October/November 2012

The winning cowboys, sponsored by Instow Reclamation, claim their new saddles. From left; Lee Wallis, Graehme Shufletoski, Darcy Wallis and Colin Smith. Photo courtesy Shaunavon Ranch Rodeo.

Second Annual Shaunavon Ranch Rodeo

Over 300 spectators lined the grandstand Aug 4 to enjoy a spectacle that saw 12 ranch teams entered up. Southwest historian and rodeo announcer Donnie Peacock kept the crowd informed with horse, cow, cowboy and cowgirl pedigrees.

Congratulations to the winners sponsored by Instow Reclamation Lee Wallis, Graehme Shufletoski, Colin Smith and Darcy Wallis. Along with bragging rights, each cowboy won a new saddle. Organizers are already planning for next year!

Photo courtesy Cavalia.


The epic, critically-acclaimed Cavalia is galloping into Edmonton.

Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse, an innovative multi-media and multi-disciplinary production created by Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of famed Cirque du Soleil, is coming to Alberta’s capital for the first time.

Enjoyed by some 3.5 million people, Cavalia is a lavish production involving 49 magnificent horses and featuring 39 riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians from all over the world. A show unlike any other, Cavalia celebrates the relationship between humans and horses, virtually reinventing the equestrian arts.

The show premieres September 11, 2012, under its signature White Big Top, at Edmonton City Centre Airport. While no formal end date has been announced, it is expected to run into October.

Tickets are available online at www.cavalia.net or by calling 1-866-999-8111.

The winning team, sponsored by Bar T Welding of Consul, Sask., mounted from left: Danny Udal, Cody Thomson, Trevor Murphy, Arron Gordon and Dean Mackie. Standing from left: John Beierbach, rodeo committee, Paul Tremblay, team sponsor, Doug Wilson, rodeo committee. Photo courtesy Marcia Love/Maple Creek News.

25th Annual Maple Creek Ranch Rodeo

Beautiful weather brought out the crowds for the 25th Annual Maple Creek Ranch Rodeo held July 7 in Maple Creek, Sask.

The audience enjoyed a full day of traditional cowboy skills, and the end of the rodeo saw last year’s Champions, the Mary Shepherd team, in a dead heat with the Bar T Welding team with 16 points each at the end of the six regular events. As per the rules, the winner was decided with a relay team horse race.

It was anchor man Danny Udal from Bar T Welding who crossed the finish line first, ensuring their names on the Hereford Cup one more time. Interestingly, it wasn’t Udal’s first time breaking a tie in a relay race; he pulled it off once before at the 10th anniversary Ranch Rodeo.

Thunderstruck, a four-year-old mare owned by Jeff Yule of Midnite Rodeo kept up this winning form until the pickup men removed her flank. During her spectacular performance she dusted Keifer Watt (you can see him and his hat on the ground) and earned an 88 — the highest mark of the Futurity. Photo by Slade Rogers?/?DreamsAlive Photography.

First Annual Foothills Bucking Horse Futurity

The first annual Foothills Bucking Horse Futurity, held during Stampede Week in Cochrane, Alta., attracted fans and stock contractors alike from three western provinces.

Organized by rodeo contractor Jimmy Richards, the futurity was open to four and five-year-old saddle broncs that were assembled in teams of three broncs. Ten teams vied for top honours.

The futurity showcased the future stars of roughstock, and the scores of the horses were paramount. To ensure an accurate score, Richards brought in four experienced judges; Wayne and Kenny Ullery, Wayne Powell, and Shaun Argent.

“I wanted to mark the horses out of exactly 100,” says Richards. “Sometimes when there are only two judges and you double their scores often there are too many splits. I wanted an exact mark.” All the judge’s scores were added up to arrive at the bronc’s score. The total score was then divided by two to arrive at the cowboy’s score.

As the stock was young and inexperienced, Richards also brought in four pickup men; Jim Kelts, Keith Pengelly, Doug Borton, and Phillip Schellenberg. Not only in charge of picking up the rider, but while clearing the arena they were careful to use it as a training exercise for the young stock, ensuring that “they weren’t just dragged out,” says Richards. To make sure the arena ran smoothly, he brought in four-time Canadian Bareback Champion, Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, and well-respected arena director, Robin Burwash.

Dustin Sippola of Pincher Creek, Alta., covered both his horses and won the futurity; Lane Watt of Hardisty, Alta., was second, Wyatt Thurston of Big Valley, Alta., won third and Branden Dillman of Rocky Mountain House, Alta., won fourth. The cowboys split $3,500 to fourth place.

The winning bronc teams split $10,000 to fourth place. Winners were Doug Richards/Ron Solomon splitting first and second, third was David MacDonald MX Bar Ranches, Lac La Biche, fourth was Jeff McKay (partners with Roddy Hay).

“I think it went pretty good,” says Richards. “I’ve had lots of good feedback and our sponsors are pretty pleased. We’ll be holding another Futurity next year around the same time.”

Brother Lane (top) and sister, Lexie. Photo by Roz Edge Photography.

Stocking the Herd

Congratulations to Dean and Jeanine Edge on the birth of their twins; son Lane William and daughter Lexie Byrne. They were born June 4 and weighed in at 3 lb 6 oz and 4 lb 4 oz respectively.

Dad Dean has, so far, made six trips to the CFR and his horse, Sid, earned the Tie-Down Roping Horse of the Year award four times. Edge is also the 2006 Canadian Champion Auctioneer. Mom Jeanine is a horse trainer who specializes in barrel racing horses.

From left: Calgary Stampede Princess Jessica Manning with the Soderglen Ranches team; Wyatt Catley, Elan Lees, Jared Sherman and Scott Lees. Photo by Deb Pigeon.

Bar U Ranch Rodeo

The Bar U Ranch Rodeo was held Aug 12 with a good crowd in attendance.

Congratulations to Soderglen Ranches from Airdrie, Alta., who took home the big prize; second was the Rocking P Ranch crew from Nanton, Alta., and earning third were the good hands from Bluebird Ranch near Chain Lakes, Alta.

Jared Sherman from Soderglen Ranches earned the Top Hand Award.

Soderglen’s win has earned them a place in the Heritage Ranch Rodeo in Edmonton, Nov 4-6.

Alec Chillihitzia, Nicola Ranch, Merritt, B.C., was the winner of the Hat Creek Ranch Rodeo Top Hand Award for 2012. Photo by Della Mae Condie/Hat Creek Ranch.

5th Annual Historic Hat Creek Ranch Rodeo, July 14?–?15

Congratulations to the cowboys from the Milk Ranch near Riske Creek! The ranch was well represented by top hands Pat Jasper, Mike Jasper and Leland Jasper as they earned first place in the fifth annual Hat Creek Ranch Rodeo.

The Douglas Lake Ranch-Chapperon Division earned second spot while Ashcroft Ranch was third.

It was Keely Durrell from the Wine Glass Ranch who won the Ranch Horse competition.

Photo courtesy Dave Majeski.

Where In The World Is Canadian Cowboy?

Dave Majeski, Vice-President Real Estate, Royal Bank of Canada and Grant McCurdy, General Manager of the Mayfield Inn & Suites Edmonton and their spouses, along with two other Edmonton couples, joined Richard Wong and his family and friends for the 2012 Wong Koon Yau and Lavinia Ranadi family reunion held every five years in Fiji. It was a once in a lifetime cultural experience, and an inside look into the family history spanning six generations, with 248 attending the opening night reception. The Edmonton visitors enjoyed the week-long celebration which included activities such as golf, lawn bowling, darts, and snooker competitions. The theme of the reunion was “one family growing together”.

Following the reunion, the group spent some relaxing time at Octopus Resort on Waya Island, located in the Yasawa Group of islands only 2 hours by boat from the mainland. Activities included fishing, snorkeling, swimming with the giant manta rays, and gazing upon the stars of the southern hemisphere. Fiji boasts some of the warmest, friendliest smiling faces anywhere in the world and we enjoyed every second of it.


Photos by Mike Copeman.

Canadian Cowboys Win Calgary

Besplug Beats Bulls

Congratulations to Chad Besplug of Claresholm, Alta., who rode Big Stone Rodeo’s

tough, twisting behemoth of a bull, Kish This to a dramatic 87 pts in the Final round of the Centennial edition of the Calgary Stampede and earned himself $100,000. He had scored an 86.5 earlier in the competition on the same bull.

Novice Bareback Champion

It was handshakes and high-fives all around for cowboy Cole Jamieson of Innisfail, Alta., who won the Centennial Calgary Stampede’s Novice Bareback Championship and the beautiful bronze after earning 157 points on his two rides. The photo above shows Cole in the short round riding Calgary Stampede’s Maiden Chick for the title.

Novice Saddle Bronc Champion

Hats off to Clay Elliott, formerly of Vernon, B.C., (who now gets his mail in Nanton, Alta.,) for his winning ride on Calgary Stampede’s Down and Out, a good horse purchased from Roddy Hay. Elliott spurred 159 points on two head, earning the Centennial Novice Saddle Bronc title, and the bronze at the Centennial Rodeo. Clay’s father, Vern, now a famed custom hat maker, competed for the $50,000 in bull riding at Calgary.

From left, outrider Eddie Melville, Atco Gas VP Bill Stephens, driver Troy Dorchester, outrider Chance Flad. Photo courtesy Billy Melville.

Centennial Rangeland Derby Champion, Troy Dorchester

It was the smallest margin for victory in the history of the sport. In a three-wide run to the wire on a sloppy track, Troy Dorchester moved up because of an interference penalty, given to Jason Glass, and then won by .01 of a second over Doug Irvine in a thrilling Sunday night photo finish to the GMC Rangeland Derby.

Dorchester was second across the finish line and was headed for the wash-rack when he was told there was a penalty and to head for the stage.

The 39-year-old ended a 12-year drought just prior to this 10-day run with a victory in the Ponoka Stampede with a close win. Then he rolled into Calgary, topping the eight-day aggregate to win a $52,000 GMC Sierra pickup, and caught the fourth spot (and fourth barrel) in Saturday’s semi-finals.

“I knew we were going to have a big run,” he said of being parked outside of rail rider Irvine and two-wide Glass. “I tried to keep the spray out of their (horses) faces because a lot of horses don’t like that.”

Chasing his wagon were outriders Eddie Melville and Chance Flad.

Jason Glass actually stopped the clock at 1:18.29, but was tagged for two seconds of interference against Irvine during some point in the race. That left it up to a photo and Dorchester got the nod, 1:18.40 to 1:18.41. Gary Gorst inherited third place because of the penalty.

It’s the first time in history that any chuckwagon driver won the “Triple Crown” capturing the Ponoka Stampede, Calgary Stampede Aggregate, and the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby in the same year.

Ed Russell from River Ranch showing Rex in the Ranch Horse Competition. They scored 99/100; the highest score ever awarded at this event. Photo courtesy Andre Lodder/Vernon Morning Star.

O’Keefe Ranch Rodeo

Held July 31–?Aug 1 at the historic O’Keefe Ranch near Vernon, B.C., first prize and Franco Silver Bits were won by the Coldstream Ranch crew of Pascal Olivier, Keith Dinwoodie and Carson Rosanki; second place went to Stump Lake Ranch, and third to The Douglas Lake Dry Farm Division.

The Top Hand Award, chosen by the cowboys, was given to Greg Graham from Douglas Lake Ranch.

The Ranch Horse Competition was won by Ed Russell from River Ranch, Riske Creek, B.C., who led with an impressive 99 points (out of 100) on Rex, a four-year-old gelding.

Pat Jasper from the Chilco won the Reata Long Throw at 45′, and Tim Alexis from the Okanagan Indian Band received an Honourable Mention for his support and participation of the rodeo since its inception more than 20 years ago.

The Calgary Stampede’s World Stock Dog Championship, presented by Sasol Canada, is North America’s richest indoor stock dog trial. Perennial winner, Dale Montgomery of Maple Creek, Sask., again took home $10,000, this time after taking the title with Zip. Photo courtesy Calgary Stampede.

Dale Montgomery in Seventh Heaven

Dale Montgomery, the veteran stock dog handler from Maple Creek, Sask., continued his incredible run at the Calgary Stampede’s 16th annual World Stock Dog Championship. Montgomery and Zip, his seven-year-old border collie, slammed the door on their woolly quarry in 1:41 at the Scotiabank Saddledome?—?giving Montgomery his record-smashing seventh career Stampede title?—?with four different dogs.

Zip is the daughter of Tex, with whom Montgomery won his 2006 and 2008 Calgary crowns, and the granddaughter of Gyp, Montgomery’s companion for victories in 1999, 2000 and 2003. Ben also joined Montgomery in the Stampede’s winner circle last year.

“Well, the money is a big deal, of course,” laughed Montgomery, who collected $10,000 and a Limited Edition Calgary Stampede Centennial Commemorative Pendleton wool blanket. “But every year, it’s a very tough, high-intensity competition. It sure gets your adrenaline going.”

Louanne Twa of Okotoks, Alta., stopped the clock in 1:53 with her dog, Meg. Randy Dye of Bowden, Alta., and Sweep finished third in a time of 2:03, while Campbell Forsyth of Eriksdale, Man., and Isla placed fourth in 2:14. Thad Buckler of Evansburg, Alta., who finished fifth with Trax in a time of 2:20, won the World Stock Dog Championship’s aggregate award, having entered the finals with the best total time over the two preliminary rounds.

Vanessa Leggett riding her mom’s horse, Ice, to a resounding victory at the biggest rodeo in the world. Photo courtesy NHSRA / JenningsRodeoPhotography.com.

Ice, Ice — Baby!

After a week of intense competition, a Canadian barrel racer emerged the 2012 National High School Finals Rodeo National Champion at the biggest rodeo in the world.

Congratulations to 17-year-old Vanessa Leggett of Cherry Creek, B.C., who won the overall barrel racing title at the finals. The High School Rodeo Finals, held in July in Rock Springs, Wyo., featured 1,500 participants from Australia, Canada and the U.S.,?—?180 alone in the barrel racing.

Leggett took two horses down to Wyoming, but opted to use her mom’s ride, Ice, over her own, Smartie. The two horses are “best friends,” Leggett said, but Smartie was injured before the provincial finals in Williams Lake in June.

“Ice won provincials for me and we were second in pole bending,” Leggett said. “I decided it would be best to ride him. He likes the big pens more than Smartie.”

Leggett is only the second Canadian to win this title. The first was Lani Carachelo of Barriere, B.C., who scooped the prize in 1988.

“This is one of the biggest rodeos in the entire world,” Leggett said. “Winning hasn’t really registered yet.”

Riding in the big shows is nothing new to the women of the Leggett family; her mom Julie competed for the $100,000 in barrel racing at the 2011 Calgary Stampede.

From left: the winning Rocking P Ranch team from left; Colter Schlosser (Blake’s son) Blake Schlosser, Mac Blades, Stran Schlosser (Blake’s son) Justin Blades (Mac’s son). Photo courtesy Kim Taylor/Slidin’ U Photography.

Medicine Tree Ranch Rodeo, Nanton, AB

The Rocking P cowboys will be heading to Edmonton this fall for the Heritage Ranch Rodeo, after they won top honours at the Medicine Tree Ranch Rodeo held in Nanton in July.

The Rocking P scored a 36 in the final tally with a one-point lead over the Porcupine Quill Ranch. Soderglen Ranches placed third with 29.5 points, followed by a tie for fourth with 27.5 points between Meadow Springs Ranch and Esser Livestock.

The Meadow Springs Ranch took the top points in the team branding event and the wild cow milking. B.C.’s Gang Ranch led the saddle bronc riding. Porcupine Quill ranch led the team sorting. The Rocking P led the wild horse race and the Wineglass Ranch won the team doctoring.

Wacey Marr from the Gang Ranch won the Top Cowhand award.

The top working ranch horse competitor and Top Cowhorse award went to Geof Hoar from the San Emideo Ranch.

Charleen Woodward and Larry Bergen. Photo courtesy Charleen Woodward.

The Hunt

The Bear Hunt was perhaps one of the most talked about items donated to the Cooper Children Trust Fund Auction, held in February. The winning bidders were Charleen Woodward, Justin Stabbler and Larry Bergen. The trio, guided by Dallas Burns, enjoyed a six-day hunt through wild and wicked weather around the long weekend in May.

Some of the sponsors of this hunt included Stoney Creek Outfitting in Whitecourt that supplied an APA Bow; Kershaw Knives that supplied a knife package; The Game Preserve Taxidermy of Seba Beach that supplied a shoulder mount; and Young Guns Distributing that supplied coats and wild rags.

This entire hunt was filmed for an upcoming episode for Those Guys Outdoor Adventures airing on Wild TV this fall.