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Stampede that almost never happened due to flood wraps in Calgary

CALGARY - The 101st Calgary Stampede wraps on Sunday after 10 days of events that a record-breaking flood almost prevented from happening. Official attendance over the 10 days wasn't available by late Sunday, but organizers said the one-million mark had already been met by the end of Saturday. The record attendance was 1,409,371 last year. "We're just extremely proud we put on the show we did," said Stampede spokeswoman Jennifer Booth.

Screws and rods holding together vertebrae of bull rider injured in Stampede

CALGARY - A family friend and agent of a bull rider injured at the Calgary Stampede says the cowboy has fractured vertebrae and a broken jaw. Aaron Roy of Yellow Grass, Sask., was stomped in the back by a bull on Thursday. He was wearing a protective vest, but had to be taken from the grounds on a stretcher. Agent Jason Davidson says doctors inserted eight screws and two rods into Roy's back. Davidson says Roy's wife has indicated he is able to move his feet and toes. He says the bull rider is in some discomfort, but his spirits are good.

Millions of mini-doughnuts, tonnes of manure at 'Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth'

CALGARY - The "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" isn't just a rodeo with bulls, broncs and belt buckles. While there are plenty of nods to western ways, the Calgary Stampede is also one of Alberta's premier tourist attractions, kicks off with a two-hour parade and offers a giant midway with heart-stopping rides and deep-fried delights. Here are some interesting numbers:

Steer wrestling animal euthanized after neck injury at Calgary Stampede

CALGARY - The Vancouver Humane Society has called for the suspension of steer wrestling at the Calgary Stampede after a steer had to be euthanized due to a severe neck injury. Society spokesman Peter Fricker says animals should not have to suffer and die "just to entertain a crowd." The animal could not get up after having its head and neck twisted to force it to the ground as part of the competition. Three veterinarians in the arena made the decision to euthanize the animal.

Partisan politics taking a back seat to flooding at Calgary Stampede

CALGARY - All the outward trappings are there but there is something missing from the 2013 Calgary Stampede. The annual parade Friday drew hundreds of thousands of people to the downtown core, people are once again festooned in cowboy hats, boots and jeans and families flock to free Stampede breakfasts. But the annual cowboy festival is lacking the usual political partisanship that has traditionally been tantamount to the so-called "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth."

Cosmic cowboy joins water-weary Calgarians ready to party their mudboots off

CALGARY - Water-weary Calgarians put aside their mops and flood gear Friday to show visitors what they do best — throw one heck of a party. Thousands of people lined what just two weeks ago were the submerged streets of the city's downtown to watch the colourful, noisy parade that kicks off the Calgary Stampede. Marching bands, floats and lots and lots of horses wound their way along the parade route under a sunny sky. Stampede officials say it has never rained during a parade.

Unofficial "anthem" of Alberta floods by Canadian musicians aims to lift spirits

As residents clean-up and rebuild from the flooding that has swamped Calgary and other parts of Alberta, a Canadian artist has created an unofficial anthem in a show of support. "Hell or High Water" was a phrase that was bandied about social media in reference to the possibility that the Calgary Stampede might not go ahead because of flood damage. The phrase soon took off in Calgary and later adorned T-shirts for Stampede flood relief.

Federal leaders head to Stampede, show solidarity with flooded Calgarians

OTTAWA - Federal political leaders will be doing more than whooping it up when they make their annual pilgrimage to the Calgary Stampede next week. They'll be showing solidarity with residents of the flood-ravaged city and sending a signal that Calgary is back on its feet — perhaps a bit wobbly, but still a force to be reckoned with. And while they'll doubtless flip pancakes at one of the ubiquitous Stampede breakfasts, they may also find themselves wielding shovels and brooms as part of the volunteer cleanup brigades.

Stampede selling 'Hell or High Water' T-shirts to raise money for flood victims

CALGARY - The Calgary Stampede is selling T-shirts with a “Hell or High Water” slogan to raise money for flood relief in Alberta. Money from the T-shirts, which are being sold online, is being donated to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund. The phrase has turned into a rallying cry to get Calgary's rodeo grounds ready in time for the July 5 start of the 101st edition of the world-famous event. Stampede president Bob Thompson said Monday that the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth would be going ahead "come hell or high water."

Stampeding to recovery: Calgary rodeo to go ahead 'come hell or high water'

CALGARY - The president of the Calgary Stampede says the world-famous event will go ahead next week "come hell or high water." Bob Thompson says crews have been pumping millions of litres of water from the rodeo grounds, which were swamped last week by extensive flooding that hit much of southern Alberta. "Throughout our entire history, we have never cancelled a show, despite two wars and a Great Depression — 2013 will be no exception," he said at a news conference Monday. "We will be hosting the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, come hell or high water."
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