To celebrate the Calgary Stampede’s 100th anniversary this July 6–15, Scott Hardy—an Alberta native, artisan, and founding member of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association—was commissioned to create a commemorative buckle that honored the famous rodeo’s history.
Hardy’s design was largely inspired by a vintage Stampede buckle, a one-inch gold buckle engraved with ‘Calgary Stampede 1912’ along with a bucking horse framed by a gold lariat. In the early 1930s a similar design was used for the buckle awarded to champion bronc rider Pete Knight.
Hardy was drawn to the image of the bucking horse and learned that the inspiration for the engraving was a horse named “I-See-U”, a former cavalry horse who had been branded “I-C” (inspected and condemned) thanks to his rank temperament and propensity for bucking. He was bought by the Calgary Stampede as a roughstock horse, and in 1919 famous Western artist Edward Borein sketched his likeness on the rodeo’s promotional poster.
“I wanted to pay tribute to the iconic imagery and heritage of the Stampede,” explains Hardy, whose buckle incorporates the shape, bucking-horse engraving, and lariat edging of the original buckle along with the Stampede brand and its 100th anniversary logo. Each buckle is handmade without factory assistance, a point of pride for the artist.
“There’s no mass production,” he says. “Every letter is hand cut. Each buckle is an individual and takes about 30 to 40 hours to make.”
Only 100 buckles are being made, each signed and numbered, and crafted from sterling silver and 10k gold. Two will be given to Garth Brooks when he performs at the Stampede in July. The buckles are available in two sizes and are each individually crafted as orders are placed. The buckles, $2,950.00 for rodeo-sized and $2,600.00 for dress-sized, are available by calling 403-232-9987 or visiting www.calgarystampede.com.