Aspen Ledger is raising money to be able to compete with her mare Sugar at the Calgary Stampede. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge cattle penner pinning hopes on competing at Stampede

Aspen Ledger hopes to compete at Calgary Stampede, July 2-8, but must pay entry fee by June 16.

A Maple Ridge cow wrangler is trying her best to get to the mecca of rodeos in Canada: the Calgary Stampede.

Aspen Ledger, 20, competes in team cattle penning, an event where a team of three riders herd specific cattle from a large group into a pen.

There are three riders in team cattle penning: a first, second and turn-back.

At one end of the arena are 30 cattle, numbered from zero to nine, and three of each number. At the other end of the arena, there is a pen with a foul line.

A number is called and the three riders have to single out the three cows with that number, get them out of the herd and to the pen at the other end of the arena without a single wrong number cow crossing the foul line in less than 60 seconds.

The first rider pulls the first cow, the second rider pulls the second cow, then the first rider pulls the third cow and the turn-back holds all the wrong-numbered cows on the other side of the foul line.

“It’s super fun,” said Ledger, who was introduced to the sport when she was invited to watch a friend’s sister compete in Langley.

Ledger, who was three when she first started riding horses, started penning when she was nine.

“It’s my favourite thing to do with riding because you have to react super quickly in really high-stress situations,” said Ledger.

“I have to make split-second decisions in order to get a quick time and it’s based on skill.”

Ledger, who works in teams all over the Lower Mainland, Canada and the United States, usually takes on the role of the first or second rider.

She rides her “little mare” Sugar, 8, a quarter horse that has cow-working throughout her bloodline.

“She super catty, which means that she loves to chase cows just as much as I do. She actually reads them better than I do and she has moves like no horse I have ever seen.”

Ledger has won six “buckles,” or titles, at Pacific Coast competitions and British Columbia sanctioned events. She also competes at the nationals every year in Calgary and has placed in the Top 20 a couple of times.

To qualify for the Stampede, Ledger had to compete in six shows during the season, which runs from March until May.

Now she just has to raise the money to be able to go.

“It’s honestly one of my most desired dreams,” said Ledger, who is to compete at the Calgary Stampede July 2-8, but must pay her entry fee by June 16.

“Even to be able to have the opportunity there, winning or not, is just such a big deal to me. It means everything to me, honestly.”

A fundraiser for Ledger is being held 7-11 p.m. on June 1 at the Anavets Unit 379, 22326 North Ave. in Maple Ridge. Local singer/songwriter Rocky Swanson will be hosting the event and performing.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge NDP candidate wins in mock Student Vote Canada

Nationally, students elected a Liberal minority government

Ruimy defeated after one term as Liberal MP in Pitt Meadow-Maple Ridge

Said that he did everything he had planned to do

Dalton takes riding for Conservatives

Says he personally knocked on 10,000 doors in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge

Busy time at polling place in Maple Ridge as hours tick down

Polls close at 7 p.m. in Canada’s 43 election

ELECTION NIGHT: Pitt Meadows prof weighs in on tight fight

Election night results are coming in now, but here’s a perspective from a UBC professor ahead of time

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

Guns, crossbows, swords, ammo seized in raid on Fraser Valley home

Weapons also included stun guns and replica firearms

Homicide team investigates death of man in his 20s in Chilliwack

Male in his 20s not expected to survive his injuries

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

Owner of seafood company pleads guilty to illegally importing fish into U.S.

‘We would not put customer health and safety at risk’: Seven Seas Fish

Most Read