Heavy Horse Pull


Celebrating the 25 Anniversary! 


The Heavy Horse Pull is an exciting, action-packed event featuring true workhorses. The Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull is Canada’s premier pulling competition, with teams arriving from across North America to vie for top honours. From Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16 in the Agrium Western Events Centre, teams in three different weight classes will pull more than five times their body weight a distance of 14 feet. The Heavy Horse Pull also affords individuals and corporations the opportunity to promote themselves and enjoy some top-notch agricultural entertainment at the same time. The 2017 Heavy Horse Pull Team Auction, a lively and intimate affair, will be held on Thursday, July 13 before a live audience in the Agrium Western Event Centre. Supporters love this event because it presents an affordable branding opportunity, and allows them a unique venue for entertaining clients. Successful bidders get barn tours, passes to watch their teams during competition from a private VIP section, signage on the horses themselves during competition, stall signage in the barns, and an exclusive party prior to the main event.


With a winning bid on a team, you not only ensure a great time,
but you will gain the following benefits:
  • Showcase your company or group name on your selected team of horses
  • Receive two gate admission passes for the evening your team competes (July 14, 15, or 16)
  • Receive two invitations to the Pre Pull Reception with two complimentary drink tickets
  • Expose your name internationally through the online broadcast of the event
  • Experience a great entertainment value and the best party on Stampede Park

It's an experience you won't want to miss!


Event Dates and Location

Event Dates: July 14–16, 2017
Move in Date: July 13, 2017
Entry Closing Date: May 15, 2017
Location: Agrium Western Event Centre


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Entries in the 2017 Heavy Horse Pull Competition will be limited to 30 teams (10 per class). A limit of two teams per teamster per class will be in place.

The committee retains the right to jury all received entries, in the event of 31 or more teams entering. The following points will be considered:

  • Past accomplishments, as outlined in Competitive Pulling Biography
  • Time stamp of complete entry.  Complete Entries include:
    • Entry Form
    • Signed Exhibitor Agreement
    • Competitive Pulling Biography and,
    • Full Payment

* Please note: Incomplete entries will be moved down priority list during committee review.  Accepted entries will be communicated by June 1, 2017.

** Accepted entries will be contacted with Accreditation Forms to be completed and returned to Calgary Stampede Entries Office.  




It is the intent of the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull Committee to present a show of teamstership in a "TIGHT TUG PULL" competition.

If a team has been incorrectly entered in a division the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull Committee reserves the right to move that team into the advertised weight class and withhold the $250 weight classification guarantee - see entry fee details for further clarification

Teamster Meeting (Time and Location TBD)
7:00 PM Horse Pull Team Auction (Agrium Western Event Centre)
9:00 PM Buyers Reception

FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2017 7:00 PM Horse Pull - Light Weights (Agrium Western Events Centre)

SATURDAY, JULY 15, 2017 7:00 PM Horse Pull - Middle Weights (Agrium Western Events Centre)

SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2017 7:00 PM Horse Pull - Heavy Weights (Agrium Western Events Centre) 10:00 PM Release of Livestock


*All event times are tentative

Teams will be divided by weight into three divisions:

Light weight division - 2400 lbs. to 3300 lbs.
Middle weight division - 3301 lbs. to 3600 lbs.
Heavy weight division - 3601 lbs. and over.

Note the weight break is subject to change to accommodate equal entries in each division. Competition to be decided by straight pull-out in each division.

Entry Fees

Entry Fee: $250.00

 If team does not meet the weight of the division they were entered into, a $250.00 penalty will be deducted from winnings.  A "No-Show" penalty of $250.00 will be assessed to any team that has registered for the competition and not present to compete, at the discretion of the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull Committee. 


1st - $3,000
2nd - $2,500
3rd - $2,000
4th - $1,750
5th - $1,250
6th - $1,000
7th - $1,000
8th - $1,000
9th - $1,000
10th - $1,000

Ribbons will be awarded to third place.


Class of the Class

The Class of the Class award is presented to the teamster, in each of the three weight classes, whom best represents the following attributes: Horsemanship, Sportsmanship and Showmanship. This is a special award, meant to recognize the one competitor whom exemplifies the true spirit of the pull. Each division winner will be presented with a pair of trophy buckles and $500. 


Perpetual Trophies will be awarded to each Winner in the three Weight Divisions.  These Perpetual Trophies will be returned each year and names of the next years pull winners will be added.



1. Special attention is called to the following:‚Äč

General Rules

Health Regulations

IAFE code of ethics

2. Teams will be weighed and vet checked on arrival to establish auction and competition weights.

  • Horses must be brought to weigh-in and vet check area as the team indicated at time of entry.
  • If a re-weigh in is requested, the horse will be taken to a specific location that is supervised by a Heavy Horse Pull Committee representative. Water and feed can be provided to the horses but no other substances are permitted.  Only one re-weigh per horse is permitted.  The re-weigh must happen within one hour of the initial weigh-in and only within the posted time frames of the weigh-in.
  • Both horses must be present during identified weigh in time or the team will be disqualified.
  • Horses must be weighed on a loose lead.

3. Substitution will not be permitted once teams have been weighed.

4. Teams will be weighed prior to their designated weight class pull. If any horse’s weight has increased by more than 10% between the initial weigh-in and the pre-competition weigh-in, a fine will be issued to the teamster.  Fines will start at $125/horse and will increase in increments of $50.00 based on percentage over initial weigh-in weights.  For example:

  • 10.1% - 11% = $125 fine/horse
  • 11.1% - 12% = $175 fine/horse
  • 12.1% - 13% = $225 fine/horse

5. Teams will be divided by weight into three divisions:

  • Light weight division - 2400 lbs. to 3300 lbs.
  • Middle weight division - 3301 lbs. to 3600 lbs.
  • Heavy weight division - 3601 lbs. and over.
  • If a team has been incorrectly entered in a division the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull Committee reserves the right to move that team into the advertised weight class and withhold the $250 weight classification guarantee.
  • *Please note, the weight break is subject to change to accommodate equal entries in each division. Competition to be decided by straight pull-out in each division.

6. Starting weight for all teams is as follows (weight of boat included):

  • Light weight division - 4500 lbs. /or at the discretion of the HHP Committee
  • Middle weight division - 5000 lbs. /or at the discretion of the HHP Committee
  • Heavy weight division - 6000 lbs. /or at the discretion of the HHP Committee
  • Each additional weight will be 500 lbs. or 1000 lbs. at the discretion of the Ringmaster.
  • The Northern Lights Arena will be available to exhibitors for warm-up and will have a pulling sled available for warm-up 1 hour prior to start of competition.

7. The Heavy Horse Pull committee will determine the draw order via a draw of names to occur at the teamster meeting.  

8. Only demonstration pulls organized by the Heavy Horse Pull Committee are permitted.

9. Teams must be under control at all times. Any team deemed to be out of control by the judge may be excused from the arena and their last qualified pull will stand as their final result.

10. All teamsters are responsible to ensure their equipment is properly fitted and in good working order. The Heavy Horse Pull committee reserves the right to inspect equipment prior to competition.

11. Any abuse of horses by teamster or helpers before, during or after the show shall immediately disqualify the teamster and all auction proceeds and prizes won shall be forfeited. Abuse such as and not limited to slapping, slashing or swinging the lines at the horses will not be tolerated.

12. The Heavy Horse Pull committee reserves the right to conduct blood and/or urinalysis tests to determine the presence or absence of performance enhancing substances on each horse in the pulling team. A positive test on any horse will result in the Teamster forfeiting all auction earnings and prize money in each event in which he/she is entered and further, the Teamster may be banned from future horse pull competitions at the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede for a period of time at the discretion of Calgary Stampede Management.  Please note the Equine Therapeutic Medication Rule.

13.The teamster that will drive each team registered must be identified at the weigh in and no substitutions are allowed without a signed doctor's note or at the discretion of the Heavy Horse Pull committee.

14.Exhibitors, hookers and helpers must be properly attired in western wear, including a sleeved shirt with collar, appropriate foot wear and a cowboy hat.  Horses must also be properly presented. The Heavy Horse Pull Committee may, at its discretion, bar any entry or person from entering the ring if not suitably presented to appear before an audience.

15. Warm-up arena – only people required for team handling and exercising are allowed in the arena.

16. Only authorized people are allowed in the arena during competition. Interviews conducted in the arena will be at the Heavy Horse Pull committee’s discretion.

17. There will be no unauthorized signage allowed on the teams in the show ring.

18. Teamsters and hookers may be subject to a breathalyzer test prior to each pull. Any person testing over the legal limit will be disqualified along with their teams. The decision of the HHP committee will be final with no appeal and all entry fees and auction proceeds will be forfeited.

19. Teamsters are allowed to use neck yokes or offset eveners.

20.Only the teamster and two helpers are allowed in the ring with each team.  All teamsters and helpers shall stay clear of the pulling lanes and concrete blocks when the other teams are pulling.

21. No foreign objects are to be brought into the arena for competitions (example: chairs, coolers, blankets, ropes, etc.)

22. No header is allowed except during a harness break. Helpers are not allowed to talk to the horses. Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification.

23. Once a team has entered the ring, no change in harness will be allowed unless due to breakage. This does not include adjustments.

24. The teamster or hooker may, but is not required to, ride the sled during the pull.

25. A teamster will be allowed three minutes from the time he/she is called or signaled to hook up to the sled or be eliminated.

26. If a team refuses to pull, a teamster will be allowed three minutes’ rest and one minute to try the load again. If the team refuses again, the team is disqualified and the distance pulled to that point is recorded. The timekeeper is to track the time.

27. The pull is to be made hitched to the sled over a distance of fourteen (14) feet.

  • Sidelines are sixteen (16) feet apart.
  • A marker will be placed on each sideline 25 feet from the end of each sideline. If any part of the sled reaches this marker, the pull will change direction.
  • There will be two (2) tries to pull the load fourteen (14) feet.
  • Each time the sled is intentionally moved is counted as a try.
  • If the judge should call an infraction where the pin is to be reset and the teamster is required to re-hook to the load, the load the infraction is called on will be counted as one of the two (2) attempts.
  • An extra pin will be set behind the sled each time it is moved.
  • The team must not be intentionally unhooked during these tries.  If a team becomes accidentally unhooked, the Teamster must back up to the sled and re-hook, staying within the sidelines.

28. While hooked to the sled, the team must stay within the sidelines. If the team steps on or over the lines, it will be disqualified and credited with the last completed pull.  If the teamster feels the sled is too close to a line, he/she may ask the judge to waive the line closest to the sled. If the judge agrees the line will be waived. If the team steps on or over the line on the first load the team will be given another try. If the team steps on or over the line on any subsequent loads the team will be disqualified and credited with the last completed pull.

29. Once the team starts the load, the teamster must stay behind the eveners except during a harness break or during the three-minute rest period allowed after a refusal. At these times, the teamster may move to the head of his/her team. Hookers are not allowed ahead of the eveners at any time except in a potential emergency. Failure to comply will result in disqualification. Behind the eveners is defined as the center point at which the eveners attach to the sled. The swing of the evener forward or back will not be used to determine position of the teamster.

30. Deliberately jerking the load is prohibited. The teamster must make a reasonable effort to drive the team into the load. If in the opinion of the judge the teamster deliberately jerks the load the pin will be reset and the teamster will be required to re-hook to the load and pull the required distance inside the allotted time. If the load or any subsequent load is judged to be jerked the teamster will be disqualified.

31. If a break in harness or equipment occurs, there will be a time limit of five minutes to fix the break and be hitched back to the load. If a teamster forfeits the pull at which a breakage occurs, he/she must pull the next weight the full distance or weight goes back to the previous completed pull.

32. The pin and rope laid out flat must measure fourteen feet. The pin must be pulled completely out to qualify as a completed pull.

33. The team must make one (1) complete pull to qualify for prize money.

34. There will be a ringmaster, timekeeper, two linesmen and a pin man to assist the judge. These individuals have the authority to advise the judge of any infractions, and the judge must act upon their information.

35. The judge's decision is final.

36. Any animal may be removed from competition at any time, if deemed by the Calgary Stampede veterinarians that the animal is not fit to compete. 

37. Teamsters are not to argue with or harass the judge or Heavy Horse Pull committee members; to do so will result in instant disqualification and forfeiture of all auction proceeds and prizes.

38. An exhibitor lodging a protest must submit it in writing to the Agriculture Administration Department before 10:00 am the day following the cause of protest. A protest must state plainly the cause of the complaint or appeal and must be accompanied by a deposit of $500 which shall be forfeited to the Stampede, if the said protest is not sustained. The Agriculture Administration Management shall have the power to decide all protests and take appropriate action.

39. If a teamster does not fulfill his/her responsibility after being purchased at the auction, the offender is subject to consequences at the discretion of the Heavy Horse Pull committee and Calgary Stampede management.

40. Teamsters are encouraged to participate in all studies conducted during the Calgary Stampede for the purpose of enhancing animal safety and/or research purposes.  

41. The Heavy Horse Pull Committee reserves the right to decide any point not covered by the rules and conditions.




An official accreditation pass will be needed by all those granted Park access for the 2017 Stampede and all future Stampedes. In addition to granting access to Stampede Park, the photo accreditation will indicate which restricted areas each person can enter based on individual requirements. Accreditation is year specific, and a new pass will be issued each year. The Agriculture Accreditation pass gives you access to the Grandstand Rush areas for the Rodeo, Chuckwagons, and Evening Show.  The pass must be purchased on the entry application for a fee of $35.00 (G.S.T. included) each. These badges are a privilege of the exhibitors, and will be limited. Exhibitors are responsible for lost or forgotten badges.
**Please note all accreditation will be sort be individual last name for pick up in Lot 25**


** If you require clarification or you have concerns regarding the above information, please contact the Calgary Stampede Agriculture Administration at 403.261.0313.


Entry to Stampede Park is via the Nat Christie Gate off of 25th Ave SE.  Please follow the directions of the parking staff.  Stalling will be in the Agriculture Barns, and trailers will be directed park upon arrival.
All Heavy Horse Pull Show Stalling will be in the Agriculture Barn.
In the event you require stalling outside of the Calgary Stampede click here for a list of suggested locations.  Please contact these locations directly for booking information.

For more information, please contact Agriculture Programming Manager Tammy Botsford 403.261.9316, or email: tbotsford@calgarystampede.com