Smokin’ Q

 

BY ESTEBAN ADROGUE

For many, Sunday morning came around smelling of fried eggs and homemade pancakes, with a fresh glass of squeezed orange juice. Tip-toeing all the way to Mom’s room…  For others, Sunday morning had a completely different meaning.

 

The sound of wood burning away in the BBQ’s, heating up the air, spreading that familiar smell, that aroma that takes us back to our childhood… It can only mean one thing: The Smokin Q BBQ Pitmasters Competition was finally here!

 

Lynnwood Ranch (Okotoks, AB) once again played host to the 3rd annual KCBS sanctioned BBQ Competition and BBQ Feast. The Smokin Q gathered 35 of the best Pitmasters and their crews from all around Alberta, in a sizzling battle against the toughest judges to become this year’s Pitmaster Champion.

The competition consisted of four different entries: first entry was BBQ chicken, a classic! Half hour later, competitors presented the judges with their best smoked ribs. Third entry consisted of delicious tender pulled-pork. And last, but definitely not least, judges were delighted with a low and slow roasted brisket. Makes you want to become a judge, doesn’t it?!

 

But before Sunday’s competition all participants had a chance to put their skills to the test.

Saturday night hosted the BBQ Bash Feast and Frolic. This year’s event consisted of competitors displaying a little preview of their abilities, not only to the judges, but to almost 300 guests as well. Everyone was eager to taste the pitmasters’ wonderful creations, which included everything from chorizo tacos with coleslaw, to a delicious fig and shrimp canapés

After sampling magnificent delights, guests were treated to a delicious brisket and salmon dinner, with a side of locally grown steamed veggies, salads and corn on the cob; followed by a dessert course of seasonal fruit trays and sweet delicatessens.

Once dinner was over, it was time to get up from those seats and shake that body to the rhythm of live jazz-fusion music. People came together to share a great time, laughed, had a few drinks and danced the night away as this year’s BBQ Bash came to an end.

To fully appreciate and understand the hard work behind such a fantastic culinary experience, we must venture back to Saturday morning; 10:00 am brought with it the first few trailers loaded with BBQ equipment, food, and competitors ready and full of ambition to demonstrate what they are capable of.

While pitmasters got their fires going, Western Horse Review went around interviewing different cooks and their crews, and talked about which elements a BBQ team should include to be the best.

 

They each described a “perfect BBQ” as having two crucial factors: food and atmosphere.

 

“It has to be the perfect balance among smoke, spices and meat. Not overpowering any single one of them.” – shared pitmaster Chris, head of Rocky Mountain Smokers.

 

All competitors also shared one unanimous tip: low and slow.

 

“…the best? Low and slow! It is a long and slow process, 250 degrees fahrenheit for about 8 to 12 hours” – said pitmaster Danny Cooper, from Fahrenheit 250 BBQ.

 

Sydney from Bordertown Bar-B-Que commented – “It’s all about friends coming together to have fun, a good time. You want to create a ‘party’ rather than a competitive atmosphere.”

 

Not only did they talk about friendship between their crew, but amongst their other rivals too. “We are all (competitors) a big family. If we don’t win, we are thrilled they (rivals) did! Barbecue it’s like golf; it’s not you against the competitors, it is us against those judges.” – Logan, part of the crew of Rocky Mountain Smokers.

 

As a very thankful attendee, I must admit with every bite of the tender brisket I took, I tasted that camaraderie, I felt that love, effort and passion pitmasters put in every single BBQ they cook.

 

Western Horse Review can’t wait to see y’all there again next year!

 

For more information, visit the Lynnwood Ranch website.

 

DOC WEST: Property Theft Protection

ILLUSTRATION BY Dave Elston

In all the years I’ve been living out West, I’ve never encountered or heard about property theft as much as in recent times. More than several of my country neighbours have experienced thefts of varying degrees – from fuel to equipment, some have even lost their prized horses. Audacious thieves are committing their crimes in the middle of the night, while country-folk sleep soundly in their beds, and not much seems to get done about it. Maybe there’s something to be said about the Old West and it’s way of dealing with thievery. Are our current property theft laws substandard? What’s a rural property owner to do? 

The Old West had its own unique brand of justice cooked up just right for the frontier. Back in those days the law didn’t require a cowpoke riding solo on the high plains to holler for help before drawing down with his Colt on midnight rustlers fixing for his best horse. The lonely pioneer widow could still swing a double-barrel Coach gun from the veranda with authority on a peeping scoundrel and wouldn’t be charged with careless use of a firearm. However, those days are long gone and today we live in a more civilized and gentile age where it seems you must treat robbers, murderers, bandits, and thieves with courtesy and serve them tea as they load up your wares and ride off into the sunset. So what can you do and what can’t you do? As a starting point, know that legalese is not ole’ Doc’s forte – so don’t go quoting me to the judge if you accidentally get a bit twitchy and start blasting away at some wayward visitors.

First off, Doc is a firm believer in the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Thieves always look for the easiest target, and will often “case” properties for a good haul and a quick easy getaway. You don’t need rows of razor wire or a moat to make your property an uninviting target, but there are preventative measures you can take. Thieves don’t want to be seen, they work most comfortably under the cover of darkness and anonymity. A bright, well-lit farmyard or acreage might just be the only thing he needs to see to move on to another target. Security cameras and alarms also enhance the deterrence effect – so long as the culprit knows that they are there – so if you have them, make sure they are visible and the intruder is alerted as to their existence. Gates are a terrific source of deterrence, crime statistics will attest that gated residences have significantly lower incidents of break-ins than ungated properties. A grumbly old yard hound will make a racket and if he’s mean enough might take a chunk or two out of a bandit’s backside. Remember that your acreage doesn’t have to be Fort Knox, it just needs to appear to be more impenetrable than your neighbours’.

However, I know as a wannabe John Wayne you’re really not interested in all the panzy stuff that the police tell you to do, and hell, you’ve not moved way out to scenic acres just to hide in your closet and dial 911. You want to know (not withstanding all reasonable precautions of course), if a determined rustler breaches the sanctity of your property and is in the process of loading up your best roping horse, can you draw down? Well, the answer is, it depends.

In 2012, the Conservative government passed Bill c-26 (also known as the Lucky Moose Bill after Chinatown store owner David Chen – who was charged with assault after he chased down, tied up and detained a shoplifter at the Lucky Moose Food Mart), which streamlined Canada’s antiquated and convoluted “defence of property” provisions. Overall, a successful claim of defence of property in the law requires three things:

  • A reasonable perception of a specified type of threat to property in one’s “peaceable possession”;
  • A defensive purpose associated with the accused’s actions; and,
  • The accused’s actions must be reasonable in the circumstances.

In acreage cowpuncher terms, that translates to:

  • That ropin’ horse you believe is belongn’ to you needs to be legally belongn’ to you;
  • What you do must be for the purpose of saving your roping horse from theft; and,
  • The force you use to save your roping horse from theft must be reasonable in the circumstances.

Each case will turn on its individual facts. For example, farmer Brian Knight of Lacombe, pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing bodily harm after giving chase to, running down and shooting ATV thief Harold Groening in the hiney with a shotgun. Whereas Saskatoonian Hugh Lindholm was never charged at all for firing two warning shots with his hunting rifle at a stranger who had hurled a brick through his front window, and was standing on his deck demanding his car keys.

The rule of thumb is there is no rule of thumb. Each situation is different and so is each prosecutor and each judge. There are no hard and fast rules, but a good dose of common sense will tell you what force is reasonable and legal, and what force is going to land you a free stay at the crowbar hotel.

Doc West is grateful for the consultation provided by Dunn and Associates for the legal clarification offered in this article. 

Summer of Thunder

By Piper Whelan

Medicine Hat’s Terri Clark has produced myriad hits over her two decades in Nashville, and she’ll return to the prairies this summer for two noteworthy country music festivals. In July, fans can enjoy Clark’s upbeat set at Country Thunder Saskatchewan in Craven (July 13-16). She performs on Sunday, July 16, and is looking forward to going on before fellow country star Keith Urban. “He’s, to me, just the most legitimate talent we have in our format,” she says a day after a show at the Grand Ole Opry where both she and Urban performed. “We haven’t worked together on the stage in a long, long time, so it’s going to be fun.”

In August, Clark will be back in her home province for Country Thunder Alberta in Calgary (August 18-20). After the success of last year’s inaugural Country Thunder Alberta, Clark is excited to play to an audience in the province she grew up in, and fans can look forward to an energetic show when Clark hits the stage on Saturday, August 19.

These are just two of Clark’s tour stops in a jam-packed summer that will take her from Tacoma, Washington to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. In addition to a busy tour schedule, she has many projects on the go, including collaborations with some friends in the industry. “I just want to start doing some things that are a bit different, and keep things fresh for me, too, as an artist, as well as the audience,” she says. You can also hear Clark interview country artists on her weekly radio show Country Gold, which now airs on 120 stations. As well, she has plans for new music in the works. “I’m doing a bunch of work this summer on the road, and I’m writing songs and I’m going to start recording new music this summer … so I’m going to be busy for a while,” she laughs. “No slowing down.”

 

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

Oldstoberfest Returns for Second Round

 

Oldstoberfest returns for a second round of rodeo, beer and lederhosen.

The unique event that combines rodeo with an Ocktoberfest swing to it is returning to Alberta this September 15-16 at the Olds Regional Exhibition grounds.

In 2015, the event brought over 8,000 visitors into the town with a professional rodeo, an authentic Biergarten and world class concerts. Under new ownership of C5 Rodeo Company, Oldstoberfest will now return as an annual event once again.

“We are so excited to bring this event back to Olds and continue a tradition that brought many together in such a fun, unique celebration.” said Gillian Grant, C5 Rodeo Coordinator. “Our goal is for Oldstoberfest to be the premier fall community event in the town of Olds for years to come!”

Oldstoberfest will continue the tradition of combining the World’s First Bavarian Rodeo and Cow Palace Biergarten, with exceptional outdoor concert entertainment. A volunteer meeting will be held at the Olds Cow Palace on April 13th, 2017 at 6:00 pm and is open to anyone who would like to be involved.

Canvas Auction Numbers Up

In a show of strong community support for the sport of chuckwagon racing, the total auction proceeds this evening are $2,420,500 up $123,000 from 2016. Kelly Sutherland takes home the top bid of the night, $110,000, courtesy of Friends of the King.

“This sport has deep roots in our city and in our country, and tonight’s bidding makes that very clear,” said Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon committee chair Mike Piper, following the auction. “The support pledged to these drivers helps to ensure we will continue to enjoy chuckwagon racing for years to come.”

In total, more than 175 groups and companies registered for the opportunity to advertise with the 36 men who will be competing in the 2017 GMC Rangeland Derby during the Calgary Stampede, July 7-16. The proceeds of tonight’s auction will help those drivers cover the expense of caring for and travelling with their horses, not just during the Calgary Stampede, but throughout the racing season.

In addition to gaining valuable exposure for their brand, successful bidders now have the opportunity to offer clients, employees, friends and family a one-of-a-kind experience in the chuckwagon barn area during the 2017 Calgary Stampede.  For interested parties, a select few of those opportunities may still be possible post-auction by teaming up with successful bidders. More information is available at calgarystampede.com.

 20172016
Total Auction Proceeds $2,420,500$2,297,500
Average Bid$67,236$63,819
Top bid driverKelly SutherlandKurt Bensmiller
Top bid$110,000$120,000

BAR T5 Agra Services Inc. – More Than Trailers

Approximately 35 years ago, Greg Thomson and his family moved to the beautiful foothills of Alberta. After leaving a career in petroleum marketing and an enjoyable six year sojourn as a Councillor for the M.D. of Foothills, Greg decided to pursue his entrepreneurial instincts. A love of rural life, animals and business resulted in the formation of Bar T5 Agra Services Inc. A company focused on rural lifestyle and fulfilling the needs of the growing population of like-minded families pursuing their rural lifestyle dreams.

Fast forward 25 years and you have a unique business anchored by a feed, tack and most things rural store, plus a full service repair shop and large trailer dealership. The home location (situated north of Millarville, AB, and southwest of Calgary, AB,) is based on 10 expansive acres and a 6,500 square foot building. As well, Bar T5 has three strategically-located trailer dealerships throughout western Canada to ensure their top of the line products and services can be offered to a broad base of consumers.

The trailer dealership carries horse trailers, livestock trailers, cargo, flatdeck and dump trailers. Plus, the living quarter trailer selection in stock is second to none as well! At any one point in time, Bar T5 Trailers has in excess of 500 trailers to choose from.

From the very beginning, the Bar T5 Agra Services Inc. focus has been simple – source and form long-term relationships with highly reputable and innovative suppliers. From a trailer perspective, the company serves and markets the products of eight trailer manufacturers – each one complimenting the other, to ensure the trailer needs of all customers can be met. Additionally, their highly qualified and trained staff take pride in ensuring their customers needs relating to trailer repairs, service and warranty are met and exceeded. Whether you are looking for a knowledgeable trailer service representative or your needs have changed regarding the trailer you currently have, you can rely on Bar T5 Trailers to get you on the road and keep you there!

Their staff, comprised of the friendly faces you’ll find in the store, service department, and sales and admin offices all live the rural and equine-lifestyle. As such, the authenticity of their experience solidifies the knowledge that comes only from being immersed in the rural and equestrian way of life. Bar T5 Agra Services staff are experts in everything from animal nutrition, to fencing, to trailer safety. And their success is the product of building life-long relationships with their customers.

Life is great in the Foothills. After all this time, Greg Thomson and the Bar T5 Agra Services team continue to see the beauty of the area and recognize the vast importance of preserving the agricultural way of life. Bar T5 believes in building its community with support of numerous local events in reined cow horse, team roping, barrel racing and rodeo. Their sponsorship support has also extended to the Chinook Team Penning Association, 4-H groups and the Calgary Stampede.


Bar T5 Agra Services looks forward to sharing their knowledge and experience with customers as they interact with Bar T5 today, and for many years to come!

Stay tuned for Bar T5 Agra Services BIG EVENT announcement next week, but save the date now! March 10-12, 2017!

Contact Bar T5 today! Toll-Free: (800) 331-6977 – Local: (403) 931-2212.

www.bart5trailers.com
Or stop by for yourself! Bar T5 Trailers located at: Hwy 22 South at 274th Avenue, North of Millarville, AB, Southwest of Calgary, AB.

Skijordue

 

STORY & PHOTOS BY JENN WEBSTER

It’s official. Canadians might have a slight obsession with Skijoring. Because if Skijordue held on February 11, 2017 at the Calgary Polo Club was any indication, the concept just grew in popularity with hundreds of stoked fans in the country. Which later translated to thousands of photos, videos and all kinds of media coverage going viral across the globe.

By all accounts, Skijordue 2017, brought to us by the Alberta Skijor Socierty (check out the hashtag, #ASS) was an epic cocktail of speed, snow and horsepower. More than 600 people showed up to witness three events run over the course of the day; circuit, long jump and sprint.

Inside the polo cantina, a culinary delight of cheese fondue and adult bevvies were on hand, plus the grilling of more 300 Spolumbos Sausages wrapped in fresh baked Continental Rolls were available on the outside grills. Western Horse Review was proud to sponsor the day and as we predicted, Skijordue 2017 was the not-be-missed extreme sporting event of the year!

Congratulations to Sam and Graham Mitchell of Millarville, AB, and all the people behind the scenes who came together to put on such a fantastical day.

Make no mistake, this was a badass affair – with a hearty-serving of mind-boggling equine athleticism and skier mayhem at every glance.

There were also several moments of elation and pure greatness.

And if that weren’t enough, Skijordue might become the social and fashion event of the year too. Everything from the spandex and neon styles wonderfully anachronistic of the 80s, to fur and fringe of the modern West, were on display.

 

But one of our distinctly favorite parts of the event was the fact that people of all equestrian disciplines were brought together at Skijordue. Jumpers, team penners, polo players, ropers, trail riders, reiners, etc. alike, came to try out something new and as a result, benefited the Prairie Sky Equine Assisted Therapy Association.

It was a perfect day.

Stay tuned to the March/April issue of Western Horse Review for full coverage of the day!

Skijordue 2017

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

There is an event happening in southern Alberta this February 11, that is more anticipated than the current blast of snow we’re receiving. With fast ponies, plus skiers or snowboarders looking for their next thrill, Skijordue 2017 promises to be the not-be-missed extreme sporting event of the year!

Held at the Calgary Polo Club and in support of the Prairie Sky Equine Assisted Therapy Association, Skijordue will feature sprint and circuit races, plus a long jump. Oh and there will be jaw-dropping trick riding stunts performed by Alanna Nolan and Western Horse Review’s own Sally Bishop!

There will also be Yodelling & Alphorn performance from members of the astonishing Yodel Club Heimattreu – Jodlerklub Heimattreu, Calgary Canada

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Gates open at 10:30am. Races start at 11:00am sharp.

Flaunt your fanciest furs & glammest glasses to win the most Stylish Spectator prize package from uber-chic modern western boutique Cody & Sioux!

Inside the Calgary Polo Club Cantina there will be a patio and heaters, bonfires, a Race Commentator, DJ and Cheese Fondue, Bratwurst & Beverage concession (*cash only*). PLUS! Freestyle ski/board exhibitions.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Your $5, (cash only please), grants you entry plus a bunch of door prize draws throughout the day, so keep your ticket close & your ears open!  DJ G will be spinning mad techno yodelling mixes to get the patio dance floor bumpin’. This is set to be the most exciting snow-equine-fromage event of the season!

IT’S SNOWING, SO COME CHECK IT OUT!

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

So much awesomeness coming together, here’s some of what the Alberta Skijoring Society #ASS has got lined up for you:

*FAAAAST horses & ninja skiers from far & wide.
*Groovy tunes & goofy door prize draws from DJ Graham Mitchell
*Entertaining erudite race commentary from the incomparable Alan Leys
*Jaw dropping trick riding from stunners Alanna Nolan & Sally Bishop
*Yodelling & Alphorn performance from members of the astonishing Yodel Club Heimattreu – Jodlerklub Heimattreu, Calgary Canada
*Epic images from Chad Rowbotham Photography
*Rad video coverage from Atomic10 Inc.
*Proficient paramedics Courtney Isbister & Radar Goddard
*Handsome handy marshalling by Dace Cochlan & Dave Callaway
*Judicious judging by Tracy Thorbjornsen & Anne Thompson

*Venue vistas with SNOW from Gordon Ross Remax

*Truck-Truck viewing experience extravaganza with uber host JR Cox of The Shooting Edge Inc & William Evans Canada

*Prizes prizes PRIZES!!! From: Little Monkey Metal Works, Smithbilt Hats Inc., SS Chaps, Bar T5 Agra Services, Country Living and Garden Centre, Monod Sports, LTD, Sporting Life, Cody & Sioux, Western Specialties, Cam Clark Ford, Water’s Edge Pub, Jane’s, Coffee shop, delicous food and fine art, Sweetgrass Deli & Eatery, Wild Rose Brewery, Knaughty Nets & Pets, Chuckwagon Cafe

Doc West: Western Feedlot Closure

Illustration by Dave Elston

Doc, I’m a city girl who owns horses. With the intention of understanding, I have to ask about the recent Western Feedlot closure, given the waves of discontent it stirred up amongst my country friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely naïve, since I’ve taken up a western performance horse sport, I’ve come to understand just how entwined the cattle industry is with the horse world. Alberta raises more cattle than any other province, so what I don’t understand about the closing down of Western Feedlot is why the owners pointed their fingers at Bill 6 and the incoming carbon tax – at least that’s what many read into the cryptic “poor political and economic conditions” they cited as the reason for the shut-down. Doesn’t nearly every other province in Canada already have a Farm Safety Act? Why can’t Alberta, the province of prosperity, handle one? Additionally, what’s the beef with the incoming carbon tax?

Poor political and economic conditions. Cryptic indeed. What were the proprietors of one of Canada’s largest feedlot, in business since 1958, thinking when they decided to simply lock their doors, board their windows and ride off into the sunset leaving us only a dour note of derision? Agriculture Minister, Oneil Carlier washed away any responsibility from Alberta’s new “Orange Overlords” (no, not Donald Trump), citing “a significant decrease in the price of cattle.” Without a doubt a one-year drop of approximately 30% in Alberta-fed cattle prices left all beef producers in a tough spot. However, not everyone picked up their ball and went home. So what gives?

Let’s begin with the first part of the equation – economic conditions. You mention a few things, the carbon tax for one – aka, the sacred cow of the NDP plan to pacify environmental zealotry and acquire a “social license” for pipeline construction and long term provincial prosperity. The plan was after all, well researched, well coordinated and supported by all the relevant economists and policy wogs. The provincial  government would tax Albertans for carbon and the rest of the nation would nod in admiration and as a reward for our environmental stewardship we would be “allowed” to build pipelines. Even the oil bigwigs bought in, with billionaire oil tycoon and Calgary Flames owner Murray Edwards standing shoulder to shoulder with Premier Rachel Notley – portraying an image of big government and big business paving the way for pipelines to pump Alberta crude west to China, Alberta transfer payments east to Quebec, and profits due north – right into Mr. Edward’s pockets.

What wasn’t calculated in the grand scheme was the effect a carbon tax was going to have on less lucrative sectors of Alberta’s economy, those that traded beef, not bitumen, and calculated profits with a HD pencil, not a hard drive. Agriculture in particular was never consulted on the effect of a carbon tax on already razor thin margins. Paying “just a little bit more” on gasoline for the truck, or diesel for the tractor, or natural gas for the house, or shop, or barn, may not mean much to Suncor but it means a great deal to a small family farms that exists in perpetuity, teetering on the cusp of red ink. Tack on a legislated increase in minimum wages and mandatory new worker compensation remittances as the “orange brigade” fired volley after volley into the economic heart of rural Alberta.

To the second part of your question, why can’t Alberta handle a Farm Safety Act (otherwise known as the Act to Regulate your Family Farm like a Winnipeg Textile Factory)? If your reference to “can’t handle” is whipping up the country folk into a berserk-like rage to the point of armed resistance, well, yes there is a reason. Bill 6 named the Farm Safety Act purports to protect farm workers, but the name belies the totality of its effect on the rural culture, which is to allow government to monitor and regulate your business. There is nothing more pestilent-smacking to an Albertan farmer or rancher than the word regulation, ranking right up there with drought, internal parasites, mad cow disease and hemorrhoids.

You see the West, and in particular Alberta, once represented an idea – that you could make a life without selling your life to make it. It wasn’t important what you did, but it was important how you did it. Opportunity was riding in a saddle, rather than stitching one in a factory somewhere. Whether you were a spoiled city kid from North York, or an iron-willed freed slave from the Carolinas, or fragile Englishmen whose sense of self overreached reality, you came West because it meant opportunity, but more importantly it meant freedom and opportunity. Your identity became tied to it – and eventually defined by it. To the western farmer or rancher, Bill 6 didn’t mean farm safety, it meant bookish millennials in shiny George Stroumboulopoulos suits toting satchels stuffed with ipads and dried kale snacks arriving uninvited to pronounce an older squeeze needs replacement, or issue a citation because a hayshed doesn’t meet code.

Your summation is correct, rural Alberta couldn’t handle that.

“Poor political and economic conditions,” was not a grievance about the calculation of profit – it was instead a signal, a beacon if you will, flashed painfully and brightly for those that could see it – the West is under siege. The place we had come to, that everyone who came here had come to, had changed. The way we used to do business in particular had changed – the Alberta advantage, the free-wheeling, gun-slinging enterprise that built the greatest province in the Dominion now mired in taxes and regulation and inspectors. Just like everywhere else. The note the proprietors at Western Feedlot left was not so much a parting shot to the current ruling elites, it was simply a statement of reality – that we are no longer home and we are moving on. For those of us to have lived here long enough to understand, it wasn’t cryptic at all.