Organized by the multi-time champion, Kade Mills of Kade Mills Horsemanship of Sundre, Alta., the Daines Ranch Open Trainers Challenge is a popular part of the Ivan Daines Country Music Pick-Nic held in August at the Daines Ranch near Innisfail.
With commentary provided by Hugh McLennan, the five trainers focused on bringing each horse along as far as possible with minimum stress. The three- and four-year-old horses were supplied by Kody Potts and $5 Quarter Horses.
Congratulations to the winner, Denver Daines, who earned a total of 523.5 points for first place. Cory McAllister and Scott Todd tied for second and third spot with 520 points, paying $450 each.
The Daines name has been synonymous with rodeo for over half a century and fans will remember that in 2012, Denver competed in saddle bronc at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. A large part of his interests and talents are on stage, including his career as a singer and songwriter. Horse training though is a lifestyle.
“I’ve been training all my life,” says Denver, who was pleased and “surprised” that he won. “I just never did it in the public eye.” Denver took home $1,000 and the custom buckle, sponsored by Kade Mills Horsemanship.
“It was a good competition,” says Kade. “For me, it’s an important event as they are local trainers and it’s a good way for them to promote their business.”