Jimmy Wins It!

Jim Anderson of Strathmore, AB, accepts the champion’s cheque for $7,000 after winning the Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge this past Monday afternoon at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Credit: Calgary Stampede.

If you happened to catch My Stable Life last week, we featured an interview with Jim Anderson as he was preparing to contend in the 2012 Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge. And whatdya know! Jimmy won it! If you missed it, you can read the interview here.

Since the Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge was established in 2010, it has earned a reputation for some the most challenging courses in Extreme Cowboy Racing – and during this year’s championship final on Monday afternoon, course organizers installed a dizzying degree of difficulty. But Jim Anderson of Strathmore, AB, and his mount Picasmokenlittlelena were more than ready for the challenge at the Scotiabank Saddledome . . . and their fortitude was repaid with some extreme rewards.

Namely, a Stampede buckle, a $7,000 cheque, and the title of 2012 Cowboy Up Challenge champion.

Jim and Patch head over a jump.

“The course was tough, but I knew my mare could handle each obstacle really well. So I wanted to push the envelope and really make a run,” said Anderson, the first local competitor to snare Cowboy Up Challenge glory in the event’s three-year history. “I didn’t want to give them judges any option. She felt great in there . . . I kept pushin’ her, and she just kept givin’. She’s just a great horse.”

Jim unsaddling for the bareback component of the competition.

The Cowboy Up Challenge was the first Extreme Cowboy Racing event on Canadian soil when it was unveiled at the Stampede. The brainchild of Craig Cameron, founder of the Bluff Dale, Texas-based Extreme Cowboy Association (EXCA). Extreme Cowboy Racing has been the fastest-growing sport in the equine industry in recent years.

A timed and judged event, Extreme Cowboy Racing demands both horsemanship and speed, challenging both horse and rider with an obstacle course that tests the bond and trust level between the two – and test it did on Monday.

Horse-and-rider teams negotiated water crossings, narrow bridges, and miniature chuckwagons pulled by miniature horses. Riders were required to carry a bucket of water, bareback, while their equine companions negotiated two moving bridges and a minefield of deadfall. Riders did their best to stick a spear through three separate rings on pedestals while on the move, ramming it into a bull’s-eye – and they stood in the saddle to ring a dinner bell that hung on a high laundry line. On top of all that, their mounts negotiated the spokes of a giant wagon wheel laid on its side, while a musician played live fiddle music standing on the hub.

Jim & Patch negotiate the moving bridge while carrying a heavy bucket of water.

“Today, the course got tougher and the competitors got tougher,” said Cameron, who again announced all three days of the Cowboy Up Challenge competition. “There wasn’t a competitor here that let us down. These cowboys and cowgals are true champions . . . (victory) could have gone to anybody. But Jim Anderson definitely deserved it this year.

“He was spot-on. Right on the money. He had a real soft touch. Every stop was a sliding stop,” added Cameron. “Again, he was a really precise rider – with speed, with control.”

Defending champion William (Runt) Rageth of Harris, Mo., and his grade horse Burdock finished about six points back of Anderson – earning 125.385 points, compared to their Canadian counterparts’ 131.765 – for the reserve championship. Rageth collects a runner-up cheque for $4,000, as well as a Stampede buckle.

Glenn Stewart ringing the bell.

Laurie Shelton of Dripping Springs, Texas, and Ima Little Tequila were third, earning $2,400, after judges awarded them 123.24 points. Robin Bond of Vista, Calif., the 2010 reserve champ, placed fourth aboard Jose’s Perfection, collecting $1,800 after a 117.55-point ride. And Glenn Stewart of Baldonnel, B.C., and Genuine Jet Smooth, who won the inaugural Cowboy Up Challenge together, teamed up for fifth place and a $1,200 payday following their 117.46-point performance.

Chris Redden pushes the ball through a hanging gate obstacle.

The top nine teams from an original field of 13 advanced to Monday’s final via aggregate points totals accumulated from two rounds of preliminaries on Saturday and Sunday. Chris Redden of Ravenwood, Mo., and Wrangler Baron Bar rounded out the final roster as a wild-card entry.

Jimmy on the Jumbotron.

Anderson ends up stuffing $8,000 in his Wranglers, after earning $1,000 for winning Sunday’s preliminary round. Monday’s ride apparently marked his swan song aboard Picasmokenlittlelena, owned by Rob and Marilyn Wedel of Calgary.

“The owner is going to show her now, in the reining as well as the cowboy challenges. She’s made of heart and soul. She’s not a big mare, but she’s got a big heart, very kind. Good minded,” he said. “We actually bred and raised that mare, and trained her. It makes victory that much sweeter.”

“Baliff” – the only pony to enter into the competition at the Stampede this year.

The event also saw a Mule in this year’s contest.

Comments

  1. Pamela Sabo says

    Jim is an amazing horseman truly deserves this recognition for his talents!

  2. Congratulations Jim & Patch sounds like a great horse & rider. Would have loved to have seen it.

    Sidebar; a timed and judged contest? I have troubel with judged contests, incomes the politics, like the horse shows and I think people are sick of it. Give it a start line and a finish line, may the best horse/man or woman win.

  3. Wow! Great job Jimmy! That’s pretty cool!

  4. Rudy DeGama says

    Whoa Ponies!!!! What an incredibly talented group of competitors, amazing horsemen and women on absolutely fantastic horses, HOWEVER, I watched in sheer amazement as Jim started, and progressed through the obstacles, without a doubt, the hands-down winner of this very difficult competition, and brilliantly executed by Jim and his lovely sorrel mare!!! Couldn’t happen for a more gracious gentleman, and true talent. An honor to witness!! Congrats!!

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