Heggie family donates land for new Raymond Stampede location

The Raymond Stampede is part of the town’s annual birthday celebrations, which just so happen to also be Canada’s birthday.  The rodeo draws in people from all over the region, including Ron Heggie who has been a fan all his life.

“Rodeos been a part of my life for the years that I’ve lived and I can remember,” said Heggie. “I was only seven-years-old when that grandstand behind us was built.”

The annual stampede made such an impact he decided to donate roughly 14 acres to ensure Raymond’s rich rodeo history lives on.

“I want the tradition to continue. I don’t want to see it end.”

The current location was donated decades ago by another local family, but Mayor Jim Depew said the site is now needed to expand the communities high school.

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“We are growing and we have to look at the concerns of everybody and some of the concerns are for a new school, so that’s why we have to move the rodeo grounds,” said Depew. He added the donation from the Heggie family is huge for the community and helped decide where to build the new grounds.

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Heggie said it’s taken time to work out an agreement with the town, but his family is excited about the decision.

“I want to see the land used for nothing but recreational purposes. I don’t want to see somebody come in and take a hold of it and use it for profit of something like that,” he said.

Raymond Stampede Society president Robert Heggie — Ron’s nephew — said the rodeo group fought hard to keep the current spot where it’s been since 1903, but now with a new location secured it’s time to move forward and volunteers will be needed to help with the relocation.

“Its funny how history sort of repeats itself and we are going to go through it all again and give this generation the opportunity to step it up and be pioneers of our time to get this going again,” said Robert.

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The final showdown at the old grounds will be on its usual day of July 1, then the chutes will crack for the stampede at its new location in 2024.

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