Youth rider competes at Calgary Stampede

Cody Fitzpatrick competes at the Calgary Stampede. Photo courtesy of Mike Copeman Photography.

Cody Fitzpatrick was thrilled to be invited to attend and compete in the Calgary Stampede Tier 2 Steer Riding competition on July 8.  After submitting his application and stats to the Calgary Stampede he was selected to compete.

It was then that Fitzpatrick started preparing, obtaining sponsorship from Cory Mercer at Oxbow Timbermart to help with equipment and entrance fees for competitions including the Stampede.

Upon arriving to the Stampede, Fitzpatrick was ushered to the participant area where he was able to interact with various competitors of the Calgary Stampede.  This included one of Fitzpatrick’s personal favorites, Jesse Lockwood, who even signed some memorabilia for Fitzpatrick.  He was also given a behind the shoots pass, which is reserved only for competitors and one family member, allowing him a glimpse of the Stampede that most others aren’t able to have.

Fitzpatrick was competing against 24 other youth, ages 13-16, in the Tier 2 Steer Riding.  Fitzpatrick rode early in the line-up, with tensions high as they waited to see if the other competitors would knock him out of the standings.  Only the top 6 would move on to participate in the performance.

“I was just excited to be there,” said Fitzpatrick, “I thought the arena was pretty sweet.  It was bigger than anything I have ever seen before.”

Fitzpatrick ended up placing 3rd out of the 25 youth participants.  This means that he was moving on to the performance.  He was excited to move on and place high in the competition.  He stated that his goal was to place in the slack, which he was able to do.

The performance turned out to be memorable as well, but for much different reasons.

As five seconds after his steer exited the shoot he was thrown to the ground, and then stomped on by the raging steer.   The steer’s hoof landing on his head and neck.  Fitzpatrick was knocked out from the blow and remembers only bits and pieces.  He recalls trying to stand up and being helped off the arena.  He was placed on a stretcher and the medics called over.

His mother, Amanda Fitzpatrick, who was watching from the stands was unaware of what had happened due to her view being obstructed.  Thinking that he had just been bucked off, she waited to watch the replay of her son’s ride on the big screen, which never came.  She made her way down to the shoots to find out what had happened.


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