No horsing around: Stamps' mascot sidelined ahead of Grey Cup final
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:21AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:00PM EST
The Calgary Stampeders have touched down in Toronto ahead of the Grey Cup final, but their touchdown mascot has not.
Quick Six -- the horse that charges down the sidelines at McMahon Stadium when the Stamps scores a touchdown -- is stuck in Alberta after the team was told, due to the game-day setup of cameras and staging, there's no room for a horse to gallop safely at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.
Karyn Drake, who's been the Stampeders' touchdown rider for 19 years and five Grey Cups, says she was getting set for her sixth CFL championship when she heard the bad news.
As word spread, Calgary sports fans mounted an online effort to have the decision reversed, spurred by a tweet from former Calgary Flames star Theo Fleury.
"QuikSix is all about the CFL + tradition. 100th Grey Cup and no horse what ??????? Let’s get QuikSix to the Grey Cup. #RT."
On the streets of Calgary, fans shared their disappointment with CTV News, including one who said, "That sucks, because it's part of the team, I suppose."
At her home in Calgary, Drake shared the disappointment, but was pleased fans were rallying for her.
"Calgarians are proud of that horse, and I'm just really proud that I have so much support behind me," Drake told CTV.
With game day fast approaching, the Stampeders are negotiating with the Rogers Centre to see if there's some way the white mustang can be accommodated.
But Drake is already resigned to celebrating her team's performance from afar.
"I'll have a huge Grey Cup party," she said. "I might tie up the horse and maybe run out in the pasture or something."
Stampeders fans may yet have a chance to trot out their mascot in Toronto, as rumours swirl about attempts to trot a horse into a hotel lobby, in a recreation of a mythical moment from 1948. That’s when the team won its first Grey Cup, and a horse wound up in the lobby of Toronto’s Royal York Hotel.
What do you think? Should Drake and Quick Six be allowed to run the sidelines at the Rogers Centre?
With a report from CTV Calgary's Rylee Carlson
Calgary Stampeders' touchdown horse Quick Six and rider Karyn Drake celebrate a Stampeders touchdown during second half CFL football action against the Edmonton Eskimos in Calgary on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Karyn Drake and Quick Six