Doc West: The Tuf Cooper Debacle

    Doc West weighs in on the 2015 Tuf Cooper controversy.

    Doc West: The Tuf Cooper Debacle Doc West: The Tuf Cooper Debacle

    Q & A With the Calgary Stampede Queen

    Calgary Stampede kicks off this week! Our interview with Stampede Queen, Maggie.

    Q & A With the Calgary Stampede Queen Q & A With the Calgary Stampede Queen

    Country Festival Survival Kit

    Essentials for attending country music festivals this summer.

    Country Festival Survival Kit Country Festival Survival Kit

    Determining Towing Capacity

    Here's how to ensure you get what you need when it comes to trucks and towing capacity.

    Determining Towing Capacity Determining Towing Capacity

    Doc West: Hat Crimes & Courage

    On the straw and felt hat seasons and the real meaning of courage – John Wayne style.

    Doc West: Hat Crimes & Courage Doc West: Hat Crimes & Courage

    Guy Weadick Days 2016

    Bringing back the Pro Rodeo.

    Guy Weadick Days 2016 Guy Weadick Days 2016


Doc West: The Tuf Cooper Debacle



Question: Tuf Cooper invited back to compete at the world’s richest rodeo after last year’s fiasco is a bit of a head-scratcher for me. As, for that matter, is the invitation. These rodeo cowboys need to understand it’s a new world, one where abuse of animals is simply no longer sanctioned. Period. Cooper’s apparent disregard of the intense scrutiny events like the Calgary Stampede are under, should have been, in my opinion, addressed in a longer suspension. If Cooper wants to whip his horses, he can just stay in Texas as far as I’m concerned. Don’t you agree, Doc? 

Answer: Let’s set the record straight – characterizing Tuf Cooper’s ‘over and undering’ his horse with the end of a tie down rope as “abuse” is akin to portraying Justin Trudeau’s now infamous “elbowgate” as the greatest MMA beat-down of all time. Yes, yes, to a West Coast “progressive” it’s a capital offense. Pamela Anderson might write a letter in protest (or try to write a letter. . . or, have someone write a letter for her). But ask any horse trainer worth his salt, any horse trainer worth his salt, and they will all say something like, “you have to get after one every now and then”. Physical correction (within acceptable parameters) is part of horse training and yes, it is part of horsemanship. Forget the warm and fuzzy movies, forget the charlatans, and suave peddlers, forget the money you wasted on nonsense “natural horsemanship” videos – the hard stark truth is horses sometimes require physical correction.

You can’t talk to a horse, you can’t reason with them, they are free from logic as we humans understand it. Horses don’t understand your soft coos, ladies, and they don’t give a hoot about your hollering, fellas. Horses are herd animals that work on pressure and release. Physical pressure and physical release. What Tuf did was not abuse, he applied pressure to his horse in order to obtain a response.  ‎

That being said it wasn’t the place for it. Most “cowboy hat with a whistle” types sitting in the club seats at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, don’t break, train or even own their own horses. Some of them don’t eat meat, others bicycle to work, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say most don’t own a pair of boots – leather or rubber. They see horses as pets – to be cuddled and spoken softly to like their cat, Jerry, on Thursday Greys Anatomy night. So naturally, when people see a big bad cowboy “whip” his horse they spit out their beer and squawk. No one expects to see animals injured, or hit, or even die – because in the minds of the viewing public, those things never happen. That is the reality of the Calgary Stampede, and frankly it’s the reality of modern rodeo; rural culture – all sanitized, distilled, corrupted, packaged and finally displayed in spectacular fashion to all the city folk safe in the fold of a comfortable urban venue. It’s a marriage of opposites – culture, ideas and philosophies – bringing the country to the city, and as with all challenging relationships, both partners need to compromise enough to make it work, but not so much as to lose what made the marriage worth it in the first place.

The Stampede board, committees and directors need to realize that their job is not to simply bend to the whim of Hollywood activists and PETA zealots. They have a responsibility to stand firm, to educate and explain ethical, yet practical realities of animal husbandry. However, in this case even ordinary folks may have cringed a little, because Tuf’s display was cringe-worthy after all, which brings me to my final point. The cowboys also have a responsibility to realize that they are no longer competing in Terrell, East Texas – they are on an international stage with millions of viewers. Certain sensibilities need to prevail. In other words, think a bit. That means you too, Cooper. Just because your mamma named you “Tuf,” doesn’t mean you can’t use your head a bit more, and the end of your rope a little bit less.

Q & A With the Calgary Stampede Queen


The Calgary Stampede kicks off this week! Western Horse Review sat down with Maggie, this year’s Calgary Stampede Queen about her experiences, her Stampede horse and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

Can you please tell me what has been one of your most memorable experiences of being part of the royalty to date?

My most memorable experience so far has been our time spent at Aggie days. Not only was this our first time doing an even with our horses, it was our first grand entry! All of the kids were so enthusiastic which made the event even more memorable.

The Stampede Royalty on a promotional trip to London.

The Stampede Royalty on a promotional trip to London.

What have you learned about the experience thus far?

I’ve learned that this year is full of surprises. The committee works so hard and does such an amazing job taking care of us that we always seem to be being surprised with something special they’ve done for us or arranged for us to do. We are so lucky!

Can you tell me about your clothes and boots? Do you have a favorite outfit?

All of the clothing we wear is sponsored. Our cowboy hats are provided by Smithbilt, our cowboy boots from Alberta Boot Company and our clothing comes mainly from Janine’s Custom Creations and Lammles. My favourite outfit is our formal outfit that features Flores LaDue. The outfit is comfy but also formal and highlights this amazing cowgirl, giving us the chance to explain her role in the start up of the Calgary Stampede.


How do you ladies always look so beautiful? Any hair, make up or nail tips you can share?

Well thank you! Aria, our skin care and make up sponsor, definitely plays a huge role in keeping us looking our best. Katie Kempthorne keeps our hair looking fabulous and Lushus Nail Concepts keeps our nails fresh! All of these things are definitely difficult when you spend a lot of time with horses, so if you need some help in any of these areas those are the people to talk to!

Maggie on her Stampede horse, Kansas.

Maggie on her Stampede horse, Kansas.

Can you please tell me about your Stampede horse?

My Stampede horse for this year is Kansas. Kansas is a bit of a goof in the sense that everything seems to frighten him but that’s what makes him so unique. He’s always the one to walk up to you out in the pasture as if to say, “Yup I’m ready to go mom!” The girls and I decided that his celebrity personality match up was Jimmy Fallon because of his jokester personality.

In the Banff, AB, parade.

In the Banff, AB, parade.

Can you tell us about a day in your life, when you are required to appear as part of the Stampede Royalty? When we are required to make an appearance, the getting ready starts a few hours before we’re needed at the event itself. We always go to events in full make up and curling our hair can take a bit of time. I usually leave at least half an hour before attending the event to research what it’s about and the organization that’s hosting it.

Queen Maggie, being herself.

Queen Maggie, being herself.

For others who might aspire to try out for the Royalty competition, do you have any tips or advice to offer? Always be yourself! People can always tell when you’re being genuine and I think that really shines through and means a lot to everyone you meet. Also, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Although it may be terrifying, it is always worth it.

Maggie, in her spare time.

Maggie in her spare time.

Country Festival Survival Kit

Craven Country Jamboree, Craven, SK.

Craven Country Jamboree, Craven, SK.


Summer music festivals are a blast and may be a highlight of the season. But they can go downhill very fast if you don’t have the right essentials. With a long list of country music festivals happening this summer like Craven Country Jamboree, held in Craven, SK on July 14-17 (featuring Eric Church, Alabama, Kacey Musgraves and the Zac Brown Band!) or the inaugural Country Thunder in Calgary, AB at Prairie Winds Park on August 19-21 (headlining Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, and more!), you’ll want our list of hacks to make your experience that much better.



The smell of sunscreen isn’t always fragrant, especially if you need to douse yourself in it to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. So why not get an amazing smelling sunscreen that can also double as a perfume or body spray? Sun Bum makes the perfect sun protection (that also smells amazing) and is available in travel size. You can find scents such as mango, pineapple and jasmine, fresh lavender or banana coconut daiquiri.


Don’t rely completely on your cell phone to communicate, while at an outdoor festival. Often, cell service slows or Wi-Fi stops completely. It may something to do with population density and overloaded networks. Plan accordingly. Walkie-talkies can be a concert lifesaver – especially if you want to split up from your group to see different bands or singers.


Backseat Air Mattress

If you prefer to camp in a car instead of a tent, these nifty amazing mattresses that fit the back seat of your car. This way you can still get a pretty good sleep – depending on if people party through the night in your camping area, without the worry of falling off the back seat of your car.

The Full Suite


Head Torch

Sometimes, walking back to camp in the dark after a night of partying can be somewhat difficult – especially if there is no light to guide the way. It’s always handy to pack a head torch to make that lovely walk back to camp much more safe and enjoyable.



Fringe Fanny Packs

When anyone thinks of fanny packs, it’s likely to recall the ugly models of the 80’s and 90’s. Thankfully, fanny packs have been revamped to stylish, new country designs. A functional and fashionable fringe fanny pack could be the icing on the cake for your festival outfit, especially because it will hold all your necessities. Providing you with peace of mind from losing something important.


Lip Balm

Lip balm is always important, especially if the festival is in a really dry, hot place. You could opt go for your typical cherry chapstick, but why not try something a little different? Long Winter Farms has created all kinds of unique lip balms and “Pony Breath” – with its apples and sugar cubes fragrance – is one of them.

Polaroid Camera

Polaroid cameras are a must have if you want genuine pictures of the memories you had at the festival. Sure you can use your iPhone or Android, but its not the same as a polaroid. You can easily get your pictures within a minute ans decorate your campsite with all the crazy adventure you had during the festival.

Temporary Metallic Tattoos

A fun accessory that will bring any outfit to another level is Metallic temporary tattoos. You can get everything to feathers, Aztec patterns and much more. The metallic shade will glimmer in the sun add more pizazz to an outfit. A Bonus about them is that they only last 4-6 days. Under $10



If you have all these essentials and some of these fun accessories you’ll be sure to have a memorable time at any music festival you go to! Be sure to see our July/August Western Horse Review for a full summer line-up of country music festivals and gatherings!




Determining Towing Capacity

Wainalta Motors...

  Are you in the market for a new truck? When it comes to vehicles built for hauling livestock, there’s a lot to consider. How do you determine the right kind of a truck for your needs? Wainalta Motors has been serving clients since 1962, carrying new Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles as well as […]

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Doc West: Hat Crimes & Courage


Illustration by Dave Elston Q: I attended a western horse event mid-Autumn, and was chided by a rather stylish appearing mature woman for wearing a straw hat in the middle of October. Now, I know the old-time rule: felt is worn between Labour day and the May long weekend, and straw in between, but my […]

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Guy Weadick Days 2016

Deomostration of Roman Riding during Guy Weadick Days Media day.

  HIGH RIVER, AB – Saddle up and get ready to experience Guy Weadick Days like you have never before, taking place June, 24th- 26th, at the High River Agricultural Society Grounds. The High River Ag. Society, together with C5 Rodeo Company, will bring forward a professional rodeo, World Professional Chuckwagon action and a variety […]

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Falkland Pro Rodeo Results

Photo by Mike Copeman

FALKLAND, B.C. – The rain might have been pouring down this May Long Weekend as the Falkland Stampede took place, but Saddle Bronc Rider Sam Kelts found the sunny side of the weekend’s weather forecast. Heavy rains left the Falkland Stampede wet and muddy but Kelts says the sun peaked through the clouds during his […]

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Q’s & A’s With Stampede Royalty

Photo by Laura Parry of Wildheart Photography.

  Western Horse Review sat down with Chelsey, the second Calgary Stampede princess about her experiences, her stampede horse, beauty, learning experiences and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty! Can you please tell me what has been one of your most memorable experiences of being part of the royalty to date? […]

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Q & A With Stampede Royalty

Photo by Laura Parry of Wildheart Photography.

  Western Horse Review sat down with Bailee recently – one of the Calgary Stampede princesses – about her experiences, her Stampede horse, beauty tips, learning experiences and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty! Can you please tell me what has been one of your most memorable experiences of being part […]

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