Anyone who has ever had the opportunity would know that riding a horse is hard.
… Now imagine doing that with both legs dangling over the same side of the saddle — and going as fast as you (and your horse) possibly can.
Doesn’t sound easy, right? Well, that’s exactly what eight horsewomen will be doing at this year’s Calgary Stampede.
For the first year ever, the Stampede will feature sidesaddle racing, a showcase event that honours a traditional style of riding that dates back centuries.
“Women have been riding sidesaddle for about six hundred years. It gave them independence and opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise had,” said Lee McLean, who has been riding sidesaddle since she was a young child, in a release from the Calgary Stampede.
“When we race, we are honouring the grit and gumption of those women as well as the glamour they brought with them to the west.”
The racers will also be outfitted in historically accurate wardrobe and using sidesaddles that, for some, date back generations.
“We’re looking forward to celebrating a very traditional style of riding, in a very high-adrenalin way,” said Kynan Vine, Calgary Stampede Manager of Western Events, in the release.
“Not only are they extremely skilled riders, but you will see they are also fiercely competitive.”
The Sidesaddle Racing event will take place on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 immediately after the chuckwagon races.
When: Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8, 2018
Time: Immediately after the chuckwagon races, which start at 7:45 pm
Where: Grandstand Arena
Tickets: Available online as part of the Grandstand Show, starting at $49