For Glenna and the Ferguson family, the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Show isn’t just a committee they volunteer with, but a way of life for ten-days during the Calgary Stampede.
It all started when Glenna’s father was an exhibitor at the Stampede and went on to volunteer with numerous committees. Fast forward to 2021, 13 members of the Ferguson family sit on different volunteer committees, including two generations of Ferguson women on the Heavy Horse Show committee.
“It’s important for the Heavy Horse Show to be part of Stampede and we’re so thankful there was interest to have it back this year,” says Glenna. “We don’t want it to lose its historical consistency since it is the longest running Stampede event.”
Glenna, her husband, her three daughters and her two granddaughters can be seen running around making sure everything is seamless before, during and after the show.
Glenna’s husband, Dwight, has been involved for over thirty years and she says he is an integral part of the show’s operation. Dwight makes sure all the hitches are brought to the ring and that all competitors have a clear path into the building.
You can find Glenna’s eldest daughter, Erin Feldkamp, cranking out excel spreadsheets, managing all entries including farm information, handler names, shows and classes. “We like to call Erin the spreadsheet genie,” says Glenna.
Next is Glenna’s middle daughter Elise Lucas. Elise manages all the information for the announcer, Bruce Roy, and is a crucial part of the whole event. She makes sure all the information is correct and the show is seamless for competitors and the audience.
“Bruce is very special to our family and he said the only way he would announce is if Elise was with him,” says Glenna.
Lastly, is Glenna’s youngest daughter Kayce Ferguson who coordinates all the judges and is in contact with them before the Stampede event begins.
“Kayce is everybody’s right hand man,” says Glenna. “She can handle short term notice with such a calmness and she really stepped up to help Erin and scheduling.”
It won’t be long before Glenna’s two granddaughters, Sutton and Maybry head into the ring next year to compete in the Youth class making it three-generations of Ferguson women in the Heavy Horse Show.
Glenna can’t remember a year where she didn’t attend the Calgary Stampede with her father, her family and now her grandkids. “It’s been a lot of years being involved except for last year unfortunately due to the pandemic.”
Glenna and her family took to the hills during Stampede time last July; they rode their horses sporting their Stampede 2020 “We will ride again” T-shirts to celebrate in their own way. After a year off, the 2021 Stampede brought lots of uncertainty for the Heavy Horse Show.
“Things looked different even a week before the Stampede, so we had to figure things out as we went,” says Glenna. “We sent out a survey asking people if they were even willing to be an exhibitor and thankfully, people were willing to come and were very positive about it.”
The whole family was back in Calgary when the show returned to Stampede Park last week. Three generations of Ferguson’s have been involved with the Calgary Stampede for over 30 years, doing what they love.
“It seems funny to bring that many people together, but I value confident, diligent and hard-working people and that’s exactly what I have from my daughters,” says Glenna. “I am very thankful those girls are with me.”
Glenna was quick to add that her family is just part of the large, and dedicated group of volunteers that make up the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Committee. The results of the 2021 Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Show can be found on the Stampede website.