Brazilian long rider Filipe Masetti Leite is expected to arrive in Calgary on July 3, 2020 after his 3,400-kilometre journey. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Brazilian cowboy to finish trek from Alaska to Calgary with Stampede honour

Parade marshal makes 3,400-kilometre journey

CALGARY — Brazilian long rider Filipe Masetti Leite is almost at the finish line.

The 33-year-old is scheduled to complete a 3,400-kilometre journey on horseback from Alaska to Calgary today, the same day the Calgary Stampede was supposed to begin.

Although the annual event and a parade to kick it off were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipe Leite was crowned this year’s parade marshal.

He is to be met by Stampede officials and handed a marshal’s badge before receiving an RCMP escort to the exhibition grounds for a small ceremony.

Masetti Leite moved with his family from Brazil to Calgary when he was nine and later grew up in Toronto.

He has been on long horse rides before, but he says this one is to be his last so he can move on with new challenges.

“Sure enough the year I get picked to be the parade marshal — and it’s a huge honour — there’s no parade, no rodeo,” he says with a chuckle.

“But if this has taught me anything, it’s that you’ve got to be flexible. Someone, somewhere, wanted the Calgary Stampede to be cancelled when Filipe finished his ride, but I’m still blessed to be chosen.”

Masetti Leite covered about 16,000 kilometres riding from Calgary to his parents’ home of Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Sao Paulo, between 2012 and 2014. In 2016, he rode 7,350 kilometres from Brazil to Patagonia.

He says he was inspired to become a long rider by Aime Tschiffely, a Swiss school teacher who rode 16,000 kilometres alone from Buenos Aires to New York City in 1925 and wrote about his experiences.

Masetti Leite has also documented his travels and written the book “Long Ride Home: Guts and Guns and Grizzlies, 800 Days Through the Americas in a Saddle.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2020.

Calgary Stampede

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

County of Paintearth raising alarms over proposed oil and gas assessment changes

A change in the assessment model used for oil and gas will impact the tax revenue rural municipalities collect

Putting agriculture back in the classroom

Alberta teachers get first hand experience through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s Agriculture Literacy Program

Update: Possible drowning at Pigeon Lake involved man and woman from Edmonton

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

Sylvan Lake man’s documentary getting limited run in Alberta theatres

Scott McDermott’s documentary will be in 14 theatres, including Sylvan Lake and Wetaskiwin

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

Oilers 50/50 raffle delayed as team resolves errors, offers refunds

Alberta fans who want to void any ticket purchases will have until noon Thursday

Sylvan Lake couple donates $850,000 to AACS

The doantion will be put towards a new X-Ray machine for the facility

Who can dismiss the Governor General? A look at protocols and possibilities

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the prime minister

Second phase of NHL draft lottery set for Monday

Each club eliminated from qualifying round has a 12.5 per cent shot at the No. 1 pick

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

13-year-old charged in death of boy, 10 in Maskwacis

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Most Read