August in Photos

    A busy month of horse shows and weddings.

    August in Photos August in Photos

    Grilled Caesar Salad

    A Caesar salad for the BBQ. Perfect for these last days of summer!

    Grilled Caesar Salad Grilled Caesar Salad

    Bigger & Better

    A boost in added money saw this year’s Big Sky Futurity and Aged Event held August 11-16 at the Majestic… [more]

    Bigger & Better Bigger & Better

    Earl Bascom Honored On National Cowboy Day

    The name of an old time Canadian cowboy has been placed into the national spotlight.

    Earl Bascom Honored On National Cowboy Day Earl Bascom Honored On National Cowboy Day

    Roller Coaster Ride For Rombough

    Lee Rombough knows plenty about nerves. But the nerves he’ll feel walking into Rexall Place in Edmonton… [more]

    Roller Coaster Ride For Rombough Roller Coaster Ride For Rombough

    Calgary Stampede Invitational 4H Rodeo

    Calgary –Enjoy two afternoons of free and unique rodeo action, featuring aspiring young cowboys and… [more]

    Calgary Stampede Invitational 4H Rodeo Calgary Stampede Invitational 4H Rodeo

August in Photos

My Stable Life August in Pics

August. The month of horse shows and weddings. And ice bucket challenges, lol! I didn’t even have time to blink in the last 31 days. Our weekends ran nine-O. The first weekend was a horse show, followed by a wedding. Then a horse show, a wedding and finally, another horse show. However, it was a joyful, happy month and the two weddings I write about were for some of the most precious people in our lives. Here’s a photo summary of how August played out for me.

Breast Collar, My Stable Life

The beginning of August started with a horse show. It was my first time getting back into the pen after a 6- month hiatus. I love the cow horse folks and was happy to see them again. It was also lovely to feel the power of a cow horse underneath me again. Although I did have  a bit of a “hat issue” to start with…


The following weekend was the wedding of some dear friends to us – Kirk Shaw and Crissy Santangelo. Kirk has been a beloved friend for many years, was the best man at our wedding and is also our farrier. Many of you may know Crissy as one of the hardworking gals behind the scenes of Silver Slate Arena (check out Featuring a charming tiny white church, a long-stretch Hummer limo, black cowboy hats, hot pink dresses with cowgirl boots to match, horses for photos, and a fantastic gathering and pig roast at Silver Slate to celebrate with friends and family – this was one of the most beautiful western weddings I have ever had the pleasure of attending. Congrats to Kirk and Crissy and we wish you many blessings to come!

Photo by Judy Doiron.

I think all kids love cowgirl, Kelin Doiron. Mine certainly do! Photo by Judy Doiron.


The following weekend, we were right back at Silver Slate arena, but with horses this time. A number of other “horse show kids” were there as well and many of them contend in the Future Stars class – one of our all-time favorite divisions to watch.

Photo by Natalie Jackman,

Photo by Natalie Jackman,

Warm August weather provided an ideal chance to snap a few shots of our upcoming yearlings. Taking photos of youngsters is an exercise in patience but we’re certainly glad Natalie Jackman has the know-how and tolerance to work with us in this venture <smile.>



Almost immediately following that show, I’m sure you can guess… we hit the road for another wedding. This time, we headed for beautiful Kelowna, BC – to attend the wedding of my beautiful sister. Along the way, there are many fabulous tourist places to hit. This year, we stopped at D Duchman Dairy – a farm fresh dairy store that kids can delight in the animal interaction as much as they can the ice cream at the end! Featuring exotic animals like llamas, birds and goats, D Dutchman Dairy also offers a hands-on approach to their calf barn. We tried taking our kidlets over to the other animals but they kept running back to the calves! I guess, you just can’t beat an up-close and personal interaction with friendly Holsteins.

Albino Kangaroo

Our son petting an albino wallaby at Kangaroo Creek Farm in Kelowna, BC.

However, just when I thought we couldn’t top that experience, my sister took us to Kangaroo Creek Farm – a farm that been breeding kangaroos and wallabies for more than 20 years in Lake Country near Kelowna. This is an incredible experience – operated entirely on donations alone. Guests are invited to walk into the farm and see wallaroos (a type of kangaroo, not a cross between a wallaby and a kangaroo) and Bennett wallabies roaming about, freely amongst the people! The animals are so friendly and tame, kids and adults alike can walk right up to them and pet them or offer a treat provided by farm operators! The farm also features emu, peacocks, fancy chickens, goats, parrots, a baby albino wallaby (*see the albino mother my son is petting above), baby kangaroos and potbellied pigs. There are also a pair of capybara, the world’s larges rodent (up to 150 lbs.)



And if you wait your turn, you can even have the chance to hold a baby kangaroo! This experience was worth posting a picture of myself (sans make-up) for…


We had one day of down time to visit with family and friends before the big day. But I definitely could have gone for a few more here… My sister Nicole and her husband choose a beautiful setting to host a wedding!

Next, it was on to the big day! Held at the historic Hotel Eldorado on the rooftop patio overlooking a marina, my baby sis and her new husband did a hilarious exchange of vows. My little family and I were truly honored to be a part of it and we watched with pride as she begins this new chapter in her life. The wedding was beautiful, the photos are insanely idyllic and the reception was all about the details. I should almost post a blog on that specifically <grin.> Congrats Nick and Jay – we love your dearly and thank-you for allowing us to be part of your special day!


The drive to Kelowna also provided us the perfect opportunity to pick up the newest member to our animal family – meet “Taylor,” a miniature gray-dun Donkey. I’m sure there will be more adventures about this little guy to come.

Cow-nightThe day after we returned from my sister’s wedding (at 2:00 am, I might add,) we unloaded Taylor, doctored a colt that had become injured over the weekend and headed straight for bed. For the following evening, Clay was hosting a practice cow night for over 40 people at our place. Cow nights make for a busy schedule but a great opportunity to practice for upcoming events. On this particular evening, a crop duster was hard at work nearby. It’s that time of year.


As I’m sure you can guess, the very next weekend we were back showing horses at the Back On Track Snaffle Bit Futurity hosted by the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association.

Phew! August was a busy month.

Photo by Natalie Jackman

My husband, Clay riding “Bob” in a powerful fence turn. Photo by Natalie Jackman,






Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled Ceasar Salad

I’m thinking BBQ season may be on its way out the door. I hope not, but just in case, I thought it was time to post about one of our favorite summer-time BBQ recipes. Caesar salad made on the grill!

When I first learned that romaine lettuce could be grilled, I did a double take. I thought, “Umm… Not totally sure how good that will be! How could lettuce possibly stand up to heat on a grill?”

Thankfully, I decided to give it a shot anyways (you’d be surprised at all the things that actually can be BBQ’ed!) Here’s the recipe and I hope your last days of summer are fun-filled and safe. Cheers!


- 1 half of a Romaine head for each person

- 1/4 cup mayonnaise

- 1/4 olive oil

- juice of one lemon

- 3/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic (depending on how much you like garlic!)

- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (we prefer the shaved kind)

* We also like to sneak some cherry tomatoes halves, croutons and bacon into our Caesar salads. I would say the first two are optional – bacon, however, is not! <grin>

Pre-Make the Dressing:

Combine mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce and garlic into a small processor. Mix it up until it has a nice consistency. Set aside in the fridge until ready for use.

Grilling the Lettuce:

Carefully cut your romaine heads in half, vertically. Then I do my very best to wash the inside of the leaves of the halved head. It is tricky but the head can be washed and kept in tact. Once the halved-heads are dry, brush the lettuce with a light coating of olive oil. Place on your BBQ grill for about three minutes each (enough to get some grill marks on it). Although Romaine can handle BBQ’ing quite well, ensure not to leave the lettuce on too long.

Set each head on an individual plate and drizzle with your dressing. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and bacon over each halved-head. Add bacon, tomatoes and croutons if you desire. Enjoy!


Bigger & Better


Winning the Open Futurity and a $9,113 paycheck, trainer Cody Smith, Calgary, Alberta rode “My Stylish Ride” a three-year-old by Hydrive Cat and out of Stylish Good Girl by Docs Stylish Oak for owner and competitor, Connie Down-Cicoria, also of Calgary.

A boost in added money saw this year’s Big Sky Futurity and Aged Event held August 11-16 at the Majestic Valley Arena in Kalispell, MT reach a record payout to owners and riders.

Due in part to continued and increased sponsorships from Switchback Cutting Horses, Montana Ranch of Bigfork, and Crazy Mountain Cutting Horses, the show saw a  28% increase over 2013 figures,  with a total added purse of $49,000 for this year’s event.

Six days of aged event competition was kicked off by a well attended NCHA weekend show on August 9 and 10.


My Stylish Ride and Cody Smith Futurity Champion

Winning the Open Futurity and a $9,113 paycheck, trainer Cody Smith, Calgary, Alberta rode “My Stylish Ride” a three-year-old by Hydrive Cat and out of Stylish Good Girl by Docs Stylish Oak for owner and competitor, Connie Down-Cicoria, also of Calgary.

Originally purchased as a two-year-old from NCHA Hall of Fame Rider, Greg Smith, Star, ID, the mare was “solid from day one”, according to Connie.  “She’s a sweet mare and I am excited that this is our very first Futurity win at Big Sky, we’ve attended this event from the beginning, but this is our first three-year-old win”.


Mister One Time Jack owned and shown by Van Greenwell NonPro Futurity Champion – Randy Holman, Montana Ranch of Bigfork awards championship buckle to Van Greenwell, Kathy Greenwell, and Scott Martin.

The Non-Pro Futurity Championship title and $2,754 payoff  was earned by Van Greenwell, Paul, ID and “Mister One Time Jack” a gelded son of One Time Pepto and out of Mataguay by Freckles Playboy..

Van purchased the pretty roan gelding in April from Richard Jordan, Parma, ID.  “This horse could really stop and use himself, he’s just gotten better and better,” Van commented.


Cats Smart Ricochet ridden by Mike Giannini for owner Ronald Wheeler wins Open Derby Championship

Derby Open Championship was won by “Cats Smart Ricochet” ridden by Mike Giannini, Blackfoot ID for owner and breeder, Ron Wheeler, Quincy, IL.

The stallion son of Smooth As A Cat is out of Play Like A Ricochet x Smart Little Ricochet who was also shown by Giannini with much success.

With a $7,500 paycheck, the Big Sky Derby win puts the stallion over the $40,000 mark in earnings, adding to his list of titles that he accumulated his futurity year where he won Wyoming, Western States, and Utah Futurities.


Reys Your Freckles and Les Jack NonPro Derby Champions

The Non-Pro Derby Championship and $4,066 paycheck went north to Canada with Rocanville, Saskatchewan cutter Les Jack and his mare “Reys Your Freckles” by Dual Rey and out of Bet on Freckles x Bet on Me 498.

“We bought her mother at the Oxbow Dispersal and at the time, Lindy (Burch) advised us to breed her to Dual Rey – and I listened!”  Les commented.  “I did make the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Finals on her, too, and placed fourth. She’s been a good little mare”.


Dual Reys Ms Bobbi and Josh Sleeman for owners Sarah and Judd Sherman 5/6 Open Classic Challenge Champions

Classic Challenge Open Title and $8,568 first-place payoff was won by “Dual Reys Ms Bobbi” shown by Josh Sleeman, Yelm, WA for owners Sarah and Judd Sherman, also of Yelm, WA.

Sarah had specifically wanted a filly by Dual Rey and researched and purchased the mare as a yearling at the Western Bloodstock Invitational Yearling Sale in Fort Worth in 2009.

Out of Smart Bobbi Sock x Bob Acre Doc, the mare now has NCHA earnings of  $28,339 and has been a finalist in Calgary, Utah, and Idaho aged events.


Catty Dual and Jann Parker 5/6 NonPro Classic Challenge Champions

Classic Challenge Non-Pro Championship title and $5,508 payoff was won by Jann Parker, Billings, MT aboard “Catty Dual” a five-year-old gelding by Wild Haired Cat and out of Maybellena Dual x Dual Pep.

“When we bought this gelding in June, he was bought for Bill to rope on.  I hauled him to a weekend show and it worked, so I entered him in Kalispell.  The roping is going to have to wait – he’s mine for awhile now”, Jann said.

Special events included a “draw party” hosted by One Time Pepto and Jeffrey and Shari Matthews, where the finals competitors drew their own positions for their respective finals.

Big Sky’s 2014 “Bridleless” Championship went to “High Brow Tuesday” and trainer Tom Campbell, Twin Bridges, MT for owner Helen Larsen, Powell, WY .  The stallion son of High Brow Cat is a full brother to Hydrive Cat with $39,000 in LTE.

Pro-Am title was won by “Sues So Smart” shown by Brian Anderson for owner Bambi Gress, Ennis, MT.

Entry breakdown includes Futurity Open 31;  Futurity Non Pro 4; Derby Open 32; Derby Non Pro 14; Classic Challenge Open 38; Classic Challenge Non Pro 26.

Earl Bascom Honored On National Cowboy Day


The name of an old time Canadian cowboy has been placed into the national spotlight. Out of the many great cowboys and cowgirls from across America, the cowboy artist and rodeo champion Earl Bascom was chosen to be honored as part of the National Day of the Cowboy celebration. The National Day of the Cowboy […]

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Roller Coaster Ride For Rombough

Blog post

Lee Rombough knows plenty about nerves. But the nerves he’ll feel walking into Rexall Place in Edmonton in November will be much different then the ones he’s been dealing with during the 2014 Pro Rodeo Canada season. “I still have some nerve issues with a lot of shooting pain going up my arm,” says Rombough […]

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Calgary Stampede Invitational 4H Rodeo


Calgary –Enjoy two afternoons of free and unique rodeo action, featuring aspiring young cowboys and cowgirls, August 23 and 24 at the Agrium Western Event Centre. About 70 4-H members, aged nine to 20 years old, will compete in the Calgary Stampede’s annual Invitational 4-H Rodeo, held on Saturday and Sunday, August 23 and 24. […]

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Peach Schnapps Summertime Dessert

Peach Schnapps Dessert

I wish I could take full credit for this fantastic dessert, which has become an instant classic in our household. But alas, I can’t as it my mom’s creation! This is pretty much an adult dessert, but presented in Mason jars, it’s an easy take-along for horse shows or rodeos. Ingredients: • Fresh peaches • […]

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Sticking To The Plan


Rodeo fans in Dawson Creek, BC, and La Crete, AB, can expect to see Britany Diaz compete in their hometowns in 2015. “I have not gone to any place that we have not won money at in the last few years,” says Diaz of her strategy mapped out before the start of the 2014 campaign. […]

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Canada’s Greatest Western Town: The Winner!


The votes have been tallied and Canada’s Greatest Western Town Contest has reached a fitting end (see the entire bracket of towns here), with Old Cowtown . .  aka. . . Maple Creek, Saskatchewan the final winner! As it happens Wee and I passed through Maple Creek just a few weeks ago. Along with these two. […]

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