Calgary - Extreme cowboys are bringing a new kind of heat to the Calgary Stampede’s Cowboy Up Challenge, held from July 9 to 11 in the Scotiabank Saddledome. The competition has attracted an all-star line-up of world and national champions to battle it out for a $25,000 purse - making this the richest Extreme Cowboy Race in the world.

Jim Anderson, two-time Cowboy Up Challenge Champion and EXCA World Champion, is hoping to add a third buckle to his trophy case.

“This event gets bigger and tougher every year,” said Anderson, of Strathmore, AB. “It’s always an honour to compete at the Calgary Stampede, but the competitors make this year really exciting. My horse [Marilyn] is working great, so I’m excited to compete against the best in the world.”

The Cowboy Up Challenge is sanctioned by the Extreme Cowboy Association (EXCA) and requires horse & rider to go through a series of obstacles that require both amazing horsemanship and blistering speed. Expect to see a little fire, a little water, and more than a few surprises. Kim Hazlett, a volunteer with the Cowboy Up organizing committee, is expecting a race down to the wire.

“We wouldn’t be surprised if the final results come down to spreads between a few hundredths of a point, which means that the slightest bobble could mean the difference between first place and fifth,” said Hazlett. “Nobody will be able to play it safe or take anybody for granted. Anything could happen!”

The qualifying rounds run at 2:30 p.m. on July 9 & 10, with a sudden death finals at 2:30 p.m. on July 11. The winner of the finals will get $8,000, bragging rights, and a place in Calgary Stampede history.

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west.  The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit.  All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

For more information, please contact: