Wild West Cocktail – Pear Stagecoach

pearsc2When I bartended at a Calgary lounge in the late 90’s, and at the tail-end of an epic oil boom, it was all about the cocktail hour. Mixing up a precise combination of a whiskey sour, old-fashioned, fizz or martini – which, whether shaken or stirred, was always made with gin, never vodka – was a bit of an art form to those of us who proudly considered ourselves classic drink masters. The regulars who seated themselves at the smooth dark leather barstools of our horseshoe-shaped bar had discerning palettes and we prided ourselves on fixing a cocktail with deliberate perfection. The citrus fruit combination of a lemon, lime and orange, as well as maraschino cherries and a bottle of bitters was never far from hand, and it should be said, though the bar menu featured a half dozen pages of unique combinations, we would have rather walked barefoot on the contents of the evening’s broken glass pail, than be caught having to look up the ingredients of any cocktail ordered out of the well-worn, leather-bound menus.

I thought that sort of bartending artistry had long been forsaken in the mundane flavored-bottle offerings of today’s establishments, which have all but lost the classic Western cowtown vibe of those idyllic lounges. That is, until I travelled to Seattle to meet a friend with the sole intention of catching up on each other’s lives, whilst working our way through two full days of exceptional restaurants and drinking establishments along the wharf. There, what I had long considered to be a lost art in cowboy town was a thriving ingredient of the Seattle dining scene. Bartenders were mixing their own house bitters, creating amazing tinctures and fusing these ingredients all into a new generation of vintage-like cocktails, serving it all up behind the sort of white aproned and black tie pride I remembered from another place and time.bittersThe entire experience filled me with a nostalgic longing and inspired me to envision a return to the idea of a classic cocktail with a western twist. Hence, the Wild West Cocktail column, and my starter spring cocktail, the pear stagecoach. In another world, this might be referred to as a “sidecar,” but I’m striving for a western rift here, so I’ve taken a few liberties. Of note, no matter how precisely I’ve poured this recipe, it doesn’t take kindly to doubling. If you’re serving more than two, be patient, and revel in the art of the creation of each set.

Pear Stagecoach

Serves two.

Four ounces (120 ml) pear brandy

Two ounces (60 ml) triple sec (such as Cointreau)

One ounce (2 tbsp) freshly squeezed lime juice

Lime zest to garnish

Combine all into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into two chilled martini glasses. You may want to sugar rim them if you decide the drink is too puckery on its own. Garnish with twisted lime zest.

Real Life Rodeo Queen Secret Number 9

 

Katy Lucas as Miss Ponoka Stampede 2014: "Note the pure joy on my face at the discovery of pizza in the Ponoka Stampede Suite."

Katy Lucas as Miss Ponoka Stampede 2014: “Note the pure joy on my face at the discovery of pizza in the Ponoka Stampede Suite.”

You may not believe it, but I eat a lot.

If you’ve ever seen me inhabiting a hospitality room at a rodeo, you may have noticed a heaping plate always in my hand. No one seems to believe it until they see it, but I eat a lot of food.

Katy's emergency Five Guys Burger and Fries stop before the round winner’s awards ceremony at the National Finals Rodeo: "I had a lot of emergencies during those 10 days…"

Katy’s emergency Five Guys Burger and Fries stop before the round winner’s awards ceremony at the National Finals Rodeo: “I had a lot of emergencies during those 10 days…”

I love joking around and even bragging about how much food I can put away, and while I can usually play it off and make those jokes, sometimes I hear things that hurt.

I have actually had strangers ask both my friends and I if I have some sort of eating disorder. As someone who tries valiantly to keep weight on, not off, my body, this kind of judgment can be hard to hear.

So I would like to once and for all dispel the rumours.

One look at my family tree and you can understand my size. My dad couldn’t start steer wrestling until he was 30 because it took him that long to fill out; my mom wore long-underwear under her jeans, even in the summer, when she was a kid to try to make them fit better; and my brother, Kyle, at 6 foot 2, weighs in at a whopping 160 pounds.

Katy and her brother, Kyle, at the 2013 Canadian Finals Rodeo: "I think this photo proves that it’s simply in the genes for us."

Katy and her brother, Kyle, at the 2013 Canadian Finals Rodeo: “I think this photo proves that it’s simply in the genes for us.”

The point I would like to make is that no matter our size, we can all be hurt by other people’s judgment. It doesn’t matter how much we weigh, what shape our bodies may take or what our eating habits may be – be kind and don’t make assumptions based on looks, because we all know how deceiving they can be.

So why don’t we leave the judging up to our rodeo officials? They have the much more important job of deciding which competitors will top the leaderboard or make a clean run to win the rodeo!

Gary Rempel – the Pick-Up Man

In the rodeo arena, this pickup man is known as a cowboy’s cowboy. Behind all the glitz of his career, Rempel has an instinctive understanding of livestock, backed by an extreme knack for showmanship. If you can handle the pressure of the rodeo arena, Rempel says the payoff to his job doesn’t necessarily fill his wallet, but most certainly has its other rewards. Here’s his thoughts on life on the road, success in small but sure doses and staying ahead of the game. 

GaryRemple2

I was born and raised on the Matador Ranch, which was one of the largest government owned community pastures in Canada. My dad managed that, he also rodeoed, roped caves and picked up. I roped caves and team roped for awhile, but being a pickup man always appealed to me. Right now I just like doing what I am doing, and am trying to do the best that I can all the time.

In the pickup world, Wayne Vold was who I learned from. He was probably the best there was at the time. I worked with Wayne in Calgary for 10 years. I learned a lot from him, he was a master. His style was smooth – really smooth. When he did things he did them very efficiently and professionally. I just wanted to be in that style too.

When a horse bucks, a pickup man can help a rider in a pattern – we call that turning them back. We keep them in a pattern, so they buck better. Winston Bruce at the Calgary Stampede helped me a lot to understanding bucking horses.

For the past 20 some years we have been putting on a bronc riding school, and I put a pickup school in conjunction with it. We started out in Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan and just moved it to Millarville, Alberta, this last year. I turn guys away as a rule. I just keep it to a limited amount (three or four), so I can handle it better.

The biggest thing with being a pickup man is understanding livestock. You can learn it, but a lot of times it’s a instinct – it’s something you have in you. It all falls down to knowing what that animal is going to do and then reacting to it.

As far as picking up goes – I think it has been refined over the past 30 or so years. Years ago people just thought a pickup man was some guy that got on a big horse and rode it around an arena. As years went on, those ideas have changed. Picking up has now become more of a spectacle thing, almost like bull fighting. You make it almost an art and you keep trying to better yourself.

I travel with six horses. I want my horses to be able to handle the stock. In the bronc riding especially you really need a big stout horse that can handle a bucking horse being dallied up to them. I try to ride really nice horses and have them as broke as possible.

I make it very clear to guys who ask me about being a pickup man – this is not a glamorous job. You are expected to do a lot and you get very little praise for doing it. We don’t get paid a whole lot compared to the bull fighters, announcers or clowns. You are sure not going to get rich at it and you have to think about the expenses you have to put out before you even get started. You will need at least three to four horses that are going to work for you. I use five horses a day, per performance.

I put a lot of pressure on myself, because I want to do the very best I can. But no matter how hard you try you are working with animals, things don’t always go as smooth as you like. Pressure comes from everyone watching the rodeo, and they seem to dwell on the screw-ups. You have to try not to think about it. You go to Vegas and the day before it starts you get a nervous stomach. But once they have bucked the first horse you forget about it and you just do your job.

Sometimes you can be a good pickup man individually, but some don’t know how to work with a partner. Working with my brother Wade, that is as good as it gets. We both know where we both are, throughout the performance. You get picking up with someone who is not paying attention and you are going to get in a wreck in a real hurry.

The arena is basically yours all throughout the rodeo. But keep your ego in check. I’ve always said, if you get to thinking that you are pretty special, something will happen in that arena that will set you back and ground you in a big hurry. It’s a humbling thing when things happen in the arena.

There have been times when I have thought that I’ve had enough, but right now I love picking up and going to rodeos. What I don’t like is the traveling as I’m always a long way from home. I started when I was about 25. The only thing I wish I would have started sooner, so I could have done this longer. I am not thinking about quitting, but sooner or later your body can only handle so much.

I think the biggest payoff of this job is having the respect of your contestants and the contractors. Starting out is not easy and it is a hard deal to get into. It is hard for a young guy to start, as you will need someone who is willing to hire you. It’s easy to blow $100,000 in a heartbeat – on your truck, trailer and horses. But it is a good job and you can have fun, once you get established.

May/June Issue Survey

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Wild West Cocktail – Bakon Caesar

South of the border, the flagship cocktail of this savory bacon-infused vodka may be the Bakon Mary, but here in Canada, we tastefully defer to the Caesar.

South of the border, the flagship cocktail of this savory bacon-infused vodka may be the Bakon Mary, but here in Canada, we tastefully defer to the Caesar.

BY INGRID SCHULZ

Could there possibly be an alcohol-based potion more redneck than a potato-stilled vodka infused with bacon? We think not. Which is we found it mildly surprising that Bakon vodka, first developed in 2009, has quickly become the new rage in flavored vodkas and is a fast favorite at high end lounges all over the world. Perhaps even the best mixologists in the world have found that the savory aspect of bacon makes a great dominant profile in a vodka cocktail, and particularly one, which has a meal-in-inself character, such as our Canadian standard, the Caesar.

Distilled from potatoes, you’ll find Bakon vodka to be perhaps surprisingly smooth, and slightly sweet with a well-rounded flavor and very little aftertaste.

Should you be inclined to search out further cocktail recipes employing this unique vodka, you’ll be delighted to know an entire culture of Bakon vodka inspired lore has sprung up on the internet, including recipes for inventive cocktails such as the Irish Boar, Pizza Shot and Bacon and Egg Martini. Try a BLT Martini featuring crushed croutons and a cherry tomato and romaine lettuce spear. Or, a CoCo Pig, a chocolate martini in which the smokiness of the bacon enhances the chocolate.

Now who said you can put wings on a pig, but you can’t make it soar?

caesar1

Our version of the Bakon Caesar begins with a tall, thin cocktail glass, filled with ice, and rimmed with celery salt.

  • 1½ oz Bakon Vodka
  • Clamato Juice
  • a squeeze of lime juice
  • ½ tsp horseradish
  • a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes of Tabasco

 sauce
  • celery salt and pepper, if desired.

Stir and garnish as desired – we like a celery stalk, green olive and either a pickled bean or asparagus stalk.

Montana Ranch Horse Sale

Lot 25 "Im A Bama Gangster" consigned by Toby and Amy Vineyard of Arvada, Wyoming and purchased by Gary Funk of Frazer, Montana for $25,000

Lot 25 “Im A Bama Gangster” consigned by Toby and Amy Vineyard of Arvada, Wyoming and purchased by Gary Funk of Frazer, Montana for $25,000.

The ninth annual “REAL” Ranch Horse Invitational Sale was held April 18th at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, west of Billings, Montana. The sure enough ranch horses brought and previewed fresh by the people who make their living on them, drew a large and enthusiastic crowd, and produced an ever increasing sale average.

The top five ranch horses sold averaged $21,800; top ten $18,425; top twenty $14,387 and all ranch horses sold averaged $9,455.

There were two high selling horses.

First, was Lot 25 “Im A Bama Gangster” a 6-year-old AQHA sorrel gelding consigned by Toby and Amy Vineyard of Arvada, Wyoming and purchased by Gary Funk of Frazer, Montana for $25,000.

#2) caption:  Lot 45 " Cats Black Coyote" consigned by Roen Ranch of Musselshell, Montana sold for $25,000, and went to a ranch at Dillon, Montana.

#2) caption:  Lot 45 ” Cats Black Coyote” consigned by Roen Ranch of Musselshell, Montana sold for $25,000, and went to a ranch at Dillon, Montana.

The other high seller was Lot 45 “Cats Black Coyote” an 11-year-old AQHA black gelding consigned by Roen Ranch of Musselshell, Montana. He also heard the hammer fall at $25,000 and went to a ranch at Dillon, Montana.

Third high selling was Lot 27 “Cellphone” an 11-year-old grade black Quarter Horse/Draft gelding consigned by Jason Ward of Dillon, Montana. He left the ring at $21,000 and went to southern Wyoming.

Fourth high selling (tie) was Lot 51 “Severes Flounder” a 9 year-old AQHA bay gelding consigned by Lazy J 3 QH’s of Melstone, Montana and purchased by Matt Brown of Lodge Grass, Montana for $19,000.

Fourth high selling (tie) was Lot 56 “Cheyenne Point” a 6 year-old APHA bay tobiano gelding consigned by John Wollenburg of Red Lodge, Montana and purchased by Joe Poteat of Livingston, Montana for $19,000.

Nine head of young ranch horses (less experienced) also sold, with the top five averaging $6,800 and all of them averaging $5,628.

High selling (tie) young horse was Lot 18 “Smiths Blue Hancock” a 5 year-old AQHA bay roan gelding, consigned by John Wollenburg of Red Lodge, Montana and purchased by Ken Overcast of Havre, Montana for $8,000.

Other high selling (tie) young horse was Lot 60 “Hookem Up Bartender” a 4 year-old AQHA red roan gelding consigned by Froelich Ranch of Selfridge, North Dakota and purchased by Nicole Norwood and Jason Fales of Cody, Wyoming for $8,000.

This year there were also unstarted 2 year-olds offered for sale.  The high seller was Lot 63 “Blue Light Jethro” an AQHA gray gelding consigned by Ashley QH’s of Forsyth, Montana and also purchased by Nicole Norwood and Jason Fales for $5,000.  All four head of 2 year-olds averaged $3,815.

With buyers from far and wide, the horses stayed close to home going to North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.

Next year’s sale dates are April 15 and 16, 2016.  The catalog is already full and the horses are hard at work on the ranch and in the hills.  For more information, call 406-670-3400 or go to www.realranchhorses.com.

Western Careers – Equine Veterinarian

Not many people have the gumption to give up a successful career and start into post-secondary schooling again. Yet, that’s exactly what this cowgirl did. Here’s why she’ll never look back.

 Interview by Jenn Webster • Photograph by Deanna Kristensen

Erin-Shield

My great-grandfather homesteaded in Millarville, AB, in 1902. My grandmother was part of the very first University of Calgary graduating class. Being born and raised in the Calgary area meant I was always around horses. They were a part of my DNA. I remember how I used to get so excited if a veterinarian came to our place.

When I was younger, I started riding and training with show jumper Jonathan Asselin. At his barn I saw many interactions with vets and other equine personnel. The first time I ever observed a horse receiving acupuncture, I became immediately intrigued by sports medicine and its application to horses.

I went to school to be a human chiropractor for four years and later practiced with a big sports medicine practice in California. Our clients included the San Franciso 49ers and the San Jose Sharks. I got the opportunity to work with many injured players.

I met my future husband Dave while I was in California and ironically, he was also originally from Calgary. We knew we wanted to settle back in Calgary but if we wanted to travel, then was the time. So next we found ourselves in Ireland and I ran a locum Chiropractic practice there for two years.

I enjoyed what I was doing but I craved to work with animals. After Ireland we moved back to Calgary and the new University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was opening. Hundreds of students were applying but I sent my application in and was lucky enough to be chosen. I’ve never looked back.

I graduated with distinction as a member of the first graduating class from the U of C’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. During my time as a vet student, I won a scholarship for leadership and excellence in equine veterinary medicine. The award is offered by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (which represents 63 countries). Every school has an internal competition to compete for this scholarship and my name was put forward by my teachers. Then you compete against all the other schools. Only four people win.

My next adventure has already begun with further studies in the field of Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. I am enrolled in graduate studies through the UCVM and Moore Equine, and hope to be one of very few individuals to become boarded under the newly formed American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation through a local residency program – one of only three programs in the world.

My mother gave me a custom-made, felt cowboy hat when I graduated as a veterinarian. Inside the headband she had it embroidered to read, “I can do this…”

I work with Moore Equine Veterinary Centre in Balzac, Alberta, and honestly, this is my dream job. I am in horse heaven. It is the busiest equine referral hospital in Canada. With events such as Spruce Meadows and the Calgary Stampede, we’re really in the heart of the most elite performance horses in the world.

In 1998, I was a Calgary Stampede princess. Last summer, I was honored to serve as a Stampede veterinarian on the sideline. I estimate there to be 400+ horses there this year. Vets at the Stampede do everything from drug testing to caring for parade horses, to colics, minor lacerations and lameness exams. We’re also intimately involved in the Stampede’s Animal Care Advisory Panel, overseeing all animal welfare policies and codes of practice. They were long days but I loved every second of it.

Children are not in my plans for the immediate future but Moore is very supportive of women in veterinary medicine. If Dave and I do decide to have kids it’s nice to know I am in an environment where I can balance a family life and my career.

Surfing is my passion outside of veterinary medicine. Whenever my husband and I go on a holiday, it must include a surfing destination.

The logistics of stopping what you are currently doing and spending money to pursue a dream means a lot of people can’t do it. I feel very lucky to have been able to change career paths. I worked my butt off because I knew I was lucky to be given another chance.

Real Life Rodeo Queen Secret Number 8

Zeke Thurston and Katy Lucas at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida.

Zeke Thurston and Katy Lucas at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida.

You have to be a true cowgirl to do this job.

I’m not saying you have to be able to win the rodeo next weekend, have a father that you followed on the rodeo trail for 20 years, or have lived on a ranch all your life.

True cowgirls, in my mind at least, only require one quality: passion for this sport.

My sport is rodeo, and because it’s my sport I live and breathe it every day. It’s not a chore for me to study rodeo, it’s my obsession. I read articles about it online and in print, watch videos covering it, and listen to it on the radio.

I get excited when one of my Canadian competitors gets on a hot streak, I wish them best of luck with a healing injury, and I know it’s corny, but I tear up every time I see one of them celebrate a big win.

For example, did you know that Zeke Thurston won the Houston rodeo and wasn’t even supposed to be entered? When another competitor was injured, Zeke rolled up into the rodeo but by then the first round had already come and gone. So with one round less than any other competitor and as one of the least experienced bronc riders there, Zeke battled his way to the top!

Did you also know that when steer wrestler Derek Frank hurt his knee at the Ponoka Stampede last year I helped him write his letter to the benevolent fund to request injury compensation?

And did you know I fought the urge to cry like a baby when I interviewed team ropers Kolton Schmidt and Tyrel Flewelling after winning the Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2013?

Kolton-and-Katy-Interview-CFR-2013

Katy Lucas interviewing Kolton Schmidt about winning the 2013 Canadian Finals Rodeo in the Team Roping.

I would never think that rodeo queens should be required to compete in rodeo events themselves and I don’t think they should have to grow up in rodeo, but I do think they have to be true cowgirls in the way that they have a passion for the sport of rodeo.

By doing that, only then can you be the best representative for this sport, my sport, rodeo.

April Issue Survey

WHR_APRIL_Cover

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