Life of a Stampede Bucking Horse
With 600 horses in the Stampede Ranch’s herd, about 200 are actively competing in any given year. Whether they’re competing or roaming the range full-time, all of these specially-bred horses enjoy one of the most natural horse herd dynamics found anywhere - roaming in open pastureland on the expansive 23,000-acre environment, with the benefit of top-notch medical care and maintenance.
Once they have matured, the Stampede uses gradual exposure and positive reinforcement to encourage more of what these horses do naturally – buck off riders. Even those horses who become elite superstars buck only 15 times maximum in a year, enjoying the rest of their time in a pasture setting with their social groups, which include past stars retired to pasture and the breeding stock who nurture the latest crop of strong athletic colts.
Ready to Rodeo
The horses are well-prepared for their rodeo jobs, starting at about age four. Building on their breed qualities and instincts, the Calgary Stampede uses gradual exposure and positive reinforcement with our horses as they slowly build their confidence and strength.
Ready to Retire
When bucking horses are finished their pro rodeo days, they retire to the Stampede Ranch where they live out their days roaming the pastures or being part of the Born to Buck breeding programs as brood mares, recipient mares, or stallions. Many will act as “nannies” for younger horses, offering a comforting and guiding presence for the novices when they are being exposed to new experiences, new trips or new pastures. The Stampede provides excellent veterinarian care for its herd, including ensuring the continued health and comfort of the retirees until nature takes its course. The horses are laid to rest amidst the rolling pastures of the Stampede Ranch. Top legends like the late Coconut Roll and Papa Smurf earn a place of honour with graves and tombstones at the entry gates to the ranch.
Stampede Ranch Stock on the Road
Because of the quality and reputation of its breeding program, Stampede Ranch provides horses for more than two dozen of the the most elite professional rodeos across North America, such as Rodeo Houston, National Finals Rodeo, Canadian Finals Rodeo and more. The Ranch’s younger and developing stock is provided to rodeo schools and college rodeos to build the horses’ confidence and performance.
The Calgary Stampede is one of the few rodeos in the world with its own herd of rough stock horses, easily spotted by the distinctive C lazy S brand on the left shoulder of Stampede-bred stock.
2014 pro rodeos with Calgary Stampede Roughstock:
- Calgary Stampede, AB
- Canadian Finals Rodeo, Edmonton AB
- Ponoka Stampede, AB
- Prince Alberta PBR , SK
- Sundre, AB
- Innisfail Professional Rodeo, AB
- Hand Hills Rodeo, AB
- Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede, BC
- Lea Park Rodeo, Marwayne AB
- Airdrie Pro Rodeo, AB
- Strathmore Stampede, AB
- National Finals Rodeo, Las Vegas NV
- The American, Arlington TX
- Rodeo Houston, TX
- San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, TX
- National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, Denver CO
- San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
- Farm City Pro Rodeo, Hermiston OR
- Canby Rodeo, OR
- Kitsap County Fair and Rodeo, Bremerton WA
- Ellensburg Pro Rodeo, WA
- Washington State Fair and Rodeo, Puyallup WA
- Pendleton Round-Up, OR