The biggest team roping event in Canada is happening this weekend at the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede when Memory Lane Team Roping returns for its 10th year
“We are expecting close to 2,000 teams,” said organizer George Schreiner. “I think the last time we had it was two years ago (2019) with about 1,600 teams. There are more buckles up this year, 89 memorial buckles up for the team roping alone. People who pass away, the families put up buckles for their loved ones.”
There are different categories for roping, Friday evening and Saturday morning is the No. 8 and No. 10 combo.
“That’s the weaker ropers,” explained Schreiner. “On Sunday we have the over 40 ropers for the older folks. Then there is the open where you get some of the world champions. We make a category for everybody so it’s comfortable for them.”
At noon on Saturday will be the grand entry in the big arena at the grandstand. About 300 horses will come into the arena bearing flags in memory of those who have passed on. Schreiner said it is a sight to behold.
There will be a banquet each night in the Cypress Centre on the Stampede grounds. Families will be there to present buckles in memory of a loved one they have lost who used to rope.
“It’s gets pretty tear-jerking and emotional,” said Schreiner.
Everybody is welcome to come and watch all weekend. Entry to the roping is free for spectators. There is a charge for the evening banquet as a meal is provided. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
“I hope everything goes well. It’s one of the best ropings in Canada,” said Schreiner. “It’s lots of work to put it on but at the end of the day it’s all worth it.”
SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News