The Strathmore Stampede saw two new winners during the annual Running With the Bulls chosen over the course of the weekend, each walking home $1,000 richer and with a shiny new belt buckle. 

Denise Sluggett, hailing from Strathmore, took home the prize Saturday night, and Geoff Burndred, from Chestermere, won it on Sunday. 

“I love it. I have done this event probably eight or nine times, took a few years off and got coaxed into doing it again, and here (I am) winning it this year,” said Sluggett. “My kid is a professional bull rider and he was like, ‘you have to go, you have to go around with the bulls.”

Burndred on the other hand, joined the event for the first time this weekend on a whim, as he was out celebrating his mother’s birthday. 

“I found out I could sign up to do this, so it was kind of last minute and on a whim, and I had a good time doing it,” he said. “I feel a little rough, but pretty good. I am a little out of breath, that last bull caught me off guard and I might be a little sore tomorrow.”

Sluggett added after having taken a bit of a hiatus from the event, she was more than happy to return to the ring and give it another go alongside the other runners. 

She added she likely plans to use her winnings to pay off her credit card and get some debts settled.

Burndred, “a country boy at heart,” said he will absolutely be returning in future years to run with the bulls again.

“It hurt more than I thought it would … I have watched it before, I have seen people do it, but being down here on the grounds, having them run at you is way different than being up in the stands. I’m going to try to get hit so I can win,” he joked. “I do not have eyes in the back of my head, it seemed like I was going back and forth and looking (at) what was behind me and what was in front of me. The bulls kind of come out of nowhere and they are quick.”

Burndred plans to likely use his winnings to take his mother on a vacation for her 67th birthday.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 09, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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