evacuated to Grassland. In the midst of leaving Fort McMurray Dempsey forgot to grab his pulling harness. Without that harness and not knowing if he had a home to return to, Dempsey did not think he would compete at the Stampede this year. With the support and encouragement of his friends Dempsey ordered a new harness and began practicing.

Dempsey will be competing with Belgians Jack and Bill. In the 22 years of having Belgian’s, he says this is the best team he has worked with. See them and other teams in action in the Agrium Western Event Centre.

Light Weights – Friday, July 15 – 7 pm to 9 p.m.

Middle Weights – Saturday, July 16 – 7 to 9 p.m.

Heavy Weights – Sunday, July 17 – 7 to 9 p.m.

About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

See more at calgarystampede.com