Calgary Stampede Animal Care Practices


GMC Rangeland Derby

Fitness to compete

  • All horses are given a thorough inspection by a team of veterinarians upon arrival at Stampede Park and prior to competition.
  • Drivers must submit an inventory of horses for competition and the inventory of horses will be subject to ongoing veterinarian inspections.
  • Drivers are asked to submit a list of horses competing daily by 3 p.m. for a thorough pre-race inspection. If a horse is found not fit to compete, it will be "scratched" for that evening.
  • Post-race inspections of all horses as they leave the track.

Formula for rest days for wagon and outrider horses

  • Mandatory rest days for all competing horses - horses can run three consecutive days, followed by one rest day, or horses can run four consecutive days, followed by two rest days.

Enhanced track maintenance

  • The infield area of the track is harrowed between each heat, and the entire racetrack is watered and harrowed after heats 3 and 6 - providing optimal footing for the equine athletes.


Stampede Rodeo

Obvious injury

  • At a judge's discretion, if a calf (tie-down roping) or a steer (steer wrestling) exhibits an obvious injury during competition, the contestant will be flagged "out" and receive either a re-run or, in the judge's discretion, if the injury was caused by the contestant, a "no-time".

Jerk-down rule

  • If a calf is jerked off all four feet and its body touches the ground prior to the roper reaching the calf, the roper will be disqualified from that go-round.

Legal catch

  • In tie-down roping, any catch, other than a clean head catch, will result in the roper being disqualified from that go-round.

Steer Wrestling

  • An automatic “no-time” will be given to a contestant if a steer “dog falls”.

All other Tie-Down Roping and Steer Wrestling rules will be enforced as per the CPRA rulebook.


Stampede Agriculture and Horse Competition rule enhancements


  • All animals on Stampede Park are inspected by an official Stampede veterinarian at least once per day.
  • Horses and cattle in competitive events such as Draft Horse Pulls and Steer Classic are subject to drug testing to screen for the presence of drugs and/or chemicals, including performance enhancers or painkillers.
  • New rules introduced in 2014 for the Steer Classic Open and Junior classes require mandatory blood-testing of the winning steers.
  • The overarching intent of our agriculture-related rules, regulations and procedures are to:
    •  ensure the welfare of the animals on our site
    • ensure a level playing field for all competitors in all events,
    • and to protect the integrity of food safety, as some animals may be destined for food production.