Brazilian cowboy Filipe Masetti Leite successfully fulfilled his dream of becoming the third person in the world to cross the Americas on horseback.
On Friday, the 33-year-old completed his eight-year journey to Calgary the same day the Stampede was scheduled to begin.
Masetti Leite was originally to lead the Calgary Stampede 2020 parade before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the world’s largest outdoor show.
After the event was canceled, Masetti Leite was named honorary marshal of the Stampede parade.
Filipe Masetti Leite completes his eight-year journey across the Americas
On his way back to Calgary on 12 Mile Coulee Road on Friday, the cowboy was met by Stampede officials, including President Dana Peers, before crossing the city with an escort of police-mounted units. .
Masetti Leite, who moved to Canada from Brazil when he was a child, began his original journey in July 2012 when he got into the saddle and left to celebrate the centenary of the Calgary Stampede.
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Since then, he has crossed the Americas on horseback in sections at a time.
Last year, Masetti Leite traveled 2,600 kilometers from Fairbanks, Alberta, to Grande Prairie, Alberta. He then took a winter break before starting the final leg of his trip from Grande Prairie to Calgary – which he started on May 20.
On Friday, he finally completed his impressive journey, scoring more than 26,000 kilometers in total.
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“Eight years ago, I left the Calgary Stampede an unknown cowboy, a child with a dream that seemed larger than life. Lots of people called me crazy, many said I was going to die doing it – and almost all said it was impossible, “said Masetti Leite. “But here I am, eight years later, ending where it all started.
“I hope my trip will serve as a motivation for people. If you put your mind, your heart and your soul into it, nothing is impossible. “
Masetti Leite said his dream of traveling the Americas was passed down by his father and inspired by legendary riders from the past. In total, his journey has taken him through 12 countries.
“Today I am one of the richest people in the world in terms of the things I have seen, the places I have been and the people I have met,” said Masetti Leite. “It’s hard to put into words what I’m feeling right now. I’m ending a dream and it’s amazing. “
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