Merle Morton selected as Hand Hills Lake Stampede Rodeo Opener
Long time supporter and volunteer, Merle Morton, will be opening the 102nd Hand Hills Lake Stampede this coming June 1, 2, and 3.
Morton has been involved with the widely known stampede since he was born. He lives only a mile away from the Stampede Grounds.
“I’ve been at every stampede. Out of my 77 years, I’ve been at 76 of them,” said Mor- ton. “I’ve been working there since I was about 15 years old.” Morton will welcome people attending and officially call the weekend open under the announcers stand in front of the chutes.
He has helped in every way imaginable including time as president of the Hand Hills Lake Stampede board.
“I was pretty near on every position so those are probably some of the reasons why I was chosen,” said Morton.
The local man is pleased to be selected for such an event.
“I’m quite honoured they asked me,” said Morton. “They asked me quite a few years ago. I figured I was too young at the time to be perfectly honest, so I said I’d open the 100th Stampede but they got somebody else so they asked me this year.”
The Hand Hills Lake Stampede Grounds are located 38 km east of Drumheller and 36 km south west of Hanna on Range Road 16-2 and Township Road 29-4.
Merle, 11, and siblings Darlene and Barbara get ready to go to the Hand Hills Lake Stampede years ago. Morton is one of eight children in his family and lives a mere mile away from the stampede grounds.