The Calgary Stampede will be celebrating a traditional way of riding in a high-adrenaline way.

Sidesaddle Racing will be included in the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth this year, where eight local horsewomen will take to the track to compete for cash prizes.

One of those skilled riders is Lee McLean from southwest of Longview, who said before the side saddle, women had to wait to be taken somewhere by a man, walk, or just stay home.

"For me, sidesaddle is a big step in women's emancipation. You were able to go where you want and do what you wanted to do, and that's sort of the spirit that we're wanting to embrace here."

Mclean said, the traditional outfits they wear when they race are based off the saddle they use.

"You don't put something that was in style in the 1930's in England with an 1885 saddle from the States. So you do try to dress as authentically based on pictures and tradition, and sidesaddle is very tradditional."

The other women racing against McLean at the Stampede include Sam Mitchell, Ryan Kennedy, Michelle Rose, Hailey Stewart, Erin Thompson Shields, Anne Thompson, and McLean's daughter, Cait Bascom.

McLean said, they've got a diverse group of women comepting, including one lady who is 70 years old.

The Sidesaddle race will follow the Chucks on Saturday, July 7th and Sunday, July 8th at the Calgary Stampede.

The women will also be kicking up dust at Guy Weadick Days in High River this weekend towards the end of Sunday's rodeo performance.

 

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