Yes, it is that time of the year again. Calgary regresses back into the Wild West for 10 days of wild times, we have ‘plastic’ cowboys from as far away as Japan. The kick off is always the Stampede Parade, this paralyzes the entire downtown area for 5 hours! Most companies do not even attempt to conduct business before noon, and few try to do it after. There is no point, if the employees are not drunk, they are dehydrated, or suffering from sun stroke.

This year it is being touted that about 850 horses are involved. This creates an enormous horse doo doo problem. It is hard to teach a horse to either ‘Go Before’ or  ‘hold it’. The consequences of this inability to teach these admittedly usually smart creatures results in the production of a lot of horse poop.

The parade route is 2.8 miles long, a quick conversion to feet gives us an answer of 14,784. Now I am not a horse expert, but I have seen enough of them to know that they love to crap! If we assume that each one of them craps once on this 2.8 mile trek we get find that there would be horse poop about every 17 feet. That doesn’t sound too bad, and I am sure that most of the marching bands could adapt to this natural hazard. However, my less than scientific study reveals that the horses are moving while pooping, also they tend to produce at least three poops per go around. Lets say that each poop is a foot apart (I have seen it, and I think this is a reasonable estimate). Now we find a horse poop every 6 feet! This could start to become an issue for the marching bands!

Just imagine if you were out for a walk and every 6 feet (two steps) you had to avoid a dog turd, you would not be happy. I have been using very conservative numbers, in fact these are well fed and watered horses so it would be reasonable that in the two hours that they are walking slowly the urge is going to come on more than once. If all the horses do this, there is horse poop every 3 feet! Again playing with the calculator, if we make an assumption that the average poop weighs in at 8 ounces, and they occur every 3 feet we arrive at the staggering number of 2,500 lbs of horse poop! That is over one ton of poop! To put it in layman’s terms this is the equivalent of 10,000 Big Mac’s with cheese! The poor street cleaners are going to be busy today!

Have a happy stampede

Simon Barrett

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