You Never, Ever, Quit… Not When it’s for Real

 

By Todd Lemieux

The photograph above was taken in August 1944 at St-Lambert-sur-Dives, France. It shows Major David Currie, South Alberta Regiment, with pistol in hand, accepting the surrender of a German officer. Tanks are smouldering in the streets behind him. The noted Canadian military historian, C.P. Stacey, described the scene, “as close as we are likely to come to a photograph of a man winning the Victoria Cross.” The occasion was the final entrapment of the Germans in the Falaise pocket.

My grandfather, Trooper John Barnett, fought at this and other battles with Currie during the harrowing days of World War II. As a kid he told me once, “You never, ever quit… not when it’s for real.” I’ll never know what that means as much as he did. John Barnett lived into his 90’s and still had nightmares about the war, right up until he died. His experience in World War II, as a teenager, forged his life forever more.

On Aug. 18,1944, Currie, a major with the South Alberta Regiment, was in charge of a small mixed force of Canadian tanks, self-propelled anti-tank guns and infantry. He was given the task of blocking the German escape route through the village of St-Lambert-sur-Dives. Stiff enemy resistance in the village held up his unit when two tanks were badly hit by German fire. The citation for his Victoria Cross states that he, “Immediately entered the village alone on foot at last light through the enemy outposts to reconnoitre the German defences and extricate the crews of the disabled tanks, which he succeeded in doing in spite of heavy mortar fire.”

Early the next day, Currie led an attack on the village in the face of vicious resistance from enemy tanks, guns and infantry. By midday, Currie’s small, but determined force had succeeded–without any previous artillery support–in seizing and consolidating a position halfway inside the village. For the next 36 hours, the Germans hurled one counter-attack after another at the Canadians. In Currie’s own words, “They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us.”

Inspired by western movies, Currie broke his small force up into fire teams and dispersed them in such a fashion, to lend the appearance of a bigger force. Currie had arranged his defences so effectively that the counter-attacks were repulsed with heavy losses to the enemy. During the onslaught, Currie not only displayed a contemptuous defiance for the enemy as he led his men against repeated assaults, but also, took part in the battle himself. On one occasion he personally directed the fire of his command tank onto a German Tiger tank and succeeded in knocking it out.

Trooper John Barnett (holding the map) takes a break after the Battle of the Falaise Gap.

 

During another attack he used a rifle from the turret to kill enemy snipers who had infiltrated to within 50 yards of his headquarters. Another time, even though his unit’s artillery fire was falling within 15 yards of his tank, he ordered it continued because it was having a devastating effect on the enemy. At dusk on Aug. 20, the enemy tried to mount a decisive attack to break their way out but failed miserably. The attack force was routed before it could be deployed. Currie promptly ordered an attack and completed the capture of the village, effectively blocking that part of the Chambois-Trun escape route and denying it to the Germans trapped in the Falaise pocket.

Throughout the engagement Currie had no respite from the battle. In fact, he managed only one hour’s sleep during the entire period. When relief finally arrived he was so exhausted he fell asleep on his feet and collapsed.

The yield to his depleted Canadian force was enormous for a single unit: seven enemy tanks, 12 88-mm guns and 40 vehicles destroyed; hundreds of Germans killed or wounded; and an amazing 2,100 captured.

Born in Sutherland, Sask., on July 8, 1912, Currie moved to Moose Jaw and attended King George Public School and Central Collegiate. Later he attended the Moose Jaw Technical School where he studied auto mechanics and welding. Before WW II broke out he joined the militia in Moose Jaw and in January 1940 enlisted in the regular army with the rank of lieutenant.

Following the war Currie held several executive positions in Baie Comeau, Que., and Montreal. In 1959, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker appointed him sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons. In later years he served as vice-chairman of the Victoria Cross and George Cross associations and every two or three years led a delegation to England.
Currie died June 20, 1986, in hospital at Ottawa after suffering a heart attack. He is buried in Owen Sound, Ont.

John Barnett passed away peacefully, in Moose Jaw, September 9th, 2010, age 90.

‎Semper Alacer

“Lest We Forget”

David Currie after receiving his Victoria Cross from King George VI. Currie only agreed to receive the award and meet the King if he wore his battle dress to the ceremony. He felt that people should see the mud and blood on it, to appreciate what his men had been thru at Falaise Gap.

 

Troopers of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) on horseback. Frequently Canadian troops would befriend local villager’s and borrow horses to ride as a break from the endless grind of European battlefields.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Cowboy Crossings® Opening Weekend generates nearly $1 million in sales

Submitted by the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association

Intricate spur straps created by craftsman, Chuck Stormes. Photo Credit: TCAA.


OKLAHOMA CITY
 – Cowboy Crossings, one of the nation’s foremost annual Western art sales and exhibitions, is now open to the public at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. During Opening Weekend, Oct. 5 – 7, gross sales exceeded $986,310 with a portion of those proceeds benefiting the Museum’s educational programs.
The event and exhibition offers a unique combination of more than 150 pieces of art represented in different mediums featuring the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) 52nd Annual Sale & Exhibition as well as the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) 19th Annual Exhibition & Sale.

“We are pleased by the tremendous support for Western art from across the country,” said Chief Financial Officer and Interim President and CEO Gary Moore. “The combination of working art such as saddles, bits and spurs, and rawhide braiding, along with the fine art of painting and sculpture, helps many individuals connect with the West in ways they might not have previously considered.”

Shot glasses crafted by local artist, Scott Hardy, took home top honours. Photo Credit: TCAA.

Clifton, Texas, CAA artist Martin Grelle’s piece, Expectations, was the show’s highest selling piece at $54,000. The highest selling TCAA piece was a sterling silver shot glass set and tray by artist Scott Hardy of Longview, Alberta, Canada, selling for $31,000.   
The CAA exhibition is available through Nov. 26, 2017, and TCAA will be on display through Jan. 7, 2018. Unsold art is available for purchase through The Museum Store at (405) 478-2250 ext. 228. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/cowboy-crossings. For award-winning art associated with this release, click here.

A full list of winners from the weekend’s awards show is as follows:

  • The CAA Stetson Award recipient, selected by active CAA members as the best compilation of individual works, was Paul Moore of Norman, Oklahoma, for his six bronze sculptures: Old Man Losing His Heron, When His Heart is Down, Tug of War, Blessing at Wuwuchim, Hopi Two Horned Priest, and Young San Felipe Green Corn Dancer. 
  • The Anne Marion Best of Show Award, chosen by anonymous artist judges from the four gold medal winners, was given to Grant Redden of Evanston, Wyoming, for his painting, Feeding the Flock.
  • Jason Scull of Kerrville, Texas, earned the Ray Swanson Memorial Award for his bronze relief, Waitin’ for Daylight. The award is given for a work of art that best communicates a moment in time, capturing emotion.
  • Grant Redden received the Oil Painting Gold Medal Award for his painting, Feeding the Flock.
  • Martin Grelle of Clifton, Texas, received the Oil Painting Silver Medal Award for his painting, Expectations.
  • Whirling Wind on the Plains, a Texas limestone sculpture by Oreland C. Joe Sr. (Navajo/Ute), of Kirtland, New Mexico, was the Sculpture Gold Medal Award winner.
  • When His Heart is Down, a bronze sculpture by Paul Moore of Norman, Oklahoma, was the Sculpture Silver Medal Award winner.
  • Phil Epp of Newton, Kansas, received the Water Soluble Gold Medal Award for his painting, Hilltop.
  • Mikel Donahue of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, received the Water Soluble Silver Medal Award for his painting, The Bronc Stomper.
  • C. Michael Dudash of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, received the Drawing and Other Media Gold Medal Award for his charcoal and chalk drawing, Cowgirl.
  • Tyler Crow of Hico, Texas, received the Drawing and Other Media Silver Medal Award for his charcoal drawing, Cow Camp Studio.
  • The Buyers’ Choice Award, selected by show attendants, was awarded to Tyler Crow for his charcoal drawing, Cow Camp Studio.

    Artist, Tyler Crow. Made in America, Oil, 32” x 26” Photo Credit: TCAA.

The TCAA’s do not confer awards for their pieces in the Cowboy Crossings exhibition, instead choosing to offer cash scholarships to a select number of up-and-coming traditional artists. This year’s fellowship winners are:

  • TCAA Fellowship for Cowboy Craftsmen recipients are Troy Flayharty and Graeme Quisenberry.
  • Mike Eslick received the Emerging Artist Award.

    Saddle with Tapaderos by craftsman, John Willemsma. Photo Credit: TCAA.

About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is located only six miles northeast of downtown Oklahoma City in the Adventure District at the junction of Interstates 44 and 35, the state’s exciting Adventure Road corridor. The Museum offers annual memberships beginning at just $40. For more information, visitnationalcowboymuseum.org. For high-resolution images related to the National Cowboy Museum, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/media-pics/.

Red Lentil Humus

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

When it comes to first class sideline picnics, preparation is key. So when Western Horse Review had the opportunity to take in a polo event with a group of our closest friends and we realized we didn’t have the time to prepare some amazing food ourselves, we enlisted the help of the Deane House. While watching a few chukkers, the Red Lentil Humus quickly became a crowd favorite. The Deane House has graciously shared their wonderful recipe with is. Here are their insider instructions for creating this wonderful light, appetizer:

Photo by Natalie Jackman, www.have-dog.com

Ingredients:

1 L red lentils (rinsed and drained thoroughly)
1 L water
33g garlic cloves smashed
½ cup white wine
1 head roast garlic
5 medium sized roma tomatoes, wood grilled for 6 minutes

Method:

– Simmer the mashed garlic and white wine.
– Add the remaining ingredients.
– Cook on medium heat covered until lentils are completely tender.
– Remove from heat.

To Finish:

300g Highwood Crossing canola oil or Mountainview canola oil
17 g salt
7g Okanagan sumac
½ cup toasted & ground coriander (or fresh coriander berries 
 crushed)
½ g Broxburn jalapeño peppers; smoked, dried and ground into
chipotle powder
40 g white wine vinegar

Method continued:

Puree the cooked lentils using a handheld immersion blender.
Blend in the remaining ingredients except sumac.
Allow the hummus to cool to room temperature before folding in the sumac.
Refrigerate until chilled then serve.

Premiere Western Art Show at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Cowboy Crossings, one of North America’s foremost annual Western art sales and exhibitions, opening to the public this October 7, 2017 in Oklahoma City, OK. The event and exhibition offers a unique combination of more than 150 pieces of art represented in different mediums featuring the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) 52nd Annual Sale & Exhibition, as well as the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) 19th Annual Exhibition & Sale.

Reaching for the Bronc Rein, Oil, 45” x 46”, by Jason Rich.

“The quality and diversity of perspectives showcased in Cowboy Crossings is indicative of how vast and relevant the West is to everyone today,” said Chief Financial Officer and Interim President and CEO Gary Moore. “Western art is at the foundation of the National Cowboy Museum’s mission, and the combination of art styles represented in this show, such as saddles and spurs along with paintings and sculptures, enables everyone to identify with a part of the West.”

Lakota Daydreams, Oil, 34 x 34”, by R.S. Riddick.

The CAA’s mission is to authentically preserve and perpetuate the culture of Western life in fine art. Representing some of the most highly regarded cowboy artists of today, the CAA’s goals include ensuring authentic representations of the West, “as it was and is,” and maintaining standards of quality in contemporary Western art and helping guide collectors.

TCAA Santa Susanna Bit, by Wilson-Capron.

The TCAA is dedicated to preserving and promoting the skills of saddlemaking, bit and spur making, silversmithing, and rawhide braiding and the role of these traditional crafts in the cowboy culture of the North American West. With a focus on education, this organization aims to help the public understand and appreciate the level of quality available today and the value of fine craftsmanship.

Hilltop, Acrylic, 60” x 60”, by Phil Epp.

CAA will be on display through Nov. 26, 2017, and TCAA will be on display through Jan. 7, 2018. For more information, a full list of Opening Weekend activities, or to purchase tickets, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/cowboy-crossings or call (405) 478-2250 ext. 218.

About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum – Nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is located only six miles northeast of downtown Oklahoma City in the Adventure District at the junction of Interstates 44 and 35, the state’s exciting Adventure Road corridor. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.

Paige 1912 – The Wild West Fashion Show


Silhouetted against the “big smoke” of Calgary, AB at the modern-west venue of Hotel Arts, the complete fall line for Paige 1912 was unveiled to attendants under the moniker, ‘1912 – The Wild West Fashion Show’. Paige Callaway, of Millarville AB, is the creator behind Paige 1912, as well as Pursue Victory, a line of shirts developed for functionality and fit. For the former trick-rider, It was her love for the wild west – the days of box cars, rambling cowboys and wild women – that brought forth the inspiration for her newest line.

Callaway says, “Paige 1912 takes what we know, the fit and functionality of the classic shirt and ads a fashion forward ‘wild west meets high fashion’ look. However, since creativity can be like a run away horse, it isn’t limited to the new styles of shirts. This line includes accessories that compliment the shirts and the brand.”

Unique designs and patterns at The Paige 1912 fashion show. Images:@TheBrandPaige1912/@PursueVictory

 

The designs and patterns at the show were certainly unique. Bold patterns were seen on the runway in the form of polka dots, bright colours and florals. While couture accruements like delicately placed cuff ruffles, or the fan-favourite front-facing ruffles, as seen above, were complimented by authentic turquoise pieces and Kimes Ranch denim. Models wore silk scarves in their hair, or paired their outfits with felt hats while they walked in Alberta Boots. The runway was also host to accomplished trick ropers and live music, including Brandi Phillips, who has had the honour of performing her rope tricks to the Queen of England, among others. Matt Robertson, a cowboy musician, serenaded the crowd with a song that harkened back to the old west.

Cowboy singer, Matt Robertson, serenades the crowd at the Paige 1912 fashion show.

At the pre and post-show reception, guests were invited to shop Paige 1912 t-shirts, as well as the line of felt hats seen on the runway that Callaway designed and are available at Smithbilt Hats. An authentic turquoise collection was also for sale which included squash blossoms, cuffs, bracelets, necklaces and rings. Callaway says, “Pursue Victory started as the melding of two significant areas of my life, the rodeo/equine world and my education as a couturier. Paige 1912 is an addition that that, melding my love for high fashion and the wild west.”

The Paige 1912 is certainly unique and bold, designs that are eye-popping and show stopping that deliver something different than the average button-up. Callaway is currently in the process of solidifying which stores will be carrying the fall line, and will be announcing the details shortly via her website: www.paige1912.com.

Details from Paige 1912. Images:@TheBrandPaige1912/@PursueVictory

Polo, This Weekend

Photo by have-dog.com

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If you’re looking for an exceptional experience this weekend, why not come out to the Calgary Polo Club this Saturday August 12, to watch the Canadian Open – Smithbilt Hat Day at 2:00 pm? Featuring the Canadian Open Match Game (12 Goal), fans can watch Highwood vs. Château D’ESCLANS.

This weekend will also showcase their regular 4-goal games on Sunday, at 12 and 2pm.

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The combination of speed, control and horsepower in polo is intoxicating. If you’re looking for some great family fun on the sidelines, or longing to renew your passion for equestrian sport, the Calgary Polo Club (CPC) is the perfect place for all levels of enthusiasm.

It’s interesting to note that some of Calgary, Alberta’s best polo players originally came from the discipline of team penning. People from a medley of other events find themselves enamoured with the sport, the first time they crush the ball down the field.

Photos by Callaghan Creative Co.

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Polo culture involves tailgate picnics. Bring some chairs, a basket of delicatessens, a charcuterie board and cold beverages and your gathering of friends will think you picnic like an event-planner.

Social members can take in all the field-side exhilaration with the option to reserve white tents to block out the warmth of the sun on hot days. White VIP tents with designer leather furniture can additionally be reserved for a fee to make it a Sunday Funday like no other.

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

 

Photo by have-dog.com

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The sport of kings is dependent on the grace of equines. Men, women and children can all enjoy the game of polo, because the horse is an extraordinary equalizer.

There a few things you may want to know, before you go. The rules of the game are based on the right of way of players and the “line of the ball,” created each time the ball is hit. Once the ball is struck by a player an imaginary line is formed, creating the right of way for that player. No other player may cross the line in front, as doing so results in dangerous play. Crossing the line in front of speeding horses at right angles, is the most common foul in polo.

THROW IN: Umpires start the game by throwing the ball between the two teams that are lined up on different sides.

KNOCK IN: The defending team is allowed a free ‘knock-in’ from the place where the ball crossed the goal line if the ball goes wide of the goal, thus getting ball back into play.

RIDE OFF: Involves safely pushing one’s horse into the side of the opponent’s mount to take him or her off the line. Contact must be made at a 45-degree angle or less and only between the horse’s hips and shoulders.

HOOKING: This is the action of blocking another player’s shot by hooking or blocking his or her mallet.

OFF-SIDE: The right side of the horse.

NEAR-SIDE: The left side of the horse.

Horses in play have their tails braided and manes shaved to avoid the hazard of becoming entangled in a players’ mallets and/or reins. White pants worn by riders is a tradition that can be traced back to the 19th century in Britain and India, where the game was played by royalty only and in very hot temperatures. Hence, the preference for fabrics that were light in colour and weight. The shaft of a polo mallet is akin to the soul of a good horse; strong, resilient and adaptable. Polo mallets have magnificent flexibility and strength.

Lastly, spectators are encouraged to back their vehicles up to field, all the while maintaining a safe, 20-foot distance from the sideboards. At times, players may send their horses over the boards in pursuit of the ball – and you don’t want to be in their way.

 

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

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No matter the type of hat you wear, there is a level of polo participation for everyone. Perhaps Western Horse Review will see you out there! For more information on tournaments and events at the Calgary Polo Club visit: www.calgarypoloclub.com.

*Make-Up credit to The Aria Studios, Hair by Meagan Peters, Outfits by Cody & Sioux.

 

 

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Meet CS Princess Brittany

Calgary Stampede Princess, Brittany Lloyd, in Berlin.


The Calgary Stampede has come and gone, and a new trio will soon be crowned. Western Horse Review sat down with Brittany Lloyd, one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Princesses about her experiences, her beloved Stampede horse, Snoopy, and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

1. What were your favourite parts of the 2017 Calgary Stampede?

Wow! I can’t believe the Calgary Stampede has come and gone. Over the ten days we had the opportunity to attend Paul Brandt’s #NotInMyCity event (thank you, Sal Howell!), visited many of the infield suites and scored a seriously good view for the Alabama concert. But amidst all the madness during the Calgary Stampede, I absolutely loved hopping on my horse, Snoopy, for Grand Entries. I will always remember that quiet moment walking up the alley way towards the arena knowing we would soon be greeted by friends, family and rodeo fans from all over the world!

2. What have been some of your most memorable experiences, since your reign as Princess began, to date?

There are many highlights from the year including the Calgary Stampede, National Finals Rodeo, Canadian Finals Rodeo, Grey Cup and International Tourism Conference in Berlin; one of my favorites, however, was Aggie Days. This is a convention rodeo that is closed to the public, but open to schools in Calgary and the surrounding area for grades three through five to give students the opportunity to learn about rodeo and agriculture sustainability – two things I am very passionate about! I absolutely love doing things in our hometown because there is an overwhelming sense of community spirit and pride. It was our first grand entry and first time I really felt a part of the horse and livestock community at the Calgary Stampede. The children at Aggie Days had the most unbridled enthusiasm for meeting competitors and royalty, which will be an experience I will cherish forever.

The 2017 Calgary Stampede Royalty

 

3. Can you please tell us about your experience applying to become part of the trio? How did you feel the night you became a princess?

I still find it a little surreal! For me, the Calgary Stampede always came before the title “Princess”. As a born and raised Calgarian, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a part of the Calgary Stampede organization. The Calgary Stampede to me represents so many key elements – celebration of community, celebration of history, spirited competition, pride in our heritage and true hospitality at its best. What I identify most with about the Calgary Stampede, is what is at the heart of this 10-day exhibition; the animals. Having the privilege to see the wild horses of the Calgary Stampede at the Stampede Ranch, I sincerely believe these animals are integral to Alberta’s history and future. I am so proud of the the Born to Buck breeding program and the Calgary Stampede’s commitment to excellence.

4. How has this experience changed your life?

This past year, I have had to the opportunity to turn strangers into neighbors by helping host people from around the world during the Calgary Stampede, and I have never been more proud to call this city home. Cowboys and cowgirls have defined Calgary’s values, influenced how we do business and inspired generations to come. It has been an incredible opportunity to help foster these traditions and help tell the great story of the Calgary Stampede to the world. While my year as a Princess may be coming to an end, I hope to stay involved in the Stampede in another capacity.

Princess Brittany, with her “Prince”, Snoopy.

5. Can you please tell us about your Royal horse?

I am so grateful to share this experience with the palomino gelding Snoopy. Prior to being owned by the Royalty Program, he was a movie horse and certainly likes to be the star of the show! He can get a little hot, particularly at the end of “Oh Canada” during grand entries, but he is one of the safest, kindest horses I’ve ever ridden. I come from an english riding background, and he has been the perfect horse to transition me from jumper to cowgirl (with a little help from Eamor’s Saddlery and Clay Webster.) I know he will make the next Princess as happy as he has made me!

A future Princess Brittany at the Calgary Stampede

6. What’s a typical day in your life as Princess look like currently?

Aside from the 10 days of Stampede, there is no “typical day” for a Princess! Our schedules are constantly changing and each event brings something new, unexpected and exciting. We attend all types of things from school visits, to rodeos, Calgary Tourism events and charity functions. What makes this program so unique is that we are truly ambassadors for Calgary’s community spirit, our western heritage and cultural values – with a touch of rodeo on the side! I feel most honored to be included in charity events such as the Calgary Stampede Foundation fundraisers, visiting the Ronald McDonald house and having the opportunity to meet people touched and inspired by the Calgary Stampede.

7. Can you please tell us about some of your best beauty tips/secrets?

Before becoming a Princess, I wasn’t very glamorous, so this year has been full of learning in terms of hair and makeup. I think my best tip would be to start with your skin! I’m very disciplined about taking my makeup off before bed and washing my face in the morning. I also think being healthy is so beautiful so I try to stay fit, eat healthy and drink lots of water. My biggest beauty indulgence is eyelash extensions. Leigh Glover of Luv Leigh Lashes does an amazing job of making sure they look natural but also long and full. The trio is also very fortunate to be sponsored by Aria Studios for all our makeup needs.

Princess Brittany waving to rodeo fans, friends and family during her grand entry lap.

8. Any favourite outfits?

It is so hard to pick just one favorite outfit! We probably have close to 50 pieces to mix and match, so I always love when our wardrobe committee gets creative and changes things up. I feel most comfortable when we are in our riding or rodeo attire because its extension of my personality and style. My favourite look would have to be our white Wrangler jeans with our navy blue “fringe” shirt. The top was made by Janine of Janine’s Custom Creations and I absolutely love how they look in grand entries! My most cherished wardrobe item are our custom Alberta Boots that match our Canada 150 leathers. They are so unique and I love anything patriotic! They also have crowns and our initials on them so to me they represent our trio’s place in the legacy of Calgary Stampede Royalty.

9. Anything else you would like to add?

I’m so grateful to share this experience with so many people, but I’d love to say a big thank you to my trio – Princess Lizzie and Queen Meagan – for making this experience so memorable. I’d also love to say thank you to all of my friends and family for their support during this busy year! It has been an honor to represent the Calgary Stampede and a privilege to be a part of be a part of showcasing western hospitality. I’d like to reach out to everybody I’ve had the fortune of crossing paths with this year. May we meet again. Happy trails!

One of Princess Brittany’s favourite parts of the Calgary Stampede was the interactions with all the amazing animals – from rough stock to back in the barns.


Tomorrow is the LAST day to enter the Calgary Stampede Royalty Contest. The Royalty Committee is accepting applications until August, 11, 2017. If you are interested in becoming a member of the 2018 Calgary Stampede Royal Trio, you can find more information at www.csroyalty.com.

Summer’s Rising Stars of Country

By Piper Whelan

Alberta’s Brad and Curtis Rempel are on the road to stardom as the up-and-coming country duo High Valley. After the release of their major label debut album and a whirl-wind rise in popularity, the Rempel brothers are appearing at two major country music festivals in Canada this summer. High Valley performed this past weekend at Country Thunder Saskatchewan in Craven, Saskatchewan. Later this summer, they’ll be in Calgary for Country Thunder Alberta (August 18-20).

Originally from La Crete, Alberta, the Rempels grew up listening to Ricky Skaggs albums on repeat, and dreamed of a career in country music from an early age. Now based in Nashville, the brothers are set to make those dreams come true, particularly if the upward chart movement of their recent singles is any indication. Being at the centre of the country music industry allowed the Rempel brothers to be exposed to a vast array of musical styles.

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“We’ve been coming to Nashville since 2001 now, but Brad moved here about seven years ago. I moved to Nashville four years ago,” says Curtis Rempel. “Being down here has definitely broadened our horizons.” These horizons go beyond the country genre, and he cites bands like The Chainsmokers and Imagine Dragons as a few of the artists that have inspired them recently. “The music that we’ve been able to get to know in the last 10 years has definitely affected the way that our music sounds.”

The particular style of country they first fell in love with, though, is never far away. “Our sound is a combination of the bluegrass that we grew up listening to … and the cool hit music that we’re hearing on the radio today, so we kind of combine those two worlds,” Rempel explains. “It’s kind of like we’re trying to bring an old-fashioned barn dance into 2017.”

For more information about the upcoming Country Thunder festivals, check out: www.countrythunder.com

Meet CS Queen Meagan

Photo by Tara McKenzie.

 

The Calgary Stampede is in full swing! Western Horse Review sat down with Meagan Peters, this year’s Calgary Stampede Queen about her experiences, her Stampede horse and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

Q. What are you most looking forward to during the 2017 Stampede?

A. During our year as the Royalty Trio, we attend about 400 events. All those events prepare us for the 10 days at The Worlds Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! Thank goodness for all that experience because during those 10 days alone, we will attend 150 events. Throughout our year, I have most enjoyed getting to know the many committee members, volunteers, employees and sponsors involved in Calgary Stampede. I’m very much looking forward to spending some time with them during Stampede and celebrating what we have worked so hard to represent all year.

Although, I am most looking forward to the grand entries at the rodeo. As horsewomen, we work very hard keeping the horses conditioned so they are prepared for anything that may come along the way. The feeling I get in my heart before we race into any rodeo arena is like no other. It is such a thrilling experience to hear your name announced and the crowd cheering. Every year that I have watched previous trios at the opening ceremonies at the rodeo, I have hoped and prayed that some day that could be me. The first day of Stampede was one of the happiest days of my life.

Photo by Tara McKenzie.

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Q. What are your most memorable experiences to date?

A. There are so many wonderful and inspiring people that I have met this year and I am tremendously honoured to have been given the opportunity. I have loved traveling to Toronto for Grey Cup, Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo and Berlin for the International Tourism Convention.

My favourite trip was at the NFR, as the Calgary Stampede’s bucking stock were featured in it. I think that is when our role as an ambassador finally hit me as to what we represent, along with our western values and heritage. One of my favourite events most recently was attending the Presidents Rodeo at the OH Ranch. We did a grand entry before the rodeo, joined 300-400 of Stampede members for dinner and were entertained by the talented Gord Bamford. I loved mingling with the guests and at this time, I really felt part of a huge family with the same passion for Stampede. I remember leaving that night thinking, “This is where I belong and I’ll never forget this day for as long as I live.”

A young, future queen Meagan.

 

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Q. What was your experience like applying for the trio and your feeling at the crowning?

A. I have auditioned 3 times to be in the Royalty Trio and twice I had made it to the top six contestants. Each year of auditioning, I had so much fun in the competition. I have met so many lovely competitors and volunteers involved that I wanted to stay in touch with them. Coming so close in the finals of the competition each year gave me the fire that I would do what ever it took to be in the trio. In preparation for my third time auditioning, I had taken a Dale Carnegie Public Speaking course. It was an 8-week program with intense speech preparation and impromptu practice. This gave me so much more confidence to speak publicly as I was more timid in my first two years auditioning.

 

On crowning night in September, this was the most nerve wracking experience of all. I had stumbled on my impromptu speech and my music did not work properly for my choreographed ride. I was dying of embarrassment and defeat. I was thinking, “Great, I have just had the worst performance in front of 200 people and I just blew my chances of being in the Royal Trio.”  …And then my heart dropped when I was announced as Stampede Queen. I had never been so shocked in my entire life! Thank goodness the rest of the competition before crowning went well. I am only human and everyone has bad days. Every day since being crowned, I have worked hard to support my team with Princesses, Brittany Lloyd and Lizzie Ryman. They are amazing individuals!

  • The Royalty Contest is now open and applications are being accepted until August 11, 2017! For more information, visit: www.csroyalty.com

Queen Meagan’s personalized boots, spurs and hat.

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Q. How has this year changed your life?

A. Everyday this year, I think how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity. I try not to let this year slip away too quickly and take in every experience to the second. Personally, I have become more focused on what all this has meant to me and how it has changed my life. I will always be involved with Stampede after my year is over. I would love to volunteer more of my time in the Queens Alumni and support future trio members. I cherish the ability to talk to people I do not know and value the life experience this program has given me for future careers and personal relationships.

Check out the Stampede Queen and Princesses on Instagram @stampedeqandp.

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Q. Please tell us about your royal horse?

A. “Blue” has been one of my favourite experiences this year. She is a 6-year-old blue roan and it is her first year in the Royalty Program. She has taken over for “Hawk,” as he will be retiring. She is very sweet but will throw some sass my way every now and then. She has been very quiet in parades and has found out recently just how fast she can go in grand entries which is every Queen or Princesses’ dream. She has been trained by Clay Webster himself before our Equestrian Committee found her. Clay is a sponsor of our program and I cannot thank him enough for all the training he has given us a trio this year. I will be heartbroken to say goodbye to Blue and the end of our year but know she will be in great hands!

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Q. Please describe a typical day in the royalty life?

A. Stampede time is really busy. But even prior to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, we were busier than ever and had many events to attend in a day. Our usual wake up time is around 5, 6 or 7 AM to get ready. Doing our hair and make-up has become routine and have become much faster than when were were first crowned! Before Stampede we attended pancake breakfasts in the morning at various schools and many fundraiser events. In the afternoon, we visited sponsors if we have the chance and either head home to change for the evening or grab lunch. In the evening, we attend Stampede Foundation meetings, Happy Trails at retirement homes, events that are going on at Stampede park or additional training on Stampede related events. If we did not have an event or training in the evening, we will ride our horses in Mossleigh, AB – which sometimes involves bathing the horses before a parade. In the summer months, we have been attending local parades and rodeos surrounding Calgary every weekend. I usually do not get to bed before 10 PM most nights but every day is worth packing it all in!

Q. Best beauty tips?

A. All of my beauty tips I owe to The Aria Studios! Liz has been an amazing sponsor and I use all of her make-up in my morning and evening routines. Liz’s signature products is her lipsticks. We are constantly talking, smiling, taking photos and must always be “camera ready” in case a surprise interview comes up. A lipstick that stays on all day is key! The Aria lipsticks do just that! I also love her skin care, face masques/scrubs and foundation powders. I will always use her line of skin care and make up for life!

 

Q. Favorite outfit?

A. My favourite outfit is our new “Blue Leathers.” It consists of a turquoise fringe, suede skirt and a matching vest. Its has “CS” embroidered on the back, and a horseshoe concho on the front. And to top it all off, our turquoise and brown pointed boots sponsored by Lammles and our three ringed diamond jewellery set from Montana Silver. One of our other amazing sponsors is Janine’s Custom Creations! Janine sews a lot of our shirts, skirts, and leather formal outfits herself. We have advisors that request a certain look and Janine will shape that idea and bring it to life. What would we ever do with out her and our wardrobe experts, Kary Otto and Laverne Peckham!

There are many sides to the talented and beautiful Calgary Stampede Queen Meagan Peters. If you get the chance to see her this week, be sure to say hi!

Meagan on a family fishing trip in Saskatchewan last Thanksgiving. She says, “For my family this is a tradition. I love sturgeon fishing there – It’s always a challenge. The competition is tough but there are huge fish!”