In the Corral Apr/May 2009



Photo courtesy of Paul Van Ginkel
Chuck Wagon Cuisine, original painting is 35”x55”, oil on canvas by Paul Van Ginkel

Canada Excels at Bocuse d’Or
Every two years some of the world’s most accomplished chefs are chosen to represent their countries at Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious culinary competition. The event has been held every two years since 1987 in Lyon, France.

While 54 countries initially vied for a coveted qualifying spot, only 24 chefs representing the very best in gastronomy worldwide were allowed to compete. Canada has been represented at every competition since its inception.

The chefs prepared dishes using the official fish and meat of the Bocuse d’Or 2009; Aberdeen Angus Scotch beef and Norwegian fresh cod, king scallops and wild prawns.

On Jan. 27–28, Chef David Wong of Vancouver and his commis (assistant) Grace Pineda, represented Canada to earn a very impressive ninth place, demonstrating that Canadian chefs can compete and excel on the world culinary stage. The prize for the best commis was awarded by the Academy of Bocuse d’Or Winners to Grace Pineda of Canada.

“The level of competition here is simply unsurpassed, and to be recognized by a panel of the world’s greatest chefs makes this the proudest moment of my career,” remarked Chef Wong.

“So many people gave so much to help me achieve this. This is a great result for me, Grace and Canada.”

In hand with Bocuse d’Or, each country submitted a poster (where there is also a competition). Bocuse d’Or Canada commissioned western artist, Paul Van Ginkel, to create its official image for the 2009 competition. The concept was to show a part of Canada’s western heritage of cooking from a chuck wagon.

This image is available in limited edition giclee on canvas print and paper print. Only 100 giclees and 500 paper prints were created; proceeds from the sale of these prints support David Wong in his quest to be the ranahan of the culinary world.

To order, visit

Photo by Dreams Alive Photography/Slade Rogers
Bailey Schellenberg, winner of the Crowd Favourite, won a subscription to Canadian Cowboy Country

Semi-Prestigious Ugly Ranch Horse Competition
It was wild, it was woolly and it was sometimes airborne at the Cowboy Trail Church fourth annual Ugly Ranch Horse competition in early February. “It’s written when three or more are gathered, we will potluck,” deadpanned Bryn Thiessen, pastor, course conductor and turn back man, after opening the event with prayer.

The winners in the Open division were Tim Neufeld, who won custom brass stirrups hand-built by Tony Smith; second was Bryn, who was awarded a saddle blanket from Cunningham Farrier Services’ Aaron (Toad) and Chelsea Cunningham.

The Non-Pro saw a repeat winner in Robin Neufeld, who took home a headstall, also donated by Cunningham Farrier Services; second went to Kassandra Schimmens of Prince George, B.C., who snuggled into her prize; a hoodie donated by Schwab’s Wetaskiwin Chevrolet.

Photo by Dreams Alive Photography/Slade Rogers
Two-time champion Robin Neufeld shows style by working the crowd while working a steer

The Crowd Favourite was four-year-old Bailey Schellenberg who rode hard to win a magazine subscription to Canadian Cowboy Country. The Contestants Choice went to Woodrow, Terri Mason’s skookum cow horse, for his confused look at Terri’s position for working a cow.

Next event is the D.I.N.K. (Dogs Intelligence Not Known) Stock Dog Trials and Teamster competition slated for May 3 at the Bearspaw Arena west of Cochrane, Alta. The soon-to-be-famous Reins of Glory Musical Ride (a.k.a. Hormones on Horseback) will also make its debut.


Historic ranch building gutted in holiday blaze
The owners of a B.C. ranch dating back to the 1860s are planning to rebuild the main lodge after it was destroyed by fire over Christmas.

“The water was freezing as firefighters battled the blaze on December. 23,” said Erika Westerveld, who bought the historic Flying U Ranch with her husband Mauritz just four months ago.

The 3,000-square-foot main lodge — housing the dining room, lounge, dance floor and kitchen — was gutted. The saloon was saved.

Westerveld said business will continue as builders raise a temporary structure and install a new kitchen.

“A lot of guests are pre-booked. We won’t let them down,” she said. “We have discovered wonderful support from the community. We are glad we chose Canada as our new home in spite of this devastating incident,” said Westerveld, who hails from South Africa.

The ranch is about 100 km northeast of Lillooet. It caters to 60 guests at a time, specializing in unsupervised, all-day horse rides.

During the gold rush of the 1860s, the property became a ranch/roadhouse. In 1886, a Crown grant of land was given to two ranchers, William and Mary Boyd.

In 1923, rodeo star Jack Boyd, the couple’s son, took over and turned the cattle ranch into the Flying U guest ranch. He developed a combination resort and cattle business and hosted an annual rodeo that once rivalled the Calgary Stampede for prestige.


Photo courtesy of Travel Alberta
Calgary Stampede is the richest outdoor rodeo in the world

Calgary Stampede Becomes First $2M Outdoor Rodeo
The Calgary Stampede, already the richest outdoor rodeo in the world, will become even richer in 2009.

The Stampede has announced their prize money will increase to $2 million. The bulk of the added $125,000 in prize money will be paid out to the top performing competitors during the first eight days of the rodeo, when the athletes are intensely competing to make it into the Wildcard Saturday and the Sunday Showdown for a chance to win $100,000 in prize money in their event.

“The Calgary Stampede continues to lead the way in the world of rodeo,” says Mike Whittle, Calgary Stampede vice-president of Agriculture and Western Events. “The added prize money will make the first eight days even more competitive and important for the contestants, which will give the fans an even better show.”

And the cowboys couldn’t agree more. “This definitely proves why the Calgary Stampede is The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” says Wildwood, Alta., saddle bronc rider Rod Hay. “It’s the best of the best, getting on the best stock in the world.”

The 2009 Calgary Stampede takes place July 3–12.


Empty Saddles
John Siebert 1926–2008
John Siebert was raised in Chilliwack, B.C. and, at 19, came to the Cariboo to work for Ike Kerrs of Clinton where he learned the cattle business. John became expert at training, driving, riding and maintaining horses under Ike’s guidance. Later he was the head rider for the Gang Ranch and eventually moved to work on Dick Church’s ranch in the Chilcotin area.

There, he met Rosalie, daughter of Dick and Rona Church. After John and Rosalie were married they worked as a team cowboying until their retirement to their place just outside of Williams Lake, B.C.

John lived his life as a working cowboy, hunting guide and was also involved in rodeo. It was the image of this respected cowboy that graced the cover of the premiere issue of Canadian Cowboy Country.



Photo courtesy of Paul Van Ginkel
Chuck Wagon Cuisine, original painting is 35”x55”, oil on canvas by Paul Van Ginkel

Cowgirl Cattle Company
10th Anniversary
The ladies of the range from the Cowgirl Cattle Company will be celebrating their 10th anniversary May 8 at Calgary’s Al Azhar Temple.

The Cowgirls, whose members include some of the oldest brands and names in Alberta cattle ranching, who have some big plans for the anniversary, have donated more than $43,000 to the Children’s Hospital.

The Cowgirls are inviting all members and their female guests to attend their reunion. For more info, visit



Photo courtesy of Tiessen Media Inc.
Veteran Announcer Les McIntyre

McIntyre Picks Up the Lines
Veteran chuckwagon and rodeo announcer Les McIntyre is the new voice of the GMC Rangeland Derby, picking up the lines from the legendary Joe Carbury who retired in 2008 after 45 years.

“This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime,” says McIntyre. “Since I was a child, my dream has been to be involved in the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”

The 55-year-old McIntyre knows the chuckwagon business from the ground up. As a youngster, he started by sweeping stalls before becoming a trainer, a wagon driver and wagon advertiser. He eventually called his first chuckwagon race in 1985. For the past 24 years, he’s called hundreds of races yearly on the World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) and Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association (CPCA) circuits. McIntyre is also a seasoned rodeo announcer and has been the professional voice of the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton for the past six years.

McIntyre will make his debut as the voice of the GMC Rangeland Derby at this year’s Calgary Stampede, July 3–12.



Photo courtesy of Frontier Western Shop
Two great western stores, Frontier and Gone Southwest, have joined forces in Claresholm

Frontier Western Shop and Gone
Southwest Merged
Congratulations to Gone Southwest, the western-style home decor and decorating store and Frontier Western Shop, who have posse’d up their wares and united them in the massive 10,000-sq.-ft. Frontier Western Shop on Hwy 2 in Claresholm, Alta.

The two outfits have combined forces and now offer absolutely everything for the rider and western lifestyle enthusiast, from horse trailers to beautiful furniture and decor. Their online stores will remain operational ( and

“We’re really pleased,” said Janyne Akins. “All of our current suppliers will remain available through Frontier.” Akins (of Gone Southwest), is now the general sales manager as well as a certified interior decorator specializing in the selection, placement and coordination of interior products and finishes.

The 2009 Frontier Western Shop catalog will be available April 1.



Photo courtesy of Christa Lawrence
Christa Lawrence rides Earl at the 2007 Olds Alumni Rodeo

Racing, Rodeo to Ranch Horse – The Many Lives of Earl
Congratulations to Christa Lawrence, 2005 Miss Rodeo Canada, who won the barrel racing at the 2009 Olds College Alumni Rodeo riding her running quarter horse, Earl. The horse, which came to the ranch with behavioural problems after a successful racing career, was restarted by Lawrences and soon morphed into a roping, barrel and pole bending horse. Christa rode Earl to the College Finals which she attended on her MRC scholarship. (Incidentally, Earl was also the horse that bucked off Christa and broke her back in May, 2005 during her reign.)

Earl also took Christa’s sister, Joann Lawrence, to high school rodeo, winning the average in the first year and qualifying for the Nationals. In 2008, Joann won the year end in barrels and poles, won the Finals, the average and Horse of the Year for the Saskatchewan High School Rodeo Association Finals. Earl also took her to the National High School Finals in Farmington, NM, ending up in the top 40 — even after a serious fall on the first barrel.

An interesting aside—the day after Christa brought Earl back to the Lawrence Ranch at Maple Creek, her father, Eric Lawrence, had to treat one of his Herefords, so he caught the only horse on the place that was sharp shod, and that was Earl. He roped the cow and the champion held her as she was treated. In this world of specialty horses, there aren’t too many that are given the opportunity to be that versatile.



Photo courtesy of BIC
Canadian Beef. Goodness in Every Bite.

New Brand for Canadian Beef
The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Beef Information Centre (BIC), along with Canada Beef Export Federation and Canadian Beef Breeds Council, have developed a global Canadian beef brand logo.

BIC’s consumer brand launch campaign encourages Canadian retailers and foodservice operators to take advantage of the brand logo, and its tagline: ”Canadian beef. Goodness in every bite.” The tagline was based on research that showed the greatest growth opportunity is among consumers who eat beef one to two times per week. This group represents almost 70 per cent of beef eaters in Canada, and persuading these consumers to eat beef more often has the most potential for maximizing market growth.

BIC will launch its new brand identity to consumers in the spring of 2009 with an integrated multimedia campaign that will include a trade marketing roll-out, recipe booklets, public relations and health professional communications.

“The good taste of Canadian beef is entrenched in consumers’ minds,” says Lisa Mina, BIC executive director of consumer marketing. “However, enjoyment of beef is inseparable from its perceived nutrition benefits. What (consumers) want are healthful reasons to eat beef more often.”



Photo by Tammy Kneller
2006 Calgary Stampede Princess Teri Murray

Empty Saddles
Stampede Mourns a Princess
Teri Murray, 2006 Calgary Stampede Princess, was tragically killed on Valentine’s Day in a two-vehicle accident while travelling back to Calgary from Banff.

A determined and ambitious young woman, 22-year-old Murray obtained her pilot’s licence at 16 and was later crowned Calgary Stampede Princess.

Upon completion of her year with the Stampede, Murray moved to Hawaii for an 18-month campaign with the YWCA working as a camp counsellor and developing camp programs. She had recently moved back to Calgary from Hawaii and was studying Communications and Linguistics at the University of Calgary.

In a reflection of her kind and generous spirit, Murray’s family donated her organs. Seven patients, some just babies, received her gift of life.


Photo by Deb Stirrett
Doug Stirrett in Nashville, Tenn., at the famous Grand Ol’ Opry

Where in the World is Canadian Cowboy Country?
Doug Stirrett, associate publisher of WHERE Edmonton (and the man who personally rescued me from a locked building), took us along as he toured the most famous stage in America, The Grand Ole Opry.

The Opry is an American icon and Nashville, Tennessee’s number-one attraction. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people make pilgrimages to the Opry Complex to see the show live.

In the centre of the stage is a six-foot circle of dark, well-worn oak flooring. This circle was cut from the stage of the Opry’s famous former home, the Ryman Auditorium, allowing entertainers the opportunity to sing on the same spot that once supported Uncle Dave Macon, Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline and others.