It's the oldest continually run rodeo in Alberta and for the second year in a row, the Hand Hills Lake Stampede has been voted the best small rodeo organizing committee in the country.

Hand Hills Award 2018"We didn't even know we had the award," confessed committee president Layton Rosin, who wasn't able to make it to Red Deer earlier this month for the Canadian Finals Rodeo, where the award was announced. "It was about a week later that (Tanner) Gerlitz from Hanna, he was up there and I ran into him at the hardware store and he's telling me that we won the award. I'm like Gerlitz, you're slipping, we won last year, not this year and he's like no, no, you won this year."

"We thought last year was maybe more of a 'sorry we missed the 100th (anniversary) and here you go, here's an award, but to get it two years in a row," he argued. "It's voted on by the cowboys, so you know you're doing something right because they're the ones that go to all the rodeos, right?"

Rosin joked that Day Lenfesty's famous pies may have had something to do with winning over the cowboys' votes. He admitted that organizers of the Hand Hills Lake Stampede are still recovering in the wake of the 100th anniversary two years ago, but he believes they will go on.

"Five years before, when I started, they said we wouldn't make it to the 100th; we weren't going to be a pro rodeo or we were going to be a bull-a-rama," he recalled. "We took a step back this year, but it's just a completely different animal now; it wasn't that big of a rodeo and now, there's quite a few people down there."

The 103rd Hand Hills Lake Stampede will be held May 31 through June 2, 2019 at the grounds on the shores of Hand Hills Lake about a half hour northeast of Drumheller.

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