CTC News

Ride ’em up, ride ’em in: Calgary Stampede charges on to UK TV.

CTC helps English family fulfil dream of taking part in one of the world’s finest rodeos.

20 July 2011

A UK family with horses in the blood has just completed the dream of a lifetime: saddling up for “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and other tourism industry partners helped the Bowman family from Penrith in northwest England take part in the chuckwagon racing at the Calgary Stampede, AB.  

The Bowmans (75-year-old George, brother Robert and sons Barnaby and George) are well-known equestrians in the UK, but they were the first Europeans ever to take part in the Stampede—a real honour. As part of their preparations, the four men staged a horsey family swap with the Sutherlands, 11 times world champions at chuckwagon racing.

Over five days in Grande Prairie, AB, in May, the Bowmans learnt the finer points of the equine handling skills they’d need for Calgary. The training and subsequent Stampede were captured on video and shown in four instalments on ITV North in the UK.

The Bowmans will return the horse-schooling favour to the Sutherlands in September this year. First, the Canadian champs will take part in the National Carriage Driving Trials at Windsor Great Park, close to one of the Queen’s most famous residences, Windsor Castle. After that, the Sutherlands will drive a traditional 10-seater stagecoach from Newcastle to Carlisle, following Hadrian’s Wall in northern England.

CTC partners for this equine extravaganza were Travel Alberta, Tourism Calgary, the British Horse Driving Trials Association, the World Professional Chuckwagon  Association and the Calgary Stampede.

“Horses play a big part in both Canadian and British culture,” says Rupert Peters, CTC regional managing director, Core Markets. “This unique project enabled us to really open British eyes to Alberta’s proud cowboy traditions and the magnificent spectacle of the Calgary Stampede, especially with its centenary year coming in 2012.”


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