In The Corral Aug/Sep 2009



Photo by Stacey Mastel
Laureen Harper, accompanied by John Scott of Longview, braved inclement weather to lead the parade as Grand Marshall for the Diamond Valley Parade and Discovery Days

Forget Politics — the Girl Can Ride!
Despite snow and sleet in June, residents lined the streets as Laureen Harper, wife of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, returned to her rural roots for the annual Diamond Valley, Alta., parade.

Harper, dressed in a warm slicker and mittens to ward off the cold, led a colourful array of floats, bands, riders and marchers through the streets of Black Diamond.

“It’s lovely to be home,” said Harper, who was born in nearby Turner Valley and ranch-raised in the area. “I love it, no matter what the weather is.”

Obviously comfortable in the saddle, Harper waved to children and called out greetings to old friends as she rode Stormy, a black quarter horse.

Photo by Terri Mason
Tom Wraight finished binding the field with the Cockshutt binder and was driving the four-across down the summer-fallowed field to park the equipment. That’s Ted Bruner’s son, Justin, on the machinery with him.

Forty Years of Pioneer
Pioneer Acres Plowmen & Thresherman’s Club celebrates its 40th anniversary Aug. 7–9 at Irricana, Alta.

More than 10 four-horse hitches, numerous wagons and a dizzying array of horse-drawn farming equipment will be demonstrated, driven, on display and paraded. Wagon rides will also be available. If you’ve ever wondered if draft horses are for you, this is the place to find out as some of the best long line field teamsters in the West will gather here all weekend.

Must-sees include the Ron Carey antique vehicle museum, Women’s World and the operational blacksmith shop. There will be a wealth of antique tractors, plus homemade bread, pancake breakfasts, steak fry’s and entertainment. Case equipment will be featured.

Photo Courtesy of Paul Van Ginkel
The Supreme’s much-anticipated reining painting, Composed Comrades, 52” x 35”, oil on canvas by artist Paul Van Ginkel

Bid on the Canadian Supreme
The annual Canadian Supreme — held each fall in Red Deer, Alta., commissioned three paintings by western artist Paul Van Ginkel depicting cutting, reining and working cow horse. Used to promote the Canadian Supreme’s annual event, there is also a signed limited edition of 50 giclee art prints. The prints will be available at the event from Oct. 3–5.

The original oil will be on the auction block at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3 at Westerner Park in Red Deer. The Canadian Supreme runs Sept. 28–Oct. 4.


Canadian Rodeo Royalty
“The summer has flown by, literally!” says 2008 Miss Rodeo Canada Aaron Corchesne. Her travels have taken her from La Crete, Alta., to Las Vegas, Nev., and everywhere between. “I’ve seen the best rodeo athletes on two and four legs in the world!”

Photo by Terri Mason
Day Four of the Innisfail Pro Rodeo. (From left) 2009 Miss Rodeo Canada Princess, Tara Slade and 2009 Miss Rodeo Canada Aaron Corchesne paused for a visit just before Grand Entry

Corchesne, a spokesperson for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, attends numerous events in support of A Future without Breast Cancer campaign.

She also visits schools and hospitals, speaking with hundreds of children. “Their questions never cease to amaze me, and believe it or not,” she laughs, “on occasion I have been found speechless.”

Now halfway through her reign, she hopes that she’s inspired young and old alike to be passionate about their lives. “Above all, I hope that one person, somewhere that I’ve touched, will believe that they can achieve their dreams.”

Visit for the appearance schedule of Aaron and 2009 Miss Rodeo Canada Princess, Tara Slade.

All The Queen’s Horses…

Burmese, presented April 28, 1969
Centenial, presented in 1973, delivered in 1977
HRH Queen Elizabeth II was presented with the gift horse, PSH George, at the Royal Tattoo at Windsor Castle
Saint James, presented in 1998

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) presented Police Service Horse (PSH) George to Her Majesty The Queen in honour of the 40th anniversary of the presentation of PSH Burmese at the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The horse had been renamed George, in honour of the Queen’s grandfather, King George V, who gave the Queen her first pony when she was four.

In 1969, the RCMP presented The Queen with PSH Burmese. Burmese was a favourite of The Queen’s horses and was featured in the Trooping of the Colour for 18 consecutive years.

PSH Burmese was followed by PSH Centenial (sic), presented to The Queen in 1973 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RCMP; and PSH Saint James, in 1998, to mark the RCMP’s 125th anniversary.

Interestingly, Centenial, Saint James and George are related to Burmese.

“Equitation is an important part of the RCMP’s culture and heritage and is a passion of The Queen,” explained Superintendent Greg
Peters, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Heritage Branch (SP&HB) for the RCMP. “The presentation of PSH George is the perfect way to celebrate our relationship with the Royal Family as well as the historical ties between the United Kingdom, Canada and the RCMP.”

Photos Courtesy of RCMP Archives


Photo by Tom Reardon
Rita Reardon, Joeli Reardon and Sebastien Drouin (2 1/2 months) in front of the statue of HRH Queen Elizabeth II riding her horse, Centenial (sic). The statue stands on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ont.

Where in the World is Canadian Cowboy Country?
This statue is the first equestrian figure of The Queen in the world. Although a female monarch traditionally rides sidesaddle on ceremonial occasions, The Queen chose to be depicted riding astride, as this is the way she usually rode Centenial. Officially, Centenial was a gift to The Queen by the RCMP in 1973, yet was kept in training and performing in the Musical Ride in Canada until 1977. Centenial was then delivered to Windsor Castle and presented to Her Majesty to celebrate her 25th year as Canada’s monarch and head of state. Centenial was named in honour of the RCMP’s 100th anniversary.

The monument was unveiled as part of Canada’s 125th anniversary celebrations in 1992. The Queen has reigned since 1952.

Photo Courtesy of Bowe Family Collection

Empty Saddles
Gilbert (Gilly) Bowe
1930 – 2009
Multi-event rodeo cowboy, Williams Lake Mountain Race competitor, rodeo judge, BC Cowboy Hall of Famer (2003), saddle-maker and team roper, Gilly Bowe was one of the founding members of the Interior Rodeo Association, which later became the BCRA.

Bowe won the 1957 Williams Lake Stampede saddle bronc championship. In 1960 at Chelan, Wash., he scored a 94 in saddle bronc — a record that stood for many years. In 1961, he entered six main events at Burnaby Lake and won every one — plus the all-round buckle.

After retiring from rough stock, Bowe became a saddle-maker, competed in team roping and hosted B.C. Team Roping Ass’n events at his home arena in Red Rock. He was the great-grandson of Herman Bowe, founder of the Alkali Lake Ranch.


Photo Courtesty of Istockphoto/rhyman007

Instant Barrel Racer
If you want to be a barrel racer but don’t have the horse to take you around the pattern, then Jerri Duce and her husband, Lee Phillips, (Living Legends; Feb/Mar 2005) may be the answer to your dreams! The most innovative and exciting barrel race is happening at their Diamond P Ranch at Carseland, Alta., Aug 7-9. The two go-round 5D barrel races will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning with an estimated $5,000 added.

The highlight happens Sunday with the Carseland Lions Club 3D Lotto Barrel Horse Race event (one run). Expected to draw some 400 to 600 competitors for the weekend, the 150 barrel horses entered in the Lotto Race are up for grabs by the winning ticket holder.

Only 325 tickets at $100 each were sold and the winning ticket holder gets to choose and take home a barrel horse. The horse owner gets a cheque for $30,000, the ticket holder gets a horse and girls who could not afford a competitive horse now have the opportunity to win one. Who knows — another World Champion just might get her start!


Photo by Gary Houston
Tom Reardon, chairman of the Maple Creek Pro Rodeo, presents Gary Rempel with a framed photograph in honour of his 25th year picking up at their rodeo

Gary Rempel receives Quarter
Century Award from Maple Creek
Pick up man, Gary Rempel, received a framed Gary Houston photograph depicting Rempel picking up at the ol’ Cowtown’s pro rodeo.
Rempel was featured as a Living Legend in the June/July 2009 issue of Canadian Cowboy Country magazine.


David Thompson Finally Touches the Stars
Two hundred years after his death, explorer David Thompson will finally touch the stars he used for navigation all his life, thanks to Canadian astronaut, Robert Thirsk.

Thirsk, who successfully launched May 27 to a rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS), expects to be at the station for six months; by far the longest stay for a Canadian at the station.

On Sept. 12, Thirsk will broadcast a downlink from the ISS to the Panida Theater in Sandpoint, Idaho, as part of the bicentennial commemoration of David Thompson’s arrival in the Pend Oreille country in September of 1809. This program will be streamed to schools throughout Canada and the U.S.

David Thompson, the world’s greatest land geographer, created the Great Map of 1814 which covered an area of 3.9 million square km (1.5 million square miles). His monumental surveying journey covered some 80,000 miles by foot, horseback, dogsled and canoe — over ten times the distance of the much-touted Lewis and Clark’s 8,000-mile expedition.

B.C.-born Thirsk says, “I uphold David Thompson as a role model. He is a source of inspiration to all modern day explorers who seek to push back the new frontiers. Several years ago Tom Wolfe, the American author, coined the phrase “The Right Stuff” to describe the combination of unique qualities that exemplified the early elite astronauts. David Thompson had the Right Stuff. In fact he would’ve been a great astronaut if space travel had been possible in his era.”

corral0809_1125 Years – And Growing!
Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack has expanded their brand across the “Rocks” with the launch of their new store in Kelowna, B.C., the heart of the Okanagan Valley. Manager Carla Moses is thrilled with the new store.

“The response has been great,” said Moses in a recent interview. “We carry both Western and English tack, clothing, boots, hats and giftware. We found we’ve got a lot of clients who do their own farrier work, so we bring in supplies for them. Plus a lot of high school rodeo contestants, especially girls breakaway roping — they’re really into high school rodeo over here.”

The move to the Okanagan was tailor-made for Moses. “I trained at the Lammle’s in Edmonton,” says Moses. “When they announced they were opening the new store in Kelowna I put in for a transfer. I’m originally from Merritt so it’s great to be so close to home again.”

Lammle’s newest store is located in West Kelowna at the Westbank Shopping Centre, 2330 — Hwy 97 South. Visit for more information and watch for the grand opening of their (next) new store in Kamloops!

Photo by Jerry Stainer
From left: Rob Dinwoodie, Dave Longworth, Frank Gleeson, Butch Falk, Mike Puhallo, Matt Johnson, Hugh McLennan and Gary Fjellgaard performed to a record crowd at the Kamloops fundraiser for Frank and Betty Gleeson

Rising From the Ashes
A capacity crowd filled the Calvary Church in Kamloops in support of rancher and cowboy poet, Frank Gleeson and his wife, Betty, who were burned out in a fire earlier this year.

Old friends, cowboy poets and pickers from as far away as Gabriola Island joined in, raising some $8,000 for the popular couple.

Gleeson, the Official Cowboy Poet of Williams Lake, is famed as one of the fastest speaking — and funniest — poets in the West.


Stocking the Herd

Photo by Heather Beierbach
Jane Kelly Beierbach, a little sister for fledgling barrel racer, Sarah

Jane Kelly Beierbach
Congratulations to John and Heidi Beierbach on the birth of their second child, Jane Kelly Beierbach, a little sister for Sarah. Jane was born April 5 and weighed 6 lbs, 15 oz.

Jane’s dad has five championship buckles from the Maple Creek Ranch Rodeo and is now one of the organizers. Her mom, Heidi (Moorhead) once topped a bronc there for an all-girl team.


Angus Croy Cunningham
Congratulations to Aaron (Toad) and Chelsea Cunningham on the birth of their son, Angus Croy, a little brother for Jesse and Jake.

Angus was born June 17 in Red Deer, Alta., and weighed 8 lbs, 12 oz.

Photo by Liz Twan/Williams Lake Stampede

Chelsea is a ranch roping, western singer/songwriter and her husband, Aaron, is a rancher and working cowboy.

Hey, We Know That Guy!
That’s Beiseker, Alta., bronc rider, J.R. Reding, (Road to the CFR; Oct/Nov 2005) making a spectacular ride on Coffee Stains, a John Duffy bronc. This great shot was captured July 1, 2007 at the Williams Lake Stampede by Liz Twan of the Alkali Lake Ranch.

The image was chosen by the committee for the Limited Edition 2009 poster. Traditionally, the rodeo posters feature original art. This is the first photograph ever used on a Williams Lake Stampede collectible poster.

Twan, a Stampede volunteer and 2008 Lifetime Pass recipient, is the author of Cowboys, Characters & Critters, and a regular contributor to Canadian Cowboy Country magazine.


Twist — Not a Rope Horse, a Doggin’ Horse!
I inadvertently labelled Hall of Fame inductee, Twist, as a rope horse. He was, but that’s not why he was inducted. Here’s the rest of the story…

Five-time Canadian Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Twist, was raised on the Jack Longmuir Ranch near Empress, Alta. Wes Zieffle’s niece Jody Wenbourne of Taber, Alta., purchased the brown gelding with barrel racing in mind, but eventually sold him to Uncle Wes for $400 worth of oats.

Wes tried him for tie-down roping but decided he’d make a better dogging horse. In 1979, Twist was the first horse to be named the Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year; going on to win the award again from 1981-1984.

Twist carried many riders to the CFR, including Ben Hern, Ken Guenther and Blaine Pederson and was featured on the CFR’s official 1982 poster.