Chestermere will be host to some professional bull riders and bucking bovines later this week, at the city gets set to host its first sanctioned bull-riding event – Bulls on the Beach.
The inaugural event, authorized by Bull Riders Canada and hosted by Rocky View Chestermere Agricultural Society, will take place on July 23 at the Rocky View Chestermere Agricultural Society Corral near from Chestermere Lake.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the bulls will start bucking at 7 p.m.
According to Dan Richard, Rocky View Chestermere Ag Society board member and Rocky View High School Rodeo chair, the society took inspiration from the event’s close proximity to the lake when choosing a title for the event.
“The corral is a couple hundred feet away from the beach, so 'Bulls on the Beach' was a no-brainer,” he said.
Richard added the event has been in the works for a couple of years, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented any crowded corrals of bull-riding enthusiasts from getting together in 2020. While preparations for the event have been underway since 2019, he added the event was not officially realized until earlier this year.
A seemingly unlikely locale for a bull-riding event, Richard said the lakeside city of Chestermere has nonetheless proven to be a popular spot for fans of the sport.
“It’s been one of the more exciting events in Chestermere,” he said. “I’ve heard lots of positive [talk] about it... I think generally, everybody is very excited. The whole idea of bulls in Chestermere is certainly something new.
“[But] there are a lot of very talented cowboys and cowgirls in Chestermere.”
The event will feature 25 accomplished Canadian bullriders who will initially be competing for a place in the top 10. These finalists will return later in the evening for a “Pick Your Poison” round, where they will pick their bucking bull out of a hat.
The event will include appearances from a number of local celebrities, including a former Country 105 on-air personality, a Chestermere-based announcer, and a Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer.
Richard said the first round of 200 tickets for sale have already sold out, with another 100 tickets available for a limited time to those interested in attending.
He said he hopes to bring Bulls on the Beach back in 2022.
“Next year, I think we will grow the event, but this year we are keeping it small to keep it manageable... I don’t think people are comfortable with a great big crowd,” he said, adding that the exclusive event will soon be sold out entirely.
“There [are] going to be no bad seats in that arena,” he claimed. “You don’t want to wear a white shirt – that's how close they’re going to be to the action.
“It's going to be something to see... I’m kind of bummed that I have to work and I’m not going to be able to sit and have a prosecco.”
Anyone interested in purchasing a ticket or providing sponsorship for the event, or who would like to volunteer, is encouraged to email the society for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter @carmenrcundy