Hundreds of fans cheered loudly as the professional rodeo returned for the Raymond Stampede Canada Day weekend after a 43-year absence.
Marly Milner, a Stampede fan, said it was wonderful to have the pros back in town for the Stampedes’ 120th anniversary.
“I’m super excited,” Milner said. “It’s good to have all the cowboys and cowgirls and everyone comes out here and shows their support.”
Duane Kesler, owner of the Kesler Championship Rodeo and resident of Raymond, agreed that the rodeo’s return was a welcome treat.
“I think professional rodeo is coming back to southern Alberta bigger and stronger than ever,” Kesler said.
His family has been involved in the Raymond Stampede for decades. Following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps as a rodeo stock entrepreneur, he was glad the organizers asked him to provide horses and bulls for the event.
“You know Raymond has a lot of history with the Stampede,” Kesler said. “The crowd we saw here yesterday and the crowd we see today shows that people here in southern Alberta want to see professional rodeo.”
Rounding out 111 years of tradition in Raymond
Earlier this year, the province announced construction of a new school on the existing historic Stampede site, with groundbreaking scheduled for 2023. The City of Raymond has not yet made a final decision on a new site for the exhibition center.
Robert Heggie, President of the Raymond Stampede, said that funding plays a big part in their ability to host the Stampede in the future.
“Things are looking very good at the moment,” said Heggie. “We had a sold out audience yesterday… We are focused and already looking forward to next year.
“People need to put this on their bucket list to make sure they come to the Raymond Stampede because without exception it’s one of the best you’ll see.”
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8964521/raymond-stampede-professional-rodeo-returns/ Raymond Stampede welcomes the 120th anniversary professional rodeo – Lethbridge