The Calgary Stampede opened up the 2023 edition with a bang, setting an opening day record for Day 1 visitors.
There were 164,939 people that went through the gates on Friday, setting a new record and inching closer to a Calgary Stampede one-day record.
Day 2 is sure to be another good one, with warm temperatures and virtually no chance of rain. Be sure to take precautions while you’re out there and drink lots of water and seek shade when you’re on the grounds.
The Calgary Stampede rodeo, complete with its new format, burst from the gate Friday, as they now have three pools with three days of competition. Previously it was two pools with four days of competition. So, there's no holding back.
Plus, it was the start of the ever-exciting GMC Rangeland Derby, with the top chuckwagon drivers vying for a spot in the final race and the big payday next Sunday night.
Here's a look at the day's action courtesy of Aryn Toombs and Sean Libin.
Tim O'Connell kicked off the action of the 2023 Calgary Stampede setting the bar high with an 87.0 trip aboard Shadow Warrior, winning the first round of the Stampede's Bareback event. Photo by SEAN LIBIN / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
O'Connell, Tim Zwingle IA Shadow Warrior 87.00 Laye, Clint Cadogan AB Special Delivery 86.00 Landingham, RC Hat Creek CA Witless Margie 84.00 Biglow, Clayton Clements CA Zulu Warrior 83.50 Reiner, Cole Buffalo NY Bigtimin Houston 82.50 Bennett, Caleb Corvallis MT Yesterdays Delivery 82.00 Kramer, Ben Max ND Arbitrator Joe 82.00 Pelke, Nick Mondovi WI Cinchy Whitney 81.50 Clements, Mason Spanish Fork UT Bucking Knight 80.00 Breuer, Ty Mandan ND You See Me 80.00 Saddle Bronc
Leon Fountain emerged as the top Saddle Bronc rider at Calgary Stampede Rodeo's opening round. Fountain rode Business Girl to an 86.50. Photo by SEAN LIBIN / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Fountain, Leon Corona NM Business Girl 86.50 Thurston, Zeke Big Valley AB Y U R Friskey 85.50 Garrett, Shorty Eagle Butte SD Baby Kibitz 83.00 Brennan, Damian Injune AU Sergeant Whitney 81.50 Holman, Lefty Visalia CA Birch Bubbles 78.50 Fleet, Parker Axtell TX Redon Acres 78.00 Sanford, Ryder Sulphur LA Yukon Rambler 77.50 Wright, Spencer Milford UT Zoaria Hills 68.00 Cress, Brody Hillsdale WY Zastron Acres BO Diaz, Isaac Desdemona TX Daunting News BO Bull Riding
JC Mortenson scored 84.5 aboard Jack O Lantern (DK 752) on the first day of the Calgary Stampede bull riding. Photo by SEAN LIBIN / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Mortensen, JC Paulden AZ Jack O Lantern 84.50 Teel, Cody Kountze TX Trapped 82.50 Holston, Trey Fort Scott KS Last Rights 81.00 Woodward, Jestyn Custer SD Captain Jack 80.50 Reiste, Trevor Linden IA Handsome Devil 73.00 Schott, Chance Mclaughlin SD Wolf Bait BO Davis, Cooper Jasper TX Chester BO Buttar, Dakota Eatonia SK Devils Advocate BO Swearingen, Daylon Piffard NY Jack The Ripper BO Askey, Jeff Athens TX Haunted Hotel BO Tie-down Roping
Riley Pruitt competed in the opening day of Calgary Stampede Tie Down Roping action. Photo by SEAN LIBIN / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Otero, Michael Lowndesboro AL 7.6 Costa, Marcos Iretama PR 8.4 Cooper, Beau Stettler AB 8.5 Jongbloed, Zach Iowa LA 8.6 Webb, Riley Denton TX 8.7 Shiozawa, Matt Chubbuck ID 9.2 Smidt, Caleb Bellville TX NT Hale, Trevor Perryton TX NT Yates, Marty Stephenville TX NT Pruitt, Riley Gering NE NT Steer Wrestling
Massey, Dalton Hermiston OR 4.7 Brunner, Tanner Ramona KS 5.5 Devers, Cody Perryton TX 5.5 Graves, Stockton Alva OK 6.1 Tavenner, Dirk Rigby ID 7.5 Payne, Don Stephenville TX 9.5 Allen, Tucker Oak View CA 10.2 Cassidy, Curtis Donalda AB 15.8 Branco, Stan Chowchilla CA NT Guy, Nick Sparta WI NT Barrel Racing
Lisa Lockhart turned the barrels in 17.580 seconds to secure the top spot on Day 1 of the Calgary Stampede Ladies Barrel Racing. Photo by SEAN LIBIN / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
613 Lockhart, Lisa Oelrichs SD 17.580 621 Routier, Jessica Buffalo SD 17.650 602 Beisel, Emily Weatherford OK 17.670 605 Crowther, Margo North Fort Meyers FL 17.720 629 Winkelman, Sara Big Lake MN 17.990 625 Spielman, Shelby Ponoka AB 18.030 617 Mowry, Kassie Dublin TX 22.640 608 Hillman, Stevi Weatherford TX 22.640 627 Whiteside, Bradi Longview AB 22.940 630 Winn, Sissy Chapman Ranch TX 25.020 Chuckwagons
Chanse Vigen chuckwagon racing in heat 9 at the Calgary Stampede on Friday, July 7, 2023. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
1 N Jamie Laboucane Cowboys 1:11.4300 1:11.4300 2 AA Chanse Vigen KMA 1:11.5200 1:11.5200 3 C Kurt Bensmiller Grey Eagle Resort & Casino 1:12.1000 1:12.1000 4/5 O Layne MacGillivray Spray Lake Sawmills 1:12.3000 1:12.3000 4/5 D Rae Croteau Dynamic Capital & Custom Truck 1:12.3000 1:12.3000 6 J Darcy Flad Broda Group 1:12.3600 1:12.3600 7 Y Mark Sutherland Friends of Sutherland Racing 1:12.4300 1:12.4300 8 H Chad Fike Summitt Fleet 1:12.6300 1:12.6300 9 V Evan Salmond De Havilland 1:12.8400 1:12.8400 10 W Wade Salmond De Havilland 1:13.1000 1:13.1000 11/12 X Kirk Sutherland Shaw GMC 1:13.2700 1:13.2700 11/12 R Obrey Motowylo Shel-Bar Electronic Industries 1:13.2700 1:13.2700 13 Q Kris Molle Graf Mechanical 1:13.3500 1:13.3500 14 M Ross Knight MobSquad 1:13.4300 1:13.4300 15 E Troy Dorchester Grayhawk Wealth 1:13.7000 1:13.7000 16 U Danny Ringuette Genesis Aviation 1:13.7300 1:13.7300 17 K Jason Glass Birchcliffe Energy 1:13.7600 1:13.7600 18 F Dallas Dyck Northback 1:13.8000 1:13.8000 19 Z Mitch Sutherland Cross Country Canada Supplies and Rentals 1:11.9100 1:13.9100 20 S Vern Nolin Semera 1:14.2400 1:14.2400 21 B Chance Bensmiller EllisDon 1:14.3200 1:14.3200 22 P Codey McCurrach Western Electircal Management 1:12.6100 1:14.6100 23 A Todd Baptiste Summit ESP 1:13.6200 1:14.6200 24 G Preston Failthful Natural Energy Law 1:14.6600 1:14.6600 25 L Doug Irvine VisitLethbridge.com 1:15.3600 1:15.3600 26 T Cody Ridsdale O'Chiese Investment & Business Centre 1:13.4700 1:18.4700 27 I Jordie Fike Tronic Data Inc. 1:14.0100 1:19.0100
Rae Croteau races the inside line during the GMC Rangeland Derby at the Calgary Stampede on Friday, July 7, 2023. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Mark Sutherland races to victory in his heat during the GMC Rangeland Derby at the Calgary Stampede on Friday, July 7, 2023. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY