Culture & Entertainment

William Shatner: From Captain Kirk to Stampede Grand Marshal

By: Jill Buchner
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

William Shatner: From Captain Kirk to Stampede Grand Marshal

By: Jill Buchner
Guest post by writer Colleen Seto: William Shatner William Shatner in real life is exactly how you'd expect him to be. Boisterous, jovial, and even a little Santa-esque, with his rosy cheeks and hearty laugh. And the Montreal-born celeb just can't contain the performer within—always playing to the crowd. The 83-year-old actor, best known for his role as Star Trek's Captain Kirk, was this year's Grand Marshal for the Calgary Stampede. He was excited to have Olympic speed skaters Gilmore Junio and Denny Morrison, who won the nation's hearts at the Sochi Winter Olympics, join him as honorary marshals. "They are fantastic," affirms Shatner. "The most wonderful examples of Canadians. True champions. We should be so proud of them." As an avid horseman, Shatner was pleased to kick off the world-famous rodeo event. "I love rodeo," he says. "I love to see a guy on a bucking horse. And the bulls! You wonder, how can a guy be so crazy? How stupid is he to get on a bull? But then he does the eight seconds and everyone cheers!" William Shatner But Shatner personally prefers to stick to riding horses. He first became interested in horses when he was sweeping out horse stalls as a kid in Montreal. "Riding has become a meaningful event for me," he says. "There's a conversation that takes place between horse and man. The longer I'm in conversation with one or more horses, the better I feel." He competes in reining competitions and also breeds reining horses. The first horse he purchased was an American Saddlebred, and it happened quite by accident. "I had some land and so, I was urged to buy a horse. I went to an auction and there was this 12-year-old kid who knew horses and he said, 'You should buy this horse.' I said, 'I am not [raises his hand] buying this horse,' and then the auction guy said, 'Sold!' But he turned out to be a good one. I call him Harley so I would get on my Harley and ride." Horses have also seeped into Shatner's professional life, with several westerns under his belt. Most recently, he completed the filming of The Sunday Horse, about a rider who defies the odds of winning a national jumping championship. And while horses were clearly the main draw in Calgary for Shatner, it was actually cows that helped get him there. “Canadian steaks are grass-fed for the most part, so they dangled a little rib-eye and that’s all it took.” Colleen Seto is a freelance writer, editor and mom who lives in Bragg Creek, Alberta. (Photography: Chris Bolin/Calgary Stampede; WikiCommons/Jerry Avenaim)
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William Shatner: From Captain Kirk to Stampede Grand Marshal

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