After 23 years and 200 games, the Calgary Stampeder’s most famous football fan — and the horse she rode in on — has retired.
Karyn Drake, who was considered such an integral part of the club that she too wears a Grey Cup ring, has made miles worth of trips down the east sidelines since she joined the club in 1993.
The horse she retired on is the famous Quick Six, (barn name Toby) now 24, who has been galloping after touchdowns since 2003.
Karyn missed only a handful of contests and has participated in six Grey Cup games, including Calgary championships in 1998, 2001, 2008 and 2014.
But the Drake legacy continues. Enter young Chelsea, Karyn’s 20-year-old daughter, who took over the flag waving tradition at the Canada Day game in front of thousands of cheering fans.
It was fast and loud, but the new Quick Six did OK. But that’s not a role that can be filled by just any horse.
“It was very difficult. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack because he’s got to be white and he’s got to be fast, and he’s got to be OK with the fireworks and the crowds,” says Chelsea.
Was there any advice from mom? “Just to have fun, to take it all in… it all goes by so fast. And, of course, ‘pay attention to the ball game.’”