In The Corral February/March 2010



Photo by Mike Copeman
Gary Rempel in the spotlight astride Rainbow on the last day of the 2009 Canadian Finals Rodeo

Record-Breaking Cowboy of the Year
It was an emotional double-whammy for star pick up man Gary Rempel at the 2009 CFR. The humble, Saskatchewan-born super cowboy was overwhelmed by the sold-out crowd’s thunderous standing ovation as he received the Cowboy of the Year award, presented by Douglas Lake Ranch. “Oh man, that was special,” says Rempel from his Fort Shaw, Montana, ranch.

But the accolades were not over. On Sunday, once again the spotlight picked him out in the arena and again the crowd erupted as it was announced that no other cowboy had picked up at more CFRs than Rempel. “I knew that one was coming,” says Rempel. “That’s why I was riding Rainbow, he deserved the spotlight, too.” The 21-year-old gelding has been Rempel’s favourite pick up horse since he bought him as a five-year-old. “They were going to can him because he kept bucking everybody off,” he explains. “There’s not too many times the trailer left the yard without him in it.”

Few records remain for Rempel to break, so now the Gretzky-of-the-Dirt will be setting new ones — one performance at a time.


Photo by Tim Van Horn
Shirley shares her pretty flowers with Gordie’s saddle horse

The Hitching Rail
Gordie and Shirley
Congratulations to Gordie West and his new bride, Shirley Gordon, who rode into the Bergeson Ranch (near Didsbury, Alta.,) on Oct. 10 and got married. The wedding ceremony, performed by Bryn Thiessen, was followed by a supper and dance.

The couple have settled on Gordie’s place near Barriere, B.C. Gordie is a well-known country musician who has toured the world promoting the Calgary Stampede.

Photo courtesy of Knight Family archives
Saddle maker Andy Knight with his family, from left: Tracy, Tess, grandson Julian, Andy, Tania and Ruth

Joe Marten Memorial Award
The B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society recently announced saddle maker Andy Knight is the recipient of the 2010 Joe Marten Memorial Award.

Knight’s career began with Tex-Tan Kenway on the saddle-making assembly line. His first custom saddle was crafted for 1977 World Champion tie down roper Jim Gladstone. Knight eventually moved to B.C. and established his own shop in Merritt, where he also began building his own trees.

Knight has been invited to show his saddles at the Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso, New Mexico, and at the Elko Museum in Elko, Nevada. Recently, he was invited to Switzerland and Germany to show and give saddle-fitting demonstrations.

In 1999, Knight left retail and moved his saddle-making shop to his home. When asked if he considered himself a traditional saddle maker he replied: “I am not sure what you mean, however, I believe that everything I do relating to saddle making needs to be subject to constant review to consider whether it can be improved.”

The Joe Marten Memorial Award is presented annually to a person who has been influential in the promotion and/or preservation of Cowboy/Western Heritage in the province of B.C. To see the list of past recipients, visit and click on Heritage Award.

Photo by Grant Rolston Photography LTD

Heritage Ranch Rodeo
The word is out and folks are catching on to one of the major highlights of Farmfair International in Edmonton! Imagine an arena filled with some of the top working cowboys of Western Canada; each saddle horse decked out with an impressive array of custom saddles and gear. This was the scene in Edmonton Nov. 8–10 at the sixth annual Heritage Ranch Rodeo, sponsored by Kubota.

Sixteen ranches entered and eight made it to the finals. At the end of the three-day event, team captain Kirk Thomson, working ranch horse competitor Nolan Pharis, bronc rider Cody Thomson and Clint Stokke, riding for the Bar U Ranch near Longview, Alta., emerged the winner with 55 points.

Other awards included Top Hand, presented to Mike Sears of the Mesabi Ranch near Nanton, Alta., (who, along with Living Legend Gary Rempel, picked up in the bronc riding), Top Female Cowboy went to Raquel Russell of River Ranch near Riske Creek, B.C., Top Score Bronc Rider was Blade Young of High Plains Ranch near Carnduff, Sask., and Top Working Cow Horse went to Nolan Pharis of the Bar U.

From first to eighth place, here’s how it all shook out: 1. Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alta.; 2. Mesabi Ranch, Nanton, Alta.; 3. Bluebird Ranch, Nanton, Alta.; 4. R Bar Ranch, Bluffton, Alta.; 5. River Ranch, Riske Creek, B.C.; 6. 45 Ranch, Hanley, Sask.; 7. High Plains Ranch, Carnduff, Sask., 8. Sleepy Spring Ranch, Winfield, Alta.

For more photos from the Heritage Ranch Rodeo, visit

Things got a little western at the Sunday performance of the Heritage Ranch Rodeo! In the Wild Cow Milking, the roan gelding of Coldstream Ranch cowboy, Keith Dinwoodie (on ground at left) was jerked right off his feet. “The second I roped that big cow I was wishing my horse was about 700 pounds heavier,” says Dinwoodie. “When he started to go over, I was wishing he was about 700 pounds lighter.” As Dinwoodie was scrambling to his feet, another cow freight-trained him. He didn’t lose his rope though, but it put Coldstream cowboy Thomas Linford in a “pressing” situation. Linford proved he was tough enough to wear pink by doing a back flip to get out of the bind, then returned and mugged the cow. Nick Bapty (adjusting his glasses) roared in and milked her. To their udder dismay, he didn’t get enough milk so the battered and bruised cowboys ended with a no-time. Don’t try this at home, kids…


Photo by Terri McKinney

The Hitching Rail
Guy Murdock and Brenda Winder
Congratulations to Guy Murdock and Brenda Winder who were married Oct. 10 at Kingman, Alta. The couple are now living on a ranch down by Cochrane, Alta.

Brenda and her Wild Deuce Outfitting partner, Terri McKinney, graced the cover of the Feb/Mar 2007 issue of Canadian Cowboy Country.




Shootin’ Canadians in Amarillo
Four Canadians pulled back the hammer and made the long haul south to compete in the Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Competition held Oct. 20–24 in Amarillo, Texas.

Photo by Ron Garlick
From left: Ken Kusk (Reserve World, Senior Men’s Level 2), Sheryl Kusk (Reserve World Senior Ladies Level 1) from Camrose, Alta., Cheryl La Rue (third place in Senior Ladies Level 2) and Niels Lausten (24th Men’s Level 2), from Lacombe, Alta.

The major event drew some 293 shooters from the U.S., Sweden, Germany and Canada. The Canadians had a strong showing as Camrose, Alta., residents Ken Kusk brought home the Reserve World, Senior Men’s Level 2 and his wife, Sheryl, earned Reserve World Senior Ladies Level 1. Cheryl La Rue notched a third-place finish in Senior Ladies Level 2 on her gun while Niels Lausten finished 24th in Men’s Level 2. Niels and Cheryl are from Lacombe, Alta. The four are members of the Alberta Mounted Shooters Club.



Photo by Grant Rolston Photography LTD

The Real Roughriders
Twelve teams rode into the arena and after three days of pure cowboy action the 2009 Agribition Ranch Rodeo saw the Udal Ranch of Maple Creek, Sask., gallop home with first place for the second year running. The second annual ranch rodeo was held Nov. 21–23 in Regina.

The Udal Ranch won three of the six events; first in Trailering while individually, Arron Gordon won the Ranch Hand Race and Shelton Udal won the bronc riding.

The Branding (with paint) was won by High Plains (T4) Ranch of Carnduff, Sask. Doctoring was won by Soderglen Ranches of Airdrie, Alta., while the Wild Cow Milking was won by the Northfork Grazing outfit from Lundbreck, Alta.

How it all shook out: 1. Udal Ranch, Maple Creek, Sask.; 2. High Plains (T4) Ranch, Carnduff, Sask.; 3. Soderglen Ranches, Airdrie, Alta.; 4. Quill Ranch, Cowley, Alta.

The rules and events of ranch rodeo seem to vary from location to location but the one constant is this: They are pure entertainment! For more photos from the Agribition Ranch Rodeo, visit

The two-time Agribition Ranch Rodeo Champions riding for the Udal Ranch (left to right) on horseback: Arron Gordon, Danny Udal, Trevor Murphy, Dean Mackie and Shelton Udal. Standing in front from left: Glen Anholt, Stewart Stone, Shirley Kirby and Dr. Grant Royan, Ranch Rodeo Co-ordinator.

Photo courtesy ofEirikson family
Sawyer Eirikson competes in the 2008 USTRC National Finals Dummy Roping competition in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Maybe They’re Born With It…
Those ropers sure start young out here in the West!
Congratulations to nine-year-old Sawyer Eirikson, a two-time shoot-out finalist at the U.S. Team Roping Championships held in Oklahoma City. Eirikson is already a four-time champion on the Dummy roping circuit and a champion sheep rider — impressive records from both ends of the arena.

His brother, Wyatt, 16, is a team roper in the Foothills Cowboy Association.

Sawyer and Wyatt are sons of Three-Time Canadian All Around Cowboy Tom Eirikson and his wife Candy. They make their home in southern Alberta.

Photo by Ascension 81.023.19190, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
The late Devere Helfrich captured this classic image of Marty Wood on Harry Vold’s saddle bronc, Stoney, at Ellensburg, Washington in 1961. This inspiring photo is the basis of today’s Canadian Professional Rodeo Association logo.

Who won the Canadian Cowboy
Country quiz?
Congratulations to Larry Majeski of Leduc, Alta., whose name was drawn from the thousands of entries received by us and our contest sponsor, Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack, on our Cowboy Quiz. Larry won a $500 Shopping Spree at any Lammle’s location. “I can’t believe it! That’s great!” said Larry when I called him with the news.

Larry correctly answered our annual Rodeo quiz. This year, the question was:

Seven Canadian cowboys have been named the World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider. Which Canadian Cowboy is depicted on the CPRA logo? (The choices were Pete Knight, Jerry Ambler, Carl Olson, Marty Wood, Winston Bruce, Kenny McLean and Mel Hyland.)

The correct answer is: Marty Wood

We would like to give special thanks to the CPRA for their continued support of Canadian Cowboy Country magazine. It is our pleasure to work closely with pro rodeo, from our many articles about the people and livestock of this thrilling sport to our proud sponsorship of the small, medium and large Rodeo Committee of the Year awards.




Photos courtesy of Canadian Rodeo News/Pamela Porosky

The winners of the Rodeo Committee of the Year (from left) Field of Dreams Pro Rodeo Committee, La Crete; Mighty Fraser Rodeo Committee, Abbottsford and the legendary Frank Mickey holds the plaque awarded to the Ponoka Stampede Committee.


Photo courtesy of Black family

Stocking The Herd
Rylee Margaret Black
Congratulations to Dan Black and Tracey Schacher of Maple Creek, Sask., on the birth of their second child, Rylee Margaret Black, a little sister for Mollie. Rylee was born Oct. 11 and weighed 7 lbs. 13 oz.

Rylee’s dad, Dan, qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo a total of six times; once in novice and five times in saddle bronc.



Martin Black wins Mane Event Chilliwack
The 2009 Mane Event Expo Trainers Challenge in Chilliwack, B.C., was rife with drama. Ken McNabb of Clark, Wyoming, filled in for Josh Lyons who was not able to attend due to a last-minute family emergency. Martin Black of Sanger, Texas — who had his leg broken in July and is still on the mend — cowboyed up and participated while Bruce Logan of Loving, Texas, filled in for Jon Ensign of Belgrade, Montana, who had his leg broken when he was kicked by a mule and unable to attend.

Photo by Darrell Dodds, Western Horseman magazine

When the dust settled, Martin Black was crowned the Champion of the 2009 Trainers Challenge. All three participants received beautiful bronzes crafted by Diane Anderson of Tymarc Art Studio of Alberta as well as gorgeous handcrafted silver spurs from Frank Principe, a B.C. silversmith. Once again, the famous Douglas Lake Ranch supplied the colts.

The Mane Event returns to Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alta., April 23–25, 2010. The Mane Event Trainer’s Challenge is sponsored by Canadian Cowboy Country magazine.


Photo by Billy Melville
From left: Jessica and Joanne Melville at Al Khazneh (The Treasury) in Jordan

Where in the World is Canadian Cowboy?
Petra, Jordan
Renowned for its rock-cut architecture, Petra is a complete city carved into a mountain in the Arabah, Ma’an Governorate, Jordan. The Nabataeans constructed it as their capital around 100 BC. The entrance to the ancient city is through a 1.25-km-long narrow gorge — called The Siq — in the mountain.

Al Khazneh, known as The Treasury, is one of the most elaborate buildings in the ancient city. All (except two) are carved into sandstone. Other major sites include the Monastery, the Roman theatre, the Royal Tombs and the High Place of Sacrifice.

In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site. Al Khazneh has also been designated one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by the for-profit New Open World Corporation. This site has been featured in many films, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

More than three million tourists a year visit Jordan, including Jessica and Joanne Melville of Calgary, Alta., posing for columnist Billy Melville.