Prairie Post (West Edition)
Heritage Gather Festival to hold James Hargrave Memorial Ranch Scramble
Dunmore Equestrian Centre is holding an exciting event during the first weekend of August. Staring on Friday, August 5 at 2 p.m. when the beer gardens open. The weekend will end in the early afternoon of Sunday. The schedule is packed with activities for people of all ages.
Cathy Schnell, Director on the Board of the Dunmore Equestrian Centre, said, “it will definitely be inclusive for everybody, it showcases indigenous culture and western heritage.”
“On Saturday there will be a torquing demonstration at 1pm, heavy horse teams showing what our forefathers did how they would farm and ranch,” continued Schnell. “There will also be some entertainment with a young man that has trained a wild bison. He raised an orphan one and does some exciting entertainment with him. Then we have powwow demonstrations. The Indian Relay Races will be a demonstration in the large arena as we don’t have a track. It is a thousands of year-old ceremony showcasing what amazing riders they were.”
Rugged Rodeo Inc. (on Facebook @ruggedrodeoinc) is home of The Gather and is bringing the evening rodeo portion of the event to Dunmore. Kimberly Audet, Operations Manager Rugged Rodeo Inc. said, “we started last year in Brooks with The Gather, the format went over so well that other communities, like Oyen and Dunmore, wanted to recreate the same thing at their locations.”
The name of The Gather will change for each place. In Oyen it is being called The Big Country Gather and runs from August 19-21. As Dunmore wished to focus on western and indigenous Heritage, it got called the Heritage Gather. Brooks will be holding another one from August 12-14.
Each Gather runs a ranch competition called the Ranch Scramble. In Dunmore, this will be a Memorial Ranch Scramble in memory of James Hargrave (1983-2017). The Scramble will be held at 3pm daily and includes branding, tie down, doctoring, penning, and trailering. The top six teams from each day will qualify for the Wild Cow Milk during the Open Rodeo under the lights.
“The Hargraves family is one of the founding ranching families in this area,” stated Schnell, “and he passed away in the grasslands fire a few years ago while helping a volunteer firefighter. We are doing a memorial to him.”
There will be an evening/night rodeo called the Open Night Rodeo on the Friday and Saturday, featuring bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, bull riding, ranch broncs and ladies barrel racing. There will also be a breakaway roping jackpot on Sunday morning at 9am.
“Breakaway roping is one of the largest growing sports in North America right now,” stated Audet, “an event that allows women that rope a larger stage to perform on so they can compete in more events at rodeos.” There will be prizes, buckles, and trophies available to win in all categories. Live bands are performing on Friday and Saturday night at the Cabaret. Friday night will be featuring local band Phoenix, and on Saturday Mahoney will take the stage.
There will be teepees on site, along with indigenous art and beadwork. Food trucks will be available as well. For more information and the full schedule see the Facebook pages for the Dunmore Equestrian Centre or Rugged Rodeo Inc. If anyone would like to sponsor the event or volunteer, email email@example.com. “The more community members we have the easier it’s going to be,” said Schnell.
The Dunmore Heritage Gather is a three-day event running August 5-7 at the Dunmore Equestrian Centre. Daily admission, payable at the gate, is $20 for adults, $15 for youth 10-15 years and under 10 are free. Alternatively, a family can enter for $50. If you want to come for the evening cabaret (starting at 10pm) only, there is a $10 entry fee.
Weekend passes are also available. Adults are $35, $15 for 10-15 years, a family is $75, and camping is $20 per night.