In 1909, a picnic was held at Mr. Walter's place in the Murraydale area. The next two years saw its location at Joe Nicholson's and in 1913, it was held at its present location, a natural amphitheatre in the Cypress Hills. It was originally organized by the settlers of the area, forming a society that yearly produced a picnic with booths for ice cream, lemonade, fruit, hot dogs, sandwiches and even hot water.
Its first president was Chester Ambrose with many other members of the community filling executive positions. A cairn and plaque was erected on the site in 1971, commemorating the many families responsible for the yearly event.
Early entertainment at the picnic involved races for all types of categories, foot races, wagon races, horse races and the popular relay race. Horses were hitched to wagons to bring spectators, then ridden by the local cowboys to see who could last the longest. Early photos show riders on cows hoofing across the bare prairie with a few riders following to 'pick up' or at least get the cowboy out of a rough spot. This lead to a more organized show with actual corrals, buck shutes, catch pens and a race track. In 1931, it was suggested that there be a ball game instead until Dave Perrin and George Carson agreed to put on a show. It's been rodeo ever since.
The Armstong boys, Bert and John, put on many shows and for several years, the Farwell Ball and Roping Club produced the event. Murraydale has been CCA, All Girls, and Little Britches and is currently part of the Border Country Circuit, offering all the major rodeo events.
Many early cowboys got their start at Murraydale. Some of the names mentioned in news clippings and programs include: Earl and Art Whitney, Alec Labramboise, Joe MacDonald (rode at Calgary in 1912), Edwin Perrin, Don Perrin, Bert Ingram, Buck Drury, Ken Perrin, Jim Montgomery, Dale Montgomery, Cody Snider, Colin Orr, Mel Bascom, Ross Kreutzer, Dan Black and many more.
With the dedicated help of may volunteers, Murraydale has been able to continue its tradition for over 100 continuous events. Proceeds from events in the war years were invested in War Bonds, it has been rained out a couple of times on its original date, postponing the show for a week or two, and in 1951, it was questionable if the event could be held due to the presence of Hoof and Mouth Disease in the country. However, the show went on and will continue in the future.
Video History of the Murraydale Stampede