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Local barrel racer, Celeste Montpellier, talks about the Calgary Stampede

Updated: Sep 9, 2021 August 19, 2021 @ 6:00pm

stettler barrel racer montpellier
Celeste Montpellier and horse 'Sargent' at the Calgary Stampede 2021

Celeste Montpellier and her locally sired and raised horse were contenders in the Calgary Stampede this year. The Stettler barrel racer says that being able to compete in the Calgary Stampede was certainly a bucket list item.

Montpellier explained that with border crossing rules during COVID a lot of American rodeo riders who were invited to the Calgary Stampede declined their invitations. Stampede organizers hosted a qualifying event in Innisfail, taking the top five riders and averaging out their scores over three runs. Montpellier qualified and was then invited to ride in the Calgary Stampede.

“It was quite a thrill.” - Celeste Montpellier

Her first run was a no-time with next three runs at 18.22, 18.05 and 17.79. These times saw Montpellier take home just over three-thousand dollars.

Starting in grade ten with the Alberta High School Rodeo Association, Montpellier rode for a few years, then stopped for a while to raise her family. She is now in her third year of the professional circuit and has been in five professional rodeos since Calgary.

She says that other than COVID precautions that were built into this year’s Calgary Stampede, because of the size and scope of the event, rodeo events have not changed much for COVID. She does note that there haven’t been many, if any, indoor events so riders are able to distance themselves pretty easily if they choose.

Montpellier says she is proud her horse was sired at Diamond N Ranch just south of Stettler. and that the horse she competes with is 100% local. She notes that barrel racing in Canada over the last ten years has become more competitive and one of the advantages of that is that Canadian Breeders have also improved and can produce quality stock equal to those coming out of the US.

Celeste and her husband own the Trail Tire in town and Celeste trains horses for barrel racing. She is currently working with 6 other horses (in addition to her own) and hopes to one day go to the states to participate in some of the larger rodeos.

Congratulations to Celeste on her Calgary Stampede win.

Carson Ellis, Reporter


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