Sneak Peek

Our annual fashion shoot is all wrapped up and completed. This year the shoot was conducted at John Scott’s picturesque ranch in the foothills of Alberta. To have a look back at that day, see my post A Day at the Shoot.

Because I can’t wait for you to see the magazine, I’m sharing some of the great photography shot that day by Travis Rogers, and I hope you’ll enjoy the full spread in our June issue. Pick it up this week on the newsstand.

One of the concepts we decided upon when we began these annual shoots four years ago was to use real horse people in the shoots. Here, Tannis Kramer (left), cow horse competitor, sorting enthusiast and local rancher, and former high school rodeo competitor, and cutter, Erin Hussey (right). If I recall, when Erin was a wee teenager, I regularly donated cash into her college fund by competing in her class. Fortunately, for me, she finally moved on to high school rodeo, where no doubt she tormented other competitors with her winning ways. Given our history, I’m not really sure how she got in this shoot. Slipped by me she did. Once again. That pesky Erin.

Beautiful boots and accessories were hanging around all day.

Erin was kind enough to drag, er, bring her boyfriend, Johnny Crump, along for a few “guy” shots we needed. He was shy for about 14 seconds. Then he turned into this weird and stylish cross between Nicolas Cage and David Beckham.

Tell me you don’t see the similarity? Well, you do have to visualize hair on Beckham. Then, it’s a dead-on. No kiddin’.

This is John Scott. I can attest to the fact that when John smiles like this, he’s not kidding. That is just the fabric of John – one hundred percent authentic and genuine. At Western Horse Review we love John. Can you tell?

This is Terri Holowath. When she’s not commuting back and forth to Calgary to work at her accounting firm, she resides near Cayley, Alberta, with her husband and two boys, all of whom ride. Her favorite passion is cow horse.

This is fashion shoot co-ordinator and assistant editor, Deanna Paulsen’s mom, Leanne Paulsen. Aren’t moms great? They are always up for helping out. Deanna brought both her mom and dad and they assisted all day, lugging, carrying, driving, getting, setting and more. They even brought prop horses! Deanna’s parents are the best.

And that’s the sneak peek I have for you. Please check into the June issue of Western Horse Review to catch the entire shoot complete with all of our authentic horse folk models.

Vogue Western

RIO ESTANCIA ARABIANS, RIO VERDE, ARIZONA

I took this shot of the lovely Sunny earlier in January. Sunny lives in Scottsdale and boards her horse at the stunningly gorgeous – for that is the only way to describe the setting – Rio Estancia Arabian Ranch, where I had the good fortune to meet her. I liked Sunny’s style of casual western meets English and she proved to me in her brilliant sense, that breeches with a casual western jacket thrown atop can both look and feel great in a western application.

An Image for the Century

The Calgary Stampede 2009 poster, the artwork of which sold for $135,000 at the Western Art Auction. 

The Calgary Stampede has issued a special invitation to 15 of the most renowned western artists in the world to show-off their talent for the opportunity to create what promises to be one of the most famous images in the history of the Stampede – the art for the 2012 Stampede poster. The poster will be used internationally to invite visitors to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede.

For this special commission, the Stampede has researched the work of numerous well-known western artists, some of whom have been confidentially invited to submit their artwork for consideration and adjudication. The artist will be announced this fall and the 2012 poster will be unveiled at a news conference in early 2011.

“The search is underway for an artist to create the centennial poster – one that exemplifies our western heritage and values, proudly honours our past and builds excitement for our future,” says Mike Casey, vice-chairman, Stampede board of directors, who will lead the search along with the past chair of the Western Showcase committee, Toni Dixon. Casey has challenged the artists to create a centennial icon.  “How will you, our invited artists, capture all the excitement, energy, action, colour and western flavor of this authentic iconic event in a painting?”

Stampede posters have been used as a promotional tool for The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth since 1912. More than 30,000 posters are now printed and distributed across Canada and around the world. In 2012, the poster will take on an even greater historical significance in helping celebrate the Stampede’s centennial. It’s believed this will be one of the most sought after Stampede posters around the world, and it will be the inspiration for authentic souvenirs including belt buckles, t-shirts, jewelry and mugs, just to name a few.

The original artwork will be auctioned at the Western Art Auction held in July, 2012.  Last year, the original artwork for the 2010 poster was sold for $135,000, a Western Art Auction record. Western art has been a component of the Stampede from the very beginning – the first Stampede poster in 1912 featured art by Charlie Russell, and by the early 1930s, regular art exhibitions were part of the Stampede. Since the early 1980s, the Stampede has included a live auction of the best in contemporary and historical western art.

She Told a Friend Who Told a Friend

LADIES AND THEIR HORSEPOWER


It all began with two gals who owned motorcycles in 2001.

It soon grew to be 10 women of varying ages and backgrounds who owned motorcycles too.

Those 10 became the Spokes Sisters-a Calgary Women’s Motorcycle Group, cruising around raising money for breast cancer research. Over five years; through annual rides through Banff and the interior of British Columbia, magic shows, downtown raffles, Denim Days At Work and Poker Runs, the group raised over $65,000 for research. No small amount.

Then, in 2005, whilst cheering her husband on from the stands at the Canadian National Team Penning Finals, Angela Pipe, co-founder of the Spokes Sisters asked team penner, Jennifer Baldwin about having the Spokes Sisters become involved (in an organizational capacity) with a ladies team penning fundraiser, as there wasn’t much riding or fundraising to be done for the Spokes Sisters over the winter.

“There isn’t one”, replied Baldwin.

Seriously, no ladies team penning. No fundraising opportunity. Nada.

Between the two, that day, on the Canadian Nationals Team Penning official program, the names of lady penners who might be interested in participating were jotted down. From that a penning committee was established which included lady bikers and lady penners.

Not wishing to deny their menfolk the opportunity to be involved, ten “Pink Stallions” were chosen – a handful of husbands who would “pretty up the place’ in tuxedoes and bow ties. Aren’t they pretty!

A goal of raising $5,000 was targeted.

On March 25th, 2006, the inaugural Ladies Only Team Penning was held at the Okotoks Agri-Plex.

The Committee learned that one of the gals who would be coming down from Edmonton for the event was fighting breast cancer. Her name was Maxine. The event was called Horsepower to the Max in her honor and the goal of $5,000 was surpassed with a total of $27,624 raised that day.

Since that incredible beginning, the event has grown from 50 women penners to a firm 87. The number has remained low to allow for a day that’s fun filled but still ends early enough to allow for other life commitments. The Spokes Sisters have remained involved in the day and The Pink Stallions are still in place. The Stallions hold not only the herd for the ladies, but also hold their own Stallion Penning at $100 a man, which is often raised to $1,000 and more over a matter of minutes.

The rest of the funds are raised through registration fees, a silent auction, cow and herd sponsorships, and a calcutta.

“The generosity of the team penning community never fails to humble me, and not just with their cheque books but also with their generous gift of time. I think I’m in love with over 200 people! The penning committee has evolved over the years, as has the Spokes Sisters but I am always in awe of the women who have been and are still involved. How often have we all come up with an idea and it goes nowhere. With this bunch of women it doesn’t fade away – it goes places!” says Pipe.

The money raised over the past four events has benefitted not just breast cancer research but has also been put to use for tangible items for the Grace Women’s Centre in Calgary.  Much needed and expensive equipment such as a biopsy bed, blanket warmers, surgical lighting, surgical equipment and a colposcope have been purchased.

A lunch room was also transformed into a Quiet Room. Here, women and their physicians can meet privately with their spouses and family members in an environment, outside of the typically cold examination rooms, to discuss diagnoses and treatments. Imagine, for a minute, what a difference that could make in a person’s life.

Last year not just funds were donated as 13-year-old hockey player and Flames fan Liam Greer donated over 12 inches of his hair to help make wigs for cancer patients. It seemed only fitting to have those locks shorn by former Calgary Flame Paul Kruse! Liam’s mum, Tovah Place was talked into snipping off her lengthy locks too.

This year on Saturday, June 12th, it’s Horsepower for Life once again, and the fundraising goal for 2010 is $40,000, which will buy four examination beds for the Grace Hospital. These beds are both mobile and adaptable and can meet the needs of women who are physically challenged or who are over 250 pounds to ensure they receive a vaginal examination with both ease and dignity.

To date almost $200,000 has been raised by women and their varied horsepower.

And it all started with two gals on motorcycles. And two gals with big hearts and great determination, at a National Penning Final!

For more information on how you can donate to this very worthy cause, run so efficiently and selflessly by these amazing women, contact Angela Pipe at angiepipe@xplornet.com or give her a call at (403) 816-7655.

Meet Pokey

This, internet world, is Pokey. A “project” pony purchased two years ago during a brainwave I had regarding something along the lines of instilling self-confidence, responsibility and a work ethic in my teenager’s cerebral. An experiment in character-building.

That, and the profit she might make in selling the pony (she was to guide into a safe and usable kid’s jumping pony), could be used towards the cost of the $264,324 (or somewhere in that neighborhood) she intends to spend on her “real” jumping horse.

We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, okay.

In the meantime, I have to divulge I’m still deliriously happy over Pokey.

The story is classic. It all began one bitterly cold winter day. Perfect day for pony shopping.

Not.

We weren’t actually looking for a pony for Teenager, we were looking for a pony for little daughter. Teenager was along to advise. Somewhere in northern Alberta in a cold cement barn, a charming girl brought three ponies out for preview, and in true salesmanship fashion began with the least-desirable prospect – a little roan, shaggy-maned pony with one erratic blue eye, named Pokey. She was anything but.

“You probably don’t really want this one,” charming girl said. “She needs a bit of work.”

“Well, we’re here, try her,” I instructed Teenager.

Charming girl saddled her up and Teenager rode her up and down the alleyway. Then we put her away. In a stall. By herself. Imagine. We moved on to prospect #2. Roan pony expressed her displeasure with this obvious dismissal through larger-than-pony-sized snorts under the stall door and pawing at the door. The equine version to “excuse me, I’m quite sure you have not given me the entirety of the attention I deserve.” She didn’t let up either, that rowdy little rebel.

We landed the second pony, a sweet little buckskin, which seemed perfect for little daughter, right down to her name – Princess.

On the way home, unable to release the vision of the roan pony, I innocently suggested to Teenager we call charming girl back and try for a package deal on both ponies: Princess for little daughter, and Pokey, as a project pony for Teenager, to raise some cash and give her something to do over the upcoming summer.

Undoubtedly seeing this as another poorly veiled attempt on my part to provide a diversion from boys, Teenager replied, “I think not.”

It’s rare, let me tell you, but somehow, I won that one, and two weeks later, on another cold winter day, Princess and Pokey arrived.

This is what she looked like then. Shaggy, matted, a tad belligerent. A lot annoyed. I hope she has since forgiven me for the “what was I thinking” look I gave her back then.

Two years later, the “project” is only 50% closer to completion, and after taking into account lessons, board, show and travel bills, shows no realistic sign of profitability. Still, I can’t help but love Pokey for all she has gifted us, including, but not limited to:

1)    The Secretariat-sized heart she brings to each and every jump, each and every day. Standardly, she’ll pull at least a foot clearance over any jump presented her. She’ll never win a beauty contest (or, in the English world, a hunter class), but you can’t touch her in a jumping arena. She has the heart of a lion, that crazy little blue-eyed pony.

2)    Her inquisitive nature. How she trots to the gate as you approach to bring her in. Big eyed, a bit presumptuous, impertinent at times, but reaching for a connection with you.

3)    Her maniacal, stubborn pony spirit which has taught my daughter incredible lessons in patience. Oh, can I count the nights Teenager has left the barn, near a meltdown, over “that mental/deranged/lunatic (insert any adjective to “crazy” here) pony” which won’t “listen!”? Oh, can I count the nights she’s left the barn, in awe of the little roan pony and her try and athleticism?

4)    That eye.

That beautiful, mad as a hatter, blue eye that gives her that freak appeal on the left side. It’s her very own signature, that eye. I adore that eye.

Turn her over, and I give you Pokey, the pretty perfectly normal pony. This is Pokey as she practices with teenager for another jumping season. Her show name is Hocus Pocus. Teenager plans on selling her this fall to help fund that new jumping horse purchase.

I can’t believe I just typed that. Sell Pokey? It’s suddenly grieving me on more than one level.  And may be directly related to the family truth that we have a history of not being able to part with our horses.

You should never write about them. Or for that matter, name them.

Your Favorite Horse Activity Contest

Here’s a comprehensive and in-depth brain-quiz to test your memory and thinking skills, and assist each of you in determining your correct career-path. Just kidding. It’s actually just a fun, quick, brainless-quiz. Perfect for a Friday. Jot down your answer in the Comments section below in 60 seconds or less. Really, I’m timing you. Move on to the next activity. Have a great weekend.

Oh, and automatically be entered to win one of two great Rambo Quarter Horse Nylon sheets. In the picture above, they are blue, but the ones I’m giving away are green. I know this because they are in our office right now. I have touched them and felt the durable tough outer shell. I’ve tested the crisscross belly surcingles and can attest to their fastness. I ran the soft inside fabric through my fingers, and marveled at it’s silky smoothness. Then, Beth, our infamous office manager stopped me at the front door and took them away from me. She’s always interfering, that Beth.

The last contest I held, the Brand It Contest, garnered forth 96 responses. According to my iphone calculator that means every entry had a one in 32 chance of winning one of three pairs of Cruel Girl jeans. The chances of winning last Friday’s Lotto-649 draw was approximately one in 969,340. So, govern yourself accordingly and choose wisely on this Friday. Then get on with your weekend, already.

All you have to do is let us know – in the Comment section below – two things:

1) your favorite horse activity to participate?

2) your favorite horse activity to watch?

It’s fine if they are the same. We’ll randomly choose two winners and the lucky recipients will be the new owners of a sheet each.

Contest closes May 31.

Contest winners will be posted June 3. Look for them then!

Ogden Opportunities

By now all Canadian cutters have returned from Ogden, Utah, and the 15th annual National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships held April 28 to May 9 at the Golden Spike Arena in Ogden, Utah.

Canadians showed well with some landmark and personal victories including:

Carly Christianson at the 2009 NCHA Days in Claresholm. Photo by Sandy Hansma.

Carly Christianson scored a lifetime accomplishment with a championship in the Junior Youth. Riding Bob Playin (Bobs Freckle), owned by Equistar Enterprises, the 12-year-old daughter of cutting horse trainer Loren Christianson and his wife, Lisa, scored 217 to take the win.

Guy Heintz and Call Me Smurf, out of the Rafter H stallion, Jose Boon, scored a 220 to claim the reserve in the $3,000 Novice Horse class. “We got the good draw,” said Guy Heintz, in the Daily Chatter. “The cattle had been pretty tough, but we cut what we had picked. When you’re first up, you just have to come and let everybody else chase you.”

Guy Heintz, circa 1988 at the Canadian Supreme with a horse named Shortys Summer. Dave Robson presenting. Photo by Sharon Latimer.

Call Me Smurf’s score went up on the scoreboard as 218 points, but was later adjusted to 220. The 6-year-old gelding is owned by Neil Shanks of Okotoks, Alberta.

Guy Heintz at the 2009 NCHA Days in Claresholm. Photo by Sandy Hansma.

Call Me Smurf was clearly on his game, as he later led Neil Shanks to the reserve championship in the 50,000 Amateur with a 218. As reported in the Daily Chatter, Shanks said, “I scored 211 points in the go-round and just made it on the bubble. We tried to show as good as we could and it all worked out.”

Other top 10 finishes included:

10,000 Novice Horse: Dustin Gonnet on Christinas Blue (Mecom Blue), owned by Ron Patton (4th)

Junior Youth: Matt Couillard on War Bar Maid (War O Lena), owned by James Couillard (5th)

Open: Teri Paradis on Lil Scoot N Peppy (Smart Lil Scoot), owned by Jim & Teri Paradis (10th)

2,000 Limit Rider: Jackson Holm on Short N Steady Date (Smart Peppy Date) (8th) and Kelly Park on High Power Pepto (Peptoboonsmal), owned by Bill and Elaine Speight (9th-10th)

10,000 Amateur: Linda Meakin on Lookin Purr Tee (Caught Me Lookin), owned by Wayne & Linda Meakin (10-12th)

15,000 Novice Non-Pro: Doug Wiens on Trava Bob (Travalena) (10th)

50,000 Amateur: Rod Macdonald on CD Graceful Dual (CD Olena) (7th)

Overall, the Alberta Cutting Horse Association won the prize for most points scored for their region with 1,630 points, and brought home a $7,500.00 cheque for their efforts. In this excellent side-race to the competition, sponsored by the AQHA, members are signed up under their affiliate association, and collectively score points for each member’s effort, from 10 points for an entry in a class, to 50 points for a championship. It’s a great way to build community among the affiliates and provides for some good-natured rivalry between the affiliates. Close on the heels of the Alberta Cutting Horse Association was the Western States Cutting Horse Association with 1,595 points, followed by the Montana Cutting Horse Association with 1,050 points.

The Western Nationals posted an all-time record this year with 925 entries and $414,002 in prize money, nearly doubling last year’s prize goods. This sets the stage for a stellar 2011 show, and the race is already on for qualification.

~ thanks to the NCHA and the Daily Chatter for the use of their files for this post.

A Dozen Stunning Ranch Scarves

I don’t own a ranch scarf, but that might change after finding this gorgeous collection, designed specifically for kids online at saddle maker and artisan Jeremiah Watt’s website. I can’t wait to cowgirl-up my girls with them. Here’s my dozen favorites:

It’s so European. Gorgeous with the black hat.

A subtle black and white beauty.

Just barely and beautifully pink, this scarf is sueded giving it a soft nap and a gentle fall when worn.

A vintage calico-print exudes Old West in abundance.

A classy green paisley print.

I think I’ve seen Brad Pitt wearing this steely sage green silk.

It’s a fact – you can never have enough paisley scarves. This one in copper.

Here’s a close-up of one of the paisley patterns in all its passion.

This vintage floral pattern may be my ultimate favorite.

Yes, another paisley, so unique in these soft pastels.

A beautiful bright teal. Love the photographic touch of the weathered hat.

Just one more for the lovers-of-the-color-purple out there – a vibrant wine colored paisley pattern.

There are many more, including a selection of print scarves with buckaroos, Paint Horses, like this one, entitled Colts and Roses. . .

. . . done in original artwork.

Whoever photographed these ranch kid models captured an innocence and essence which truly belongs to the West. See them all at Ranch2Arena.

Happy Mother’s Day!

This is my Mom. Naturally, I always spend some time

thinking about her on Mother’s Day.

Sadly, she’s not with us anymore.

I’ve always loved this photo of her.

I don’t remember that she particularly liked horses.

She might have even been a bit afraid of them.

But, somehow she grew a horse-crazy daughter. Me.

And I grew two.

This one.

Photo by Brent Andrew Marshall

And this one.

Mad as hatters about horses, both of them.

When they grow up, they’ll probably grow one or two more.

And, that’s the way the western horse world works, folks.

Now, go forth and grow your own.

That’s my Mother’s Day message to you.

Goodness knows, the horse world needs more of these.

Go ahead.

Jenn? Clay? You listenin’?

I’ve done my share.

Whatcha waitin’ for?

By the way, I did grow a son as well. I’m waiting for him to trade this in for a horse.

The odds are not with me.

Well, maybe he’ll marry one.

A horse-crazy girl I mean.

I’ve heard of such incidents.

And finally, in case you were wondering, yep, this is me.

Post-pregnancy.

Pre-recession.

I know. The white fringe thing is so over.

But this picture was taken a few months ago.

Cheers!

Hope you enjoyed the read.

And whether it’s a child, foal, pup, kitty, or glass of fine wine you’re nursing today,

have a wonderful Mother’s Day!