Doubling Down at Coleman and Camrose

Scott Schiffner's Winning Ride in Round 2 of CFR 2015. Photo by: Mike Copeman

Scott Schiffner’s Winning Ride in Round 2 of CFR 2015.
Photo by: Mike Copeman

 

CAMROSE/COLEMAN, ALTA – If you were going to make a bet this past weekend, it would have been safe to go double or nothing on the two-time Canadian Champion Bull Rider. Thirty-six-year-old Scott Schiffner is showing no signs of slowing down this season after winning the Kananaskis Pro Rodeo with an impressive 90 point ride on Kesler Rodeo’s “Flight Plan”.

The winning ride was actually made on a young bull that was in the re-ride pen, Schiffner says the bull proved to be even better than expected. “Duane said ‘you probably want to get on him Scott, he’s pretty good’,” said Schiffner when making the decision to take his re-ride draw after his first bull of the night stumbled, “He wasn’t pretty good, he was pretty exceptional.”

The Strathmore cowboy also battled it out and split the win at the Camrose Spring Classic with the “Young Gun” Lonnie West who is 16 years Schiffner’s junior. The two tied with a pair of 87.5 point rides, Schiffner’s done on the Outlaw Buckers bull “Brahma Boots Chrome”.

“I was pretty excited to go there because that’s the bull that I turned out in the sixth round last year at CFR, that was the first time in my 15 year history at the CFR that I didn’t get on a bull so it was kind of nice to have him again and know that I could ride him,” said Schiffner.

The Bull Rider has been there, done that, in the Canadian rodeo world and is still proving he has what it takes to be among the top 12 in Canada on a consistent basis, but Schiffner says he’s hoping to enjoy life outside of the bucking pen a little more this rodeo season.

“I want to try to go to a few less rodeos and still make the CFR. I still support Canadian rodeo but I’ve got a lot going on and my girls are getting to the age now where they’re pretty fun and I don’t want to miss out on things that they’re going to do maybe once or twice in their lifetime,” said Schiffner.

Between the two rodeos Schiffner will pocket $3,032.10 unofficially, making him the top bull riding earner of the weekend.

A competitor that was just shy of a double win this weekend was Okotoks Barrel Racer Crystal Christman. The cowgirl placed first at the Kananaskis Pro Rodeo with a speedy time of 12.951 seconds on her horse “Blazin Boy” otherwise known as “Binger”. She was then barely edged out for the lead at Camrose by Canadian Champion Barrel Racer, Deb Guelly.

Christman, who is not currently well known on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association trail, has placed at all three of the first Canadian Professional Rodeos and surpassed her entire life earnings record in just two weekends, but with two kids at home and a busy work schedule, Christman says she’s just out there to have fun.

“I’ll make it to the ones I can get to and try to take it easy on the old boy,” Christman says of the 16-year-old horse she describes as a warrior, “We’re just going to go out and have fun, we’re going to get to where we can go and enjoy the ride.”

Christman was your highest earning barrel racer, and overall rodeo competitor, of the weekend with an unofficial total of $3,833.08 to go on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association season leaderboard. At this rate, a Canadian Finals Rodeo qualification may start to be on her mind and who knows, stranger things have happened to people when they’re having fun.

Whether it’s competing at CPRA rodeos or enjoying life at home, Christman says there are many people to thank for the fun she’s had along the way and wishes to send a special shout out to the Webb and Depaoli families as well as her own family including her two little girls.

Other competitors that collected two paychecks this weekend include: your top Bareback money earner, Caleb Bennett with $1,822.57 in total earnings, Dustin Walker who topped the class in the Steer Wrestling with $3,070.51 between his win at Camrose and third place split in the Kananaskis Country, Team Ropers Braidy Davies and Chase Simpson placed twice this weekend to earn $1,687.76 each, in the Saddle Bronc it was Cole Scott who took home the most cash with a total of $1,988.38, and the top earner in the Tie Down Roping was Cody Brett with $2,282.32 on the board.

Find complete rodeo results at www.rodeocanada.com

Next up on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association schedule is Drayton Valley April 29th to May 1st.

 

Kamloops Cowboy Festival Celebrates 20 Years

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By Guest Blogger, Debbie MacRae

The Kamloops Cowboy Festival held annually in Kamloops, BC, celebrated its 20th anniversary this past March 17-20. The festival stuck to its roots, bringing back many of the same fabulous entertainers who have brought the sparkle to this musical feast and story-telling celebration for two decades. Having attended the 20th anniversary, an overwhelming appreciation of BC’s Cowboy culture emerged from the experience. Here are a few highlights from the 2016 event. We also pay tribute to the minds behind the magic.

2oth Anniversary poster collection.

2oth Anniversary poster collection.

Over a span of twenty years, with organizational ideology which included the likes of Connie and Butch Falk, Linda and Mike Puhallo, Hugh and Billie McLennan, Frank Gleeson and innumerable others, the concept of an enduring festival which would immortalize the cowboy heritage has become an iconic reality.

No festival is complete without the entertainers and competitors – the musicians and artists who showcase their ideas, manifest their lyrics into songs, and accompany their vocals with instrumentation. Without the entertainers and artists, there would be no Art Show or Rising Star Showcase.

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Behind the scenes are the numerous contributions that bring this event to light. There’s the poster and pin design and development: the production of event pins are done by Laurie Artiss out of Vancouver, BC. There’s also the coordination of over 80 volunteers with hundreds of collective hours of service and dedication.

Sassy Six-Gun. An event volunteer.

Sassy Six-Gun Shooter. An event volunteer.

Shuttle drivers such as Sassy Six Gun, who dress the part, provide the service, sacrifice the hours, and ensure a memorable experience for entertainers and attendees. Volunteers like Red Allan, Trade Show Manager and his wife, Helen Allan, volunteer coordinator whose selflessness ensure a seamless experience; pushing carts, arranging the space and making endless phone calls for support.

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Jason Ruscheinsky – Rising Star winner.

The Guitar donated by Lee’s Music epitomizes the junction of western heritage with an illustration of First Nations totem artwork and cowboy persona. The Keeper of the West Award is provided in the form of a Sterling Silver Belt Buckle awarded to the entertainer with the best new song or poem reflecting the Festival’s mandate. The Joe Marten Memorial Award is offered for the Preservation of Cowboy Heritage in BC.

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The Silent Auction 20th Anniversary Guitar.

We recognize contributors to the Silent Auction, which funds are directed to ongoing financing of expenses; and the judges, without whose efforts the competition would not have merit; whose talents and voices echo the experience of their own cowboy contribution.

In the words of entertainer Tim Hus, “Being a judge is easy – until you try it… As an entertainer, people judge you. It’s a paradigm when you become the judge.”

Sound-man

Scott from Lee’s Music is a 31-year-old sound man with a Master’s Degree. Organizer, Kathy McMillan has said “…if it wasn’t for these guys, the festival could not succeed.”

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Then there is the competition. This year the scores were incredibly close – with some judges awarding scores for one artist, and another scoring equal points for a competitor, creating a unique sense of competition and accomplishment.

Cowboy-Church

Cowboy Church.

Pastor Don Maione has been an integral part of the festival as he has so willingly offered his Calvary Church to performers; not only to showcase their talents, but also to share their collective appreciation for the gifts which have been bestowed upon them. Pastor Don approached the festival and said, ‘You have a need, and we have a facility.’

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Trade-showThe cooks, the chefs, the attendants in concessions, the hostesses, and the chef in the breakfast bar – all contribute to make the Kamloops Cowboy Festival a memorable and unique appreciation of cowboy heritage – in a modern day environment. This year there were 48 booths and 4 tables in the trade show, all collectively marketing their innovations, decorations, and presentations. Everyone in attendance captures the Cowboy image in its best light and preserves that light to enhance the awareness of the urbanite; in song, word, color and deed.

“Cowboys are gentlemen,” to echo Leslie Ross. “We need to carry on the message of the Cowboy ways.”

on-stage
Gary Fjellgaard laments, “Whatever happened to my heroes? They don’t make ‘em like they did in ’44. But they were there when I needed them. I wish they’d all come back again, cuz I don’t have no heroes anymore…”

The heroes are the ones behind the scenes, the ones we don’t thank everyday – but we should; the minds behind the magic, like Mark and Kathy McMillan, who work on their ranch from dawn to dusk, and then pick up their pens and their pencils, their guitars and strings, and telephones and work the magic so that we can appreciate and preserve what some of us take for granted; the Cowboy heritage of the last frontier, in beautiful British Columbia.

 

Skijoring the Blues Away

In a Canadian winter, it’s often difficult to break the “winter cycle.” You know, go to work or school, come home, watch TV. It’s often so cold outside that it’s difficult to summon the motivation one needs to get outside and reap some much needed Vitamin D.

That is of course, unless you are a horse person. Horse people must go outside. Even when we really don’t want to…

We often find ourselves engaged in winter activities, even if it only involves the simplest task of feeding horses or doing chores. Oh, there are so many benefits of horse ownership!

And here’s another one for you – Skijoring.

According to Wikipedia, Skijoring is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word “skikjøring” meaning, ski driving.

Here in Canada, Skijoring is a darn good way to spend a snowy day. And, beat the winter blues.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

So how does one simply, skijor?

In my barn, we figured you pretty much… just got outside and did it.

One fine winter day, some neighbours, friends and I decided to find out what it takes. With the Rocky Mountains as our backdrop, a mild winter temperature hovering around -5 degrees C and zero windchill, we met in the middle of a pristine cow pasture (retired for the season). There were no gopher holes to worry about, but there was a fresh layer of powdery snow waiting for our arrival.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

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What does it take to skijor? While we weren’t entirely sure, we knew good-minded horses were the key. Our darling neighbour Caroline, brought out her awesome little gelding named “Webster” and our friend Murray brought two mounts, “Prairie” and “Rocket.” All three were absolute super stars.

Murray and his horse, Rocket. Photo by Jenn Webster.

Murray and his horse, Rocket. Photo by Jenn Webster.

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All three horses had been used extensively for roping and were extremely seasoned mounts. They ran barefoot in the pasture. However, according to some Skijoring associations, many horses wear studded ice shoes.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

 

We were successful in having the horses pull a sled. The kids loved it!

Photo by Jenn Webster.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

 

 

And the burning question I had was – could one snowboard behind a horse?

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I learned that yes. You can! And it’s a good time too, because a board glides along easily behind a loping horse.

Just don’t catch an edge.

Or a frozen cowpie…

Snowboard-WEB

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When the horses really got going, the sled went along at a pretty good clip. This is where the token “cowboy hat” came in handy. It could protect one’s face from the flying snow of the horse’s hooves.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

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Next time we’re gonna try it with a warm bonfire to greet us at the end. And a whole bunch of marshmallows to roast.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

 

What a way to make some Canadian memories!

Born to Buck

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The Calgary Stampede revealed the original artwork for the 2016 Stampede poster (on Oct. 5) at the Central Calgary Public Library. Community members, and Stampede employees and volunteers in cowboy hats, cheered the unveiling of the painting.

The 2016 poster artwork, completed by Calgary artist Michelle Grant, represents six horses that have been bred and raised at the Stampede Ranch. The piece, named Born to Buck highlights the Stampede Ranch’s very own Born to Buck program.

“I wanted to create awareness and conversation around our Born to Buck program,” says Bill Gray, President and chairman of the board of the Calgary Stampede. “To capture the spirit of this incredible Stampede program, we needed a meticulous artist who could create movement and evoke the essence of these equine athletes. I am extremely pleased with the final piece, and I am proud to share it around the world as our iconic Stampede Poster.”

The painting recognizes the Calgary Stampede bucking stock that participates at rodeos all across North America, in addition to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo. The careful attention to detail and acute sense of movement brings the stunning piece of art to life.

“I was thrilled when Bill Gray contacted me to create the artwork for the 2016 Stampede Poster,” says Grant. “My passion is horses and everything they represent. My work is focused on capturing their strength, agility and personality.”

Grant works in acrylics, oils and graphite and brings a sound understanding of design, light, form and anatomy to all her work. She has a unique ability to combine a realist style with impressionist input. Grant has been the recipient of many awards, has worked with the Canadian Mint on numerous gold, silver and circulation coins and has participated in creating the Mural Mosaic for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Each year, since 1912, the Calgary Stampede creates a poster to promote the upcoming year’s Stampede. For many of the early years, the poster was the Stampede’s main form of advertising. In recent years, the poster artwork was auctioned off during Stampede time. The 2016 poster will be the first to be permanently displayed on Stampede Park as part of a new tradition.

During the months leading up to the 2016 Calgary Stampede, the painting will be on display in a number of locations around the city. For more information on where the artwork will be as well as how to apply to host the artwork, please contact Shannon Murray at smurray@calgarystampede.com.

A True Equine Sanctuary

RELEASE BY THE GLOBAL FEDERATION OF ANIMAL SANCTUARIES

PHOTOS BY BEAR VALLEY RESCUE SOCIETY

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Bear Valley Rescue’s oldest horse, Pet, at 39 years, and their youngest, Filly, at three months.

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, is honored to announce the award of Verified status to Bear Valley Rescue of Sundre, Alberta as of September 15, 2015.

Verification means that Bear Valley Rescue meets the criteria of a true equine sanctuary and rescue and is providing humane and responsible care of the animals. To be awarded Verified status, an organization must meet GFAS’s rigorous and peer-reviewed animal care standards that are confirmed by a site visit and they must also adhere to a demanding set of ethical and operational principles.

“GFAS has over 100 certified equine facilities throughout the United States. The addition of Bear Valley Rescue is extraordinary, as they are our first Canadian equine group that has achieved Verification,” states Kellie Heckman, GFAS Executive Director.

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One of Bear Valley’s volunteers with Beth, who was rescued last year. At the time of rescue, Beth had a fractured pelvis, and her face was deformed from a halter left on as she grew.

“Bear Valley Rescue provides an essential resource for hundreds of animals in need in the Canadian province of Alberta. There is no other registered charitable animal welfare or rescue group in this geographic area that assists as many horses and farmed animals, regardless of the individual animal’s current health, age or circumstances,” explained Daryl Tropea, GFAS Senior Deputy Director.

“Since 2003, Bear Valley Rescue has found new homes for over 600 horses and provides lifetime sanctuary for those animals difficult to place. The leadership and volunteers of this organization work closely with a number of provincial and private organizations to ensure as many animals in need as possible, have the opportunity for rehabilitation and re-homing.”

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Part of one of the herds of Bear Valley’s rescued horses.

“We are honored to be included in the GFAS family, and we will strive to meet and exceed the GFAS standards every day,” said Kathy Bartley, President of Bear Valley Rescue. “Our goal has always been to do the best that is possible for the animals, and being verified by GFAS helps us to ensure we are doing just that.”

The GFAS Equine Accreditation Program is made possible by a generous grant from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®.

For more information on Bear Valley Rescue, visit www.bearvalleyab.org or call 403-637-2708.

Stock Dog Showcase

STORY BY JOCELYN DYE

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Nigel Watkins, U.K., and Drift in the shedding circle. Photo by Kristi Oikawa

The 2015 Canadian Border Collie Association Championships were held at the Bar U Ranch, just south of Longview, Alberta, on Aug. 27-30. This events hosts the top Canadian registered dogs and their handlers. This year’s just was Serge Van Der Zweep of the Netherlands. It was a large and tough field of competition with 21 Nursery dogs and 62 Open. This event rotates from east to west each year. The 2016 Championships will be held in Ontario.

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Ross, owned by Randy Dye, Alberta. Photo by Kristi Oikawa.

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Gord Lazzarotto, B.C., and Drift circle the post. Photo by Kristi Oikawa

The 2015 CBCA Nursery Champion was Scott Glen of Alberta and Dave. The Reserve Champion in this division was Bev Lambert of Ontario and River. The 2015 CBCA Open Champion was Nigel Watkins of the U.K. and Drift, while Reserve Champion went to Scott Glen with Alice.

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Scott Glen, AB, and Alice circle the post. Photo by Kristi Oikawa

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Amanda Milliken, ON, and Dorey work on penning. Photo by Kristi Oikawa

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Double Lift Finalists- back row, L-R: Chris Scmaltz, set out. Serge Van Der Zweep, judge and wife Ellen, Naomi Shields, set out. Front row, L-R: Scott Glen, AB; Bev Lambert, ON; Amanda Milliken, ON; Chris Jobe, AB; Nigel Watkins, U.K.; Norm Sommers, SK; Randy Dye, AB. Photo by Val Dye.

Correction: An earlier version of this story had Scott Glen incorrectly listed as the CBCA Nursery Reserve Champion, and Bev Lambert as Champion. We apologize for this error.

Horse Property: Equine Components

STORY BY PIPER WHELAN

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The search for the right horse property leans heavily on the equine components involved. When meeting with a real estate professional, arrive with a carefully thought-out list of your needs and wants. This will depend on how many horses you have, what type of riding you plan to do at this property and whether or not you plan on running a business component. You need to consider your requirements in the barn, stalls, arena, paddocks and any other structures. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What facilities will you require for your horses and your purpose in a horse property? Are you willing to renovate, or do you have the capital to build from the ground up?
  • What type of barn do you need, and how large should it be? Does it need to be heated? How many box stalls will you need? What do you need in a tack room and feed room? Do you want a wash rack inside the barn?
  • Will you need an indoor arena, and how large will it have to be? Does it need to be heated? Do you need an office in the arena or barn?
  • How many paddocks and shelters do you need? Do they currently have electric waterers, or will you have to install them yourself? Do you need a round pen for training, and is there level land for that?

Begin with a visit to your county office to learn about land use bylaws for rural properties. If you are building new structures, be aware of setbacks, the minimum distances you can build facilities from a particular landmark, like roads and utility access easements, wells, bodies of water, septic systems and parcel boundaries. Check with a county planner to ensure existing buildings are in line with the local setback rules.

It’s imperative to get an inspection done on each building to ensure they’re up to code. Often, this is a way to determine whether your money is better spent renovating or building something new entirely, or passing over the property if the cost of getting it up to code would be higher or more troublesome than you’re willing to deal with.

If you want to keep the existing facilities on the property, think about what you may want to add in the future based on changing wants and needs. Will you have the space to make any changes to your horse facilities should you decide to do so in the future? The space to do so is important to consider, even if you are satisfied with what you have at the time of purchase.

Think about the upkeep that will be involved with this property. The larger the property, the more upkeep it will require. Be sure to inspect everything — fences, buildings, roofs, floors, electrical, plumbing and foundations — to see how much needs to be repaired or replaced, and consider the time and cost involved. The worse conditions they are in, the more time-consuming and costly the renovation will be. By carefully examining these features, you will be better informed when deciding if these are issues are fixable or if your time and money are better spent elsewhere.

Other considerations can include where you will store equipment and feed, where to dispose of manure and what kind of fencing is best for your property and your horses. If the property has access to an irrigation canal, think about whether or not you’ll need an irrigation system to produce enough hay for your horses and where it would be most beneficial on the land. Be sure to find out where the electrical and plumbing features are in the barn, and check to see if they’re easy to access in case of an emergency.

Visit our Real Estate webpage to check out current horse property listings.

Horse Property: Land Considerations

BY PIPER WHELAN

Quality pasture, adequate space per horse and access to water are all factors to consider when viewing  a horse property.

Quality pasture, enough acreage for the number of horses and access to water are all factors to consider when viewing a horse property.

Whether you’re buying your first horse property, changing your focus or looking for your dream ranch, there are many elements to consider in your search for the perfect property. In this article, we list some of the most important geographical factors to think about when identifying your needs, and what to look for when viewing properties.

Work with a real estate professional specializing in rural properties who also knows the area well. Not only will they know what to look for and be familiar with the area’s land use bylaws, they can better meet your needs by understanding the lifestyle you want.

Start your search with a trip to your county office to learn about the land use bylaws for rural properties. The regulations on property use, environmental considerations and how many animals are allowed per acre vary by each county or municipal district.

The purpose of your horse property will determine a number of factors, including size, best possible layout, necessary facilities and land use regulations on agricultural businesses and livestock units per property. It’s also important to think about what you may want to do with your property in the future, and factor in the extra acreage that may be needed for any expansion.

Think about how much land on the property is actually usable. A larger property covered in trees and water may have less usable space than a smaller property without those features. Depending on your needs in a horse property, you want to ensure the property meets those needs. Are you looking for trails for riding? A large, flat space for an arena or barn?

Land with good drainage is particularly important for grazing livestock. Pastures need dry footing, and creating well-drained areas can be expensive. Land with a slight slope, around a 2-5 percent grade, is considered ideal for pasture because it drains well and is less likely to lead to major erosion. Look for the high spots on the property, and ideally you will find wide, narrow drainage paths for slow-moving water. You want to avoid flood plains, as well as low-lying areas where rain tends to pool.

Sufficient water access is a necessity. The generally-accepted standard for abundant well water supply is no less than 10 gallons per minute. Regulations depend upon the county and the number of animals per acreage. Will you need to dig a well or dugout to have enough water for your horses? Be sure to examine all the water access points, and know that the further you have to haul water to your livestock, the greater the time commitment.

When examining pasture quality, check for the growth of good forage. Land with substantial weed growth and marsh vegetation are less suitable for grazing, and be sure to check for plants that are toxic to horses. Reseeding a pasture takes time and money, but is generally a good investment. Check the soil quality — clay-based and rockier soils are less productive. There are many good grazing resources, such as the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, to give you an idea of proper pasture management and rotation based on acreage and number of animals. Also consider whether or not you will have to produce hay. How much hay land will you need? Will you have to purchase additional hay?

Next week, we will discuss infrastructure considerations when viewing a horse property, such as renovations, building from the ground up and fencing.

Visit our Real Estate webpage to check out current horse property listings.

 

Western Wedding – Beautiful B.C.

Date: July 13, 2013

Photographer: Sharon Fibelkorn

Ceremony Location: The home of Mike and Carol Roberts Ojai, Califonia

Reception Location: Abbotsford, British Columbia

The Horses: “I had a surprise entrance planned for myself and Ryley Ray (Cayley’s daughter) that only my parents and my bridesmaids (and just a few others) knew about. We were delivered in a horse drawn carriage from a nearby horse. I will never forget the look on Cayley’s face when we came up the driveway, I could see tears that were streaming down his face. I wanted to include Ryley Ray in as much as possible, and this entrance made her feel so special!”Wilson---horses

The Rings: Katie’s ring was a surprise that Cayley had chosen himself. It features a perfectly round, brilliant Certified Canadian Eskimo diamond. Cayley’s ring was chosen by Katie in California; a smooth platinum band with a beveled edge for comfort when he’s riding.

 

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Their Story: Katie Montague is a successful Realtor from Ojai, Califonia who never imagined she would end up married to a Canadian working cow horse trainer, but fate had its own way of making other plans.

The horse industry is a small on,e and the working ow horse industry is smaller yet. So when a mutual friend had ideas of setting up Montague and British Columbia trainer, Cayley Wilson, Montague had her mind already made up. However, after a chance meeting in the fall of 2011 and a phone call shortly after, she realized maybe Wilson was a person she had more in common with than she knew.

“What I came to find out was that we were both traveling down similar paths, one that we could share our experiences with and perhaps help each other out in others. We decided to be friends with no expectations. During the four months we talked on the phone, I began to see some amazing traits in this man that I would not have guessed. He was a sincere, honest, integral man and I began to admire him greatly for those attributes. He was passionate about his little girl Ryley Ray, and I loved that too.”

The long distance friendship soon turned into something more when Montague visited Wilson at an Arizona horse show.

“We hit it off well and Cayley drove me back to California on his way home to Canada. An hour later, I got a phone call from him saying that he really didn’t think we could make it work with the distance, and he needed to be close to his daughter . . . I think I fell in love with him a little bit right then and there.”

One year later, they were engaged, and six months following was the small, intimate wedding that they both wanted.

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Dress: Katie was stunning in a simple lace gown with material that runched across and tied in at the hip with a lace flower. It had a slit at the hip that allowed some flowered tulle to spill out. The train was minimal, in keeping with Katie’s theme of beautiful simplicity.

Bridesmaids: Dressed in Katie’s colours of coral and turquoise, the bridal party consisted of four ladies. Her maids of honour were her sister and best friend, then her step-sister and sister-to-be rounded out the girls’ side of the party. They wore simple sundresses Katie found at Old Navy with the intent of dressing them in something they could wear again. The flower girl was none other than Cayley’s little girl, Ryley Ray. She was dressed similar to the bride in a darling off-white dress.

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Men’s Attire: Cayley’s best man was his brother, with three friends making up his groomsmen. They were dressed in starched jeans, Cinch shirts and their own boots and hats. Cayley was set apart with a classy black jacket.

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Cake: Katie went with a 3-tiered stacked carrot and lemon cake and found a cute cowboy and cowgirl topper. She topped off the cute western design by asking the caterer to decorate the rest with a horseshoe design.

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Flowers: In a unique twist, Katie chose all silk flowers for the wedding. “The wedding was July 13 in Southern California, so we had to be prepared for the heat. I didn’t want to have to worry about wilting flowers and silks made it so much easier. No one would have known had I not told them!”Wilson---wedding-party

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