A fan favourite at the Ponoka Stampede every year is the ever-popular Cattle Raffle, where one lucky winner walks away with their choice of 40 bred heifers or a $70,000 cash prize.
Fans from all over purchase tickets each year and its a great fundraising event for the Stampede association, raising over $1 million since it began, with the proceeds going to improvements on the grounds.
Tickets are $50 each, with a total of 5,000 chances to win up for grabs. Sales start in December and usually sell out within the first few days of Stampede action.
“Ticket sales are on par — they’re doing well,” said Tyler Fessler, cattle raffle organizer and Ponoka Stampede board member, at the beginning of June.
“It’s a well-received raffle and a big part of the excitement of the Stampede.”
The local community tends to get really involved with the raffle, whether it’s buying tickets, getting friends and relatives in on the raffle or working to help sell tickets.
This year, the 40-head of black Angus cattle were purchased at Vold Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd., and came from local farmers Dick and Elaine Groom and Jeff and Monica Harvey.
The three bulls for pasture breeding were from Atlasta Angus, owned by Brian and Judy Sutter.
For six nights of rodeo performances, 10 tickets are drawn until the last performance on July 1 when the winner is drawn from those 60 tickets. That person can take the cattle or cash, while the other 59 will get their $50 purchase reimbursed.
Until rodeo action begins on June 25, raffle tickets can be purchased online at ponokastampede.com/2019-stampede/win, or at Jones Boys Saddlery and Western Wear (in Ponoka or in Red Deer), Ponoka Fertilizer, Ponoka Vet Clinic, Trouw Nutrition or from any Stampede director.
During Stampede week, raffle tickets can be purchased in front of the main grandstand during each rodeo performance or at Jones Boys.