New bronc riding sport will replace chuckwagon races in Calgary Stampede evening show

A new rodeo event at the Calgary Stampede will take over the chuckwagons time slot at this year's show.

'Bronc after Dark' will showcase a variety of rodeo entertainment

The new Calgary Stampede event, Broncs after Dark, will feature relay races, pickup races, trick riding and ranch bronc riding. (Hubbel Photography )

A new rodeo event at the Calgary Stampede will take over the chuckwagons time slot at this year's show.

The Calgary Stampede announced last month the cancellation of the chuckwagon races for this year's evening show due to not having enough time to properly prepare the horses.

"The pandemic has had a very serious impact on the sport, they haven't been able to race … like any other professional sport, it wouldn't be appropriate to go from spring training to a high-stakes championship," Stampede spokesperson Kristina Barnes told CBC News in May.

According to a release from the Calgary Stampede on Wednesday, for 10 nights the evening show will feature a new event, Broncs after Dark.

It will include relay races, pickup races, trick riding and ranch bronc riding.

"We're so excited for the community to experience this year's evening show, and encourage everyone to watch for even more news about this year's show in the weeks ahead," said Theresa Howland, Calgary Stampede vice-president of marketing, in a release.

"This will be the only year you will get to see this outstanding performance. We invite you to ride into the night with us!" 

Pearl Kersey, who helped organize the show and will be competing in the ranch bronc riding portion, told the Calgary Eyeopener she's excited to showcase her abilities.

For people who haven't ever seen ranch bronc riding, Kersey says it's similar to regular bronc riding but the saddles are different.

"We ride in a stock work saddle and we can hold with two hands," she explained, adding you can go free hand if you'd like, but she sticks to two.

The rider says the event is usually seen at smaller rodeos but it's pretty big in the United States.

"It's (coming) a little bit in Canada, more just Alberta, a little bit Saskatchewan," she said. "But the women's side of it, it's also been growing."

At this year's competition at the Calgary Stampede, Kersey says it will feature four men and one woman competing against each other per night.

The bronc rider added she hopes this helps showcase the sport so that they're invited back to the Stampede in the following years.

"This is amazing to be able to showcase our bronc riding sport and the men and women that are in it."


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