Kylie Whiteside

Leaving The Desert Behind

We just pulled into Kanab, Utah - great overnight stopping place when you're hauling horses.

It was 86 degrees F when we headed out of Maricopa, Arizona this morning on the first day of our trek home to Canada… by the time we reached Flagstaff a little over two hours north, we were viewing pines rather than cactus and the temperature had dropped about fifteen degrees… still, it was a sunny warm day with great travel conditions. We usually enjoy the trip home… well, let me revise that. We enjoy it once the stress of packing up, loading horses and getting on the road is complete. It seems as though it takes forever to actually leave the yard!

Enjoyed a quick shopping break at the ever-popular Cameron Trading Post

It takes about 24-30 hours of driving (less fuel, food and people/animal breaks) to get from Maricopa (about 25 minutes south of Phoenix) to the U.S./Alberta border. We try to take three days each way though we’ve done the trip in two… we’ve even done it straight through – once or twice.

The horses enjoyed a quick roll before supper in the Kanab Rodeo Grounds Arena

Weather permitting we enjoy the route north through Flagstaff and Paige, AZ then on through Kanab, Panguitch and Selina, Utah before rejoining the Interstate south of Salt Lake City. And, along with many rodeo folks, we’ve found some favorite overnight spots for both our horses and ourselves. Our first stop this time around was at Kanab, Utah – a small, clean community in Red Rock desert country not far from the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Set in stunning semi-desert with red sand and rock formations all around, Kanab boasts a small, out of the way rodeo grounds a few miles south of town. If the weather is reasonable, it’s an excellent place to put your horses up overnight. The grounds features several spacious paneled pens, two large outdoor arenas and water that’s always been turned on when we’ve stopped in. We generally put our horses away and grab a hotel room in Kanab. Rooms are plentiful, and reasonable in price in a town with friendly people and some good restaurants. The Kanab area has been a popular choice since the 1920’s for film making – particularly westerns… The Lone Ranger, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Maverick and Gunsmoke to name a few. Kanab also boasts a legendary Mexican restaurant – Nedras Too – which we try to visit for dinner when we can.

Anyway, we’re hanging out at The Red Rock Country Inn (not fancy but clean, dog-friendly and wireless), trying to get caught up on our sleep before hitting the road again tomorrow…

Will catch up again further down the road.

Tender Ranch-Style Oven Ribs… quick and easy!

Succulent, easy Ranch Style Ribs

One of the things I enjoy in my spare time… (which there is never enough of) is cooking. Especially if friends are coming over. And one of my favourite things to cook is ribs. I have to admit, I’m not a ‘stick to the recipe’ kind of cook. At least not when it comes to main dishes and starters. I’ve learned the hard way, to be a little more careful with desserts and quick breads, but as far as main meals, for better or worse, I use whatever is at hand that might lend itself to the recipe. The downside to this approach (as my husband regularly points out) is that recipes he particularly enjoys never get re-created a second time in exactly the same way.

Tender ‘fall off the bone’ easy ranch style ribs

Beef or pork ribs are easy to prepare, in summer or winter, and tend to be popular with most folks. Here is an easy rib recipe that I’ve made various versions of – both here in Arizona this winter and back at home in Canada as well. I tend to cook ribs more often down south as they’re more available – (particularly beef ribs) and less expensive in the U.S. than they are at home.

5-6 pounds of beef or pork ribs (about 3 kilograms in metric)

Allow 1 to 1 ½ pounds of ribs per person

1 small onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup (fairly strong) brewed coffee (250 milliliters)

1 cup commercial barbecue sauce (250 milliliters)

½ cup brown sugar, honey or maple syrup (125 milliliters)

1 tablespoon Dijon or regular mustard (15 milliliters)

Cut thawed ribs into serving-sized pieces. Place in a stock pot. Add chopped onion and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with water. Simmer ribs on top of stove for about an hour.

Drain.

Mix coffee, barbecue cause, brown sugar and mustard in small saucepan. Simmer briefly. Put ribs in roaster or casserole dish. Cover with sauce. Bake in 325 F oven (160 C) for an hour or so (or until very tender).

These are excellent paired with salad and a rice or potato dish.

Serves 4

I tend to double or triple this recipe even if I’m serving only four people the first time around. These ribs re-heat well… and we’re big on leftovers at our house!

Enjoy.

Who's clocking up at the early pro rodeos?

I always enjoy this time of year… (okay, okay, I’ll admit I’m still in Arizona but I’m wearing my “Alberta” hat right now) because spring means rodeo season is here.

Adel Hansen and Freddie, 2009 Calgary Stampede (photo by Mike Copeman)

Canadian Pro Rodeo action technically kicked off last fall with the Saskatoon Indoor Pro Rodeo but the first ‘spring’ show ran in Camrose March 19-21 followed up by Lethbridge March 25-27. While it’s still pretty early to say who’s in solid shape in the overall standings, it’s always fun (and interesting) to see who handles the small indoor barrel runs well. And, no surprise, some of the names at the top of the CPRA roster so far are the same names we saw at this point last year.

I caught up with Calgary, AB barrel racer, Lauren Chad by phone as she was heading off for a ‘Tim Hortons run’ before her morning University classes in Calgary. The former Saskatoon resident and 2008 CFR qualifier rides Macho, a 14 year old Doc Bar bred gelding. Lauren was second in Saskatoon last fall and won Camrose this spring to take the early lead in the CPRA standings. A full time psychology student, Lauren is juggling not only her academic load and equine demands… she’s also planning her wedding, set for later this year to bull fighter Jesse Byrne. With all that on her plate, Lauren looked to the Anchor R Ranch Equine Wellness Centre to help get her horse in shape for the spring season, “I was tickled with how good my horse looked after a month at Anchor R,” Lauren commented. “I picked him up the week before Camrose and he felt great.”

Right behind Lauren is another ‘soon-to-be-married’ barrel racer… the 2009 Reserve Canadian Champion Rana Walter. The Lethbridge cowgirl finished second at her hometown rodeo and third at Saskatoon last fall. No stranger to the world of barrel racing, Rana is a four time CFR qualifier. She rides Real Easy Doc (Easy Jet/Doc Bar bred). The long-strided gelding, trained and futuritied by Donnie Reese, won the first $100,000 Pro Tour Barrel Race in Oklahoma City as a three year old, then went on to earn the BFA Oklahoma City Juvenile Championship and Reserve BFA Derby title. Walter has since enjoyed additional Derby, Pro Rodeo and Fast Time wins aboard the big chestnut gelding.

Also making an appearance in the early standings is Laura McPherson of Wolf Point, Montana. A relative newcomer to the Canadian Barrel Racing scene, due in part to the challenges of rodeoing from Wolf Point (a farming community located in the northeast corner of Montana many miles from almost anywhere), Laura won the Saskatoon Pro Rodeo last September and has plans to head back to Canada later this spring. “I first came up to Canada two years ago,” the Montana accountant explained. “There are some great rodeos up there and really nice people. I just live a long way from most rodeos, so I have to plan my trips carefully.” Laura runs a ten year old home-raised granddaughter of Dash For Cash.

2009 Canadian CFR qualifier and CPRA Barrel Racing Rookie of the Year, Adel Hansen is off to a good start too. The Okotoks cowgirl and UFA executive has three horses in her barn though for the indoor venues, she often runs her mare, Freddie. Adel used a similar strategy to Lauren Chad – she booked her horse into the Champion Equine Rehab and Training Centre at Carstairs, Alberta for a few weeks of spring conditioning prior to rodeo season. Adel sits fourth in the standings.

The next pro rodeo on the roster is Medicine Hat on April 16-18

The majority of the semi-pro associations are just getting underway with April rodeos scheduled. Check back later this month for early-season semi-pro highlights.

The Barrel Patch is up and running

RED HAWK RANCH, CLARESHOLM, AB

Welcome everyone, it’s Barb Poulsen here – the gal behind The Barrel Patch.

With Western Horse Review joining the world of blogging, I’m happy to be aboard. Though I’m by no means an expert on barrel racing, it’s the sport I love the most and one I’ve been involved in, in one way or another, for many years now.

Recent times have seen me immersed in writing about and promoting barrel racing to a much greater extent than competing. Not to say that I don’t own a horse. I own several in fact (name the age, size and colour and I can probably oblige… just kidding!) I’m actually composing my first barrel racing blog from the sunny south – Maricopa, Arizona to be exact. I’ve been fortunate to spend the last few winters in “Little Canada” south of Phoenix where the sun almost always shines, sandy conditions provide excellent footing for riding and fellow Canadian equine enthusiasts abound!

This is me and Josey.

During the rest of the year, when we’re not at a rodeo or bull riding, my husband (rodeo announcer and author Dave Poulsen) and I spend our time on our little place back in the Porcupine Hills west of Claresholm, Alberta. A high school teacher in my ‘last life’, I now run a communications business – web/print design and writing – which, I’m thankful to say, I can run from anywhere. And I ride when I can, which will hopefully be more often in 2010! A transplanted Albertan (I was born and raised in Saskatchewan and still love the prairies), I’ve lived in southwestern Alberta for the last 15 years or so.

Please join me with your feedback, ideas and opinions as the blog progresses. I’m excited to be part of this endeavor and hope to share thoughts on barrel events, competitors, trainers, horses, clinicians and even a few recipes. If you have relevant, interesting news or photos, I’d love to hear about them… along with other tips/ideas that might translate into barrel racing blog fodder.

Spring’s almost here, rodeo season is underway and the first western Canadian barrel futurity will soon be upon us. Dave and I (along with the horses and dogs) will be heading north in ten days or so… (I’m getting lonesome for the Alberta foothills). Check back often to see what’s happening in The Barrel Patch!