Who We Are
Draft Horse Town is a Stampede committee who, quite literally, loves the draft horse and its role in shaping our history. Our mandate is to showcase and educate visitors on the draft horse story through the use of live demonstrations, equipment displays, exhibits, shows, and themed presentations.
Together with the Calgary Stampede, the Draft Horse Town team works to preserve the ‘art’ of the draft horse, celebrating our historical relationship with the draft horse and the traditional equipment used throughout history.
‘Horse Power’ – How Western Canada Was Built
Before the invention of the gas engine, true horsepower was, in fact, the working draft horse. Before 1910, at least 90% of all agriculture, public works and resource industries relied on horse power. From logging, mining and railway building to road construction, firefighting and agriculture even one generation ago, the draft horse has influenced almost every facet of our lives.
The Future of Working Horses
Today, the draft horse stands as a reminder of a simpler, often tougher time in Canadian history. Many of our horses are still used to plough fields, sow seed, and harvest. With great respect, Draft Horse Town is honoured to give Teamsters the time and audience to share their knowledge and passion for these gentle giants.
Preserving the Past for Future Generations
Draft Horse Town works alongside a team of skilled professionals, including blacksmiths and wheelwrights who demonstrate how the integral trades were practiced in the past. Guests can see wheelwrights build wood-spoked wheels for wagons and carriages, while blacksmiths work their magic with hot steel to make horseshoes and other forged items.
How Our Horses Are Selected
At Draft Horse Town, we are dedicated to the safety of Teamsters, teams, and their horses. Each horse and team are vetted through an internal selection process based on criterion that our experienced Teamsters observe prior to Aggie Days and Stampede. We look for competence, confidence, and knowledge in both horses and their owners. Specifically, horses are assessed for temperament, health condition, body condition, and overall disposition.
Horses are rotated throughout the 10 days of Stampede so as not to be overexposed to the excitement at Stampede Park.
Every day at Stampede, our experienced horse care team provide exceptional attention and care to our draft horses. Each morning, our horses are turned out to romp, roll, and run in the big arenas, and are fed and groomed according to Stampede Animal Care codes and guidelines.
Draft Horse Town is the proud recipient of the 2015 Stampede Animal Care Award, and is dedicated to working towards achieving the award for all future Stampedes.