My Point of View August 2012

Table of Contents

Leading Men of Canadian Country Music

Together they’ve sold a bazillion albums; meet the contenders at the Canadian Country Music Awards

Freedom Reins

Award-winning Niki Flundra is one of Canada’s leading trick riders and now, Liberty trainer

Beyond Mere Riding

Want to learn how to joust? Or rope? Or shoot from horseback? There’s a club for that!

Bling ’N Boots

Gala evening where the cowboys and STARS shine

Horses of Heartland

They’ve been galloping across our TV’s for six seasons now; meet some of the most beloved horses in Canada

How to Hot Brand a Horse

These top cowboys have branded a lot of horses; here’s what works best for them—and the horse

Throne on the Range

When it comes to luxury, this outhouse defies the notion of rustic living


And the Beat Goes on…

I attended the Legends and Champions opening of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Ponoka in late June, visiting with Jesse Hyland, Bob and Peggy Robinson, Lawrence (Hutch) and Marion Hutchison, Gary Rempel, Winston Bruce, the Gottfriedson family, and a wealth of others. It’s a great facility showcasing the rodeo stars of yesterday and each year they honour more inductees. This year, contestants originating from five provinces are being inducted. I think that’s a record and should invoke national pride.

At the Sundre Pro Rodeo I had a visit with Niki Flundra, our Living Legend. The athletic, willowy blonde is also a talented multi-tasker; she was busy feeding her son, Ridge, visiting with her mom, me and other friends, watching her husband, Dustin Flundra’s winning bronc ride and keeping an eye on the leaden skies before entering the arena for her Liberty performance. She never missed a beat.

The beat goes on as the country’s most popular men of country music are about to be honoured at the Canadian Country Music Awards in Saskatoon. We bring you a closer look at these hot songsters and some of the many reasons why they keep topping the charts.

The article on the late Roger Beierbach and the Slippery Moon Ranch has been a long time coming. For a man that rarely left his massive spread, his reputation stretched across the Canadian West and far into the States. His skills were legendary; he made cowboying, cattle handling and horse training an art, and was one of those rare men who taught?—?and led?—?by example. Take another look at his photo on the Content page; his tapaderos were not decoration, they were lined with sheepskin for winter riding. Notice that his slicker was draped and tied on full length with the long side hanging down on the horse’s flank. It didn’t take his bridle horses long to get used to a slicker flapping and popping in the, often high wind, country of southern Saskatchewan. His practicality always had a greater purpose. If I could choose?—?from Nobel Laureates, presidents and kings, I wish I had met Roger.

I interviewed some well-regarded cowboys for their expertise on branding horses with a hot iron. Far from being cruel, these cowboys share their tips for a no-fuss, perfect brand. Some folks insist that branding is unnecessary, and they feel that way right up until they get a horse stolen. I speak from experience. The best analogy I could come up with is this: owning a slick horse is the same as signing a blank cheque and leaving it on the dash of your truck.

This is our annual Horse Sale Guide and this year, I researched some interesting ways to have fun with your new horse. From jousting to ranch roping and almost everything in between, here’s your opportunity to join a club and ride to a new beat in Canadian Cowboy Country.


I want to give a shout out for the Travis Winquist Memorial Bronc Ride, Aug 24, Crossroads Centre (6:30 pm), Oyen, Alta. Thirty bronc riders, top six advance. Thirty-five percent of proceeds go to the Travis Winquist Memorial Fund, which makes donations to local 4-H clubs, and sponsors a child to attend ‘King of the Crease’ hockey camp.