104 YEARSIN THE MAKING
In celebration of the war’s end, the residents of Falkland and surrounding area planned a large picnic. Enthusiastically, they came by wagon, buggy, horseback and car to visit with friends whom they’d not seen for months. The children were doubly excited with the advent of races, lots of food and homemade ice cream. On the date of March 24, 1919, in the gyp field in the north west corner of the townsite they gathered. No one ever dreamed this gathering would become the Falkland Stampede, a legend in B.C. history!
One of the first stampede bucking horses ever mentioned was a big roan belonging to Dave Hill who worked on the C.N.R. grade. He was sure that Chris English, a young Cariboo cowboy couldn’t ride the roan. Apparently Mr.English stayed on for a few seconds, but stayed sprawled on the ground much longer.
In 1931 another attraction was added to the Empire Day festivity. A May Queen was chosen by her fellow students from Glenemma, Falkland and Westwold Schools and May Pole dancers performed for their newly elected Queen. 1964 saw the crowning of Falkland’s first Stampede Queen. The May Day activities were changed to another weekend but it wasn’t long before they ceased altogether.However, the
stampede continued to grow.
The 1936 Stampede Dance was held in the new Falkland Community Hall. The hall was filled to capacity while the Cariboo Rangers from Kamloops provided the music on this occasion.
In 1938 the Association made another enterprising decision by purchasing eleven acres west of the townsite for a recreational and stampede grounds.
Falkland’s little rodeo turned professional on 1969 and was registered with the C.P.A (Cowboys Protective Association). This was a major step for a small community and a great deal of responsibility for the rodeo manager.
As the years passed, the attendance at the stampede grew as did the list of competitors. In 1970 it was decided to carry the stampede into two days. The parade date was changed in 1975 from Monday to Sunday.
On September 28, 1980, the Terry Fox Rodeo of Champions was held in Falkland. Organized by the Community Association;Rodeo Manager Mervin Churchill and volunteers, the rodeo with Canada’s top riders participating, entertained a crowd of four thousand spectators. Proceeds of six thousand dollars were turned over to the Cancer Society.
Today the three day Falkland Stampede ranks in calibre among the top twelve in Canada. Thousands fill the bleachers, Sunday being the biggest day.
(Taken from the “Meeting of the winds – a history of Falkland ” by Marjorie M. Selody)
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
The Falkland Stampede wouldn’t return each year if it weren’t for the volunteers that help us out! We have a variety of positions that need to be filled and any amount of time that you can commit to would be greatly appreciated. Contact our Rodeo Manager – Melissa Seaman with your information to be added to our volunteer list today.