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.

That’s a Rodeo Wrap

Three nights, seven events and 21 champions at the inaugural K-Days Rodeo Photo Credit: Northlands

Day three of the K-Days Rodeo wraps up a successful, record-tying weekend at Northlands Coliseum. All athletes, two and four-legged, put on a great show and ensured a few more fans of the sport will return for the Canadian Finals Rodeo this November. Award-winning country artist Corb Lund sang the National Anthem and got the crowd set for a great night of action. It was a memorable start to a night of jam packed, rodeo-action. The final seven athletes titled champions included:

Bareback Riding:
Winner: JR Vezain
Stock: CS D39 Make Up Face

Bull Riding:
Winner: Sage Kimzy
Stock: C5B 1102 Bid Dip

Saddlebronc Riding:
Winner: Zeke Thurston
Stock: NS 242 Get Smart

Team Roping:
Winner: Dustin Bird & Russell Cardoza
Score: 402

Tie-Down Roping:
Winner: Tuf Cooper
Score: 8.1

Steer Wrestling:
Winner: Straws Milan
Score: 2.9

Ladies Barrel Racing:
Winner: Crystal Christman
Score: 14.726

All weekend long these cowboys and cowgirls competed for a piece of the more than $400,000 prize purse and a chance to compete for national titles at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, November 8-12 at Northlands Coliseum. For 138 years, Northlands has taken great pride in showcasing the western way of life. While rodeo comes to the campus for a few days in summer and a week in the fall it is the rich history that drives Northlands to showcase and share with its neighbours and friends. As the inaugural K-Days Rodeo comes to an end the excitement, food, rides, shows and attractions are still in full force on the K-Days grounds until July 30!

Photo Credit: Northlands

 

Photo Credit: Northlands

 

Photo Credit: Northlands

 

Photo Credit: Northlands

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

101st Teepee Creek Stampede

 

Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

The Teepee Creek Stampede ran this year from July 13-16 in Teepee Creek, Alberta. The rodeo is one of the oldest in Alberta, last year celebrating their centennial, with the first ever TeePee Creek Stampede being held in 1916. For many years the Teepee Creek Stampede was the largest amateur rodeo in the north and one of the largest amateur events in Canada. In 2007, the decision was made to sanction the event as a Canadian Pro Rodeo Association professional rodeo. Teepee Creek Stampede brings some of the very best cowboys and cowgirls in the world to compete in front of massive crowds, in 2015 alone they boasted 15,000 spectators to the event. The committee has also done an excellent job of continuing to embrace the history of the stampede by showcasing local events such as the Wild Cow Milking, Wild Horse Race, and The Rawhide Race, as well as including chuckwagon racing and specialty acts to entertain and thrill the crowds.

This year, the official photographer for the event was Nicky Rae Photography who shared some of her fantastic photos with WHR below. Rae says, “I am honoured to have wrapped up my first year as the official photogpraher of the Teepee Creek Stampede Pro Rodeo. It was a busy 4 days in the wild with mounted shooting, barrel racing, cattle penning, a queen contest, pony (chuckwagons) and World Chuckwagon Association wagons, trick riders, wild horse and pony racers, great concerts and of course the standardly awesome pro rodeo action. Great announces that have rodeo in their soul, and speak it for all of us to hear. I choose carefully the events that I partner with because I pour my heart and soul into every one. When I was asked to photograph this event, I didn’t even need to think about the answer. This event holds so much history it is unbelievable. The best part? The folks that put this event on know how important and rare that is and they cherish it, even feature it. After all, you should do it with passion, or not at all. Congrats to the 2017 committee and competitors for a job well done.”

 

The Teepee Creek Stampede Stagecoach. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

The pony chuckwagons are a fan favourite. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

Future pro rodeo stars, the Little Briches Rodeo contestants. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae photography

 

Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

That’s one way to finish a cold one at the rodeo. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography

 

One of the youngest specialty acts at the Teepee Creek Stampede. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

Another brave, young, trick rider performs roman riding over fire. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

Miss Rodeo Canada, Ali Mullin, was in attendance. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

Mutton Busting is a crowd favourite at the event. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

Miss Teepee Creek Stampede, Miss Rodeo Canada and the Teepee Creek Stampede Rodeo Committee. Photo Credit: Nicky Rae Photography.

 

 

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!”

Rookie Driver’s Dreams Come True on Calgary Stampede Track

 

Dustin Gorst is upholding family tradition, but on his own terms, as one of the rookie drivers at this year’s Calgary Stampede.


Shared with permission from Calgary Stampede News

By: Scott Cruickshank, Calgary Stampede

To his credit, the logs stayed on the truck, the truck stayed on the road. And he stayed somewhat coherent. But it wasn’t easy. After all, it’s not every day you get a call informing you that a life-long dream has been realized. But there was Dustin Gorst, going about his work day in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan last fall when his phone began to buzz. Sure, he’d been hoping. Sure, he’d had a hunch. But he was itching for official word. This was it.

It was a call from the Calgary Stampede, providing the blockbuster bulletin, telling Gorst that he was one of 36 chuckwagon drivers invited to the 2017 GMC Rangeland Derby. For Gorst – and fellow newbie Cody Ridsdale – this is scrapbook territory.

“I was so excited I could hardly drive – I was sweating,” he says with a laugh. “I just thanked her. She started talking about barn stalls and stuff, and I said, ‘Honestly, I don’t care. I don’t care if you park me in the river. I’m going. I’m happy.

“I’ve arrived – that’s the perfect word for it. I’ve been waiting for this week my whole life. I’m very excited.” A superb outrider – he was named the Stampede’s outstanding outrider for the second time in 2014 – Gorst nevertheless had a notion to get himself into the wagon box. Despite being the grandson of Art, the son of Gary, the younger brother of Logan – all of whom are drivers of note, all of whom have competed at the Stampede – he was determined to do it his way.

“I wanted to stand on my own two feet, you know what I mean?” says Gorst. “I didn’t want to have to go in my dad’s liner. I didn’t want to have to use my dad’s horses, use my dad’s wagon, use my dad’s one-ton. I wanted to own an acreage. I wanted to own all the horses myself.” Plan set, Gorst refused to rush. He started by buying 40 acres 10 minutes south of Meadow Lake. He built corrals exactly the way he wanted them. Then – and only then – did he think about filling his barn.

“I’d say I’m very proud,” says Gorst, 31. “I wanted to do it on my own. I wanted it to be me. That’s why (I got) the late start, because I wanted to be in control.”
And, impressively, he earned his way to Calgary in smart fashion – after only three years of driving. That said, Gorst did have to overcome skeptics, who, for whatever reason, were doubting him and doubting chuckwagons. But he has no time for negativity.

“There’s always the naysayers,” Gorst says, “but I wouldn’t trade this for anything. It frustrates me when people are down on the sport … (because) that’s the last thing on my mind. I love the sport. I get to call myself a chuckwagon driver. I’m getting paid to be here this week. I’m here to stay, personally.”

Gorst already knows that outriding here is an amazing experience. But it’s not the nightly hot seat that driving is. Taking hold of those reins piles up the pressure – and the potential for glory. “A very different vibe, yeah,” says Gorst. “As a driver, you’re actually the event. As an outrider you’re part of it, but you’re always the side (attraction).

“But as a driver? You’re it. And it’s finally my name up there.” Wisely, though, Gorst shies away from bold predictions. “I’ve watched many rookies come into the Calgary Stampede and they were going to tear it apart and beat everybody,” he says, shaking his head. “I have a full understanding that I’m with the best 35 best wagon drivers there are and I am a rookie. I want to go have fun. I want to be competitive on a nightly basis.”

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west.  The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values.  All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

Texan takes top spot in 14 class Team Cattle Penning Championships

Photo: Calgary Stampede Team Cattle Penning


Shared from Calgary Stampede News

When the prize money at the Calgary Stampede enters record-breaking territory, even riders from Texas will make the trek north, despite having 11 horses in tow.

The journey paid off to the tune of $27,737 for Louie Saggione III of New Boston, Texas. Saggione and his teammates, Erin Hill (Temecula, Calif.) and Gary Naughton (Grand Ridge, Ill.) took top spot in the 14 Class Team Cattle Penning Championships Friday at the Saddledome. A whopping 819 teams entered the event’s four classes, up from 650 in 2016, pushing the overall prize money to $400,032.

“When you put this much money up, you are going to get an exemplary group of competitors,” said Saggione, whose team posted an aggregate time of 132.420 over four runs, with 12 head penned. “We had a little luck and the team worked well together. We stayed calm and did what we needed to.”

Reserve Champions Shaylene Hunter, Carther Rice and Chrissy Santangelo were awarded a cheque for $18,491 for their time of 140.070 with 12 head penned. In Team Cattle Penning, teams have one thin minute to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd of 30 and direct them into a 16-foot-by-24-foot pen at the opposite end of the arena. It’s a fast-paced dance between the riders and their mounts, and the cattle they’re aiming to pen.

Teamwork is paramount, with all three riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen. The four classes in Team Cattle Penning are based on relative skill and experience — in ascending order from 7 Class, to 10 Class, to 14 Class, to the trainers and travelling professionals of the Open Class. This year, teams faced off over three days of qualifying in the Silver Slate Arena in Stavely, Alberta, for the 20 available spots in each class.

Saggione, Hill and Naughton have ridden together for years and the Stampede is the kick off to their competition season. Hill qualified for Sunday’s Class 10 final and then the trio will head to California with those 11 horses Saggione drove up from Texas. (Despite the number of mounts, Hill ended up borrowing horses from other competitors for her rides.) First, though, there will be time for some “adult activities” at local watering holes, Saggione said.

A team from closer to home, meanwhile, took the 7 Class Team Cattle Championships, also held on Friday. Father and daughter Leonard and Danielle Gamache from Quesnel, B.C. earned their championship belt buckles and $32,452 payout for their four rides with teammate Christine Gray of Kamloops, B.C. The trio posted an aggregate time of 141.860 with 12 head penned, nailing consistent runs in the 30- to 40-second zone.

That the trio bested a field of 241 teams in the 7 Class is even more impressive when you learn Danielle is 15 years old. It’s not her first rodeo, so to speak, as she competed at Stampede last year (finishing in eighth spot) and won the Nationals in 2014 riding with her parents.

“I like to be competitive,” she said with a shrug when asked what keeps her engaged in the sport. Her father confirmed it, saying his daughter brings that drive for perfection to all that she does, whether it’s her schooling or rounding up cattle in front of thousands of spectators. Danielle will have a shot at another championship buckle on Sunday, as she also qualified in the 10 Class.

“The family that plays together, that pens together, stays together,” added Leonard, and as his son also competes, it really is a family hobby.

Also in 7 Class, an aggregate time of 161.700 with 12 head penned earned Jim Ward and Ty and Lani Cornelius the title of Reserve Champions and a cheque for $21,635.

For full results, please visit calgarystampede.com

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west.  The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values.  All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.