Over 2,500 people packed the bleachers and hillside of the Cochrane Rodeo Grounds in mid- August for the 36th annual edition of the Calgary Police Rodeo. Chute boss Sgt. Michael Cavilla was pleased with the turnout. “We were about 2,000 last year, so it seems to grow each year. Cochrane has been a fantastic host.”
While the event is called Calgary Police Rodeo, emergency services from across the province took part, including the fire departments in Banff and Red Deer, police from the Blood Tribe and Edmonton, Corrections Canada and, of course, the Calgary Police Service.
The events ranged from the traditional bareback riding to kids’ barrel racing. The rodeo was topped off with cowboy poker — a crazy scene involving three fighting bulls and cowboys around a table playing poker until the bull man-ages to run them all off (or run them all over).
Although there were dozens of paramedics on hand, none had to be called into the arena for aid. “There were winners from every agency this year,” said Cavilla. “The Edmonton Police Service, they showed really well in a number of events.”
The rodeo, hosted by the Calgary Police Association, is a fantastic way for members to blow off steam and support the band-aid industry. The rodeo also has a serious side — it is dedicated to raising money for an important cause. “The Missing Children Society of Canada is our primary benefactor. We donate $10,000 to them on an annual basis, and we presented a cheque for that amount at the rodeo yesterday,” said Cavilla.
The 2019 Calgary Police Rodeo will be held in Cochrane, and organizers are looking to make it a two-day event.