2022 Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge

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Please see the up to date event schedule for current events


From the Stampede Rodeo, Chuckwagons and Western Agriculture Events to our most loved midway rides, live music and food we’ve all been craving, start your countdowns for the 2022 Calgary Stampede.

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The Calgary Stampede remains committed to meeting and exceeding all current public health measures to continue to make Stampede Park a safe gathering place for our community.


2022 Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge

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 highest viewed and biggest paying Extreme Cowboy Race in the World.

Our cowboys and cowgirls will be kicking off this lightning fast competition with the first round of Extreme Cowboy Racing starting Friday, July 15, at 6 p.m. We jump into Round Two on Saturday, July 16, at 6 p.m. On the final Stampede Sunday, the gates will crack open at 6 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.

This year’s event is an invitational competition, limited to 10 elite riders who have been selected to compete in the three go-round event.

*Sanctioned by the Extreme Cowboy Association

Event Dates and Location

Event Dates: July 15–17, 2022
Location: Nutrien Western Event Centre


Thursday, July 14 – 12 p.m.- 9 p.m. - Exhibitors move into assigned Cowboy Up barn

Thursday, July 14 – Time to be determined – Exhibitor meeting at stalling area

Friday, July 15, 6pm – Round One

Saturday, July 16, 6 pm – Round Two

Sunday, July 17, 6 pm – Sudden Death Finals

Sunday, July 17 – Monday, July 18 – Exhibitors move out of barns


Competitors who believe they are ready to compete at this elite level and are not yet invited for this year’s event are encouraged to submit a formal application for consideration as a Wildcard. We strongly encourage applicants to include a detailed biography including accomplishments and wins. This application pool will be used to fill any remaining spots. 

WILDCARD ENTRY DEADLINE: Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - midnight (mst)

Download Wildcard Application Here

Download Exhibitor Agreement Form Here

*Wildcard participants that have been selected will be notified by phone and/or email no later than May 2, 2022.

Entry Fees

This event is an invitational competition.

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 2022 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 2022 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 24, 2022.


All competitors must stall onsite during the event.

Shavings will be supplied for each competitor.

Competitors will be responsible to bring their own 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.




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.

Judging Criteria

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



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 2022 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 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 7-17, 2022.



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. 


Information About Calgary:

For information on Calgary please click here

For accommodation information for surrounding areas please click here.

For campground information around Calgary please click here.


For more information on the Calgary Stampede's Cowboy Up Challenge,
please contact Competitions Specialist, Tammy Botsford, 403.261.9316 or email tbotsford@calgarystampede.com