Here is another installment of our new feature: 10 Questions With… This week I had the opportunity to interview Harry the Horse, the official mascot of the Calgary Stampede. Harry has entertained people of all ages in every corner of the world. Places such as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. And you will always find Harry spreading Stampede cheer right here in his hometown of Calgary.
How long have you been the official mascot and ambassador for the Calgary Stampede?
I have been the Official mascot and one of Stampede’s ambassadors for nearly 25 years. It is sooooooo much fun! I am always looking for new friends over 18 to come and help me (contact me through my facebook page).
What are you most looking forward to for this year’s Calgary Stampede?
There are so many things that I’m looking forward to. I can’t wait to see the Acrobatic Ice Show, the Grandstand Show, all the amazing musical acts on the Coca Cola stage and Nashville North and, of course, the Rodeo & the Chucks. Even more importantly, I can’t wait to see the tons people who enjoy all the Stampede has to offer both on the park and in the community!
What is a typical day during the Stampede like for you?
I usually start off going to a couple of Caravan breakfasts followed by other breakfasts put on by a variety of organizations. Then, I make my way back to the Stampede Grounds to perform with the Stampede Showband on the Saddledome Plaza Stage. I go have fun at the rodeo and this year will have a daily autograph session in the Round-Up Center at 2pm. After that, I get to enjoy meeting people on the Stampede grounds. In the evening I go to a variety of events, get to perform with the Band of Outriders and the Stampede Showband again, and finish my evening by participating in and enjoying the Grandstand Show & the fireworks!
You have travelled around the world entertaining and spreading Stampede cheer, what has been one of the most exciting places you have been to?
Buckingham Palace when I got to meet the Queen! We had tea and a chat. It was fantastic!!
What advice can you give to Calgarians to get into the Stampede Spirit?
Get your Head in a Hat and eat some pancakes or pigs in a blanket!
What is favourite thing to do on park during the 10 days of Stampede?
My favourite ride is the Slingshot (I did it 6 times last year!).
Stampede is just one of the events you attend every year, can you tell us about some of the other events you attend during the year?
I get to go to many school breakfasts, sporting events, conferences (including the Red Hatter’s conference), and all the parades in the area, just to name a few!
How many pairs of horseshoes do you own?
None, I wear size 40 boots!
Do you have a favourite game at the midway?
I really enjoy the Basketball shoot, and I’m pretty good at it too!
What is your most embarrassing moment?
There are so many to choose from (LOL!). I have a lot of fun leading people in cheering “Ya-hoo!” and on more than one occasion I have been known to mix up my signs in the wrong order. I remember a couple of times in particular that were pretty embarrassing, once where pyrotechnics were supposed to shoot from the top of my signs & misfired and another, just last year, where the sign completely went flying out of my hand on the Grandstand stage!
Special thanks to Harry for taking a break from his very busy schedule to answer my questions. Be sure to visit Harry in the Round Up center this Stampede for his autograph session. If you also want to contact Harry look him up on his facebook page.
For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede , on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.