In the Corral February/March 2008

Photo courtesy of The New Rodeo Royal
A new date for a great old rodeo, Rodeo Royal moving to the fall, October 3–5, 2008

The New Rodeo Royal

The Calgary Stampede announced it will move its annual spring Rodeo Royal to the fall starting in 2008. Rodeo Royal will be held from October 3–5, 2008 in the Corral, Stampede Park.

This makes Rodeo Royal the major season-ending event for the Canadian Rodeo Tour, which is comprised of 10 high profile rodeos in Canada. The top 10 competitors in each of the major events from the Canadian Rodeo Tour will qualify for Rodeo Royal as well as the top two competitors in each major event from the over 40 Canadian pro rodeos held throughout the season.

The top two contestants in each event will also automatically qualify for the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton in November and the Calgary Stampede Rodeo in July.

The Fabulous Dirty Girls!

Photo by Terri Mason
Resplendent in crash helmets, protective vests and pink shirts, the all-girl team from Sundre, Alta., the Dirty Girls, (from left) Kyra Vancuren, Tessa Nybo and Robyn Leussink competing in the Wild Pony Race at the Canadian Finals Rodeo

Judging from the cheering, clapping, whistling audience, the exciting Wild Pony Race at the 35th Annual Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton, Alta., was a roaring success.

The teams, made up of three youngsters (ages 8 to 12) try to “tame” a wild pony long enough to get a rider aboard for a two-jump ride. While the team with the fastest time wins, the crowds cheered on the competitors as if they were their own grandkids, and in many cases, they were.

The majority of the audience knew first-hand the difficult challenge the snuffy ponies presented to the teams. While not every team finished in the top in the Wild Pony Race, sometimes it’s not about the money; it’s about the depth of “try.”

We witnessed a lot of try out in that arena – and mark my words, some future rodeo champions.

2008 Miss Rodeo Canada Competition

Photo by Terri Mason
I had the distinct pleasure of joining 1955 Miss Rodeo Canada Connie Ivins, 1956 Miss Rodeo Canada Mary Lynn Beazer, 1957 Miss Rodeo Canada Dixie Broadhead and 1958 Miss Rodeo Canada Joanne Perlich at the Miss Rodeo Canada crowning reception

In a tremendous competition that brought six of Canada’s finest rodeo queens to Edmonton to compete for the 2008 Miss Rodeo Canada competition, Jenna Berreth from Rollyview, Alta., was crowned the First Lady of Canadian Rodeo.

The competition featured rodeo queens and princesses from B.C. and Alberta vying for the crown and included Amy Musgrove, Medicine Hat Stampede Queen, Amanda Berkelaar, Miss Williams Lake Stampede, Janine Krumm, Airdrie Pro Rodeo Princess, Jenna Berreth, Miss Rodeo Jasper, Rayelle Foxwell, Miss Rodeo Wainwright and Sharyl Malin, Miss Rodeo Okotoks.

Photo by Terri Mason
Miss Rodeo Canada contestants
From left: Rayelle Foxwell, Janine Krumm, Amanda Berkelaar, Sharyl Malin, Amy Musgrove (missing Jenna Berreth)

The Miss Rodeo Canada competition has been around longer than the Canadian Finals Rodeo, and celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. To the delight of the near-capacity audience at Rexall Place, the past queens provided an honour guard for the opening ceremonies on Tough Enough to Wear Pink night as well as the crowning of the 40th Miss Rodeo Canada.

Canadian Cowboy Country magazine is a proud sponsor of Miss Rodeo Canada.



Cowboyin’ at Agribition

Photo Courtesy of Canadian Western Agribition
Dale Clearwater (left) and Peter Gonnet (right) demonstrating working cowboy skills at Regina’s Agribition. Moments after the photo was taken, the yearlings were loaded in the stock trailer using pure cowboy skill.

Ranch-raised Jason Pollock, the ranahan for Regina’s world-famous Agribition, treated opening day crowds to demos of working cowboy skills. “A Day at the Ranch,” said Pollock, “was enjoyed by folks from the country and city alike. This was a natural way to showcase these elements and the success seen in 2007 will be built upon for future years.”

Dale Clearwater and Peter Gonnet put on a fine display of low stress cattle handling using traditional cowboy methods and tools; namely stock dogs and cow horses, when they loaded yearlings into a stock trailer without the aid of corrals, portable panels, broken hockey sticks, their wives or kids. Clearwater and Gonnet are founders of the Working Cowboy School in Hanley, Sask.

Gonnet, from Broderick, Sask., went on to win the stock dog championship with his dog, Moss, beating out Maple Creek’s Dale Montgomery running Tex. Clearwater, of Hanley, Sask., later won the 2007 Select Ranch Horse Competition on Miss Crackin Jack, consigned by Grant and Barb Langman of LaFleche, Sask. The 2003 bay mare sold for $6,500 to John Lennox of Brooklyn, Ont. A 2001 gray gelding, Ultimate Blue Smoke, consigned and ridden by Phil Martindale of Claresholm, Alta., sold for $12,000 to Simpson Ranching of Cochrane, Alta.

“There is a lot of interest in our working cowboy events,” continued Pollock, “and we will be considering adding more of them as we plan for next year’s show.” For those that have never been, Agribition is dedicated to educating the consumer on not only the quality of the food produced here in Canada but also the best practice animal husbandry that producers use on a daily basis. Can a ranch rodeo be far behind?

Next Agribition runs November 24–29, 2008.

2008 Kamloops Cowboy Festival

Photo courtesy of BCCHS
Andy and Zeb by cowboy and artist Kim W. Rose, winner of the People’s Choice award at the 2006 Kamloops Cowboy Festival Western Art Show is featured on this years’ poster.

Celebrating 150 years as Canada’s Original Cowtown! Put together a weekend filled with great cowboy poetry, western music, Rising Stars singing and poetry competition, workshops and seminars, saddle craftsmanship competition, Art of the West exhibition and sale (sponsored by Canadian Cowboy Country magazine) and an exclusive screening of thirty episodes of Canada’s definitive TV series, Paul St. Pierre’s (Breaking Smith’s Quarter Horse) Cariboo Country and you’ve got the Kamloops Cowboy Festival.

Pre-eminent saddle maker Chuck Stormes will be judging the saddle competition as well as speaking on his craft in a saddlemaking seminar; some forty cowboy poets and western musicians will hit the stage; the popular Rising Star singing competition, cowboy church and cowboy camaraderie rounds out the March 7–9, 2008 weekend.

For more information on the festival, bus tours, accommodation and lineup, visit

All That Money… in U.S. Funds

Photo by Mike Copeman

The winningest bunch of Canadians at any WNFR is pictured above; from left:
2-time CFR and WNFR qualified barrel racer Lindsay Sears, 6-time Canadian Champion and 2005 World Champion Steer Wrestler Lee Graves, 2008 Miss Rodeo Canada Jenna Berreth, PRCA season leader team roping heeler Dean Tuftin, 8-time Canadian Saddle Bronc Champion and 2007 WNFR Average Winner Rod Hay and 5-time Canadian Champion Barrel Racer Debbie Renger. In total this bunch of rodeo hombres made Canadian banks bulge with an additional $400,000.

As well, Willy and Jesse, dogging horses to the stars, brought home a whack of cash for their Canadian owners, Greg Cassidy and Lee Graves respectively. In fact, the new World Champion, Jason Miller, won the average and the world on Willy with Curtis Cassidy hazing. That’s the third time Willy has carried a cowboy to a World Championship; Rope Myers in 2001, Lee Graves in 2005 and now Jason Miller in 2007.


All Heritage, Pure Rodeo

Photo by Sarah Timmons
Udal Ranch team from Maple Creek, Sask., in the team sorting

The annual Heritage Ranch Rodeo held November 4–6 in Edmonton attracted some of the top hands in the working cowboy business who gathered to ride for the brand.

This popular event, now in its third year in Edmonton, saw the Northlands Agricom bursting at the seams as hundreds of people were turned away at the door the first night.

This three-day event showcases the roots of today’s modern rodeo. Seventeen ranch teams competed in events that highlight the skills of working cowboys such as sorting (similar to cattle penning, but cattle must be worked in a relaxed manner), cattle doctoring, branding, bronc riding (in a stock saddle), the wild horse race and wild cow milking. As well, each ranch entered one rider in the working ranch horse competition displaying the precision and athletic ability of their cow horse.

Photo by Sarah Timmons
Coldstream Ranch captain Keith Dinwoodie

The ranch rodeo was a hugely entertaining event that opened the eyes of many “first-timers” who were unaware of the tremendous skills needed to be a successful working cowboy on some of the largest and oldest ranches in the Canadian West.

Congratulations to all the ranches that came to Edmonton for this great event, especially to the Rocking P Ranch crew who also boasted three generations on the team. If you’ve never attended a ranch rodeo before, check our online western events for upcoming ranch rodeos.

The Top Eight

1 Rocking P Ranch, Nanton, Alta.
(Justin Blades, Blake Schlosser, Mac Blades, Manerd Bird, Logan Bird)
2 Douglas Lake Cattle Co., Douglas Lake, B.C.
(Stan Jacobs, Josh Klassen, Nolan Eek, Steve Brewer)
3/4 Northfork Grazing, Lundbreck, Alta.
(Kirk Thomson, Cody Thomson, Nolan Pharis, Clint Stokke, Darren Cook)
3/4 45 Ranch, Maple Creek, Sask.
(Lorrie Hunter, Tee Hunter, Chad Beck, Trent Kraft)
5 Udal Ranch, Maple Creek, Sask.
(Danny Udal, Shelton Udal, Dean Mackie, Trevor Murphy, Aaron Gordon)
6 Quill Ranch, Cowley, Alta.
(Brian Delinte, Greg Delinte, Dan Chalifoue, Bill Akins, Travis Hewitt)
7 Gang Ranch, Gang Ranch, B.C.
(Mark Gauthier, Dave Wilson, Dustin Sippola, Larry Ramstad)
8 Coldstream Ranch, Vernon, B.C.
(Keith Dinwoodie, Carson Rosenke, Nick Bapty, Doug Rainke)

Where in the world is Canadian Cowboy?

Photo courtesy of Jenny Callan
Darrell Callan poses with an issue of Canadian Cowboy Country magazine beside a rig located 700 km south of Tripoli in the Sahara Desert of Africa. Darrell was the driller.

At over 9,000,000 square kilometres (3,500,000 sq mi), the Sahara covers most parts of northern Africa including Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia. It is almost as large as the United States and is larger than Australia.

Interestingly, Darrell reports that there are a lot of seashells scattered across the desert, perhaps signs of a flood, and wild camels wander the desert and come up to the rig and camp. The majority of the rig crews are locals, while drillers and tool pushes are imports.

The average temp is 45 – 49 ºC (with no humidity) and while there isn’t a swimming pool in camp, there is air conditioning.

Red Deer’s Mane Event

Mark your calendar for April 25–27 to attend the Mane Event – the popular equine awareness and trade fair extravaganza at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta.

Tickets for the three-day event gives you access to over 81 hours of horse training clinics and demonstrations, admission to the Equine Trade Fair, Saturday Night Equine Experience and the ground breaking Trainers Challenge, sponsored by Canadian Cowboy Country magazine.

The Trainers Challenge features three trainers, three horses and three judges. The spectator has the opportunity to watch three different methods of training to achieve the same result, a quiet, trained horse to enjoy for years. The judging at this challenge is based 10% on the horse, 60% on the trainer’s ability to train the horse and 30% on the trainer’s ability to educate the attendees. The winner of the challenge will be the trainer that can achieve the highest success with both the horse and the spectators.

You’ve never seen anything like it, and I guarantee you don’t want to miss it! Follow the link to the Mane Event on our website

Mane Event in Chilliwack Hosts Record Crowds

Photo by Onsite Digital Photography
Trainers Challenge participants at Chilliwack’s Mane Event (from left) Doug Mills, two-time champion, Steve Rother and Van Hargis

A record crowd of just under 24,000 horse enthusiasts converged on Chilliwack’s Heritage Park in October to take in the Mane Event Equine Education & Trade Fair.

The ever-popular Trainers Challenge drew in a large crowd who watched, laughed and cheered on the three clinicians throughout the weekend. The horses from the Douglas Lake Ranch tested the skills of Doug Mills, Steve Rother and Van Hargis, keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats during the obstacle course finale. After the four round pen sessions only 16 points separated the three. Two-time returning Champion Mills emerged victorious with a 7.5 point lead.

Photos by Onsite Digital Photography
Judges for the Trainers Challenge included horse trainer and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Mel Hyland, Mark Grafton, manager Bar K Ranch, Prince George, B.C. and Miles Kingdon, manager of Quilchena Ranch

The judging at this challenge is based 10% on the horse, 60% on the trainer’s ability to train the horse and 30% on the trainer’s ability to educate the attendees.

Judges were Hall of Fame cowboy Mel Hyland, Mark Grafton and Miles Kingdon, who weighed the results of the three clinicians and their efforts throughout the five sessions, observed that the skills of the three trainers were “among the very best we have ever seen”.

The Trainers Challenge, sponsored by Canadian Cowboy Country magazine, is just one of the many reasons to attend the Mane Event in Red Deer, Alta., April 25–27, 2008.

At press, confirmed clinicians include dressage trainer Dr. Cesar Parra, horsemanship expert Stacy Westfall, U.S. jumping trainer Frank Madden and mule and donkey trainer Jerry Tindell.


 CFR Champions

Dustin Flundra won the Canadian Saddle Bronc Championship again. Ironically, when he first won it in 2003 he did it without ever winning a round at the CFR. This year he did it in reverse; he won practically everything in sight – including setting a single event record for CFR earnings – $49,764. Dustin was almost unbeatable until he came up against Stan Weatherly’s War Cry in the final round, who body slammed him into the dirt on Sunday afternoon. When Dustin regained his feet he doffed his hat in salute to the magnificent bronc.

Congratulations to the 2007 Canadian Champions! All Around Champion Steven Turner, Cochrane, Alta.; bull riding Nathan Roy, Lloydminster, Sask.; bareback Dusty LaValley, Crooked Creek, Alta.; barrel racing Deb Renger, Okotoks, Alta.; saddle bronc Dustin Flundra, Pincher Creek, Alta.; steer wrestling Todd Woodward, Magrath, Alta.; tie down roping/High Point Champion Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, Utah; team roping (heeler) Brett McCarroll, Camrose, Alta.; team roping (header) Justin McCarroll, Camrose, Alta.; (also the first Canadian team to win back-to-back titles), novice saddle bronc Wyatt Daines, Innisfail, Alta.; and novice bareback Jake Vold, Ponoka, Alta.

Photo by Terri Mason
Shane Franklin (above) took home a new Dodge truck courtesy of his bronc, Blue Too, as did the Calgary Stampede for Grated Coconut and the Girletz Brothers for their bull, Rip ‘N Dip

An interesting bit of rodeo trivia; even though there are six rounds, only four saddle broncs carried a rider to victory. That’s because Rod Hay and Dustin Flundra each won a round on Peters & Sons Miss Congeniality and Ross Kreutzer and the same Dustin Flundra each won a round on Calgary Stampede’s Lynx Mountain. But neither horse was named Best Bronc of the CFR because Franklin Rodeo’s Blue Too dusted both his riders, and that’s why Shane is once again, driving a new Dodge truck.

Photo by Terri Mason
2007 Canadian Finals Rodeo All Around Champion Steven Turner