Wild West Willie
is a quiet, well mannered pet that belongs to Doug Rogers and his
family who live in the Bentley area of Central Alberta, Canada.
Willie however is not your average pet. He is a nine year old cross
bred Brahma steer weighing in around 3000lbs and stands over six
feet at the shoulder.
Since his arrival
to the Rogers in 2004, Willie has been seen by millions of people
around the world due to his appearance in the Calgary Stampede Parade,
as well as commercials for Ford, Calgary Stampede and print ads
for GMC and Ford.
In 2005 at the
Calgary Stampede Parade, Willie won one of nine top prizes, Best
Western Theme. Since then Willie has appeared in six Stampede Parades,
always recognized as a popular entry and well received by the large
crowds along the parade route. Willie appears in many local parades
throughout central Alberta, with the Ponoka Stampede and Hometown
parade in Bentley yearly highlights.
in two very special events each year, attending the Ponoka Stampede
Rodeo Challenge and the Giddy Up Rodeo in Calgary. Both these functions
are for handicapped children who want to be a cowboy for a day.
Willie stands quietly and the kids get their pictures taken sitting
on him if they are able or beside him.
In the spring
of 2010, Willie was invited to participate in one of the largest
Parades in the world the one and only Tournament of Roses Parade,
in Pasadena, California. What was thought to be a prank call turned
out to be quite an adventure, with us leaving on Boxing Day at 6:00am
and arriving in Los Angeles at 3:30pm on December 28, 2010.
Accompanied by Harvey and Coby Brink, the time spent driving was
more manageable when shared with Harvey. Once we arrived at the
Los Angeles Equine Center, we settled Willie and attended a reception
at the Santa Anita Race Track for all equestrian entries. December
29, 2010, we participated in Equifest at the Los Angeles Equestrian
Center, where Willie was hit with the crowd. The next couple days
were spent getting to meet other entries from all across the United
States, each one being unique in their own way. Entries like the
U.S. Calvary from Ft.Hood, Texas to the Victorian Rose Riding Society
from San Diego. Up at 4:30am, January 1, 2011, for the delivery
of Willie's flower blanket, made by Stella Berry of Alhambra, California,
parade day began. The audience on the parade route itself was an
estimated one million people, with television audiences of over
700 million, seen in 200 countries.
Since returning from the Rose Bowl Parade we are always asked about
our trip south and are amazed by the number of people who saw us
on TV. Check out the Photo Gallery for
a few pictures of our trip.
Willie is a one
in a million kind of animal with a phenomenal disposition. We have
had Willie in some very interesting situations and it never ceases
to amaze us how he takes everything in stride. Willie is a crowd
pleaser and can really draw attention. If you are looking for a
unique advertising opportunity or special event draw, please contact
us to see what Willie can do for your business.