Karyn Drake, the Calgary Stampeders TD horse rider and the CFL’s most famous “mascot” galloped the sidelines during the Grey Cup.
Unlike each of the Stampeders’ last two Grey Cup appearances when league officials tried in vain to ban the team’s largest fan, longtime rider Karyn Drake was given thumbs up by team brass.
Karyn has charged her trusty steed along McMahon Stadium’s sideline after every Stamps
touchdown since 1993. However, her 21-year-old quarter horse Quick Six didn’t join her.
“If it wasn’t the middle of November, I would have taken him with me but it’s too dangerous as you never know what weather you’ll get through the mountains,” said Drake.
Instead, she borrowed a horse. “I have a very reliable contact here in Calgary — John Scott,” said Karyn. “John put me in contact with Jamie Payton (Jamie Payton Movie Horses). He had a few horses for me to use. I was thrilled with what he had, and having someone that deals in movies, stunts and all of that fun stuff, I trusted that he would have a horse that would fill in for my original horse Quick Six.”
Drake had also borrowed a horse in Toronto in 2012, but wasn’t allowed to ride it anywhere during the game due to safety concerns.
The TD horse was part of the festivities the last time the Stamps won the Grey Cup in 2008, thanks to a last-minute change of heart from the league, which originally banned the horse from Montreal’s Olympic Stadium due to “logistical” reasons.
In each of the Stamps’ previous Grey Cup wins, the horse figured prominently in 1998 in Winnipeg and in Montreal in 2001. This year, Calgary won over Hamilton 20–16, which saw Karyn make two fast trips down the sideline in front of 52,000 fans.