How to Dress for the Calgary Stampede with Sam Mitchell

A Smithbilt hat, a prize-winning belt buckle and a pair of custom boots: Sam Mitchell’s style is at home on the range and on the rodeo grounds.

Jeans, Levi’s; wild rag and rings from Cody & Sioux; blazer, Halston Heritage; necklace, earrings and cuffs, by local silversmith Scott Hardy; boots by Alberta Boot Company; bag handmade by Mitchell; 2022 Millarville Stock Horse Race Champion buckle won by Mitchell’s horse Simon; CS Side Saddle Racer bracelet by local silversmith Shawna Whiteside Erickson; hat, Smithbilt. Photo by Jared Sych.

Sidesaddle racer and Skijor Canada founder Sam Mitchell dubs her style “wranglish.” Her go-to ensemble — jeans, boots, hat and blazer — is inspired by early settler ranch wives. “They fascinated me,” she says, “and were a big part of what got me interested in sidesaddle.” For Stampede, Mitchell carries a bag big enough to hold a bottle of water and a bottle of whisky, and never leaves home without a wild rag (ranch-speak for scarf): knotted around a necklace as a halter top, around her waist, or tied to her bag. “You can use it to catch a loose horse or tie it into a tourniquet in a pinch,” Mitchell says. “Thankfully, I’ve not had to use my Hermès to stop anyone bleeding out.”

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This article appears in the July 2023 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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