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From a brand-new pony steeplechase to the ever-popular stock dog trials and even a hands-on farm experience, July’s Westerner Days and Exposition promises agricultural thrills for the whole family.
“This year is about coming together in celebration – paying tribute to this great country we call home and what it means to be a Canadian, an Albertan and a Westerner,” says Shannon Penny, Marketing Manager at Westerner Park.
In addition to a stellar entertainment line-up and midway, here’s your essential guide to this year’s agriculture events:
Five Must-see New Additions
1. Gypsy Vanner Feathered Horse Show – A “people-sized” draft horse originally bred to pull the Gypsy wagon, today you’ll find the beautiful Gypsy Vanner in all disciplines. Its unflappable nature also makes it a wonderful family horse and trail horse.
2. 2017 Westerner Days Pony Steeplechase Championship Series – Don’t miss the action as the smallest race horses with the biggest hearts take centre stage.
3. Ranch Hand Competition – A throwback to the days when neighbouring ranches would gather to see whose cowboys were the best riders, ropers and all-round toughest hands, cheer as teams compete in events reflecting jobs of working cowboys.
4. Equine Experience – Immerse yourself in this chance to meet the horses and learn about the breeds and how to care for them as owners and breeders promote the breeds they love.
5. Equine Mounted Games – Modeled after military mounted troop exercises used to keep soldiers’ skills sharp, these fast-paced relay races played on horseback will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Six Returning Favourites
1. Beef Shows – See beef producers from across Alberta competing in a host of events scheduled throughout the fair.
2. Goat Shows – Don’t miss the Dairy Goat Show and the “Kids Promoting Kids” Westerner 4-H and Junior Goat Show.
3. Miniature Donkey Extravaganza II Show – Bigger and better than ever, see exhibitors from across Canada and the U.S. at this year’s extravaganza – real crowd favourite!
4. Stock Dog Trials – Marvel to the dog-and-handler skills at the Westerner Stock Dog Trials. The competitive dog sport has herding dogs move sheep through a field, fences, gates or enclosures, directed by their handlers.
5. Canadian Heritage Breeds Poultry Show – Learn about the importance of heritage breed livestock as the beautiful birds display their perfectly preened feathers.
6. Urban Farm – Enjoy an interactive farm-fresh experience in the heart of Westerner Days! Meet the farmers, taste local foods and learn how to support a sustainable food future. Don’t miss the pop-up farmers’ market and see, smell and taste Alberta fresh.