Calgary – The world’s first Chuckwagon Race was staged at the Calgary Stampede in 1923. Nearly 100 years later, the community continues to show strong support for this iconic, fast-paced sport with $2.75 million being raised at the 2023 Calgary Stampede Canvas Auction, presented by Cowboys.

“This is such an exciting year for the Calgary Stampede and the sport of Chuckwagon Racing,” said Will Osler, President & Chair of the Stampede Board of Directors. ”Kicking off this monumental celebration of 100 years of Chucks with an incredible auction is truly a reflection of how important the sport continues to be within our community.”  

The auction is an annual event that partners companies and groups with the 27 Chuckwagon drivers who are invited to compete at the Stampede. Successful bidders can advertise on their driver’s Chuckwagon Canvas throughout Stampede 2023 and have the unique opportunity to offer a select group of guests a one-of-a-kind, behind-the-scenes experience with their driver in the chuckwagon barns.

The financial backing the Chuckwagon drivers receive through the Canvas Auction is vital to supporting their teams at the Calgary Stampede and throughout the racing season. Kris Molle and Kurt Bensmiller tied for top bid of the night, each earning an impressive final bid of $170,000 from Graf Mechanical Ltd. and Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, respectively.

“It was an honour to be here tonight,” said Kris Molle, who won the Cowboys Rangeland Derby last year. “Being one of the top sellers is exciting because it means we have the support we need to run at the top and get where we want to be. Chuckwagon Racing has been going on for 100 years, it’s part of our western heritage and I think that was reflected in the auction tonight.”

A secondary online auction will open on April 20, 2023, giving tonight’s successful bidders the opportunity to sell off individual nights they are unable to utilize themselves. This provides even more options for organizations to be part of this valued and unique experience. More information on next week’s online auction is available here.

As the Calgary Stampede celebrates 100 years of this iconic, fast-paced sport, the Stampede partnered with the Alberta Boot Company on an additional offering. A 100 Years of Chuckwagon Racing commemorative cowboy boot, designed and handcrafted by Alberta Boot was also put up for auction! The first edition of only 100 pairs went to a lucky bidder with proceeds going towards the Calgary Stampede Foundation.

"We're proud to be the official boot of the Calgary Stampede," said Eytan Broder, Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Boot Company. "It was an honour to create this iconic boot to mark 100 years of Chuckwagon Racing at the Calgary Stampede. Our boot is a perfect reminder of the memorable sport we celebrated tonight. Each pair has a unique and exclusive visual stance. What makes this boot special is the mix of heritage and modern design pieces that incorporate new techniques while keeping the brand true to its roots."

The Canvas Auction marks the kickoff and countdown to The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, which is only 85 days away. While the Calgary Stampede is packed with excitement, there are few events as beloved as the Cowboys Rangeland Derby Chuckwagon Races. Tickets are on sale for the 2023 Cowboys Rangeland Derby and Evening Show, July 7-16. For the best seats in the house, get yours today by visiting CalgaryStampede.com/tickets.

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 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:
Shannon Greer
Manager, Communications & Media Relations
403.585.0476
sgreer@calgarystampede.com

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