October/November 2010


Bar U Ranch Rodeo

2010 Bar U Ranch Rodeo winners ride for the Rocking P Ranch by Nanton. From left, are: Mac Blades; Ken Pigeon, Bar U site manager; Blake Schlosser; Stran Schlosser; and Justin Blades. The winning team is now headed to Edmonton for the Heritage Ranch Rodeo where they will rep the Bar U.
Photo by Deb Pigeon

The Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada presented its 12th annual Old Time Ranch Rodeo on Aug 15. The Friends of the Bar U Historic Ranch Association hosted the event.
In all, 13 ranch teams competed in five events, including a Broke Horse Race, Team Sorting, Team Branding, Team Doctoring and Wild Cow Milking.
During a superb afternoon of sunny weather, fans watched as the Rocking P of Nanton, Alta. — comprising Mac Blades, Blake Schlosser, Stran Schlosser and Justin Blades — took home the first-place silver belt buckles, handcrafted by Ralph Nelson of Nanton, Alta.
Second place honours were won by the Northfork Grazing Co-op, of Pincher Creek, Alta. Third spot went to the Lowe Ranch, of Nanton, Alta.
The Top Hand Award, a handmade silver bit, also made by Ralph Nelson, went to Kirk Thomson of the Northfork Grazing Co-op.
The half time show showcased young hands ages 5 to 14 who demonstrated their skills at goat tying, team doctoring and team branding. It’s the first time the Bar U has featured young competitors. It’s a great idea; after all, that’s where all good hands start out — in the kids’ branding pen.

From left: Top Hand award winner Kirk
Thomson from the Northfork Grazing Co-op
receives the custom bit from site manager
Ken Pigeon.
Young cowhands here include: Lakota Bird
(on palomino); pink-shirted girl with branding
iron, Riata Schlosser; young boy wrestling in
straw hat, Parker Armstrong; and wrestler in
black hat, Stran Schlosser. Missing from the
photo is Cole Blades. Grandpa Mac Blades is
ready to step in if the youngsters need a hand.
Photos by Deb Pigeon





Fire Ravages Museum of the Highwood

Firefighters onsite at the Museum of the
Highwood in High River
Photo by Bill Dunn

A massive cleanup and restoration project is hitting high gear in High River after a fire ripped through the historic Museum of the Highwood at the end of July.
Fortunately, much of the fire damage was confined to the southeast corner of the attic. While some materials were stored off-site, many items on the main floor suffered water and smoke damage.
Archivists and restoration specialists from Calgary’s Glenbow Museum quickly attended the scene to assist with the delicate restoration of waterlogged artifacts that run the gamut from a display of musical instruments and sheet music to pioneers’ buffalo coats and a cowboy hat that once belonged to Guy Weadick, founder of the Calgary Stampede. Firefighters also rescued the vast collection of saddles.
The museum — officially opened Oct 12, 1961 — is housed in the former CPR station that was built in Calgary (1911 – 1912) and later relocated to High River when Calgary built a larger station. For almost a century, this Canadian Pacific station has stood in the centre of High River. It’s listed in the Canadian Register of Historic Places.
Donations to the museum can be made at any Servus Credit Union or by mail to the Museum of the Highwood, P.O. Box 5334, High River, AB, T1V 1M5.

National High School Rodeo!

2010 NHSRA Steer Wrestling Champion
Stephen Culling of Fort St. John, B.C.
Photo courtesy NHSRA/David Jennings

A tip of the hat to all the youthful competitors from Canadian Cowboy Country who qualified for, and competed in, the National High School Rodeo Association Finals held in Gillette, Wyoming from July 18 – 24.
Special congratulations to 2010 NHSRA Steer Wrestling Champion Stephen Culling of Ft. St. John, B.C. He edged out runner-up Ty Willick from Blaine Lake, Sask., by 16 one-hundredths of a second on three runs. Meeting Creek, Alberta’s first-year contestant Layton Green was named All-Around Rookie Cowboy.
In team standings, Alberta finished 8th, Saskatchewan was 20th, B.C. placed 29th, Manitoba came in 35th and Ontario was unranked.
The NHSRF is billed as the “world’s largest rodeo” with entries from 41 American states, five Canadian provinces and Australia.




Carey Price Takes the Shot

Heeler Carey Price and roping partner Wade
McNolty prepare for an exhibition run in team
roping at the 2010 Williams Lake Stampede
Photo by Liz Twan

Despite not yet having a contract for next season, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price is keeping busy on the cowboy trail.
For the past few years, Price, 23, has been participating in team roping competitions in British Columbia rodeos.
Apparently, Habs’ management hasn’t exactly been champing at the bit to give its blessing to Price’s unconventional off-ice training; but the team softened its stance when the No. 1 goalie agreed to limit his rodeo participation to team roping.
In July, Price and partner Virgil Poffenroth won the rodeo in Price’s hometown of Anahim Lake, B.C., with a seven-second time. Second place went to Bronc and Willee Twan of Alkali Lake Ranch with 8.4 seconds.
At press time, the Price team recorded its second win in Nemiah Valley, winning the #8 Team Roping with a time of 15.4 seconds and pocketing $300.30 each for their efforts.
Obviously, the prize money is just an added bonus, seeing as how it doesn’t quite measure up to the $26,829.27 the goalie earns per Habs game, whether he plays or not.
Price’s father, Jerry, was also a goaltender, drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers. His mother, Lynda, is the former chief of the Ulkatcho First Nation.
Editor’s note: Carey Price has signed a 2-year, $5.5 million contract with the Habs.

Empty Saddles

Photo courtesy Valemount Rodeo Association

Makwala Marshall Derrickson-Hall, 1992 – 2010

Eighteen-year-old Makwala Marshall Derrickson-Hall, of Oliver, B.C., died tragically in a bull riding incident in July at Valemount Rodeo.
The Okanagan First Nations teenager lived in Westbank where, as class valedictorian, he graduated this past June from a West Kelowna school.
A member of the B.C. High School Rodeo Association, the gifted athlete had set his sights on a professional bull riding career after making the cut for the provincial and Canadian Finals. Makwala had also qualified in bull riding for the biggest rodeo in the world — the National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, Wyoming. He was set to compete in July.
He leaves behind his mom, Corinne Derrickson and his father, Ron Hall. The young bull rider was laid to rest at Nk’Mip on the Osoyoos First Nations Reserve.

Jimmy Lulua, 2010 King of the Mountain

2010 Williams Lake Stampede Mountain Race Champion Jimmy Lulua of Nemiah Valley (Xeni Gwet’in) rides bareback in the lead. Riding beside him is June Cahoose, his partner and co-leader of the Nemiah riders.
Photo by Liz Twan

Revived in the early 1980s, the famous Williams Lake Stampede
Mountain Race still draws healthy crowds of riders and spectators.
This year, with a trophy saddle as a prize, mountain racers entered by the dozen; and even a baker’s dozen as one day there were 13 entries on the track.
Jimmy Lulua (Xeni Gwet’in) of Nemiah Valley, came to the Williams Lake Stampede as one of the leaders of the Nemiah Youth Ride (along with his partner, June Cahoose). He also came to enter the Mountain Race, bringing with him a fit and well-conditioned horse — a six-year-old running quarter horse that he purchased from Fred Palmantier of Riske Creek. He successfully completed all four races; earning second place to Daine Alphonse in the first race and winning the remaining three.
On Sunday afternoon, Stampede directors Kristy Palmantier and Willie Crosina presented Lulua with the Mountain Race Champion trophy saddle, belt buckle and a framed Williams Lake Stampede poster which features a Liz Twan photo of home grown two-time World Champion Steer Wrestler Lee Graves.
“There was tremendous support from the sponsors,” says Palmantier, “and the mountain race was really exciting; we had 16 different racers over the four days. By Day 4 we were down to six racers who competed all four days: Jimmy Lulua (Xeni Gwet’in), Daine Alphonse (Anaham), Bobi Bracewell (Tatlyoko), Roger William (Xeni Gwet’in), Arnold Chillihitzia (Quilchena) and Darren Sulin (Ulkatcho).”
Lulua and Cahoose also organized the Xeni Gwet’in youth riding at the Stampede. The duo volunteered to lead about 20 youths from the Nemiah Valley to Williams Lake, a journey of about 200 km. This is the second year of the trip. The ride focuses on tradition; elders accompany the riders and pass on oral traditions, while others focus on traditional activities such as hunting meat on the trip and cooking it over the fire. The enthusiastic group raised all the funds.
The Xeni Gwet’in ride mimicked the traditions of generations past, when hundreds of aboriginal people from the Chilcotin and Cariboo rode to Williams Lake for the Stampede.

Second Annual Sundre Ranch Rodeo

Bluebird Valley Ranch team, winners of the Sundre Ranch Rodeo
Photo by Terri Mason

Under clear western skies, the second annual Ranch Rodeo got underway with six teams of top-notch buckaroos who travelled from as far away as Chain Lakes in southern Alberta.
The rodeo featured the traditional ranch rodeo events — saddle bronc, branding, team doctoring, trailer loading — and an event that I believe to be unique to Sundre: bull doctoring.
The bull doctoring event is a showcase of livestock handling and roping skills. The object is for a team of three ropers to rope a bull and lay him down on the ground. The execution of this by the teams looked like pure poetry — gently paced, soft loops and the bulls weren’t dropped to the ground — they were laid on the ground. It was a terrific display of skill; you’d want any one of those teams to doctor your bulls.
The overall winner of the ranch rodeo was the Bluebird Valley Ranch from Chain Lakes with team members Ben Herr, Colby Herr, John Hunt and Rylan Jenkins. The team also won the bull doctoring and trailer loading events.
Scott Lees from Soderglen Ranches near Airdrie won Best Ranch Horse with his buckskin gelding. He took home a custom martingale made by Andrew Harms Custom Leather Work and sponsored by Helmer Creek Ranch of Sundre. Soderglen also won the team doctoring. The bronc riding was won by Darren McKenzie of the Wild Card team with a score of 78 on one of Pengelly’s good bucking horses. The branding event was won by the Bergen Boys.
The Sundre Ranch Rodeo was held in conjunction with Bulls and Wagons.

Ponoka Stampede Celebrates Dianne Finstad

The legendary Dianne Finstad interviewing
chuckwagon driver Kirk Sutherland at the
2010 Calgary Stampede
Photo by Linda Wilson

No one was more surprised than Dianne Finstad, this year’s recipient of the Bill Kehler Award at the Ponoka Stampede.
“It was fun,” says Ponoka Stampede Board member, Blair Vold. “I got Dianne out there and she was thinking she was going to interview the winner. Then rodeo announcer Les McIntyre opened the envelope and called her name,” he laughs. “She was sure surprised.”
Finstad, a multi-award-winning broadcaster and writer whose career spans some 25 years, is one of the most recognizable faces behind the chutes. Her personable, upbeat interview style, deep knowledge of rodeo and chuckwagon racing and pure enthusiasm has won her a legion of fans.
The board opted to present her with a custom gold pendant that features the Ponoka Stampede logo inset with a sparkling diamond.
“I was so shocked,” says Finstad, “I was standing behind the chutes with my microphone ready to interview the winner, but I couldn’t figure out who it was going to be. Then they announced my name….”
The Bill Kehler Award began in 2003. Finstad’s name will be engraved on the plaque, next to those of past recipients Don Johansen, Gary Harbin, Dwayne Erickson, Dee Butterfield, Bill Singh, Wayne Vold and Kelly Sutherland.

Empty Saddles

From left; Harry Schmaus, Norm Haynes,
Dale Flett, Orval Flett, Clarence Peters, Peter
Bawden and Prime Minister John Deifenbaker
Photo courtesy SchamusFamily Archives

Harry Schmaus, 1926 – 2010

Harry Schmaus, former outrider and chuckwagon driver, passed away on July 3, 2010 from complications following a stroke at the age of 84. Harry watched his last chuckwagon races at the North American Chuckwagon Championship in High River just a few days prior to his passing.
Harry began his outriding career in 1948 at the Calgary Stampede with the Charlie Lundseth outfit driven by Ralph Johnson. He quickly gained the reputation as one of the top outriders on the track and for many years he would outride every heat on every night at the Calgary Stampede. He twice was a Calgary Stampede Champion Outrider with the Peter Bawden outfit driven by Dale Flett in 1957 and again with the Peter Bawden outfit in 1959 with Dale Flett and Hally Walgenbach who split the driving duties. He also tried his hand at driving the big wagons and drove pony wagons as well. He outrode for the last time in 1973, giving him a competitive career lasting more than 25 years.

Where in the World is Canadian Cowboy Country?

With a Canadian flag and a Canadian
Cowboy in hand, Patti Schlenker poses by a
jeep in Apeldoorn, Netherlands
Photo courtesy Patti Schlenker

On May 9, 2010 a Canadian Forces contingent participated in the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. The event concluded with a parade attended by thousands in the city of Apeldoorn.
In April 1945, members of 1st Canadian Corps liberated the city of Apeldoorn from Axis forces. The operation, which lasted seven days, saw 506 casualties for the Canadians and the capture of more than 2,500 German soldiers. Contingent members also took part in a battlefield tour of the Scheldt Estuary, where the Canadian Army fought in 1944. Securing this particular area of the western Netherlands was vital to the Allied war effort as control of the area allowed access to the Belgian deep sea port of Antwerp; access to Antwerp allowed for easier resupply of Allied troops in the final months of the Second World War. The group also took part in a special parade in Wageningen, where German forces in the Netherlands surrendered to Canadians in May 1945.
The liberation of the Netherlands proved to be one of the most significant events that led to victory in Europe. More than one million Canadians served at home and abroad with the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. More than 40,000 made the supreme sacrifice. (To this day, the Dutch royal family sends a gift of 10,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa each year as a gesture of appreciation and friendship.)
While the number of Second World War veterans has dwindled significantly, many of their children attended the event, including Patti Schlenker of Medicine
Hat, Alta., whose father, Captain Ed Reardon (Buck to the Beat, CCC Oct/Nov 2004) first rumbled into Apeldoorn in a Sherman tank.

23rd Annual Maple Creek Ranch Rodeo

The Cypress Cattle Co. team took the title of Ranch Rodeo champions on July 3. Shown with the trophy and their championship buckles are, mounted from left: Keith Reesor, Craig Reesor, Camille Reesor, Derek Robertson, Travis Reesor. Standing, from left, are: John Beierbach (Ranch Rodeo Committee), Joe Gilchrist (Cypress Cattle Co.) who holds the Hereford Cup, and Doug Wilson (Ranch Rodeo Committee).
Photo by Kim Taylor

Nine teams competed at the 23rd annual Maple Creek Ranch Rodeo.
The rodeo, an annual fundraiser for the Jasper Cultural and Historical Centre of Maple Creek, featured local cowboys who competed in penning, doctoring, branding, milking, horse catching and bronc riding.
Among the participants rode third-generation cowboy, 12-year-old Shay Gold, who joined his father, Darryl Gold, for his second year at the rodeo. Shay took part in the penning, doctoring and branding events with the Pollock Ranching Co. team.
Competition proved close, but the Cypress Cattle Co. team edged ahead. The team took first place in cow milking, horse catching and bronc riding with Derek Robertson’s score of 78 points.