Rocky View County horse showcased on Calgary Stampede poster
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 10:23 am
A mare from Rocky View County was one of the most visited attractions at the Calgary Stampede this year.
Lady, an 18-year-old Belgian draft horse that is owned by Joe and Nancy Jeffary and resides northwest of Airdrie at Grandview Ag. Ltd., was used as the inspiration for this year’s Calgary Stampede poster and resided at the Stampede grounds from July 4 to 13.
“It’s been quite a surprise for us actually,” Joe Jeffary said. “Calgary artist Adeline Halvorson had actually painted a portrait of the horse two years ago, and when they chose her to do the main poster for this year’s event, she used Lady as the inspiration for her painting.”
“It’s been quite an experience for Lady I’m sure, but I actually haven’t been around that much to see what it’s like where she is staying,” he added. “At the Stampede, I volunteer in Draft Horse Town so I’m busy doing that instead of keeping an eye on Lady.”
Tovie Van Nes of DeWinton was standing by Lady throughout the Stampede to answer any questions that visitors might have, as it’s not very often the inspiration for the Stampede poster is present at the event.
“It’s the first time in 100 years that a draft horse has been on the poster,” Van Nes said. “Usually, the poster will have bucking bulls, rodeo stock, or chuckwagon racing on it.”
“As a result, Lady’s quite a popular attraction,” she added. “She’s an old pro though, and she’s quite used to having all of the attention around her as an older horse.”
As an added bonus, Lady’s new foal was also at the Stampede grounds, as she gave birth to a yet-unnamed colt on Father’s Day (June 15).
“That’s kind of been an added surprise for us at the Stampede, and I think that’s only made Lady a bigger attraction,” Van Nes said. “As she’s on ‘maternity leave’ so to speak, Lady and her colt were only out for a few hours in the afternoon, just to make sure they aren’t too exhausted.”
“They’ve been really taken well care of here, and some might say they are more cooled off than the humans,” she joked.