Calgary Stampede Champion Hashtags
The Calgary Stampede rode, which hosts several Western performance horse events, will not be held in 2020. * Hudmya Photography

Calgary Stampede Cancels Due to COVID-19

The Calgary Stampede — one of the premier rodeos in the world — will not be held this summer due to the coronavirus. The event in Calgary, Alberta, also included several Western performance horse events, including cutting and reined cow horse.

In announcing the cancellation Thursday afternoon, officials cited restrictions on gatherings in the Canadian province of Alberta, where the Stampede is held, as the reason for not having the rodeo. Gatherings of more than 15 people are banned in the province for an indefinite amount of time.

The Stampede had been planned from July 3-12.

“This is an extremely difficult announcement to share, but it is the right thing to do,” Calgary Stampede President & Chairman of Board Dana Peers said in a statement. “As a community celebration, the cancellation of our annual event comes with our community and public health and safety front of mind.”

The Calgary Stampede also features several horse shows, including cuttings and reined cow horse events. Those events drew some of the top cutting horses in training over the years, such as in 2018 when NCHA Open World Champion Hashtags won the Stampede’s Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting.

The Calgary Stampede has been around for 108 years, through two World Wars, the Great Depression and a devastating flood. But organizers say the loss of this year’s Stampede is bigger than our not-for-profit organization. Many local businesses are part of the greater Stampede, from the restaurants, bars and hotels, to the retailers, ride share and taxi drivers who support western culture throughout our city.  

“The Stampede is a critical part of who we are as Calgarians. It’s almost impossible to imagine a summer without it. But these are extraordinary times, and the Stampede has done what they always do: put the community first,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “For me, riding a horse at the front of the parade is a moment, even with all the people and all the noise, for some introspection on who we are as a community. I’m sad to not be at my tenth parade this year. But we’ll dust ourselves off and come back even better. Together.”

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