Sunday, January 22, 2012

Do You Remeber That Time at The Calgary Bull Sale .... ?

It is once again drawing close to another Calgary Bull Sale.    This year marks the 112th anniversary of this sale which is to be held on Feb. 29th and March 1st, at Calgary Stampede Park.   

In addition to Hereford, Angus and Charolais bulls, there is also a select group of ranch ready horses and a new feature this year will include a Commercial Replacement Heifer Pen Show and Sale.
The Bull Sale began in 1901 with 64 consigned bulls and an entry Fee: $1.00/head.   That first sale averaged $90.00/head.    Of course the entry fee has gone up considerably since that first sale – but so has the sale price ! Last year the Calgary Bull Sale saw 173 bulls sell for an average of $4284.97/head

“By 1905 the Calgary Bull Sale had gained the distinction of being the largest individual purebred cattle consignment in the world”
~ JoAnn Jones-Hole in her book “The Calgary Bull Sale”
Over the years the bull sale has seen many changes – yet it still is held in high regard as being one of the top bull sales in our country.     Some  changes of interest include:

Transportation of the Cattle

“Getting bulls to and from the sale was not as easy in the early days as it is today.  If a breeder lived close enough, he simply drove the bulls with horses, or hauled them in a wagon or sleigh pulled by horses.  Most of the bulls, however, were driven from home to the nearest railway siding , or, depending on the distance and conditions, sometimes carried to the siding on a wagon or sleigh.  Then they were loaded onto the boxcars for Calgary”
 ~ JoAnn Jones-Hole in her book “The Calgary Bull Sale”
NOW – we pull up in our pick-up truck and stock trailer – or with a semi truck and cattle liner.   Makes one appreciate our modern technology when we think about the time and effort that was spent getting cattle to Calgary in the early days !

The Cattle
Among one of the most notable changes in the Calgary Bull Sale would have to be the cattle themselves.

The People
You can imagine over the years the number of people that have attended the Calgary Bull Sale, and those who have sold bulls there.   From banquets, pancake breakfasts and stall parties, the Calgary Bull Sale has always made everyone feel at home.   

The Calgary Bull Sale has always been a monumental event with Alberta Cattle Breeders.    Many of us have memories of attending the event with our family and friends.     The bull sale has always been more than just a place for breeders to sell their cattle, but also a meeting place for cattlemen and women to come together and visit with one another.  Some of the most interesting and memorable people I have met have been those who are the “characters” of the Calgary Bull Sale.  

“To Alberta people there is a certain atmosphere at Calgary Bull Sale.  It’s special, and I have never found that atmosphere at any other sale”
~Doris Fenton in “The Calgary Bull Sale” by JoAnn Jones-Hole

As I am writing this I am thinking of all the stories I have to tell about the Calgary Bull Sale, and those which have passed down to me through others.    Every year you can bet that at least once some one will say to me:         “Do you remember that time at Calgary Bull Sale ... ?

What are your most memorable moments from  Calgary ?

We look forward to visiting with at this years sale -- be sure and stop by the stall and say hello !

You can view our 2012 Calgary entries here

or the full sale catalogue below:

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