December 2011/January 2012

2011 WPCA Top Rookie Outrider Cole Flad (left) receives a trophy buckle from 2010 WPCA Top Rookie Outrider Doug Thomson
Photo by Paul Easton

WPCA Awards

Everyone was a winner at the annual World Professional Chuckwagon Association banquet?—?including Canadian Cowboy Country!

Held at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary Oct. 22, the WPCA honoured those who achieved greatness this past season, as well as those who have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the most exciting professional sport in the world today.

The honourees included Kelly Sutherland ­who, among many other accomplishments, captured the World Chuckwagon Championship for a record 12th time; Chad Cosgrave was honoured once again as this year’s World Champion Outrider; Mark Sutherland was named WPCA Chuckwagon Person of the Year; the special George Normand Lifetime Builders Award winner was Buddy Bensmiller; Troy Dorchester received the WPCA Clean Drive Award; Mitch Sutherland was named the WPCA’s Top Rookie Driver; Cole Flad was named the WPCA’s Top Rookie Outrider Award; Chad Fike received the Rod Glass Memorial Award for Most Improved Outrider; and John Walters received the Herman Flad Memorial Award for Most Improved Driver. The WPCA Special Tribute was given to the legendary Tom Glass.

The horses named to the WPCA Equine Outfit of Excellence included Jerry

Bremner’s Whisper (Right Leader), Kelly Sutherland’s Deb (Left Leader), Grant Profit’s King (Right Wheeler) and Mark Sutherland’s Tex (Left Wheeler). The champion Outriding Horses were Chance Bensmiller’s Kodan and Rick Fraser’s Max.

Other award winners included Jason Lemieux, the Wild Roses and Pidherney’s who each received an Active Supporter Award; the Ponoka Stampede Association received the Top Race Committee Award for a record eighth time; Canadian Cowboy Country magazine received the Media of the Year Award, Olana Vigen received the Judging Award; and Melissa Haroldson received the Ty Tournier Memorial Award.

The WPCA also gave Special Recognition to the Grande Prairie Chuckwagon Heritage Foundation for their work in promoting chuckwagon racing in the Peace Country.

Videos of some highly entertaining speeches from the Awards night

Calgary Stampede Centennial Royalty; from left, Princess Jessica Manning, Queen Candice Lee, Indian Princess Amelia Crowshoe and Princess Dani Gariepy
Photo by T. Dawson Photo/Graphics Ltd.

Stampede Centennial Royalty

At a sparkling crowning ceremony, Candice Lee, Dani Gariepy and Jessica Manning were crowned as the 2012 Calgary Stampede Centennial Queen and Princesses.

2012 Stampede Queen Candice Lee works as a personal trainer. She loves working out, training her horse, and coaching and playing volleyball. 2012 Stampede Princess Danielle (Dani) Gariepy is a third-year nursing student at Mount Royal University. She enjoys athletics and extreme cowboy racing with her horse, Nitro. 2012 Stampede Princess Jessica Manning is a polo groom and equine manager at Sorrel Springs Ranch and is currently studying equine osteopathy.

Representing the Piikani Nation of Southern Alberta, the 2012 Calgary Stampede Centennial Indian Princess is Amelia Crowshoe. Amelia, whose Blackfoot name is

Misimmemonisakii (Long Time Otter Woman) is proud to be the fifth generation from her family to participate in the Indian Village at the Calgary Stampede.

The 2012 Calgary Stampede will take place July 6?–?15.

More information at Calgary Stampede and  Indian VIllage

2011 FCA Champions
Photo by Slade Rogers/DreamsAlive Imagery

Foothills Cowboys Association Champions!

Congratulations to the organizers, sponsors and new champions of the 56th Annual Foothills Cowboys Assoc. Rodeo Finals, held at Westerner Park in Red Deer Oct. 7–?9. Good weather, superb stock and great rodeo action all contributed to packed stands for each of the four perfs.

The 2011 Foothills Cowboys Association Finals Champions are: back row, left to right: Cole Goodine, Carbon, Alta., Bareback Champion; Dylan Bilton, Innisfail, Alta., Novice Horse Riding Champion; Riley Warren, Stettler, Alta., Calf Roping and Team Roping (Heeler) Champion; Bailey Hughson, Foremost, Alta., Barrel Racing Champion; Tel Flewelling, Lacombe, Alta., Team Roping (Header) Champion; Cole Rutledge, Cowley, Alta., Steer Wrestling Champion; Tara Wilkinson,

Arrowwood, Alta., Junior Barrel Racing Champion.

Front row, left to right: Reed Sparks, Innisfail, Alta., Saddle Bronc Champion; Billy West, Cadogan, Alta., Junior Bull Riding Champion; Todd Chotowetz, Major, Sask., Bull Riding Champion; Dayton Johnson, Milk River, Alta., Steer Riding Champion.

Kelli Acreman rounding the third barrel at the ABRA Finals
Photo by Mike Copeman

Cowgirl Cleans Up!

One of the “littlest biggest” winners at the 2011 ABRA Finals was eight-year-old Kelli Acreman. The budding superstar rode her 15-year-old black mare Pixie and her nine-year-old sorrel gelding, Little Hookie Del, better known as Hobbie.

Needless to say, Kelli thought all her runs were great runs. “I was very proud of my horses,” she said in a recent interview. “Every run got stronger for them and they stayed very honest.”

Honest they were and it sure paid off. Kelli and her horses brought home a $200 gift certificate for boots from Jones Boys, a $100 gift certificate to Twisted Label, a buckle, jeans and Interval Timing gift certificate, a Lindsay Sears Shilo saddle, a Molly Powell saddle and a Raylee Racer saddle, a Youth High Point buckle, two leather jackets, headstall and breast collar, magnetic blanket, silk scarf, gift certificates from rodeo photographer Mike Copeman, an Interval Timing gift certificate and 12 basket productions. Kelli also brought home about $3,000 in prize money.

Not a bad week for an eight-year-old…

Johnny Gillis of Gillis Quarter Horses riding Lot #16 King through the camp obstacle. The horse sold for $6,700.
Photo courtesy Wild Deuce

Wild Deuce Competition & Sale

Wild Deuce Working Mountain Horse Competition & Select Sale took place in Kingman, Alta., Sept. 23?–?25, 2011.

The weekend incorporated fundraising for STARS, ongoing demos, a backcountry competition (with Mantracker Terry Grant as a guest judge this year) and ended with their closed sale, which was again a rousing success.

The consignor horse competition was won by Craig Reesor from Irvine, Alta., riding Lot #4, Drywood Mink. Craig was also the Overall Highpoint Champion which includes all competitors across the Open and Consignor Horse Division. Open competition went to Heather Shandro of Vegreville, Alta., with her horse Ginger.

Twenty horses were sold with an average of $6,800, with prices starting at $3,600. The top-selling horse was Lot #12 Pines Bar Mercury consigned by Wild Deuce for $16,000.

More Sale Results

Stocking the Herd


Cruz Arron Gordon
Photo courtesy Amy Udal
Colt Russell Needham
Photo courtesy Needham Family

Cruz Arron Gordon

Congratulations to Arron and Amy Gordon on the birth of their son, Cruz Arron Gordon Aug. 26, 2011. He was born in Medicine Hat, Alta., tipping the scales at 7 lbs 15 oz. Cruz is a little brother for Cassidy.

Amy (Udal) was the 1998 Cowtown Rodeo Queen and Arron is a two-time Canadian Western Agribition Ranch Rodeo Champion, three-time Maple Creek Ranch Rodeo Champion and a two-time Heritage Ranch Rodeo (Edmonton) Finalist. The young family makes their home on the Udal family ranch in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan.

Colt Russell Needham

Congratulations to Slim and Christa Needham on the birth of their first child, Colt Russell Needham. Colt was born Sept. 13 in Medicine Hat, Alta., 7 lb 7 oz.

Christa (Lawrence) was 2005 Miss Rodeo Canada and Slim is the current chairman of the Maple Creek Pro Rodeo. The young family make their home near Maple Creek, Sask.

Photo courtesy Gwen Saubak
Photo courtesy Visit Britain

Where in the World is Canadian Cowboy?

One of the world’s most famous ships, the Royal Yacht Britannia was launched at John Brown’s Shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland in 1953. During that time Britannia carried The Queen and the Royal Family on 968 official voyages, from the remotest regions of the South Seas to the deepest divides of Antarctica. Britannia sailed the oceans for 43 years and 334 days, travelling a total of 1,087,623 nautical miles, calling at over 600 ports in 135 countries.

In December, 1997, Britannia was decommissioned and is now permanently moored in Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith.

Today, visitors such as Gerry and Gwen Saubak of Bashaw, Alta., and their daughter Holly along with her husband SSGT Steve Sorbie and grandson Logan (who all currently reside at Hermitage, England, as Steve is serving with the British Armed Forces) can discover what life was like on board the ship for the Royal Family and crew.

High selling horse, Watch Blynx Show
Photo courtesy Gail Molsberry

There’s Always a Market for Good Horses!

Montana Breeders Group Sale

The 14th Annual Montana Breeders Group Labor Day AQHA Horse Sale attracted buyers from Alaska, Alberta, Colorado, Idaho, Manitoba, Missouri, Montana, Saskatchewan, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The high selling horse was American Dashin Man, a 2006 bay gelding for $7,100, purchased by the McNeills of Montana.

The reserve high selling horse was Bosono Firecracker, a 2007 sorrel gelding for $5,400 consigned by Thad and Nancy Hereim, White Sulphur Springs, Mont.

All results

Horseman’s Choice Sale

The annual Horseman’s Choice sale was held Sept. 4 in Cadillac, Sask.

The high selling horse was Watch Blynx Show, consigned by Gail Molsberry of Central Butte, Sask., sold for $4,300. The reserve high seller was Dox Silver Chaps consigned by Marcia Fiddler and sold for $3,850. Top Five averaged $3,590.

There are a lot of youngsters in this photo, including the top selling foal
Photo courtesy Tanya Parsonage

Ranch Country

The 7th Annual Ranch Country Horse Production Sale & Competition was held Sept. 10 in Maple Creek, Sask. An added feature is their Ranch Horse competition.

Top selling horse was Lot #95?—?Bar Nun Star Chick consigned by Lee Pedersen of Milestone, Sask., purchased for $6,900 by Hawkeye Ranching of Irvine, Alta. Top selling foal was Lot #42 (name pending) consigned by Roger and Lou Parsonage for $2,700, purchased by Johnson Horses, Consul, Sask.

The horses that were entered up in the popular Ranch Horse Competition brought an average of (out of 10 head) $4,210, while the 21 consigned horses brought an average of $3,330. The top selling ranch horse competitor was Lot #72?—?Royal Joe Chargex consigned by Charles Munro, Standard, Alta; Second place was won by Lot #63?—?Colonel Payday consigned by Lorena Thibault from Admiral, Sask., third went to Lot #68?—Dream N Dee (substitute) consigned by Charles Munro and fourth went to Lot #71?—?JXL Riverside Tar consigned by Vern Ballantyne, Unity, Sask.

High selling horse, Nic of San
Photo Courtesy Donna Beierbach

Cypress Hills Registered Horse Breeders Production Sale

A unique raffle was held at the beginning of the 35th annual Cypress Hills sale to raise money for the Cooper Family Benefit Fund. Brothers Cam and Wade Cooper lost their lives in a tragic plane crash earlier in the summer. Friend and rodeo partner Ross Kreutzer donated a colt from his breeding program as a fundraiser.

A combination raffle and auction ensued, with buyers jumping in anywhere from $20?–?$500. Everyone dug deep and the colt raised over $13,000 for the Fund. In the end, it was Battle River Rodeo that won the draw and the colt.

The high selling horse was Nic of San, consigned by Ross Kreutzer. Dale Butterwick from Calgary Alta., known for his work with Sports Medicine and Pro Rodeo Canada, purchased the palomino gelding for $8,000. Reserve high seller was Shayne Smith’s gelding, Debs Peppybadge Moon. Leon Lee from Empress, Alta., bought the black beauty for $7,500.

“The card means as much to me as the buckle,” explains Bill. The inscribed card reads: “This buckle is presented to Bill Dunn by the Calgary Stampede in recognition of your significant achievement in promoting and exemplifying the western values of hospitality, integrity, commitment to community and pride of place.”
Photo courtesy Calgary Stampede

Western Legacy

Congratulations to amateur historian Bill Dunn of Cayley, Alta., on receiving the Calgary Stampede’s 2011 Western Legacy Award for teaching and preserving the history of ranching and pre-railroad transportation in southern Alberta. The recognition included a custom silver buckle.

“This is the best day of the rest of my life,” said Dunn in a previous interview. “I’ve never got an award like this before. I’m very delighted to get it.”

Dunn has volunteered at the Highwood Museum in High River for 20 years and worked as an interpreter at the chuckwagon camp at the Bar U Ranch near Longview for 11 years.

Another of his passions is marking the original Macleod Trail between Fort Macleod and Fort Calgary. While Highway #2 roughly follows the route, in some areas original wagon wheel ruts are still visible, which Dunn has recognized with historical signs. Eventually, historians hope to mark the entire route from Fort Benton, Mont., to Fort Edmonton.

The Western Legacy Awards were created in 2005 to recognize those committed to supporting western values and heritage. The awards committee starts looking for nominations from the public every January.


Participants and behind the chutes personnel at the Cam Cooper Memorial Bronc Riding
Photo by Natalie Jackman/have-dog-will-travel productions


Cam Cooper Memorial Bronc Riding

The crème de la crème of Canadian champion bronc riders, select broncs and a whole passel of young wild pony racers and barrel racers gathered at the Claresholm Agriplex for the Cam Cooper Memorial Bronc Riding. Presented by Buck, Stock ‘N Barrels, the event was a major success, attracting audience members and participants from Montana, Saskatchewan, B.C., and from across Alberta.

While all the proceeds from the door and the live and silent auction were slated for Cam Cooper’s Children’s Trust Fund, the rodeo contestants?—?from the pony racers to the bronc riders?—?all donated their monies back to the fund. Dustin Flundra, who won the bronc riding, also donated back his custom buckle. It was auctioned off for a phenomenal sum.

One of the many highlights of the live auction was Frank and Bernadette Wyzykoski’s bronc, Big Deal #954. They donated the bronc who was showcased by cowboy Todd Herzog. The horse was purchased by the Calgary Stampede and will be used at the winter bronc riding sessions at Brooks. The gelding will then be auctioned off again and all the proceeds will be donated to the Cam Cooper Children’s Trust Fund and Mona’s Cowboy Inspiration Fund, founded in memory of Mona Elliott.

Photos from the event

Jordan Richardson from the 3R Ranch accepting his Top Hand Award from saddle maker and leather craftsman, Steve Mason
Photo by Kim Taylor, Slidin’ U Photography

Fall Roundup

The first Fall Roundup ranch rodeo was held Oct. 22 at the Cow Palace in Olds, Alta. The well-attended event, which included a trade and cowboy gear show, attracted teams from across Alberta.

First place and Olsen Silver buckles were awarded to the 45 Ranch team; Tee Hunter, Jim Orr, Matt Robertson and Jeff Taylor. Second place went to Harvie Ranching and third was earned by the Quill Ranch team.

The prestigious Top Hand Award went to Jordan Richardson from the 3R Ranch. He received custom-made chinks by leather artisan Steve Mason. The winner of the Ranch Horse Competition was Tee Hunter of the 45 Ranch; he was awarded a spade bit custommade by Richard Brooks.