Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Filipe Masetti Leite is seen in Calgary, in a July 8, 2012, file photo.

Bill Graveland/The Canadian Press

Filipe Masetti Leite has spent a lot of alone time in the saddle criss-crossing countries on horseback over the past eight years.

The latest journey for the long rider – from Anchorage, Alaska, to Calgary – will be bittersweet when he completes it in one month.

But he’ll have a new title.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Masetti Leite has been named the 2020 Calgary Stampede’s parade marshal, even though the event has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Masetti Leite was asked to take the job while still on his trek and before the health crisis shut down most of the world.

“To be named the Calgary Stampede parade marshal is the biggest honour of my life. I can’t wait to ride into Calgary on July 3, even if no one is watching,” Mr. Masetti Leite said in a news release.

“I’m finishing where I started. It’s a dream.”

Mr. Masetti Leite, 33, immigrated to Canada from Brazil when he was a teenager. In 2012, he began his first journey from Calgary and spent two years riding his two horses through 10 countries in North, Central and South America.

He covered about 16,000 kilometres before reaching his final destination: his home in Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Sao Paulo.

Mr. Masetti Leite, who has a journalism degree from Ryerson University in Toronto, began a second trip in 2016, which spanned 7,350 km over 15 months and took him from Brazil to Patagonia.

Story continues below advertisement

His latest 3,500-km trek from Alaska has him arriving in Calgary next month on the same day the Stampede was scheduled to begin.

Mr. Masetti Leite said he’s dedicating the remaining part of his ride to health care workers around the world, who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic.

Despite the cancellation of this year’s edition of what is called the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” Stampede president Dana Peers said Mr. Masetti Leite was selected long before the world changed.

“The choice of Filipe Masetti Leite for the Calgary Stampede parade marshal has been many years in the making,” Mr. Peers said.

“He is proof Stampede parade marshals don’t just lead a parade; they exemplify western heritage, values and culture.”

A long rider is someone who has ridden more than 1,600 continuous km on a single equestrian journey.

Story continues below advertisement

The inspiration for Mr. Masetti Leite came from a similar quest in 1925 by the original long rider, Aimé Tschiffely, a Swiss school teacher, who rode 16,000 km alone from Buenos Aires to New York and wrote about his experiences.

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

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies