Posted: July 28, 2011
I just came back from my Summer Holiday and I have ended my journey with couple of days at the Calgary Stampede…
The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The ten-day event, which bills itself as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", attracts over one million visitors per year and features the world's largest rodeo, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuck wagon racing and First Nations exhibitions.
The event's roots are traced to 1886 when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held its first fair. American promoter Guy Weadick launched his first rodeo in 1912 and returned to Calgary in 1919 to organize the Victory Stampede to honour soldiers returning from World War I. It became an annual event in 1923 when it merged with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition to create the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.
Organized by thousands of volunteers and supported by civic leaders, the Calgary Stampede has grown over the years into one of the world's richest rodeos and a significant tourist attraction for the city.
I happened to be sneaking around the agriculture pavilions when I was amazed by a cow… The Angeln Cattle! (originally from Germany)
The Angeln may have existed for over 5000 years in Germany. In Angeln, the northern part of Schleswig-Holstein, they were first mentioned in writings in about 1600.
Speaking with a Cowboy, he mentioned to me the characteristics of breeding this cattle: “Very economic relationship between total feed input and milk yield”
In fact, the current breeding aim is 9,000 kg of milk with 4.8 % fat and 3.8 % protein. The fully grown cows should reach about 140 – 145 cm height and should reach a live weight of 650 kg but this one that I found, the cowboy informed me, has a record size such as 2,150 pounds!!! Amazing!!
Furthermore, I noted a ring on the nose and I asked the reason…
“With an aggressive bull, a short length of chain or rope may be left hanging loose from the ring, so when he ducks in a threatening manner, the bull will stand on the chain and be deterred from attacking. This lead also facilitates capture and control of a frisky bull!”
Finally, walking to the Junk Food Promenade of the Festival, my fiancé and I find two classic cowboy dishes, dated 1800 and something…
I had “Fried Pickles” (Pickled Cucumber dusted with rough Corn Flour and Fried), excellent with Beer!
My fiancé had a classic… “Pulled Pork with Mash” - Stewed Pork shoulder and hand-shredded, sauced with the pork’s cooking jus and topped with mash potato… DELICIOUS!! (…with more beer!!)
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