Cochrane Lions Club Rodeo
With Cochrane a short jaunt from Calgary, it’s easy to step away from the concrete and into the bleachers to experience a truly western event – up close and personal! The Cochrane Lions Labour Day Rodeo is full of action, entertainment, wild rides and tough competitors. And you, the spectator, are only steps away from it all.
Featuring pro-circuit-seeking cowboys, the rodeo puts you right smack in the centre of the action. You can feel the rumble of the hooves and the excitement of the contestants in the air. You’re so close to the action that even the most city-dwelling person may feel the need to pull on some cowboy boots. Intensely action-packed events like bareback riding and tie-down roping get the adrenaline pumping and the dust flying.
Great Entertainment on the Labour Day Weekend
Dawson Northcott is the bull fighter who frequently works the Labour Day weekend rodeo, and as well as protecting the cowboys from the bulls, he keeps the entertainment rolling between events. “When there is a lull in the rodeo, that is when I fill in to keep the action feel like it is still going,” said Northcott.
He can vouch for the popularity of the Labour Day rodeo, recommending that you get there early to find a seat on the popular hill for spectators. “It is a great rodeo, it has great stock, there are great cowboys. It’s something to see,” he said.
The cowboys that compete in the Cochrane Lions Labour Day Rodeo are not yet on the Canadian Professional Rodeo circuit, so this is a chance to show off their skills in the hopes of kicking up their career to the next level.
Rodeo Grounds in the Heart of Cochrane
After over half a century, the rodeo grounds are still centrally located in the heart of Cochrane.
“Our rodeo is our history, it is Cochrane’s version of the Calgary Stampede,” Northcott said. “It is one of the best amateur rodeos in Canada, if not North America. Not just the prize money but the contestants. That is what sets our rodeo apart, really.”
But it isn’t all about the bull riding, bronc riding and clowning around. The grounds are jam-packed full of food trucks and activities for kids, making this event fun for the whole family.
Chelsea Lees – Guest Journalist
Tim Hall and Jacquie Matechuk – photography