April Issue Survey

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We would love to get your feedback on our April issue. To thank you for your time spent doing the survey, we are giving away a pair of Professionals Choice splint boots as a prize – we will randomly draw one winner from all of the responses received.

The survey closes after a definitive number of responses so don’t delay.

The survey only takes five minutes to complete, and we truly do appreciate your feedback!

Click here to take the survey 

(Readers and subscribers to the print or digital magazine only, please)

Granola Bar Pie

The ultimate pie in a pinch interpretation.

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Photo by Krista Kay Photography

Admittedly, there may be those high couture ranch chefs who will turn their noses at the thought of crushing up a package of granola bars, tossing the contents in with a fine selection of other pantry and fridge staples, scraping it all into a store-bought frozen pie crust and turning it out as if it were the latest Julia Child creation. Then again, those women aren’t likely driven to ride one, or any number of horses in a day, muck stalls, have little ones tripping around their legs, hold down a full time job, manage the place, or even – all of the above. Not to mention, live 40 minutes from the nearest grocery store. Or, have spouses who think nothing of inviting the half dozen arena hangers-on in for an impromptu dinner. For those of us who find ourselves in these scenarios on a regular basis, last minute inceptions we can whip up from a half-laden pantry are life-savers. This simple pie handily accomplishes just that, while giving a grand nod to the resourcefulness of our great-grandmothers who produced similar delicious creations with nothing more than a bit of flour, lard and molasses (think the ubiquitous prairie staple- shoofly pie).

Please, do us a favor, and don’t set this on the table with a demure whiff of “didn’t have enough time” and “this will have to do” murmuring, but rather, present it in your fanciest pie plate with a flourish of unapologetic pioneer pride, and know that, despite its non-descriptive ingredients, this is one of the tastiest pies your family and guests will ever have the luxury of biting into.

With its gorgeous texture and luxurious flavor, your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen.

With its gorgeous texture and luxurious flavor, your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen.

Granola Bar Pie

Tenderflake deep dish or other similar frozen pie crust

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup corn syrup

1/8 tsp salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs, lightly beaten

4 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey crunchy granola bars (2 pouches, about 3/4 cup), crushed*

1/4 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup milk chocolate baking chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

– Place pie crust in nine-inch pie plate, and follow the box directions for prepping the pie.

– In large bowl, microwave butter until melted.

– Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until blended.

– Beat in salt, vanilla and eggs.

– Stir crushed granola bars, oats, baking chips and walnuts (if using) into mixture.

– Pour into crust-lined pie plate and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown.

– Cool for a bit, and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream or ice cream.

* To easily crush granola bars, use a rolling pin to crush bars prior to unwrapping.

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Photo by Krista Kay Photography

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Photo by Krista Kay Photography

March Survey

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We would love to get your feedback on our March issue. To thank you for your time spent doing the survey, we are giving away a pair of Professionals Choice splint boots as a prize – we will randomly draw one winner from all of the responses received.

The survey closes after a definitive number of responses so don’t delay.

The survey only takes five minutes to complete, and we truly do appreciate your feedback!

Click here to take the survey 

(Readers and subscribers to the print or digital magazine only, please)

The New Face of Rodeo

Big reveal.

Western Horse Review writer and The Lovely, Rugged Road blogger, Katy Lucas is working on a piece for our next issue, the core of which is close to her heart – rodeo. It’s a story that couldn’t have come at a better time. My social media feed fills up daily with rodeo talk, and lately, specifically, how, and why, what we define as “rodeo” needs to change.

It reminded me of a piece Ted Stovin did for us last year. Originally printed in the July/August, 2014 issue, he too, in collusion with several rodeo players, pondered the changing world of the sport and what would need to happen for it thrive. One theme prevailed – rodeo is in the entertainment business.

Here’s a look back at that piece, and it’s little gems of wisdom. Watch for Lucas’ piece, including an interview with new Canadian Professional Rodeo Association General Manager, Dan Eddy, in the next issue of the magazine. 

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Photo by Dainya Sapergia

THE NEW FACE OF RODEO

BY TED STOVIN

When siting in the stands of a rodeo performance at the Calgary Stampede, it is apparent what is being showcased; the rodeo, the stock and experience all adding up to the Greatest Outdoor Show on earth.

The shows are run quickly and smoothly with every detail down to the raking of the inside of the bucking chutes taken care of.

“We have great support from our volunteer base and they work tireless hours on production to make sure the show is down to the two-and-a-half or two hours and 40 minutes we need it to be,” says Keith Marrington, Rodeo and Chuckwagon Manager, when speaking of July’s rodeo. “It’s a snappy production with many entertaining elements.”

Within this equation for success, format makes a difference as well.

“A lot of rodeos are going to different formats because they can control what contestants come there and they are getting on the top stock. When you get that combination of quality contestants and stock, it puts on a great production.”

Having a winner each day of any event is the key in keeping the attention of the crowd and having them understand the show.

“We have a winner every day, that’s what people want to see,” says Marrington. “We are a 10-day show, we have people that come on day one that aren’t going to be back on day 10. For our fan base it’s a lot easier for them to understand. Our audiences are from all over, domestic and overseas, and they are coming to the Calgary Stampede to be entertained.

“I think the face of rodeo is changing, in the sense that people want to control their own destiny a little more on what events they have, what contestants come there and to offer something unique.”

RFD-TV’s The American did exactly that this spring with it’s inaugural event held in Arlington, Texas, and with great enough success to announce the second edition of the event on March 1st, 2015.

Randy Bernard, the leader behind The American is a former intern of the Calgary Stampede.

“It was the most defining thing I’ve ever done in my life. I knew after my internship exactly what I wanted to do with my life,” says Bernard. “The entire experience was life changing for me. I went back and worked for a fair and knew I wanted to be in western sports, and the western lifestyle and that’s what I did.”

Bernard led the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) as their CEO to pay their World Champion $1,000,000 for the first time in 2003 among many other groundbreaking moves. He also headed up IndyCar until coming on as the CEO of RFD-TV.

“Our biggest message is that RFD-TV is a friend of rodeo. We want to grow the sport by doing everything we can do to help, that’s one of our top priorities,” says Bernard. “The American is where we put our staple and I think it brought us tremendous credibility.”

The American is a stand-alone event with qualifying events in which anyone can compete. Legends were invited as exemptions in the first year, along with the top contestants in the world.

“I’m in the television business and I believe I can make a difference in the rodeo and western sports world by creating heroes and giving exposure to athletes and why they should be great role models,” reveals Bernard.

The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) has less control over each event compared to stand-alone rodeos such as the Calgary Stampede or The American, however, they do have the power to improve the sport by putting on events like the Grassroots Finals or Wrangler Tour Shootout in conjunction with the IPE and Armstrong Stampede.

“It’s a great way to put an exclamation point on a tour. It gives the tour a good purpose but it also starts to line us up to promote rodeo that’s exciting, that’s understandable,” says CPRA Rodeo Administrator Kynan Vine about the Wrangler Tour Shootout in Armstrong. “It’s a one-day, one head shoot out. It’s easy for television, it’s easy for people to understand and there’s a winner, that’s where rodeo needs to be.”

Vine further explains his thoughts on the future of professional rodeo in Canada and the production involved with each individual event.

“That’s the thing about our sport, it’s entertaining to watch, but it being entertaining and it being easily understood is another thing, those two have to tie together and that’s where you’re going to get real entertainment value out of rodeo.

“We are a sporting industry so we have to obviously cater to our fans. Making rodeo easy to understand, making it entertaining means putting it in a format that is super accessible, it leads us to formats like PGA Golf where only the best end up in front of the crowd and on TV,” says Vine.

Vine continues, noting that there are many parties to please in our industry.

“There are many different stakeholders and each one has different needs. You have the committees, contractors, and contestants, which are a large portion of the stakeholders. They all want something out of rodeo but what we have to remember is that we are here to entertain our fans. We are in the entertainment industry. We are a sport.”

Entertainment means examining formats that work for the fans first.

“We have to build our sport and we have to progress it so when someone wants to watch a rodeo whether it’s on television or they want to come and watch it, they know exactly what they are watching,” says Vine, going back to golf and it’s format. “You take a sport like golf and they figure out how to make a sport like golf, which most people wouldn’t consider really entertaining to watch but they’ve made it entertaining by bringing the best golfers in the world together.”

In rodeo, this captivating element is translated into showdowns and shootouts, which are popping up more and more.

“That’s why showdowns, shootouts, short rounds and championships in rodeo are well attended and exciting. The crowd knows at the end of they day there is going to be a winner,” says Vine.

“You see it in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and it’s coming in the CPRA, we are moving more towards that, building rodeo and getting everyone on the same page moving toward that and it’s becoming more of the culture of rodeo.”

Events such as the Grassroots Finals work towards developing the sports future elite.

“The reason we have rodeos like the Grassroots Finals is to make sure in the process of highlighting the top in the world we also highlight and promote our future superstars in an exciting format,” says Vine. “The future of the sport isn’t going to rest on promoting only the top we have to develop our future as well.”

CPRA General Manager, and current contestant, Jeff Robson, concurs.

“I think the best guys deserve a chance to compete with the best guys at the best venues in front of the best crowds where the people are paying,” he notes. “We are a professional sport in the entertainment business, if we can’t do that we won’t survive.

“It’s got to be sellable. It’s got to be a viable,”

Two-time Canadian Bull Riding Champion and former (Editor’s Note: please remember this was written in the spring of 2014) Calgary Stampede Champion Scott Schiffner echoes the same thoughts.

“The biggest thing I think is that the high profile contestants should only go to the top events,” says Schiffner. “In my opinion, the biggest rodeos don’t need 120 entries. They need the elite and that’s it. For example, the best 25 contestants in the world should go to 24 to 30 event tops. By having everyone go everywhere it waters down the product to where we have nothing to sell.”

Schiffner himself has been to the Canadian Finals Rodeo more than any other bull rider in the past decade. However, he thinks this format would motivate the top bracket to improve their riding even more.

“I’ve done well in Canada, but I might not have been one of those top 25. That might have given me more desire to go there (to that top level), though,” he says.

As we move forward, there are new events and people on the horizon in our country and abroad that look to better this sport. The future of rodeo hints at higher-level production of events with different formats, which are more entertaining and easily watched by fans.

At this crossroads, there is a choice to make. Do we keep doing the same things we’ve done to keep getting the same results? Or make some changes to further our sport and keep it around for future generations to participate in and enjoy.

Either way, the choice is ours, and the future looks bright.

Former bull rider Ted Stovin of Calgary, Alberta is the creator of EverythingCowboy.com; a writer, event producer, music director and part-time hat maker for Smithbilt Hats of Calgary.

January/February Sneak Peek

Jan2015coverThe first of our 2015 issues is on newsstands now. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in it. (If you’re not a subscriber, you’re really missing out – subscribe here, and in the meantime look for it on your local newsstand.)

As you can get from our cover, trainer Martin Black captured our attention for this issue. Jenn Webster begins the first of a three part series with the holistic trainer and Dr. Stephen Peters. Pairing neurochemistry with horsemanship, we examine the groundbreaking convictions of these two thinkers.

jfweddingThe new look for western weddings is natural, repurposed, hot pink and turquoise. How the renaissance of old barns, burlap and country charm helps solidify new vows is front and central in our fourth annual Western Weddings edition.

jfloghomeMore western culture in the form of his understated log home of rodeo-goers Mike and Emily Solberg that both exudes modern luxury and whispers about their deep western heritage.

jfdreamhomeOr, check out this issue’s dream home, an extravagant equestrian property in the lower mainland of British Columbia.

Photo by http://photog.have-dog.com.

Photo by http://photog.have-dog.com

It’s breeding season. Check out these six equine advances in the equine breeding industry that are opening up doors for all breeders.

jfshowresultsBest of the West featured include Aaron Roy’s triumphant return, how the high cost of cattle may affect our bovine-driven disciplines in 2015, arena builds and other industry news.

Photo by Covey Moore.

Photo by Covy Moore

Our newest blogger, Miss Rodeo Canada, Katy Lucas reports on Canada’s pinnacle rodeo and how the $1.5 million in prize monies was paid out to top cowgirls and cowboys.

jfEightMile2014 was the year of the Metallic Cat’s when it came to the auction ring. Our High Sellers piece showcases a collection of high selling horses from some of the most prominent western performance horses sales across North America.

jfEXCA_CanadianGroup_2EX6424_MarilynMerrickPhotographerAlso, results from the superlatively successful Canadian contingent at North America’s Extreme Cowboy Championships.

A medley of career options for students looking to pursue an equine-related vocation awaits in the Careers in the Horse Industry Special Advertising section.

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Photo by http://billiejean.roughstockstudio.ca/#!/index

And, for you riding snow-birders, a look at the quaint cowboy town of Wickenburg, a not to be missed Arizona destination.

ModernArmitasFinally, for those who believed the leggings of today resemble those the vaqueros once upon a time wore, Vaquero Lore columnist, Rod Honig teaches us that is more a myth than a reality. Still, we love our modern armitas, don’t we?

Enjoy the read, and if you need to get one in your hands, order it here.

Rodeos & Rhinestones

Surely at one time or another we’ve all been sweet on the charming young gals flying around the rodeo arena in their spangled outfits and accoutrements – the princesses and queens, all curls and smiles beneath their glitzy cowboy hats. Recently, at one of our fall editorial brainstorming sessions, we wondered what the real life of a rodeo queen might look like. Behind the scenes. And out of the public eye. 

And we thought, maybe, such a story might make a good story. A captivating story. Even an important story. We just needed the right queen to tell it. 

In Canada, Miss Rodeo Canada is chosen in mid-November, at Northlands Park in Edmonton, and timed with the pinnacle of Canada’s rodeo season, the Canadian Finals Rodeo.  This year, Katy Lucas – incidentally also named as one of Western Horse Review’s Top 25 Under 25 in 2013, and currently one of the magazine’s writers – won the honour of wearing the crown for the year.

We couldn’t have been more pleased with the choice. For we already knew Katy as a) an accomplished journalist; b) an ambitious and budding star in the rodeo world; c) a feisty soul unafraid to take on difficult subjects such as animal activism and other misconceptions of the horse world (don’t assume for a second Katy’s narrative will centre on bling and queen selfies); and, d) just the right combination of all of the above to take on the role of telling what it’s really like to be a rodeo queen for a year, and just how such a queen can make a difference in how the rest of the world views our western way of life. 

In a world increasingly populated with people disconnected with the agriculture way of life, and a lifestyle often misunderstood, judged and even attacked, we feel it’s never been a more important banner to wear. 

I’m excited. And, you reader, should be too. Stay tuned, it’s going to be a great ride. 

So, without further ado, here is the first edition of Katy’s blog. Look for future editions under her own blog banner, coming soon to this website. 

~ Ingrid Schulz

Secrets of a Rodeo Queen

Episode One

~ by Katy Lucas

Rodeo Queens are much more than a pretty face that can sit a horse. They have to wear an infinite number of hats, and from that necessity comes a great deal of stories to tell.

I was crowned Miss Rodeo Canada in November, and would love to share my experiences with you as they happen during my reign! Winning this title was truly a lifelong dream, I have been saying I was going to run since I was a toddler, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.

Rodeo queens will tell you that there’s more than the eye can see behind the flawless makeup and rhinestone covered outfits. So I’m pulling back the hazy curtain of hairspray to reveal the true life of a rodeo queen.

Rodeo Queen Secret Number One:

Rodeo-Queen-Secret-Photo-1There is no such thing as packing too much.

I once wore seven outfits in one day as a rodeo queen so there is nothing that gets left at home when I head to a queen event like the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. As you can see by the teetering tower behind me, my entire wardrobe made it to Vegas.

PS: I unloaded the truck and pulled that cart uphill into the hotel myself!

Rodeo Queen Secret Number Two:

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Know your sponsors.

My dad laughs now when he tells the story of qualifying for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. His buddies were bugging him that he may have to take out a loan to pay the large entry fee for the finals, and dad, not realizing that fee was sponsored by Benny Binion, almost considered not going to the NFR!

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So it pays to know the people out there that support you! Some of Miss Rodeo Canada’s major sponsors are Northlands Park, Wrangler, 790 CFCW, Dodge Ram, Roper Boots and more!

Rodeo Queen Secret Number Three:

Rodeo-Queen-Secret-Number-3.1Sharing clothes is a binding contract.

Just like a cowboy’s word is sealed with his handshake, rodeo queens loyally share their clothes.

Before I arrived in Vegas I had never met Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Teen, Elise Wade. Truthfully, I’d never even talked to her directly. But at the first event I walked in to at the MGM Grand, a young woman I’d never met before wildly ran across the room and embraced me like we were old friends that had been separated for a long period.

The reason? I had asked to borrow some clothes from her and she couldn’t wait to meet the girl from Canada that was going to carry her clothes into the famous Thomas and Mack arena.

On day two of our newfound relationship I started calling her my sister. Rhinestones are powerful binding agents…

Rodeo Queen Secret Number Four:

Rodeo-Queen-Secret-Number-4Be you!

Every queen is different and all of them have talents of their very own. I happened upon a roping dummy at the Wrangler giveaway room and I couldn’t resist spending at least a few minutes of my day roping!

Roping is what makes me who I am, and I wasn’t afraid to show it.

Boots ’N Diamonds

At the log house we’d just started thinking about how our New Years Eve might look this year when a grand idea came across my desk – The Boots ‘N Diamonds New Years Eve Gatherin’.

This semi-formal evening of western and cowboy art, food and entertainment is set to happen just southwest of Calgary and features some of our favourite artists, artisans and live entertainment.

shannon'sartworkBest of all the evening ends with a live auction featuring some unique western art such as this original Shannon Lawlor painting.

gina'sbronzeA sweet and collectable vintage Gina Cohoe bronze.

karen'sartworkA gorgeous original from a southern Alberta western artist whose work we’ve been keenly attuned to lately, Karen Coe.

holly'sphotoAnd, finally, a framed print of the photo which won the Western Horse Review 2013 photo contest, captured by amateur photographer, Holly Nicholl. How gorgeous would this look in your home?

These and a few other select pieces will all be auctioned off in the first few minutes of 2015 to benefit the Shannon Burwash Memorial Award. If you aren’t familiar with this scholarship check out http://www.eslvet.ca/info.html for more information. Succinctly, the award is for students in any field of study with emphasis on the horse, agriculture, business, or equine veterinary medicine at an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution.

Each piece of art, western gear and donated item will sell with 100% of the proceeds going to the scholarship.

And, because we want to get the word out about this event, and put bums in those last few seats still available, we’re giving away two tickets to the event.

Of course, you might want to secure your seats to this unique western-styled evening and that can be done by contacting organizer Ryan Smith at (403) 897-3787, or visit the event’s Facebook page.

But, be sure to enter the contest too! All you have to do is let us know what your New Year’s Eve plans are below in the comment section and we’ll enter you in a draw to win two tickets. Even if you already have plans, I bet you can come up with two special people to gift these tickets to!

Good luck and perhaps we’ll see you there!

Alberta Whisky Cake

It’s becoming increasingly prevalent to consider source (local) and company (niche) in our world. In a sense, our western culture has perhaps always leaned more towards a high standard of craftsmanship, than an overload of cheap trappings. We cherish one well-made bit crafted from a local artisan, over 10 made overseas. A pair of chaps so beautifully constructed they must be passed on from mother to daughter. And so on.

I’ve as much as possible refined and practiced the same criteria in my kitchen and lifestyle. I’d rather have less, and enjoy quality than stack up on bulk buys of ridiculously processed foods.

awckamlaAll part of why I never grow tired of this friend, and her consistently positive mind and joy of life.

It took baker Kamla McGonigal of Calgary, Alberta, four years to perfect her recipe. Determination, baby, that’s what it took. The fourth generation Calgary native wanted to use whisky, locally distilled at Highwood Distiller’s, from grain at nearby farms as one of the main ingredients in her delectable cakes. Finally after countless hours over an oven, McGonigal developed one of the best tasting and most unique baked-goods available to those with discerning palates – the Alberta Whisky Cake.

awcwhiskeycakeboxUsing only the finest locally-sourced ingredients, Alberta Whisky Cakes offer a seductive flavor. You will be able to smell it’s sweet, distinct goodness before you will ever taste it, but as whisky advocates know – this is a desirable trait.

awcradioSo, as I’m working through my Christmas list of gift-giving and thank-you’s – both personal and corporate, Alberta Whisky Cakes in their delightful western-styled packaging are a top pick. The beautiful bundts are simple to order, and because of the dense, whisky intinction, keep well through shipping and into the Christmas season.

Find Alberta Whisky Cake on Facebook or, here.

Paige Callaway

In our March/2013 edition, we profiled 20 interesting artisans of the West, casting a sweet little spotlight on a few of the most ambitious silver, leather, jewellery and gear makers, fashionistas and even a cake baker. Since then we’ve stayed in touch with nearly all of them, and continue to feed our own inspirations with both their love of the West and independent spirits.

Which was why, when western fashion designer, Paige Callaway, sent an invitation to the launch of her new brand, Pursue Victory, I was intrigued enough to attend.

For one thing, when writer Deanna Beckley initially interviewed her for the feature, Callaway’s words oozed conviction and confidence.

“I feel like positive thinking and action is one of the most powerful things on earth, especially once we grasp the ability to harness it,” she said.  “I think most of my ideas come on road trips. Road trips, good music and hitting every flea market I can find between Calgary and Del Rio. It is endless where one can find inspiration – the trick is harnessing the vision and moving forward with it.”

And secondly, I really needed a new show shirt, and I already loved the look and intention behind the flagship piece of her brand, the Functional Power Collar professional shirt.

pursueartsWhat’s not to love about this logo? Rhetorical question. Particularly since it was created by a designer and photographer we’re blessed and fortunate enough to work with on a regular basis – Natalie Jackman.

pursuepaige&alexHeld at Hotel Arts in Calgary, it was a great evening of fashion and inspiration. I asked my daughter, Alex (on the right) to come with me, and meet Paige (on the left), and we both left feeling the conviction behind this cowgirl entrepreneur.

pursueshirtsAnd with a few purchases in hand.

pursuelabelAlex opted for a unisex tee, and I, the show shirt, which I’ve since worn equally in the show pen, and out on assignment. While it’s not inexpensively priced at $125, each shirt is designed and sewn right in Calgary, making them a 100% Canadian product. And, with the quality and workmanship in the garment, I consider it a lifetime addition to my closet, ultimately translating to a lighter footprint on the earth.

Callaway’s “workshop” is still her computer and a sketchbook, along with a duffle bag of clothes that follow her wherever her adventures and business may take her. “Being able to do business on the spot has proven successful for me. It is similar to the people in Central Park with trench coats and watches, but a lot classier,” she quipped.

Paige really has created a line of clothing that is positive and empowering. Find Pursue Victory on Facebook or visit their temporary website here.