June/July 2012

Reno Rodeo representatives from the 23rd Annual Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala evening.
From left, Christine Tell, MLA, Regina Wascana Plains who presented the award on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture & Sport, Doug Richards and Scott Pridmore from the Reno Rodeo and RCMP Cst. Mike Young of Swift Current Traffic Service.
Photo courtesy Tourism Saskatchewan/Calvin Fehr Photography

Biggest Little Rodeo in the West Wins!

Congratulations to the Reno Rodeo & Ag Society in tiny Consul, Sask., on winning the Event of the Year (budget under $20,000) for their rodeo at the Annual Tourism Awards of Excellence. Described as creating “a Saskatchewan field of dreams… with nothing but a vision?—?no money, arena, bleachers or other facility,” the rodeo is named after 3,460.66 km² Reno R.M., which boasts a population of about 475. (This translates as a density of 0.1 inhabitants/km². I think the majority either volunteer, supply rodeo stock or enter up.)

The committee is thrilled to have the “biggest little rodeo in the West” placed in the spotlight with the award.

Doug Richards, a member of the Reno Rodeo & Ag. Society, said the whole community can be proud of the accomplishment.

“If it wasn’t for our volunteers and our sponsors and everybody involved in the rodeo, it wouldn’t have been possible,” he explained. “It’s nice to be recognized for the work and the effort that was put in to make our rodeo as successful as it is.”

Now entering its fifth year, this is the second award the Reno Rodeo has won. The event was named Rodeo of the Year by the Canadian Cowboys Association two years ago.

“It feels pretty good,” Richards said. “Obviously we’re doing something right and we’re going to try and continue that.” The rodeo takes place Aug 4?–?5 in Consul, Sask.

Header Beau Brooks and Heeler Baillie Milan
Photo by K. Pollitt Photography


Congratulations to Baillie Milan of Cochrane, Alta., on winning the first-ever 2012 Ultimate Cowboy Showdown held in March at the new ag facilities in Ponoka, Alta.

The event, a throwback to early rodeo, saw contestants entering a minimum of four of the six major events in the sport. The pro rodeo athletes that cowboyed up included Clem Lowry, Beau Brooks, Ken Siemens, Josh Harden, Colter Harden, Baillie Milan, Kyreon Geiger, Wyatt Anton, Devan Porter, Clay Elliott, Keenan Reinhart and Rowdy Hays. Two of the young men entered in all the events, Big Valley cowboys Josh and Colter Harden were the only “six-chuters” of the bunch.

“I thought we were really in the right place for something like this to happen,” says promoter and professional steer wrestler Scott Wyzykoski. “Ponoka is a town that really gets behind rodeo.We just got this new venue this year and it’s a great set-up. I wanted to try something new and exciting and at the same time help support the future of rodeo.” Proceeds from the event are going to the BRONCS Rodeo Academy.

?Milan’s prizes included a 1 oz. piece of gold (valued at approx. $1,700) new boots, a jacket and, of course, that quintessential necessity of testosterone-fuelled competition, braggin’ rights. Plans are already underway for next year’s show.

The hand-engraved “pass” issued to one of the stock contractors of the 1912 Calgary Stampede

Priceless 1912 Artifact

The pass measures 85 mm wide, 57 mm deep (35/16″ wide, 2¼” deep.) Also engraved on the back are the words, “Pass” and “Calgary Stampede” and the rancher’s name: J. T. Garissere.

It’s unknown for sure how many were issued, but it’s believed to be less than a dozen; no one knows how many exist today.

Does anyone have more information on these passes? Were they only issued for stock contractors or did other exhibitors, such as famed artist, Charlie Russell, receive one too? Does a list of the original stock contractors exist? Any information would be appreciated; contact editor@canadiancowboy.ca.

Taylor Smith of Rimbey, Alta., competing in the 2011 Finals. She placed 11th in the overall average.
Photo Courtesy NHSRA?/?David Jennings Media Group

World’s Biggest Rodeo!

In addition to bragging rights, these competitors vie for national titles, prizes and their share of thousands of dollars in college scholarships.

Of the 15,000 National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) members, only 10 per cent qualify to compete at the national rodeo. According to NHSRA executive director James Higginbotham, this sets the stage for a competition that is fierce and fun to watch. “The National High School Finals Rodeo showcases talent that is simply unmatched at any other rodeo,” says Higginbotham. “These kids could rodeo anywhere, they’re just too young.”

The National High School Rodeo Association, Inc. (NHSRA) has an annual membership of around 15,000 students grades 6?–?12 from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. The teams, on average, consist of the top four in each event. For a tentative schedule, visit www.sweetwaterevents.com

At Rope’s End is one of the twenty, now famous paintings Charlie Russell brought to the 1912 Calgary Stampede

Charlie Russell and the First Calgary Stampede

The Glenbow is celebrating the Stampede’s centenary by recreating this 1912 exhibition, which will include 18 of the 20 paintings exhibited in 1912.

From Russell’s glorious western landscapes and heroic depictions of First Nations (Stolen Horses) to some of his most famous action paintings featuring cattle (Heads and Tails), cowboys (In Without Knocking and Smoke of the “45”) and outlaws (Call of the Law), this exhibition is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the best works painted by this iconic Western artist.

Heralded as “a magnificent collection of western pictures” in 1912, Russell’s exhibition was incredibly successful, both critically and financially. Today, Russell scholars and collectors are already anticipating the return of this special exhibition to Calgary.

This is a must-see, bring-the-grandkids opportunity to view the original paintings of Charlie Russell, the world’s most revered Western artist. For more, visit www.glenbow.org.

Jesse Cade Cooper
Photo Courtesy Cooper family

Cooper Family Addition

Congratulations to Ash and Kat Cooper on the birth of their first daughter, Jesse Cade (pronounced KAYD) Cooper born April 4, 2012 in North Battleford, Sask.,?—?a sister for big brother, Jinks. Jesse was 8 lbs. 8 oz.

Ash and Kat ranch near Senlac, Sask. Ash, a.k.a. CrAsh Cooper is a multi-award winning rodeo entertainer, including seven CPRA Contract Act of the Year awards. He was the barrelman at the 2011 WNFR in Vegas. Ash is a cartoonist for Leanin’ Tree and both Ash and his alter-ego CrAsh are featured in this edition of Canadian Cowboy Country magazine as a Living Legend.

Photo Courtesy Jon Bowie

Where in the World is Canadian Cowboy?

The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium, Italian Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo), is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.

Its construction started in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as animal hunts, executions and dramas based on Classical mythology.

The Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing visitors such as photographer Jon Bowie from as far away as Piapot, Sask.

From left, Sam Pankratz, Leah Olstad and Miss Rodeo Canada 2012 Arleta Bowhay. Arleta was presenting Leah with the championship buckle for goat tying at the 2012 Canadian National College Finals Rodeo, held in Edmonton in late March.
Photo by Anne Lamers

Miss Rodeo Canada “Revving” Up for Rodeo Season

The month of March held some very exciting events for Miss Rodeo Canada 2012, Arleta Bowhay, including returning to her alma mater for the Olds College Gala. The First Lady of Rodeo also attended the Canadian National College Finals Rodeo in Edmonton, presenting buckles to all the winners. “I really enjoyed this as my cousins and a few of the girls I went to school with made the Finals!” says Bowhay.

She will be attending a wealth of events this summer, ranging from rodeos to banquets, continuing to bring the glitz and glamour side of rodeo to friends and fans alike.

This sketch is by Jay Contway, entitled Where It All Began

Western Classic Auction

It’s going to be quite a star-studded event as artists, sculptors, rodeo legends, art collectors, Stampede bronze winners and fans all gather at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino June 11 for the Western Classic Art Auction.

Pieces that will be going under the gavel include Jay Contway’s massive gallery-size bronze, “Turning ‘Em North”, the iconic “Man of Vision” studio-size bronze by the late Mac MacKenzie plus over 25 Calgary Stampede Trophy Bronzes by Charlie Beil, Contway, MacKenzie and other sculptors. Paintings by CR Cheek, Jack King, R. Freeman and

Allan Sapp will also be offered. For more information, visit www.mcinenly.com

2012 CNCFR Bareback Champion and All Around Cowboy, Ky Marshall
Photo by Mike Copeman

Canadian National College Finals Rodeo

The CNCFR, presented by Martin Deerline, saw some terrific times and rides by Canada’s future rodeo stars.

Congratulations to the champions!

Bareback?Ky Marshall
Steer Wrestling?Brendan Laye
Saddle Bronc?Clinton Cox
Tie-Down Roping?Cody Braaten
Barrel Racing?Lacey Stanton
Bull Riding?Armando Davila Rodriguez
Goat Tying?Leah Olstad
Breakaway Roping?Brittany Schuk
Team Roping?Tyler Davis, Malorie Guenther
Pole Bending?Courtney Pearson

The Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (CIRA) named Holly Schuk Cowgirl of the Year and All Around Cowgirl, Pete Lowry was named Cowboy of the Year, and Ky Marshall was named All Around Cowboy.

Two-time World Champion Saddle Bronc Champion turned Champion Horse Trainer Mel Hyland at the very end of the Horse3 Finals, explaining to the people how you can bring a horse’s head down so low that essentially, “you can sit on your butt and put on the halter.”
Photo by Tamara Dyck/Lonesum D Photography

Hyland Hits the Heights at Horse3

The 2012 Horse3 held April 13?–?15 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, Man., featured a full weekend of equine education and entertainment, including the NAERIC Trainer’s Challenge?—?colt starting competition.

The trainers, Kade Mills, Innisfail, Alta., Mel Hyland, Peace River, Alta., and Jason Patrick, Steamboat Springs, Colo., each picked their horse from a band provided by D5 Performance Horses and Bridgeman Land & Livestock.

After working with his first horse for a session, Hyland’s buckskin filly was pulled due to her knee puffing up, so the veteran horseman (and multi-Rodeo Hall of Famer) had to start all over with a blue filly. He was given an extra half hour.

“In her first round she bucked me off,” says Hyland. “But I got back on her and soon she just melted. She did everything I asked, including things I hadn’t had a chance to work on.”

The young filly completed all the required elements, including dragging a log and crossing a bridge. “She even moved a ball around the arena using her feet,” says Hyland. “They had a parachute in the arena; she walked up to it and went to pawing. I rode her right over top of it and she didn’t mind a bit.”

On his win, Hyland was humble. “I told those other guys it took me two horses to beat them,” he laughs. The prizes included a championship buckle, another to add to his vast, hard-earned collection of championship buckles.

Legendary singer/songwriter Ian Tyson at the Calgary Stampede Centennial Kick Off party in downtown Calgary
Photo courtesy Calgary Stampede

Ol’ Eon Leading the Parade

The Calgary Stampede is pleased to announce internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter and horseman Ian Tyson will be the 2012 Calgary Stampede Parade Marshal. Tyson’s professional career has spanned a remarkable five decades and his love of horses and Western heritage is well known.

The Stampede is also honouring its historical partnership with the tribes of Treaty Seven First Nations by inviting the seven chiefs of Treaty Seven to ride as Honourary Parade Marshals. Joining Tyson will be Charles Weasel Head of the Kainai Nation and Grand Chief of Treaty Seven; Chief Fred Rabbit Carrier of the Siksika Nation; Chief Gayle Strikes With A Gun of the Piikani Nation; Chief Sanford Big Plume of the Tsuu T’ina Nation and from the Stoney Nakoda Nation; Chief Bruce Labelle of the Chiniki Band; Chief Ernest Wesley of the Wesley Band and Chief Darcy Dixon of the Bearspaw Band.

“This is truly a special year and I’m pleased we have the opportunity to recognize the people who’ll be at the front of our Centennial Parade,” says Mike Casey, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede. “Our Parade Marshal is someone who symbolizes Western heritage and values, is an iconic Canadian and someone who embodies the Calgary Stampede. And as we get set to celebrate our centennial, I’m thrilled to have the seven Honourary Parade Marshals join us as they represent a relationship that started 100 years ago and remains strong today.”

First Nations have always played a prominent role in the Calgary Stampede since 1912 when 1,800 members of the Treaty Seven led the Parade at the request of Stampede visionary, Guy Weadick.

“The Stampede Parade Marshal is one of our oldest and proudest traditions,” adds Casey. “They not only lead the Parade, but act as a reflection of the values and culture of the community. It is not an easy role to fill?—?but I think we have succeeded.”

The Calgary Stampede Parade is Friday, July 6 at 9 a.m. www.calgarystampede.com


BC Forest Service Celebrates Centennial

Congratulations to the good folks of the BC Forest Service while they celebrate their 100th anniversary!

Now it might seem strange that a Cowboy magazine would bring notice to this, until you realize that the BC Forest Service is also in charge of the BC Crown cattle ranges, and they have had an awful lot of great cowboys on the payroll in the Range Department over the years?—?many of whom have been written about in this magazine including Rob Dinwoodie, Chris Armes and the late Ross Fredell. Congratulations and happy anniversary!