2021 Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge

This event has passed

Please see the up to date event schedule for current events

As we move closer to the 2021 Calgary Stampede, we continue to work with various levels of government and health officials on specific safety measures to support the best and safest Stampede, and recognize the need for our planning to be flexible and adaptable. As such, current plans may be required to change as we draw closer to Stampede. 

Please check back here and stay up to date with all Calgary Stampede news and be the first to know about 2021 details by signing up for the Stampede Insider or visit our website, CalgaryStampede.com.

Our cowboys and cowgirls will be kicking off this lightning fast competition with the first round of Extreme Cowboy Racing starting Friday, July 16, at 6:30 p.m. We jump into Round Two on Saturday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. On the final Stampede Sunday, the gates will crack open at 6:30 p.m. for an exciting race-to the finish where it will be determined which Cowboy or Cowgirl will win it all in a riveting clean-slate final round.

The Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge is a multi-faceted equestrian sporting event that showcases both horse and rider as they maneuver through a series of obstacles. Each obstacle demonstrates both their amazing horsemanship skills and incredible speed. Held in the Nutrien Western Event Center, this event continues to be the most well attended Extreme Cowboy Race in the World.

This year’s event is an invitational competition, limited to 8 top-notch riders who have been selected to compete in the three go-round event.

*Sanctioned by the Craig Cameron Extreme Cowboy Association

Event Dates and Location

Event Dates: July 16–18, 2021
Move in Date: July 15, 2021 12:00 PM
Release Date: July 18, 2021 8:00 PM
Location: Nutrien Western Event Centre

Please visit the following page for more information regarding the Calgary Stampede's key messages in regards to COVID-19: Calgary Stampede FAQs

Thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate through these challenging times.


2021 Cowboy Up Challenge Competitors

  • Teala Caton
  • Melissa Glowinski
  • Ariana Gray
  • Sophia Lowie
  • Shannon Luyendyk
  • Joanne Peters
  • Tom Ryan
  • Jim Wilson


Thursday, July 15 – 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Exhibitors move into assigned Cowboy Up barn - Ag Barns (Alley 5, Center Section)

Thursday, July 15 – Time to be determined – Exhibitor meeting at stalling area

Friday, July 16, 6:30pm – Round One

Saturday, July 17, 6:30 pm – Round Two

Sunday, July 18, 6:30 pm – Sudden Death Finals

Sunday, July 18 – Monday, July 19 – Exhibitors move out of barns

Entry Fees

This year’s event is an invitational competition, limited to 8 top-notch riders who have been selected to compete in the three go-round event.

All competitors who have been selected to compete will be sent entry forms to complete and return to our Entries Office. 

*Riders may only enter and ride one horse.

*Horses of all breeds are eligible to compete.  Mules and ponies are also eligible.

*All exhibitors must be a member of the EXCA at the time of the 2021 Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge.

*This is a double point show.

EQUINE BIOSECURITY PROTOCOLS: We take the health and safety of your equine athletes very seriously at the Calgary Stampede. As such, for 2021 we are implementing a mandatory submission of an Equine Biosecurity Form for all equine exhibitors. These forms must be filled out by all exhibitors entered into the Cowboy Up Challenge. We kindly ask that you return these forms to our office by June 30, 2021.


All competitors must stall onsite during the event. Stalls for the Cowboy Up competitors will be located in the Main Ag Barns (Alley 5), which will be closed to the public. Each competitor will be allocated a tack/feed stall.   

Shavings will be supplied for each competitor. Please bring a wheel barrow.

Competitors will be responsible to bring their own buckets and feed, this includes bringing your own hay.

**Please note there will be onsite fireworks in the vicinity of the Stampede Park stalling area.

*There is NO camping or parking allowed at the barns.


Total prize money to be paid out is $15,000






































In addition to the prize payout, the Champion and Reserve Champion will receive custom made Calgary Stampede trophy buckles.

All competitors from the two go rounds will advance to the sudden death Finals.

• Prize Money will be mailed to exhibitors following the show.

• All prize money will be paid in Canadian Dollars.

• Should a prize be found to have been obtained and awarded in error on the part of the judges, clerk, or by false evidence or misrepresentation, or a violation of any of the rules and conditions, the money will be withheld or, if paid in error, same must be refunded.




1. Special attention is called to the following:

2. Order of Go for the First Go Round will be decided by an electronic draw. The order for the Second Go Round will be reverse of first. The order of go for the Finals will be reverse order of aggregate from rounds one and two. All ties will be resolved in accordance with the EXCA rules.

3. The crowds and production elements (music, lights, etc.) at the event are considered to be part of the course, and each competitor acknowledges that they may be a distraction to his/her horse.

4. A horse and rider who become separated as a result of a clear fall off in the performance of an obstacle will be disqualified from the round and will receive a score of zero. The rider will not be permitted to remount and will be excused from the arena.

5. Traditional western tack must be used. Mechanical hackamores, tie downs, martingales, cavessons, dropped nosebands and any form of gag bit or slip will not be permitted. Horses are permitted to wear protective leg wraps, boots or other leg gear. It is acceptable to ride bareback or without a bridle.

6. Proper Western attire must be worn during the competition including Cowboy Hat (helmets also acceptable), cowboy boots, long sleeve button up shirts with collar and jeans.

7. Awards will be presented at the end of the final go round of competition.

8. All prize monies will be mailed to the owner of the horses entered and paid in Canadian funds. Non-residents of Canada will be subjected to a 15% withholding tax on all prize monies awarded as required by the Canadian Revenue Agency.  Non-residents of Canada may have the 15% withholding tax waived if they complete the following documents prior to competing:  Canada Revenue Agency T1261E form and Canada Revenue Agency 105 form

9. This competition is open to horses of any breed registry and non-registered/grade horses. Mules and ponies are also eligible.

10. Competitor information packages will be available for pick up upon arrival at the livestock competitor entrance to the show grounds. For alternative pick-up or delivery arrangements please call (403) 261-0162.

11. There will be a zero tolerance of any inhumane treatment of horses or cattle while in the show arena or on the show grounds. Any such action will be cause for disqualification. Inhumane treatment includes, but is not limited to, excessive jerking, pulling, kicking, slapping or whipping.

12. If entry is cancelled, all fees will be forfeited. Substitutions will be allowed for the following reasons only:

  • In case of a disabling injury to the horse, the contestant must furnish a certificate from a qualified Veterinarian declaring the horse disabled and unable to compete. Such certificate must be in the hands of the Show Management prior to the start of the contest.
  • In the case of a disabling injury to the rider, or serious sickness or death in his/her family, Show Management must be advised in writing prior to the start of the contest.

If you require clarification or you have concerns about the previous information, please contact our entries office at (403)261-0336.


Kim Hazlett of Calgary, Alberta 

Judging Criteria

Judging system to be based on the Extreme Cowboy Association judging system

To view sample obstacles click here.



When you arrive on park for move in, your accreditation passes and parking passes will be available at our Accreditation Office. The Accreditation Office can be accessed through the Nat Christie Gate located at 650 25 Ave SE, Calgary. Entry to Stampede Park for move in is only through the Nat Christie Gate.


An official accreditation badge will be needed by all those granted complimentary Park access for the 2021 Calgary Stampede. In addition to granting access to Stampede Park, the accreditation will indicate which restricted areas each person can enter based on individual requirements. Each accreditation pass must be purchased on the entry application for a fee of $35.00 (incl. GST). Exhibitors will be delegated two accreditation badges (one for competitor, one for companion). No extra badges will be distributed.

Exhibitors are responsible for lost or forgotten badges.

The Agriculture Accreditation Badge will be recognized as entry to Stampede Park at all walk through gates for the entire Calgary Stampede, July 7-18, 2021.



Please reference our Health Regulations page for detailed information on transporting animals within Alberta and importing horses to Canada. If you have any questions, please contact our Entries Office at (403)261-0336. 


Please direct questions to Tammy Botsford, Programming Manager