The Calgary Stampede’s Western Performance Horse Events kick off this week with the Team Cattle Penning qualifiers in Okotoks at the Okotoks Agricultural Society. 651 teams of three will compete for 20 spots in four divisions over July 6 and 7. Those top 80 teams will then move on to the final round at the Scotiabank Saddledome July 8-10. More than $300,000 in prize money will be awarded in the Team Cattle Penning competition.
The performance horse enthusiast will also be able to take in the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Competition in the Agrium Western Event Centre July 11-13. This marks the only Canadian stop on the prestigious Mercuria National Cutting Horse Association World Series of Cutting. Youth cutting horse enthusiasts will also have a chance at $5,000 in scholarships through the Bill Collins Youth Excellence Showcase.
Alberta trainer Dustin Gonnet, who won the 2015 Fort Worth $75,000 slot cutting, will be riding his winning horse, This Cats Got Style, in this year’s Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Competition.
The Calgary Stampede Working Cow Horse Competition rounds out the week July 14-15 in the Agrium Western Event Centre with $25,000 in added prize money this year.
The Elite Western Rider Award is awarded annually to an outstanding competitor in all three Western Performance Horse events – Working Cow Horse, Team Cattle Penning and the Cutting Horse competition. Previous honouree and Calgary philanthropist and businessman, Ron Mathison, will once again be competing in all three events and vying for the title of Elite Western Rider.