Skip to content

Tuff Goes Canadian



By Tracy Pinson

When Skyjacker’s Mountain High and I received the invitation to compete in the Cowboy Up Challenge at the famed Calgary Stampede, my first instinct was to respectfully decline.  After all, it is about 5,700 miles round trip from Bushnell, FL to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Crazy, right?  Well, I guess we proved that horse people really are crazy!  After much discussion about cost, time and how the horse would handle the trip, Wayne Conkle and I decided to accept the invitation and work out the details.  Everything fell together and Wayne found a great traveling partner in Melissa Bailey.  They made the long journey through a lot of beautiful country, stopping to enjoy some great hospitality and literally crossing the whole country……for an Extreme Cowboy Race! 

 

 


Lisa Steinbach, Diane McMurtrey, Rebecca Adams and I made the long flights from Florida to Calgary.  Off to show the world that a Tennessee Walking Horse may not be the “traditional” cowboy horse, but we can hang with the best of them. 


The Stampede folks made sure we had access to all of the activities, including the rodeo, chuck wagon races, agriculture exhibits, etc.  It was an experience of a lifetime!  For those not familiar with the Calgary Stampede, it is 10 days of animal and agricultural activities with over 150,000 people A DAY passing through the gates! 


Ordinarily, the Cowboy Up Challenge is held in the Saddle Dome on the Stampede grounds, however, due the major flooding experienced by the area just two weeks before the event, we were moved into the Big Top Arena which was much smaller.  There was standing room only in the audience and Tuff loved to hear the roar of the crowd when we made our way through the courses consisting of running, roping, jumping, VERY tall bridges, water, ground ties, standing in the saddle, spinning and lots of other fun obstacles.

 
Just being able to compete against all of the professionals was so special.  Tuff and I usually compete in the Non Pro division of the EXCA, however, at the Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge, we had to compete against the professionals.  There were only a few of us that weren’t pros, so to finish fifth among the most elite of the sport…..Well, we were thrilled, to say the least!  I’m still smiling!

Thanks to everyone that came to our obstacle schooling days, which funded the fuel for the trip.  Also, to the sponsors that gave so generously to help us get to Calgary and to everyone that stayed home and took care of the farm while we were gone.  All of the great comments on Facebook, live stream, You Tube, email, etc. from those that watched the event from home, made it even more special.   We rode every step with you guys!

We may not get to do it again, but not everyone can say they competed at the Calgary Stampede!!  Tuff is now enjoying a semi-retirement…..munching grass, giving a few riding lessons and eating a lot of treats and carrots! 

More Stories

  • Equine Obituary – Jose's Delightful Pusher

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of world grand champion Jose's Delightful Pusher. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Riddley and Baucom families during this time.  Read More
  • Walking Horse Report’s Daily Papers and Office Hours

    The Celebration is the busiest time of year for Walking Horse Report. We strive to provide the best possible coverage of the industry’s world championship horse show. We will continue to post live results and judges’ cards. Read More
  • FAST kicks off 3rd annual 50/50 raffle

    All proceeds from the Celebration FAST Cash 50/50 Raffle will be used to promote all aspects of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse and Tennessee Walking Horse Shows... Read More
  • WHTA Auxiliary Meeting scheduled

    The WHTA Auxiliary will have their Celebration meeting on the bleachers of Champions arena at 11:30 on Sunday, August 26th at 11:30 am... Read More
  • WHTA Auxiliary announces Money Tree Fall Classic

    The WHTA Auxiliary is excited to hold The Money Tree Fall Classic again this year. The event will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at the Bedford County Ag Center in Shelbyville, Tenn... Read More
  • Tennessee Valley Classic announces judging panel

    Show Manager Mervin “Doc” Tackett invites everyone to attend the Tennessee Valley Classic Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 16, 17 and 18, at the Smoky Mountain Expo Center in White Pine, Tennessee. Jennifer Lambert, Mack Dekle, Jamie Tucker-Wiley will judge the event. Read More
  • Celebration bows are back!

    Celebration time is right around the corner...get your Celebration Bows Now! The tri-colored bows proudly displayed on your front door, barn, etc., is a now a tradition of showing your support. Read More
  • Brownsville, KY Sunday Show Time Change

    The Walking Horse Owners' Association would like to announce the show to be held Sunday, August 19 in Brownsville, Kentucky will start at 12 noon. The judge for the show is Dean Crawford of Shelbyville, TN... Read More
  • Celebration announces Maverick Arena

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and Keith and Lorraine Rosbury are pleased to announce a three-year naming rights agreement for the Celebration’s outdoor arena. The new name, Maverick Arena, will be displayed at this year’s 80th Anniversary Celebration and will honor the 2017 World Grand Champion Gen’s Black Maverick, owned by Keith and Lorraine Rosbury. Read More
  • Celebration releases class splits

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration announced class splits Friday afternoon for its 80th annual event, which kicks off later this month. Twelve classes have been divided, with the two-year-old stallion division once again having three splits. Read More