EQUI-BUSINESS – True Life Stories of Success

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

Last month on the Equi-Business blog, we talked about obtaining financial lending in pursuit of an equine property goal. We began with the reality that the equine business is a challenging industry for traditional banks to provide financial support. For young people with the goal of creating a business in the horse industry, the lifestyle can be one filled with many rewards. Equine industries are also a good way of making a piece of land pay for itself – but none of it comes without proper planning, hard work and often, sacrifice.

Last year WHR spoke with some couples in the horse industry who faced the daunting task of obtaining financial support for a farm or ranch, to help elevate their horse businesses to the next level. Each faced their own hurdles as they went through the process.

Austin and Sara Seelhof and family.

Austin and Sara Seelhof run a successful reining horse training facility in Bottrel, Alberta. Austin focuses on training, showing and selling futurity and derby horses, and has a successful coaching program for non-professional riders. His wife, Sara, owns Be Better Equine Therapy which specializes in therapeutic thermal imaging for equine athletes. They are also the proud parents to three young children. Originally, Austin ran his burgeoning training business out of Lauder Ranch near Cochrane, AB, but the Seelhofs recognized the need to invest in more equity while growing their business and investing in their future.

In March 2017, the couple purchased a 50-acre property in Bottrel, Alberta that includes a house, a 110 x 220 arena, an existing barn and a shop. The property fit many of their requirements, including a wonderful school for their children nearby.

Austin says that when they began to think about properties he had originally wanted to buy land and build on it. They went through Farm Credit Canada (FCC), with the help of a great mortgage broker. However, the FCC was leery about financing a property that would need to be built upon and the Seelhof’s wouldn’t have been able to come up with a big enough down payment. The acreage they decided on was much easier to receive financing for through the FCC.

The FCC also had a “Young Farmers Loan” program at the time that liked to assist agriculturists under 40 in keeping their family in agriculture. The Seelhof’s had a solid business plan that showed steady growth in the last six years, as well as a side business in compressed hay that could be run from the property. The couple did look at other banks who offered good interest rates, but Austin says, “We chose Farm Credit because of their flexibility. You can stall payments, and we really felt like we were a person with them, not a number. They have different programs available so if you are having trouble paying, or you break your leg or something, they can be flexible and add payments on to the end if need be.”

Another added bonus of using FCC was that the lending institution would value the entire property, while many banks won’t value outbuildings in their property assessment. For the Seelhofs, this meant that their barn and arena wouldn’t be included in their loan – not ideal for a family who makes a living training horses.

Austin says, “One thing I wish I would’ve done sooner was to talk to a banker. My dad always said that you need a relationship with a banker, or an accountant or mortgage broker. At first it was really scary, but it was helpful to have a great mortgage broker to guide us.”

Alex Alves works a horse in the roundpen.

Alex and Sonja Alves operate Hat Creek Performance Horses on the Hat Creek Ranch in Wheatland County, 30 minutes east of Strathmore, Alberta. They offer horse training from colt starting to finishing, with access to cattle, pasture, trails and obstacles. As well as lessons, cowboy challenge and flag practice nights, Hat Creek also takes in horses for resale, all the while slowly building a breeding program on strong bloodlines. The Alves ranch has 80 acres of which 50 are hay crop and 30 are pasture. The Alves’ purchased the property on August 31, 2012 after the previous owners had moved six years prior. The property had a calving barn that was too low for horses, a complete corral system to run cattle, a shop, a craft shop that had been used to make saddles and an outdoor arena that had become overgrown. Despite small modifications, the Alves’ felt the property had potential and Hat Creek was ready for them to bring horses in immediately. It needed few upgrades for cattle. Another bonus was that, at the time, Alex was working towards getting his welding journeyman and B-Pressure and the shop was perfect for his set-up.

Alex and Sonja have three children. Alex grew up in the horse industry and immersed himself in various events. It was always a dream of his to be able to make a living training horses, however it didn’t always seem feasible which is why he became a welder as well.

By the end of 2015 they had built an indoor arena on their property and by 2016 they training was their full time profession.

The main building at Hat Creek Ranch (owned by Alex and Sonja Alves).

The Alves’ did hit some snags when attempting to purchase their property. Due to Hat Creek being 80 acres and set up mainly for cattle, agricultural lenders considered it a hobby farm. Other lenders saw it as an acreage and therefore, agricultural. So, as Sonja states, “It completely fell through the cracks of the lending world. Being that we were 25 and under at the time, lenders had no interest in lending us money. The next catch was that we had to have 20% down.”

Alex and Sonja had to put together a business plan, and present it to the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) who offered a great interest rate of 1.86%. In order to acquire financing, the plan had to show that it was possible to generate at least $15,000 in revenue off the property so that they could be considered agricultural.

“At the time we only had about 10% to put down, so we got a loan through my parents so we could have the down payment and purchase the property. We honestly had to find a back road to be able to purchase the property. We spent at least a month-and-a-half trying to find a way to get financed. It was a nightmare.” For the Alves’, Sonja says that there is a lot of advice for young couples, and some of it seems to be repetitive in nature.

“For us, I think it is important to remember that if you wanted it bad enough there will be a way, no matter how many doors get shut right in your face, there will be a back road open. At the end of the day, success can only be achieved one way and that is through hard work. Alex says it so well, ‘You never fail, it just gives you another chance to succeed.’”

When Equi-Business returns, we’ll start discussing the important and elements of a business plan. ’Til next time!

7th Annual SK Equine Expo

The 7th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo takes place February 15-18, 2018 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK. Together volunteers from Saskatchewan Horse Federation, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, various equine breed groups and the staff of Prairieland Park work together to facilitate this annual event. The event presents equine related lectures, presentations, demonstrations, entertainment and opportunities focusing on the equine industry. As a participant or spectator, you can experience the newest in equine products, techniques and technology!

Tickets are on sale now and include the extravaganza, tradeshow, demonstrations and clinics. Tickets are available online and on the website: http://saskatchewanequineexpo.com/

Stay up to date with the schedule of events at: http://www.saskatchewanequineexpo.ca/events/


Realizing there was a need within the Saskatchewan horse industry for a quality event that showcased the newest technological advances, the latest developments in equine health, and a demonstration of horsemanship excellence, organizers created an event that is equally as entertaining as it is educational.

The Saskatchewan Equine Expo on February 15-18, will again celebrate the diversity of the equine industry with live demonstrations, breeds on display and outstanding horsemen and women. Make plans to be there, get your tickets today!

As an addendum to the event this year is the newly added, Off Track Thoroughbred Challenge. In this highly anticipated event, qualified trainers purchase a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and will spend six months to one year retraining it to compete in a variety of chosen disciplines at the 2019 Saskatchewan Equine Expo.

See you there!


Edmonton’s Premier Western Events Shine

Courtesy of Northlands 

A Final Tip of the Hat to CFR at Northlands. Photo Credit: Canadian Finals Rodeo

EDMONTON, AB (November 12, 2017) – For the past five days, Northlands was honoured to host the 44th annual Canadian Finals Rodeo and Farmfair International from November 8 – 12 at Northlands Coliseum and the Edmonton EXPO Centre. Two of Edmonton’s largest annual events spurred western excitement throughout the Northlands grounds and the entire city of Edmonton, with a combined attendance of 191,397.

 “We are proud of the incredible growth achieved by Farmfair International,” said Tim Reid, President and CEO, Northlands. “The success of this event further demonstrates the importance of agriculture to Northlands and to Alberta’s economy. Farmfair is an integral part of the future of Northlands as we embrace our agricultural roots moving forward.”

The 44rd edition of Farmfair International drew a record 101,129 guests to the Edmonton EXPO Centre to take in cattle shows and sales, equine events, the Heritage Ranch Rodeo, RAM Country Marketplace and more. This a 5.8% increase over last year’s record breaking attendance, and the first time Farmfair International has attracted more than 100,000 guests. Farmfair International brought 140 international buyers from 14 countries together to conduct business, trade industry knowledge and to purchase top-quality genetics from Alberta producers. The number of international buyers is up 55% over last year. With more than 1,500 head of livestock exhibited including more than 1,000 head of purebred cattle, the 2017 edition of Farmfair International was one of the biggest yet.

From humble beginnings in 1974, the first Canadian Finals Rodeo drew 24,000 guests to the Edmonton Gardens. In its 44th and final year at Northlands Coliseum, 90, 268 guests took in six action-packed performances over five days. This is a 3.3% increase over last year’s attendance. As the largest indoor rodeo in Canada, 108 competitors chased the dream for championship buckles and their share of more than $1.5 million in prize money. The Roadhouse presented by TD brought live performances to the Edmonton EXPO Centre on Friday and Saturday including Dallas Smith’s Side Effects Tour presented by Old Camp, as well as Tanya Tucker and Aaron Pritchett to keep the party going after CFR performances.

“Fans of the Canadian Finals Rodeo came out to show their support and demonstrated the impact this event has on our local economy,” said Tim Reid, President and CEO, Northlands. “We thank the CFR fans for their support and loyalty over the last 44 years. This is not goodbye but see you later.”

BeefTech presented by realagriculture

Photo Credit: Jenn Webster

Join Northlands on November 8 and 9 for BeefTech presented by realagriculture — an interactive beef industry learning event. BeefTech is a comprehensive agriculture conference focusing on state-of-the-art practices and technology in the beef industry.

Agriculture experts will share knowledge on a range of topics from the use of drones in ranching to using ultrasound to predict carcass traits. Attendees can take in a choice of nearly 20 sessions of intuitive knowledge and insight.  These sessions are unique in that they’re as informative as they are interactive. Session speakers will put new management practices and technologies directly in attendees’ hands, giving them the opportunity to choose the right technology that will make them – and those involved in the production chain, profitable.

Quadcopter with camera flying over field. Photo Credit: Smart agriculture Concept

Sessions include:

  • Cow-Calf Cost of Production: Calculator Tutorial – Kathy Larson
  • Managing Cattle from Above: Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Precision Ranching – John Church
  • Timed Breeding: How Protocols Work – Don Miller 
  • Lessons in Advocacy: Tips to Help You Speak Up – Andrew Campbell
  • Building A Risk Management Program for Your Cattle Operations – Ryan Copithorne

Photo Credit: Jenn Webster

Featured Keynotes include:
Robert Saik, Agri-Trend – “The Agriculture Manifesto”
Rob will take you on a quick journey showing how farmers are integrating technology to feed a growing world population. He will touch on robotics, artificial intelligence, sensor integration, bio synthesis (GE and GMO), data systems and environment sustainability.

Andrew Campbell, Fresh Air – “Stand Up for Your Industry!”
Explore and experience emerging technologies and innovative management practices. Learn how to implement technology in your beef operation to improve production and increase profitability.

Photo Credit: Jenn Webster

For registration and further details,
visit northlands.com/our-community/agriculture/beeftech.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Cowboy Crossings® Opening Weekend generates nearly $1 million in sales

Submitted by the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association

Intricate spur straps created by craftsman, Chuck Stormes. Photo Credit: TCAA.

 – Cowboy Crossings, one of the nation’s foremost annual Western art sales and exhibitions, is now open to the public at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. During Opening Weekend, Oct. 5 – 7, gross sales exceeded $986,310 with a portion of those proceeds benefiting the Museum’s educational programs.
The event and exhibition offers a unique combination of more than 150 pieces of art represented in different mediums featuring the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) 52nd Annual Sale & Exhibition as well as the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) 19th Annual Exhibition & Sale.

“We are pleased by the tremendous support for Western art from across the country,” said Chief Financial Officer and Interim President and CEO Gary Moore. “The combination of working art such as saddles, bits and spurs, and rawhide braiding, along with the fine art of painting and sculpture, helps many individuals connect with the West in ways they might not have previously considered.”

Shot glasses crafted by local artist, Scott Hardy, took home top honours. Photo Credit: TCAA.

Clifton, Texas, CAA artist Martin Grelle’s piece, Expectations, was the show’s highest selling piece at $54,000. The highest selling TCAA piece was a sterling silver shot glass set and tray by artist Scott Hardy of Longview, Alberta, Canada, selling for $31,000.   
The CAA exhibition is available through Nov. 26, 2017, and TCAA will be on display through Jan. 7, 2018. Unsold art is available for purchase through The Museum Store at (405) 478-2250 ext. 228. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/cowboy-crossings. For award-winning art associated with this release, click here.

A full list of winners from the weekend’s awards show is as follows:

  • The CAA Stetson Award recipient, selected by active CAA members as the best compilation of individual works, was Paul Moore of Norman, Oklahoma, for his six bronze sculptures: Old Man Losing His Heron, When His Heart is Down, Tug of War, Blessing at Wuwuchim, Hopi Two Horned Priest, and Young San Felipe Green Corn Dancer. 
  • The Anne Marion Best of Show Award, chosen by anonymous artist judges from the four gold medal winners, was given to Grant Redden of Evanston, Wyoming, for his painting, Feeding the Flock.
  • Jason Scull of Kerrville, Texas, earned the Ray Swanson Memorial Award for his bronze relief, Waitin’ for Daylight. The award is given for a work of art that best communicates a moment in time, capturing emotion.
  • Grant Redden received the Oil Painting Gold Medal Award for his painting, Feeding the Flock.
  • Martin Grelle of Clifton, Texas, received the Oil Painting Silver Medal Award for his painting, Expectations.
  • Whirling Wind on the Plains, a Texas limestone sculpture by Oreland C. Joe Sr. (Navajo/Ute), of Kirtland, New Mexico, was the Sculpture Gold Medal Award winner.
  • When His Heart is Down, a bronze sculpture by Paul Moore of Norman, Oklahoma, was the Sculpture Silver Medal Award winner.
  • Phil Epp of Newton, Kansas, received the Water Soluble Gold Medal Award for his painting, Hilltop.
  • Mikel Donahue of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, received the Water Soluble Silver Medal Award for his painting, The Bronc Stomper.
  • C. Michael Dudash of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, received the Drawing and Other Media Gold Medal Award for his charcoal and chalk drawing, Cowgirl.
  • Tyler Crow of Hico, Texas, received the Drawing and Other Media Silver Medal Award for his charcoal drawing, Cow Camp Studio.
  • The Buyers’ Choice Award, selected by show attendants, was awarded to Tyler Crow for his charcoal drawing, Cow Camp Studio.

    Artist, Tyler Crow. Made in America, Oil, 32” x 26” Photo Credit: TCAA.

The TCAA’s do not confer awards for their pieces in the Cowboy Crossings exhibition, instead choosing to offer cash scholarships to a select number of up-and-coming traditional artists. This year’s fellowship winners are:

  • TCAA Fellowship for Cowboy Craftsmen recipients are Troy Flayharty and Graeme Quisenberry.
  • Mike Eslick received the Emerging Artist Award.

    Saddle with Tapaderos by craftsman, John Willemsma. Photo Credit: TCAA.

About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is located only six miles northeast of downtown Oklahoma City in the Adventure District at the junction of Interstates 44 and 35, the state’s exciting Adventure Road corridor. The Museum offers annual memberships beginning at just $40. For more information, visitnationalcowboymuseum.org. For high-resolution images related to the National Cowboy Museum, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/media-pics/.

Shamrock Performance Horses

Tyler, Helen, Jaden and Rowdey Nowosad of Dewberry, AB.


Shamrock Performance horses owned and operated by Tyler and Helen Nowosad of Dewberry, Alberta, not only showed this years ABRA 1D champion horse, they also trained the DR Nick Bar Granddaughter, Raise The Gold Bar aka “Alley,” at the 2017 Canadian Barrel Horse Incentive Super Stakes held this past weekend in Ponoka, AB.


The dynamic duo of Alley and Helen made lasting impressions right from their first competition together in 2015, bringing home the Bohnet’s Barrel Barn Futurity Buckle. With a very successful 2015 season behind them, Alley needed a break as she suffered a wire cut that took her out of the 2016 racing season. Fully healed and well conditioned the team set their sights high for 2017. Long miles on the road did not deter, placing them at the top all spring and summer. August found them at the Alberta Barrel Racing Association Finals in Ponoka, Alberta. After multiple days and consistent runs they secured the 1D champion spot, and the championship saddle.


One of many buckles earned by Helen and Raise The Gold Bar.

Every success has a back-story and Helen and Tyler’s is one of hard work and determined nature. The quiet humble couple, live with their two children Jaden (11) and Rowdey (7), three dogs and numerous other barnyard animals just south of the Chuckwagon Capital of Canada in Dewberry, AB. They bought the ranch in November of 2007 and have since upgraded the property to be safe and functional for their broodmares and young stock.

One of the foals produced by the Nowosad family.

With mutual interest and involvement in College Rodeo and roping, Tyler and Helen found each other. Shortly after College Tyler, a welder by trade, focused his energy on taking care of his young family. Competition wouldn’t stay away long though. The young couple persevered through pedigree to find top performances horses. The first being, a DR Nick Bar mare, the horse that Helen developed her outstanding ability as a barrel racer. After much success with the DR Nick Bar line, and collecting four own daughters by the legendary stallion, this would be the start of their elite bred broodmare band. This includes Alley’s sensational Dam “Sweet Fleet Bar.” The DR Nick Bar horses have proven their athletic ability and superior mindsets time and time again.

The couple knew right from the start how important a solid proven foundation would be. Not only did the mares have to prove themselves, but the foals had to perform as well. That thought process led to the Nowosad’s obtaining their double-bred Peppy San badger stallion BSF Northern Boon, aka “Vegas” (Peptos Quick Pick x El Northern Dance).

This next key purchase, Vegas, started as a smooth moving yearling, who caught Tyler’s eye at an auction sale. Tyler had planned to sit on his hands that day, but couldn’t resist a bid. In 2014 the Nowosad’s started crossing Vegas with their DR Nick Bar daughters, and in no time fell in love with the cross. Vegas now is the primary stallion used at Shamrock Performance Horses.

The young stallion and Tyler shared their own success story this spring, when SR Vegas Got Lucky aka “Marley,” was sold to 2016 World Champion Header Levi Simpson. Marley, the first son of Vegas’, found his niche in team roping instead of barrel racing. This allowed Tyler to campaign his skills as a roper and trainer.

Versatility in the performance world can be a hard to achieve. Combining dominant race blood with outcross working cow horse lines, generates an opportunity for the Nowosad’s to utilize all of their abilities. This is very evident in the horses that they are now performing on. This foundation of strong genetics in pedigree will remain stable for years to come.

Jaden and Rowdey are also an integral part of the system. They expose, and challenge the young horses to adhere to the “younger generations” tasks. Further demonstrating the quality of mind produced through the outcross genetics.

With winter fast approaching the Nowosad’s are gearing up for 2018. Fully dedicated, each and every one of them contributes their time, effort and dollars to insuring the success of the program. Helen is currently taking the steps necessary to get Alley on the track to RFD TV’s American Rodeo Richest One Day Rodeo in the World, hosted in Texas February 2018.

The Canadian Barrel Horse Incentive Breeders Sale October 7, 2017 in Ponoka, Alberta, was a strong start to the new season. Where they had a yearling filly “Sweet Northern Nick” entered with her Super Stakes Certificate and selling as the reserve highest bid. This filly is eligible for the added incentive money if run at the CHBI Thanksgiving race in the future. This was the first available yearling horse to be sold out of the program.

However, that was not the end of the Nowosad’s success at the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend. “Alley” held up her end of the bargain as well. With the fastest times on day 1&2 of the CBHI Derby, Helen and Alley had the long wait of being the last run in the Short Go. Excitement coursed through the arena as the dynamic duo “peeled paint” on three exceptional barrels, not only to win, but also to set an arena record at Calnash Center, with a 16.824 sec run. Hard work pays off but does not start nor end in the arena.

The Nowosad family will be busy introducing their exciting young prospects to the training program. Their training program involves many aspects including gentle starts; to develop balance and minds, extensive exposure to kids, dogs and other animals; with consistent training by all four members. One training tip they take very seriously is giving their horses praise. By developing a strong horse/rider bond through praise, the Nowosad’s are able to establish a willing confident partner.

Helen credits mentor NFR qualifier Lee Ann Rust for elevating her confidence and refining the mechanics of the training program. Rust’s insightful instruction has greatly influenced Helen’s guidance of her daughter Jaden.

Tyler and Helen are very excited for the future of their program. As well as watching Jaden and Rowdey make an impression on the rodeo world. The Shamrock may be a symbol of luck, but it’s the dedication of this exceptional family that brings success to Shamrock Performance Horses.

Western Thanksgiving

If you’re sitting in your house watching the raging blizzard outside your windows, it’s hard to imagine this coming weekend means Thanksgiving, in October – not a blustery day deep into December or January. However, a snow-mageddon presents the perfect opportunity to do some planning. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to give thanks and reflect on our blessings of the past year. And it’s the perfect time to blend the elements of our western lifestyle around us, into a creative and elegant setting for a feast with our loved ones.

After all, I feel as though no one can do Autumn like western folk can – with harvests done, cattle moved into their winter pastures and much of the horse show year now behind us – this is our season!

The ultimate would be to serve Thanksgiving dinner in the barn. But if you’re inclined to stay indoors near the warmth of a hard-working oven, here are six ideas for integrating your western lifestyle into a beautiful Thanksgiving feast.

Source: Country Living.

1. Pendelton Pumpkins. These sassy, geometrically-designed gourds are certain to be all the rage this year. Get yourself some soft pastel paint colors and washi tape and you too, can create beautiful pumpkins that scream western elegance.

Source: Country Living

Credit: Jenn Webster

2. Mason Jars filled with cutlery. Mason jars have been popular for everything from drinking sweet tea, to featuring beautiful motifs in candle displays. This year, we’re using them at each place setting to carefully delegate eating utensils and napkins.

Source: Tone on Tone

3. An Antler & Pumpkin Centerpiece. This stunning, yet simplistic centerpiece is created with white candles, flowers and antler sheds. Set on top of a white-washed farm table, you can’t go wrong with the artistic western balance of it all.

Credit: Jenn Webster

4. Charcuterie Board. A no-cook way to get the party started. Served on a round wooden slab, a selection of meats, pickled beans, cheeses, grapes and shell-shucked dry roasted almonds can stimulate appetites, while allowing the host a few more minutes for dinner preparation. The addition of a harvest-inspired centerpiece will give your table an elegant western flare.

Credit: Tone on Tone


5. Decorate Your Barn with Pumpkins. Who says all the Thanksgiving decor has to be up at the house? Or conversely, bring a barn sign up to your house, to compliment all the fall accents.

Credit: Pinterest

6. Beautifully Set Table. A stunning tablescape will set the tone for your dinner. A table left with a little space for food is good, but a filled table can be gorgeous. Use natural foliage for table accents or napkin holders. Use rustic-looking charger plates and chic glassware to instill an exclusive element.

Meet CS Princess Lizzie

Princess Lizzie addressing the Grandstand during the Calgary Stampede 2017.

The Calgary Stampede Royalty competition is in full swing for the next royal trio. Western Horse Review sat down with Lizzie Ryman, one of this years Calgary Stampede Princesses, about her experience, her fondest memories, and her sweet “Prince”, Kansas.

1. What have been some of your most memorable experiences, since your reign as Princess began, to date?

I would have to say that my most memorable experiences as a Princess thus far have happened right here at home in Calgary! Although we have been fortunate enough to travel to place such as Las Vegas and Berlin, you definitely don’t have to travel far to find something special. We attend “Happy Trails” once a month, where we visit seniors homes and bring the Calgary Stampede to those who live there. I met an elderly man who was a member of the Calgary Police Service for 45 years. Not only did we get to sit and chat about everything CPS – he also gave me some fantastic advice about how to apply for the police force, something I am very interested in doing in the future. Following this, he asked me to dance. Soon after he told me that his wife had passed 5 years ago, and I was the first person he had danced with since. He was so grateful for the time that I had spent with him at that particular evening’s Happy Trails, and I genuinely did not want to leave when the time came. The most important moments throughout your year as Royalty happen in the most unexpected ways, and I will never forget that evening!

The 2017 Calgary Stampede Royal Trio

2. Can you please tell us about your experience applying to become part of the trio? How did you feel the night you became a princess?

The contest portion for the Calgary Stampede Royalty was actually one of my favourite parts of the year! Throughout the month long competition, I met so many amazing girls that not only had the same interests as me, but helped me along my journey in being crowned as one of the 2017 Calgary Stampede Princesses. The contest entails many events such as public speaking, panel interviews, mix and mingle events, as well as an equestrian portion. Crowning night was one of the most thrilling yet nerve-racking nights of my life, and definitely an experience that I will never forget! I remember driving home after being crowned, walking into the house full of my friends and family – all wearing plastic tiaras with cake to celebrate! I had never felt so much love, support and encouragement.

A younger Lizzie with her beloved grandfather.

3. How has this experience changed your life?

I never could have imagined a more amazing year. Since being crowned one of the 2017 Calgary Stampede Princesses, I have travelled, met some of the most interesting people and made life long friends along the way. Forever will my Stampede family surround me, and although I pass on my crown very shortly, I have so many memories and skills that I have gained throughout this year to take along with me.


Lizzie, and her Prince, Kansas.

4. Can you please tell us about your Royal horse?

My Royal horse is named Kansas! He is the sweetest boy and I feel so lucky to ride him throughout the year of my reign. Kansas and Snoopy both came from John Scott as a duo to the Royalty program 7 years ago, and were actually used as stunt doubles for one another in the movie production industry!

Lizzie with one of her horses, Juno.

5. Can you please tell us about some of your best beauty tips/secrets? 

Get as much sleep as possible! Drink plenty of water and take your vitamins. These are the real secrets to feeling fresh and ready for the day!

6. Any favourite outfits?

I would have to say that my favourite outfit would be what we call our “Blue Leathers” made by Janine’s Custom Creations. Simple, yet noticeable and elegant!

Lizzie, running the Canadian Flag, as one of the CS Ranch Girls.

Premiere Western Art Show at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Cowboy Crossings, one of North America’s foremost annual Western art sales and exhibitions, opening to the public this October 7, 2017 in Oklahoma City, OK. The event and exhibition offers a unique combination of more than 150 pieces of art represented in different mediums featuring the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) 52nd Annual Sale & Exhibition, as well as the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) 19th Annual Exhibition & Sale.

Reaching for the Bronc Rein, Oil, 45” x 46”, by Jason Rich.

“The quality and diversity of perspectives showcased in Cowboy Crossings is indicative of how vast and relevant the West is to everyone today,” said Chief Financial Officer and Interim President and CEO Gary Moore. “Western art is at the foundation of the National Cowboy Museum’s mission, and the combination of art styles represented in this show, such as saddles and spurs along with paintings and sculptures, enables everyone to identify with a part of the West.”

Lakota Daydreams, Oil, 34 x 34”, by R.S. Riddick.

The CAA’s mission is to authentically preserve and perpetuate the culture of Western life in fine art. Representing some of the most highly regarded cowboy artists of today, the CAA’s goals include ensuring authentic representations of the West, “as it was and is,” and maintaining standards of quality in contemporary Western art and helping guide collectors.

TCAA Santa Susanna Bit, by Wilson-Capron.

The TCAA is dedicated to preserving and promoting the skills of saddlemaking, bit and spur making, silversmithing, and rawhide braiding and the role of these traditional crafts in the cowboy culture of the North American West. With a focus on education, this organization aims to help the public understand and appreciate the level of quality available today and the value of fine craftsmanship.

Hilltop, Acrylic, 60” x 60”, by Phil Epp.

CAA will be on display through Nov. 26, 2017, and TCAA will be on display through Jan. 7, 2018. For more information, a full list of Opening Weekend activities, or to purchase tickets, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/cowboy-crossings or call (405) 478-2250 ext. 218.

About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum – Nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is located only six miles northeast of downtown Oklahoma City in the Adventure District at the junction of Interstates 44 and 35, the state’s exciting Adventure Road corridor. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.