An Interview with Cieran Starlight

How the 2018 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess is breaking barriers and maintaining the ethos of Stampede.

BY JENN WEBSTER

If you haven’t picked up a copy of the May/June Western Horse Review, you need to – soon! In this issue, we had the opportunity to photograph and interview Cieran Starlight, the 2018 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess. Lending her photography talent, was Shelby Simmonds of Twisted Tree Photography. There were so many amazing photos taken at this shoot and since it’s not always possible to fit everything onto the printed pages of a magazine, we simply had to showcase them here. Here too, is an excerpt of the interview.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Cieran Starlight is a fresh face in a heavy conversation about Indigenous awareness.

Raised traditionally, Starlight hails from the Tsuu T’ina First Nations. She represents the tribes of Treaty 7 (Siksika, Tsuu T’ina, Stoney, Piikani and Kainai Nations), Indian Village and the Calgary Stampede as the 2018 Indian Princess. It’s a commitment of colossal proportions and one that requires large shoulders. As Princess, Starlight will attend numerous events during her reign (more than there are days in the year), and educate the people she meets about the vibrant First Nations culture.

The name of her title will be questioned.

That fact alone should make the general public realize that upon winning her crown, Starlight won herself a very important role in promoting Indigenous richness – not a beauty pageant.

Starlight in her white, satin fancy dress, colourful shawl, and other breathtaking, cultural regalia. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

However, it doesn’t hurt that she has the kindest eyes, a genuinely beautiful smile and flawless skin either.

Growing up around the Calgary Stampede teepee owners, Starlight is well educated about the history of the Indian Village. Her family has been part of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth since 1912. She comes from a long line of Starlight performers who year after year, stay in the Village for the duration of Stampede’s 10 days answering questions for tourists, performing in Rope Square, and participating in mini pow-wows. She even worked one summer stint as an interpretative guide. It’s possible Starlight’s transition into the Indian Princess role, was a birth right bestowed on her by the universe.

There may be no more genuinely authentic person to represent First Nations peoples and their Stampede traditions at the moment than Starlight. Her challenge – one shared by a younger generation that has inherited the after effects of a cultural trauma – is how to encourage a better understanding of Aboriginal Peoples and how to keep that difficult conversation relevant for the future.

“I am not offended to be called the Indian Princess. I’m okay with it. It’s beaded into my crown. People have just used it in such an offensive way to Natives in the past,” Starlight says. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Luckily, for many of her adventures as Princess, Starlight is accompanied by chaperone Holly Fortier, who is a Cree/Dene from Ft. McKay First Nation, Alberta, and was also born in Treaty 7 Territory. Fortier has travelled the county conducting cultural sensitivity workshops to literally thousands of people, through her Nisto Consulting business. Fortier is in the ripple-effect generation of Indigenous people who suffered first-hand from Canada’s Residential School policies as her own mother was taken from her family at an early age. She has her own story and has carved out her own powerful role in the world by helping others adopt a respectful comprehension of Indigenous awareness.

Together and separately, both Starlight and Fortier are a spiritual force we can’t help but embrace. They are the winds carrying change.

“I’m so happy that I get to be a voice and not just a face,” Starlight tells us afterwards.

Starlight’s custom Princess buckle and a jingle dress she created herself. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

In the interview, we talk about the history of the Calgary Stampede, Guy Weadick and the positive relations between the Stampede and the Treaty 7 First Nations people. We also talk about the Indigenous name controversy. It’s an enlightening conversation to which, we are privileged to have Fortier’s guidance on the subject.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

We also discover the many talents Starlight possesses: she often makes her own jingle or fancy dresses and shawls to compete in traditional dance. One of her favorite tasks as the Princess are her days spent with the Happy Trails organization – a monthly event during her reign that requires all of the Stampede Royalty to meet at Senior Citizen homes and spend time with the residents.

“We sing old songs and do live performances for them,” Starlight grins. “Sometimes they want to sing along with us so we’ll find the page in their songbooks for them too. Things like that.”

She often tries to wear her yellow jingle dress on these visits because she knows many of the seniors need their spirits lifted. “I do a healing dance for them. A lot of the older ladies want to touch the jingles afterwards – they’re so cute. And it’s so nice if you can bring a smile to their face,” she says.

 

Starlight curbs the chill of the winter temperatures, in a Pendleton Night Dance Robe blanket. Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

“My role as Princess is to try and break down barriers and help people understand – this is about more than just a title. The Calgary Stampede is run on volunteers. The Royalty programs are youth development programs that help young women learn to speak publicly and build their confidence. I’m trying to educate people about my culture. We all have different dialects of language and different traditions that we practice. A word is not what I’m focusing on – it’s the Treaty 7 and the Calgary Stampede as a whole.” – Cieran Starlight.

To read more of this exclusive interview, order your subscription today at: www.westernhorsereview.com

Rodeo’s Best to Compete At Calgary Stampede 2018

Courtesy of the Calgary Stampede

Tiany Schuster was the 2017 Calgary Stampede Barrel Racing Champion, and will be returning to defend her title in 2018. Photo Credit: Calgary Stampede

Calgary – The Calgary Stampede is proud to officially reveal the names of the 120 rodeo superstars who have been invited to compete at Stampede 2018, July 6-15. Among them is 23 year-old Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Alberta, who has his sights set on capturing a record breaking fourth straight Calgary Stampede Saddle Bronc Championship.

“Zeke Thurston has the opportunity to make an incredible mark in Stampede history, but it won’t be easy,” says Kynan Vine, Manager of Western Events. “He is just one of many incredible competitors from Canada, the United States and Brazil who will be riding for a share of more than $2 million in prize money at this year’s Calgary Stampede.”

All six 2017 Calgary Stampede champions will return in 2018 to defend their titles at the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. They will be joined by the best-of-the-best in the world of rodeo, from the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Professional Bull Riders.

Canadian rodeo fans will be excited to see the return of veterans such as local bull rider Scott Schiffner, a Canadian and Stampede Champion and brothers Curtis and Cody Cassidy of Donalda, Alberta. Canada is also well represented by talented young riders such as Jake Vold, Clay Elliott, Layton Green and Zane Lambert. In Ladies Barrel Racing, 2017 Canadian Champion Carman Pozzobon of B.C. joins Diane Skocdopole of Big Valley, Alberta as the lone Canadians in the group of 20 extremely skilled horsewomen.

“It’s great to see so much home grown talent,” says Justin Denis, Calgary Stampede Rodeo committee chair, adding “We call it the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth for a reason. You will truly see the best in the world compete in Calgary over 10 days this July.”

The full 2018 Calgary Stampede Rodeo contestant list is below, and can also be found on CalgaryStampede.com.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 Calgary Stampede, and can be purchased at CalgaryStampede.com

 

If Zeke Thurston can continue his winning streak at the Calgary Stampede it will be a record-breaking moment in rodeo history. Photo Credit: Calgary Stampede

2018 Calgary Stampede Rodeo Contestants:
Saddle Bronc Riding
Justin Berg – Marwayne, AB
Hardy Braden – Welch, OK
CoBurn Bradshaw – Milford, UT
Jacobs Crawley – Boerne, TX
Sterling Crawley – Stephenville TX
Brody Cress – Hillsdale, WY
Cody DeMoss – Heflin, LA
Isaac Diaz – Desdemona, TX
Clay Elliott – Nanton, AB
Layton Green – Meeting Creek, AB
Dusty Hausauer – Dickinson, ND
Sam Kelts – Millarville, AB
Taos Muncy – Corona, NM
Audy Reed – Spearman, TX
Cort Scheer – Elsmere, NE
Wade Sundell – Coleman, OK
Zeke Thurston – Big Valley, AB
Jake Wright – Milford, UT
Ryder Wright- Milford, UT
Rusty Wright – Milford, UT
Bareback Riding
Tanner Aus – Granite Falls, MN
Caleb Bennett – Tremonton, UT
Clayton Biglow – Clements, CA
Ty Breuer – Mandan, ND
Jake Brown – Cleveland ,TX
Richmond Champion – Dublin, TX
Mason Clements – Santaquin, UT
Wyatt Denny – Minden, NV
Steven Dent – Mullen, NE
Kaycee Feild – Elk Ridge, UT
Cole Goodine – Carbon, AB
Seth Hardwick – Laramie, WY
Tilden Hooper – Weatherford, TX
RC Landingham – Hat Creek, CA
Orin Larsen – Inglis, MB
Clint Laye – Cadogan, AB
Tim O’Connell – Zwingle, IA
Bill Tutor – Huntsville, TX
J.R. Vezain – Cowley, WY
Jake Vold – Airdrie, AB
Ladies Barrel Racing
Taci Bettis – Round Top, TX
Kelly Bruner – Millsap, TX
Kellie Collier – Hereford , TX
Ivy Conrado – Hudson, CO
Callahan Crossley – Hermiston, OR
Jaime Hinton – Bulverde, TX
Hailey Kinsel – Cotulla, TX
Nicole Laurence – Cresson, TX
Lisa Lockhart – Oelrichs , SD
Nellie Miller – Cottonwood, CA
Amberleigh Moore – Salem, OR
Tillar Murray – Fort Worth, TX
Ericka Nelson – Century , FL
Carman Pozzobon – Aldergrove, BC
Carley Richardson – Pampa, TX
Jessica Routier – Buffalo, SD
Tiany Schuster – Krum, TX
Diane Skocdopole –  Big Valley, AB
Kylie Weast – Comanche, OK
Carmel Wright – Roy, MT
Steer Wrestling
Curtis Cassidy – Donalda, AB
Cody Cassidy – Donalda , AB
Cole Edge – Humboldt, IA
Dakota Eldridge – Elko, NV
Ty Erickson – Helena, MT
Chason Floyd – Ludlow, SD
Scott Guenthner – Consort, AB
Olin Hannum – Malad, UT
Kyle Irwin – Robertsdale, AL
Brendan Laye – Consort, AB
Tanner Milan – Cochrane, AB
Straws Milan – Cochrane, AB
Rowdy Parrott – Mamou, LA
Tyler Pearson – Independence, LA
Jon Ragatz – Beetwon, WI
Matt Reeves – Cross Plains, TX
Baylor Roche- Tremonton, UT
J. D. Struxness – Appleton, MN
Jason Thomas – Archer City, TX
Tyler Waguespack – Gonzales, LA
Tie Down Roping
Logan Bird – Nanton, AB
Al Bouchard – Scandia, AB
Trevor Brazile – Decatur, TX
Tuf Cooper – Weatherford, TX
Marcos Costa – Parana, BRA
Blane Cox – Cameron, TX
Morgan Grant – Didsbury, AB
Shane Hanchey – Sulphur, LA
Ryan Jarrett – Comanche, OK
Kyle Lucas – Carstairs, AB
Cooper Martin – Alma, KS
Timber Moore – Aubrey, TX
Jake Pratt – Ellensburg, WA
Matt Shiozawa – Chubbuck, ID
Caleb Smidt – Bellville, TX
Cory Solomon – Prairie View, TX
Cade Swor – Chico, TX
Stetson Vest – Childress, TX
Riley Warren – Stettler, AB
Marty Yates – Stephenville, TX
Bull Riding
Eduardo Aparecido – Goias, BRA
Trey Benton III – Rock Island, TX
Todd Chotowetz – Major, SK
Cooper Davis – Buna, TX
Ramon de Lima – Sao Paulo, BRA
Luciano De Castro – Ribeira Dos Indios, BRA
Joe Frost – Randlett, UT
Marcos Gloria – Edmonton,  AB
Jordan Hansen – Calgary, AB
Sage Steele Kimzey – Strong City, OK
Derek Kolbaba – Walla Walla, WA
Zane Lambert – Ponoka, AB
Jess Lockwood – Volborg, MT
Cole Melancon – Batson, TX
Chase Outlaw – Crossett, AR
Scott Schiffner – Strathmore, AB
Garrett Smith – Rexburg, ID
Fabiano Vieira – Perola, BRA
Ty Wallace – Collbran, CO
Stormy Wing – Dalhart, TX
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket: A Brief History

Source, Pinterest.

By JENN WEBSTER

Recently I had the opportunity to bring my mother a gift. I was really struggling with the perfect offering but when I came across a Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket, I knew my search had ended. Was there anything more Canadian? Growing up, I was always familiar with the multi-stripe pattern of this iconic blanket. One of my most treasured possessions now is a baby picture of my husband crawling around on one. However, I came to realize that after giving the newly acquired gift to my mother, I didn’t understand much of the blanket’s history.

It was time to look further into the iconic status of the Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket. First commissioned by Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) in 1800, the multi-stripe design lives on as a testament to our shared Canadian heritage. Throughout the 18th century, wool blankets were among the most popular trade items in the Canadian fur trade, accounting for more than 60% of all goods exchanged by 1700. Although blankets had been a trade good offered for some time, it was not until 1779 that the Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket came to life.

French fur-trader Germain Maugenest is thought to have advised the HBC to introduce point blankets. As part of his service of employment to HBC, he offered several suggestions for improving the growing inland trade from Fort Albany along the west coast of James Bay. One of his suggestions was that the company should regularly stock and trade “pointed” blankets.

Points were identified by the indigo lines woven into the side of each blanket. A full point measured 4–5.5 inches (10–14 centimetres); a half point measured half that length. The standard measurements for a pair of 1-point blankets was: 2 feet, 8 inches (81 centimetres) wide by 8 feet (2.4 metres) in length; with a weight of 3 pounds, 1 ounce (1.4 kilograms) each. Points ranged from 1 to 6, increasing by halves depending upon the size and weight of the blanket.

They allowed a blanket’s size to be easily determined even when folded – (Oh, how I wish all blankets and sheets came marked like this! Lord knows a system such as that found on Point Blankets would serve my current linen closet well…!) The point system was invented by French weavers in the mid-1700s since then, as now, blankets were shrunk as part of the manufacturing process. The word point derives from the French empointer, meaning “to make threaded stitches on cloth.”

The number of points on a blanket represents the overall finished size of the blanket – not its value in terms of beaver pelts, as is often thought.

 Although some sources suggest there is some meaning to the stripe colours or order, the truth is that nothing intentional was meant by the design. The four traditional colours of green, red, yellow, and indigo were simply colours that were popular and easily produced using good colourfast dyes at the time (around 1800). They are sometimes referred to as Queen Anne’s colours, since they first became popular during her reign (1702–1714).

 

The 1974 Calgary Stamped Royalty. Happy Barlow, Karin Kraft, Sis Thacker.

Interestingly enough, HBC did not roll out its first commercially available Point Blanket coat until 1922, although fur traders, voyageurs and Indigenous peoples had already been making them into coats for almost 200 years by then. These too, come with a long, interesting history.

The Coyote Fur throw by Caroline Furs.

What I love most about the HBC Point Blankets are their rich history and the fact that back in the early days of fur trading, they were well suited for cold Canadian winters. I had a Grandfather who tried to make an early living out of the trapping of beaver pelts. I can almost picture him traveling by dogsled with his young wife (my Grandmother) draped in a Point Blanket, deep into the wilderness of Canada.

Today, the blankets still hold their iconic status and warmth and as such, are used in a multitude of ways for home decor or fashion.

As seen in Vogue Australia. Source: Pinterest.

With their pops of color, these blankets make Canadiana statements wherever you look. From couch throws, to mugs, to the patterns on towels at a cottage retreat – the HBC Point Blanket pattern has inspired many a home. The pattern has also made appearances on special edition Canadian Olympic blankets, snowboards, Barbies, and milestone anniversary Canadian gifts.

Photo Credit: Ryan Rowell of Rowell Photo

Often duplicated, all genuine HBC Point Blankets come with authenticity labels. This has been done since 1890, as point blankets of similar quality were being sold by HBC competitors. In April 2017 HBC updated the label, rotating it from portrait to landscape, making it is easy to have English and French on either side of the crest. It was also enhanced with red on the flag. To celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary in 2017, HBC added an additional label which was a picture of voyageurs in a canoe, with CANADA on the top, to the blanket.

With such an elaborate history dating back to the early days of fur traders and settlers in Canada, I believe we’ll start to see more of the HBC Point Blanket influence in western lifestyle culture too, as our younger generations begin to understand its importance to our early beginnings. To me, it’s a symbol of early pioneering. A good that was crafted into a need and helped forge early Canada. It goes hand in hand with a wood-burning stove and a love of the past. What’s more western than that?

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.

Meet CS Princess Brittany

Calgary Stampede Princess, Brittany Lloyd, in Berlin.


The Calgary Stampede has come and gone, and a new trio will soon be crowned. Western Horse Review sat down with Brittany Lloyd, one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Princesses about her experiences, her beloved Stampede horse, Snoopy, and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

1. What were your favourite parts of the 2017 Calgary Stampede?

Wow! I can’t believe the Calgary Stampede has come and gone. Over the ten days we had the opportunity to attend Paul Brandt’s #NotInMyCity event (thank you, Sal Howell!), visited many of the infield suites and scored a seriously good view for the Alabama concert. But amidst all the madness during the Calgary Stampede, I absolutely loved hopping on my horse, Snoopy, for Grand Entries. I will always remember that quiet moment walking up the alley way towards the arena knowing we would soon be greeted by friends, family and rodeo fans from all over the world!

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

There are many highlights from the year including the Calgary Stampede, National Finals Rodeo, Canadian Finals Rodeo, Grey Cup and International Tourism Conference in Berlin; one of my favorites, however, was Aggie Days. This is a convention rodeo that is closed to the public, but open to schools in Calgary and the surrounding area for grades three through five to give students the opportunity to learn about rodeo and agriculture sustainability – two things I am very passionate about! I absolutely love doing things in our hometown because there is an overwhelming sense of community spirit and pride. It was our first grand entry and first time I really felt a part of the horse and livestock community at the Calgary Stampede. The children at Aggie Days had the most unbridled enthusiasm for meeting competitors and royalty, which will be an experience I will cherish forever.

The 2017 Calgary Stampede Royalty

 

3. 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?

I still find it a little surreal! For me, the Calgary Stampede always came before the title “Princess”. As a born and raised Calgarian, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a part of the Calgary Stampede organization. The Calgary Stampede to me represents so many key elements – celebration of community, celebration of history, spirited competition, pride in our heritage and true hospitality at its best. What I identify most with about the Calgary Stampede, is what is at the heart of this 10-day exhibition; the animals. Having the privilege to see the wild horses of the Calgary Stampede at the Stampede Ranch, I sincerely believe these animals are integral to Alberta’s history and future. I am so proud of the the Born to Buck breeding program and the Calgary Stampede’s commitment to excellence.

4. How has this experience changed your life?

This past year, I have had to the opportunity to turn strangers into neighbors by helping host people from around the world during the Calgary Stampede, and I have never been more proud to call this city home. Cowboys and cowgirls have defined Calgary’s values, influenced how we do business and inspired generations to come. It has been an incredible opportunity to help foster these traditions and help tell the great story of the Calgary Stampede to the world. While my year as a Princess may be coming to an end, I hope to stay involved in the Stampede in another capacity.

Princess Brittany, with her “Prince”, Snoopy.

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

I am so grateful to share this experience with the palomino gelding Snoopy. Prior to being owned by the Royalty Program, he was a movie horse and certainly likes to be the star of the show! He can get a little hot, particularly at the end of “Oh Canada” during grand entries, but he is one of the safest, kindest horses I’ve ever ridden. I come from an english riding background, and he has been the perfect horse to transition me from jumper to cowgirl (with a little help from Eamor’s Saddlery and Clay Webster.) I know he will make the next Princess as happy as he has made me!

A future Princess Brittany at the Calgary Stampede

6. What’s a typical day in your life as Princess look like currently?

Aside from the 10 days of Stampede, there is no “typical day” for a Princess! Our schedules are constantly changing and each event brings something new, unexpected and exciting. We attend all types of things from school visits, to rodeos, Calgary Tourism events and charity functions. What makes this program so unique is that we are truly ambassadors for Calgary’s community spirit, our western heritage and cultural values – with a touch of rodeo on the side! I feel most honored to be included in charity events such as the Calgary Stampede Foundation fundraisers, visiting the Ronald McDonald house and having the opportunity to meet people touched and inspired by the Calgary Stampede.

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

Before becoming a Princess, I wasn’t very glamorous, so this year has been full of learning in terms of hair and makeup. I think my best tip would be to start with your skin! I’m very disciplined about taking my makeup off before bed and washing my face in the morning. I also think being healthy is so beautiful so I try to stay fit, eat healthy and drink lots of water. My biggest beauty indulgence is eyelash extensions. Leigh Glover of Luv Leigh Lashes does an amazing job of making sure they look natural but also long and full. The trio is also very fortunate to be sponsored by Aria Studios for all our makeup needs.

Princess Brittany waving to rodeo fans, friends and family during her grand entry lap.

8. Any favourite outfits?

It is so hard to pick just one favorite outfit! We probably have close to 50 pieces to mix and match, so I always love when our wardrobe committee gets creative and changes things up. I feel most comfortable when we are in our riding or rodeo attire because its extension of my personality and style. My favourite look would have to be our white Wrangler jeans with our navy blue “fringe” shirt. The top was made by Janine of Janine’s Custom Creations and I absolutely love how they look in grand entries! My most cherished wardrobe item are our custom Alberta Boots that match our Canada 150 leathers. They are so unique and I love anything patriotic! They also have crowns and our initials on them so to me they represent our trio’s place in the legacy of Calgary Stampede Royalty.

9. Anything else you would like to add?

I’m so grateful to share this experience with so many people, but I’d love to say a big thank you to my trio – Princess Lizzie and Queen Meagan – for making this experience so memorable. I’d also love to say thank you to all of my friends and family for their support during this busy year! It has been an honor to represent the Calgary Stampede and a privilege to be a part of be a part of showcasing western hospitality. I’d like to reach out to everybody I’ve had the fortune of crossing paths with this year. May we meet again. Happy trails!

One of Princess Brittany’s favourite parts of the Calgary Stampede was the interactions with all the amazing animals – from rough stock to back in the barns.


Tomorrow is the LAST day to enter the Calgary Stampede Royalty Contest. The Royalty Committee is accepting applications until August, 11, 2017. If you are interested in becoming a member of the 2018 Calgary Stampede Royal Trio, you can find more information at www.csroyalty.com.

Meet CS Queen Meagan

Photo by Tara McKenzie.

 

The Calgary Stampede is in full swing! Western Horse Review sat down with Meagan Peters, this year’s Calgary Stampede Queen about her experiences, her Stampede horse and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

Q. What are you most looking forward to during the 2017 Stampede?

A. During our year as the Royalty Trio, we attend about 400 events. All those events prepare us for the 10 days at The Worlds Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! Thank goodness for all that experience because during those 10 days alone, we will attend 150 events. Throughout our year, I have most enjoyed getting to know the many committee members, volunteers, employees and sponsors involved in Calgary Stampede. I’m very much looking forward to spending some time with them during Stampede and celebrating what we have worked so hard to represent all year.

Although, I am most looking forward to the grand entries at the rodeo. As horsewomen, we work very hard keeping the horses conditioned so they are prepared for anything that may come along the way. The feeling I get in my heart before we race into any rodeo arena is like no other. It is such a thrilling experience to hear your name announced and the crowd cheering. Every year that I have watched previous trios at the opening ceremonies at the rodeo, I have hoped and prayed that some day that could be me. The first day of Stampede was one of the happiest days of my life.

Photo by Tara McKenzie.

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Q. What are your most memorable experiences to date?

A. There are so many wonderful and inspiring people that I have met this year and I am tremendously honoured to have been given the opportunity. I have loved traveling to Toronto for Grey Cup, Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo and Berlin for the International Tourism Convention.

My favourite trip was at the NFR, as the Calgary Stampede’s bucking stock were featured in it. I think that is when our role as an ambassador finally hit me as to what we represent, along with our western values and heritage. One of my favourite events most recently was attending the Presidents Rodeo at the OH Ranch. We did a grand entry before the rodeo, joined 300-400 of Stampede members for dinner and were entertained by the talented Gord Bamford. I loved mingling with the guests and at this time, I really felt part of a huge family with the same passion for Stampede. I remember leaving that night thinking, “This is where I belong and I’ll never forget this day for as long as I live.”

A young, future queen Meagan.

 

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Q. What was your experience like applying for the trio and your feeling at the crowning?

A. I have auditioned 3 times to be in the Royalty Trio and twice I had made it to the top six contestants. Each year of auditioning, I had so much fun in the competition. I have met so many lovely competitors and volunteers involved that I wanted to stay in touch with them. Coming so close in the finals of the competition each year gave me the fire that I would do what ever it took to be in the trio. In preparation for my third time auditioning, I had taken a Dale Carnegie Public Speaking course. It was an 8-week program with intense speech preparation and impromptu practice. This gave me so much more confidence to speak publicly as I was more timid in my first two years auditioning.

 

On crowning night in September, this was the most nerve wracking experience of all. I had stumbled on my impromptu speech and my music did not work properly for my choreographed ride. I was dying of embarrassment and defeat. I was thinking, “Great, I have just had the worst performance in front of 200 people and I just blew my chances of being in the Royal Trio.”  …And then my heart dropped when I was announced as Stampede Queen. I had never been so shocked in my entire life! Thank goodness the rest of the competition before crowning went well. I am only human and everyone has bad days. Every day since being crowned, I have worked hard to support my team with Princesses, Brittany Lloyd and Lizzie Ryman. They are amazing individuals!

  • The Royalty Contest is now open and applications are being accepted until August 11, 2017! For more information, visit: www.csroyalty.com

Queen Meagan’s personalized boots, spurs and hat.

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Q. How has this year changed your life?

A. Everyday this year, I think how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity. I try not to let this year slip away too quickly and take in every experience to the second. Personally, I have become more focused on what all this has meant to me and how it has changed my life. I will always be involved with Stampede after my year is over. I would love to volunteer more of my time in the Queens Alumni and support future trio members. I cherish the ability to talk to people I do not know and value the life experience this program has given me for future careers and personal relationships.

Check out the Stampede Queen and Princesses on Instagram @stampedeqandp.

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Q. Please tell us about your royal horse?

A. “Blue” has been one of my favourite experiences this year. She is a 6-year-old blue roan and it is her first year in the Royalty Program. She has taken over for “Hawk,” as he will be retiring. She is very sweet but will throw some sass my way every now and then. She has been very quiet in parades and has found out recently just how fast she can go in grand entries which is every Queen or Princesses’ dream. She has been trained by Clay Webster himself before our Equestrian Committee found her. Clay is a sponsor of our program and I cannot thank him enough for all the training he has given us a trio this year. I will be heartbroken to say goodbye to Blue and the end of our year but know she will be in great hands!

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Q. Please describe a typical day in the royalty life?

A. Stampede time is really busy. But even prior to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, we were busier than ever and had many events to attend in a day. Our usual wake up time is around 5, 6 or 7 AM to get ready. Doing our hair and make-up has become routine and have become much faster than when were were first crowned! Before Stampede we attended pancake breakfasts in the morning at various schools and many fundraiser events. In the afternoon, we visited sponsors if we have the chance and either head home to change for the evening or grab lunch. In the evening, we attend Stampede Foundation meetings, Happy Trails at retirement homes, events that are going on at Stampede park or additional training on Stampede related events. If we did not have an event or training in the evening, we will ride our horses in Mossleigh, AB – which sometimes involves bathing the horses before a parade. In the summer months, we have been attending local parades and rodeos surrounding Calgary every weekend. I usually do not get to bed before 10 PM most nights but every day is worth packing it all in!

Q. Best beauty tips?

A. All of my beauty tips I owe to The Aria Studios! Liz has been an amazing sponsor and I use all of her make-up in my morning and evening routines. Liz’s signature products is her lipsticks. We are constantly talking, smiling, taking photos and must always be “camera ready” in case a surprise interview comes up. A lipstick that stays on all day is key! The Aria lipsticks do just that! I also love her skin care, face masques/scrubs and foundation powders. I will always use her line of skin care and make up for life!

 

Q. Favorite outfit?

A. My favourite outfit is our new “Blue Leathers.” It consists of a turquoise fringe, suede skirt and a matching vest. Its has “CS” embroidered on the back, and a horseshoe concho on the front. And to top it all off, our turquoise and brown pointed boots sponsored by Lammles and our three ringed diamond jewellery set from Montana Silver. One of our other amazing sponsors is Janine’s Custom Creations! Janine sews a lot of our shirts, skirts, and leather formal outfits herself. We have advisors that request a certain look and Janine will shape that idea and bring it to life. What would we ever do with out her and our wardrobe experts, Kary Otto and Laverne Peckham!

There are many sides to the talented and beautiful Calgary Stampede Queen Meagan Peters. If you get the chance to see her this week, be sure to say hi!

Meagan on a family fishing trip in Saskatchewan last Thanksgiving. She says, “For my family this is a tradition. I love sturgeon fishing there – It’s always a challenge. The competition is tough but there are huge fish!”

Texan takes top spot in 14 class Team Cattle Penning Championships

Photo: Calgary Stampede Team Cattle Penning


Shared from Calgary Stampede News

When the prize money at the Calgary Stampede enters record-breaking territory, even riders from Texas will make the trek north, despite having 11 horses in tow.

The journey paid off to the tune of $27,737 for Louie Saggione III of New Boston, Texas. Saggione and his teammates, Erin Hill (Temecula, Calif.) and Gary Naughton (Grand Ridge, Ill.) took top spot in the 14 Class Team Cattle Penning Championships Friday at the Saddledome. A whopping 819 teams entered the event’s four classes, up from 650 in 2016, pushing the overall prize money to $400,032.

“When you put this much money up, you are going to get an exemplary group of competitors,” said Saggione, whose team posted an aggregate time of 132.420 over four runs, with 12 head penned. “We had a little luck and the team worked well together. We stayed calm and did what we needed to.”

Reserve Champions Shaylene Hunter, Carther Rice and Chrissy Santangelo were awarded a cheque for $18,491 for their time of 140.070 with 12 head penned. In Team Cattle Penning, teams have one thin minute to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd of 30 and direct them into a 16-foot-by-24-foot pen at the opposite end of the arena. It’s a fast-paced dance between the riders and their mounts, and the cattle they’re aiming to pen.

Teamwork is paramount, with all three riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen. The four classes in Team Cattle Penning are based on relative skill and experience — in ascending order from 7 Class, to 10 Class, to 14 Class, to the trainers and travelling professionals of the Open Class. This year, teams faced off over three days of qualifying in the Silver Slate Arena in Stavely, Alberta, for the 20 available spots in each class.

Saggione, Hill and Naughton have ridden together for years and the Stampede is the kick off to their competition season. Hill qualified for Sunday’s Class 10 final and then the trio will head to California with those 11 horses Saggione drove up from Texas. (Despite the number of mounts, Hill ended up borrowing horses from other competitors for her rides.) First, though, there will be time for some “adult activities” at local watering holes, Saggione said.

A team from closer to home, meanwhile, took the 7 Class Team Cattle Championships, also held on Friday. Father and daughter Leonard and Danielle Gamache from Quesnel, B.C. earned their championship belt buckles and $32,452 payout for their four rides with teammate Christine Gray of Kamloops, B.C. The trio posted an aggregate time of 141.860 with 12 head penned, nailing consistent runs in the 30- to 40-second zone.

That the trio bested a field of 241 teams in the 7 Class is even more impressive when you learn Danielle is 15 years old. It’s not her first rodeo, so to speak, as she competed at Stampede last year (finishing in eighth spot) and won the Nationals in 2014 riding with her parents.

“I like to be competitive,” she said with a shrug when asked what keeps her engaged in the sport. Her father confirmed it, saying his daughter brings that drive for perfection to all that she does, whether it’s her schooling or rounding up cattle in front of thousands of spectators. Danielle will have a shot at another championship buckle on Sunday, as she also qualified in the 10 Class.

“The family that plays together, that pens together, stays together,” added Leonard, and as his son also competes, it really is a family hobby.

Also in 7 Class, an aggregate time of 161.700 with 12 head penned earned Jim Ward and Ty and Lani Cornelius the title of Reserve Champions and a cheque for $21,635.

For full results, please visit calgarystampede.com

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west.  The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values.  All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

GMC Rangeland Derby – King Kelly’s Final Lap

The King of the Chuckwagons, Kelly Sutherland is set to take his last laps around the Calgary Stampede track this year. Photo: Leah Hennel/Post Media

 

Re-posted with permission from Calgary Stampede News
By: Scott Cruickshank, Calgary Stampede

The writing on the side of the shiny truck nicely sums up the man’s career. Painted in big letters, white on black, are two lines – 12 world championships, 12 Calgary championships. That snapshot of dominance is digestible even at highway speed. And the licence plate declares who’s in the driver’s seat – KING K. Yes, the King. Kelly Sutherland. The chuckwagon legend, who will soon know if he needs to update that paint job, is taking his last crack at the GMC Rangeland Derby. Because, whether he likes it or not, the pasture awaits. Aging out at 65 years old, does not mean he intends to tiptoe away from the Calgary Stampede. A household name, the winningest reinsman in history, he remains hungry.

“When you talk about racing, I was a hog – I got to the trough,” says Sutherland, relaxing at his son Mark’s spread, south of Calgary. “When I leave, there’s going to be quite a vacuum… because I’m always perceived to be a threat to win. If I can get there, I can usually get the job done.”

Action – with $1.15 million in prize money – opens Friday at 7:45 p.m. It concludes July 17 with the Dash for Cash. One of 36 invitees, Sutherland has appeared 21 times in the championship heat. So he doesn’t see why he can’t pad his portfolio.

“Oh, that would be special,” he says of the prospect of nailing down a 13th title here. “Every win has been extremely emotional, especially the last ones. You know you’re coming to the top of the mountain and you’re putting up more flags. That’s how I look at it – you make your mark higher every time you win. The minute you stop doing that, of course, your career starts going the other way.”

Sutherland admits that, physically, he ain’t what he used to be. Even faithfully following an off-season training regimen hasn’t slowed a case of the creaks. As a relatively small driver, five foot 11 and 175 pounds, he’s taken a beating over the past 50 years. “Shoulders, hips, all moving joints,” says the Grande Prairie, Alta., native. “The last five years have been extremely hard on my body. My body has been telling me for a while that things aren’t so nice.”

“I can walk – everybody knows somebody that can’t – so I think that it’s just time for me.”

The sport won’t see another character like him. Peers and fans love or hate the outspoken star, but no one can dispute his profile, which he took measures to enhance. Accommodating reporters. Signing autographs. Promoting himself. “I was the first chuckwagon driver that actually made posters,” says Sutherland. “It was frowned upon in the ’70s by the old guys. They were very reserved. It was the western way – you didn’t blow your own horn. My whole life has been colourful to say the least.”

Without question. Only 17 years old, and already married to his sweetheart Debbie, he made an erratic debut at the Stampede. At 20, he placed second.

“I thought, ‘Well, there it goes – I’m never going to win this thing.’ ” But in 1974, he became the youngest-ever victor in Calgary – only 22. He claimed four of the next five crowns. “I thought I was invincible, that I could win at will.”

But over the next 19 years, he registered only a single Rangeland victory. Carousing was taking its toll. Desperately reaching out to Alcoholics Anonymous, he’s been sober since 1995. “(Drinking) used to consume about eight hours of my day,” says Sutherland. “(Without booze) you’ve got that eight hours to put to use and I just focused on racing horses and winning. “I got cleaned up and I won (the Stampede) five out of six years.” Along the way to chuckwagon’s pinnacle, he cultivated a couple of trademarks – the eagle feather (tucked into his hat band before his first Stampede triumph and immediately a permanent part of his get-up) and the exuberant post-race thumbs-up.

“That’s emotional,” Sutherland says of the gesture. “When you win something and you beat a bunch of guys … some guys hide emotion, I don’t.” He managed to capture Rangeland Derby titles in his 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s – and one a couple of months shy of his 60th birthday. Imagine that.

“When I was a kid, I always had so much drive to be successful,” he says. “Internally, I felt that I had to conquer some sporting event. Fortunately, I won early and often when I was young. I got the confidence. After that, it was natural.

“At some of the bigger events, like Calgary, (I felt) it’s not mine to win, it’s mine to lose. There was just an air about it. I feel an entitlement that that show is blocked and reserved for me.”

Now Sutherland, a great-grandfather, is done. Nearly. “Kind of surreal,” he says, “because I’ve witnessed the sport come from the real, real rough, tough, old cowboy stance to a lot of commercialization now. I’m sure I’ll miss it, but I think I’m ready to move onto another chapter in my life.”

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west.  The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values.  All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

Canvas Auction Numbers Up

In a show of strong community support for the sport of chuckwagon racing, the total auction proceeds this evening are $2,420,500 up $123,000 from 2016. Kelly Sutherland takes home the top bid of the night, $110,000, courtesy of Friends of the King.

“This sport has deep roots in our city and in our country, and tonight’s bidding makes that very clear,” said Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon committee chair Mike Piper, following the auction. “The support pledged to these drivers helps to ensure we will continue to enjoy chuckwagon racing for years to come.”

In total, more than 175 groups and companies registered for the opportunity to advertise with the 36 men who will be competing in the 2017 GMC Rangeland Derby during the Calgary Stampede, July 7-16. The proceeds of tonight’s auction will help those drivers cover the expense of caring for and travelling with their horses, not just during the Calgary Stampede, but throughout the racing season.

In addition to gaining valuable exposure for their brand, successful bidders now have the opportunity to offer clients, employees, friends and family a one-of-a-kind experience in the chuckwagon barn area during the 2017 Calgary Stampede.  For interested parties, a select few of those opportunities may still be possible post-auction by teaming up with successful bidders. More information is available at calgarystampede.com.

 20172016
Total Auction Proceeds $2,420,500$2,297,500
Average Bid$67,236$63,819
Top bid driverKelly SutherlandKurt Bensmiller
Top bid$110,000$120,000