Calgary Stampeders' horse cheerleader headed to Toronto for Grey Cup

The Calgary Stampeders horse runs through McMahon Stadium in Calgary.



CALGARY -- One day after the rider of the Calgary Stampeders' equine ambassador was told she won't be going to the Grey Cup, a Canadian Football League official said there's still a chance the squad's famed four-legged cheerleader will be able to saddle up.

League spokesman Jamie Dykstra said there are still some logistics to work out, but officials are trying to come up with some way to bring the Stamps' touchdown horse to Toronto.

"We're looking at all the options right now," said Dykstra, the CFL's director of communications. "We won't bring a horse onto the field if we don't feel it will be safe for the players and fans.

Dykstra said because it's a championship game there will be significantly more people on the sidelines, as well as a massive stage that will need to rolled onto the field for Justin Bieber's halftime show.

Karyn Drake, who has been to the last three Stampeders' Grey Cups -- in 1998, 2001 and 2008 -- with borrowed steeds (the travel toll on her regular partner Quick Six is a bit much), said it seems this year may be the exception.

"Everybody is just in shock -- I've been to Grey Cups before on different horses," she said.

"Obviously we'd love to be there but if we can't we'll be there in spirit."

At previous championship games, Drake was allowed to gallop in one of the endzones every time the Stampeders scored.

Ald. Ray Jones, who also sits on the Calgary Grey Cup Committee, suggested the snub may have something to do with the fact the hometown Argonauts are the Stamps' opponents.

"I think this is an issue because Toronto is in the Grey Cup," said Jones, who flies out east for the big game on Wednesday.

"Maybe if Gainer the Gopher isn't doing anything we can borrow him."
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