Barrel Racing Times Strong Despite Adverse Weather at Stampede

Barrel Racing Times Strong Despite Adverse Weather at Calgary Stampede

Pool B action began today at the 2010 Calgary Stampede. And, despite rather challenging weather conditions, barrel racers rose to the occasion with Lethbridge, Alberta’s Rana (Walter) Koopmans winning the round with a 17.64 second run. 2009 NFR qualifier, Sue Smith rode her Dash Ta Fame gelding, “Claimer” to second place money (17.74) with five time Canadian Champion Deb Renger (who was on the top of the ground) third with a 17.82 second run. All pretty respectable times considering the Stampede has seen two plus inches of rain in the last couple of days.

Pool A action which began last Friday, July 9 with sunshine, warm weather and great ground conditions, wrapped up yesterday. The first set of barrel racing contestants contended with moisture too, as a strong weather front arrived just after the rodeo started July 12… dumping significant moisture on the infield at the start of Monday’s rodeo. Ironically enough, the ground held up very well despite the rain… a tip of the hat to Stampede officials for working to create positive ground conditions for the breadth of infield events held during the ten day event. At the end of Pool A, the top four barrel racers (who earned spots in Sunday’s Showdown Round July 18) were Brittany Pozzi, Jill Moody, Lindsay Sears and Lisa Lockhart.

Pool B contestants return for three more performances… hopefully under drier conditions. For the 12 contestants in each major event who don’t earn a buy into Sunday’s Showdown round by virtue of their regular performance results, “Wild Card Saturday” (July 17) offers one more opportunity for them to secure one of two additional spots on Sunday’s roster.

Tune in later this week for further Calgary Stampede barrel racing highlights.

Cowboy Up Challenge Champion

Glenn Stewart of Baldonnel, B.C., shows winning form Monday afternoon in winning the inaugural Cowboy Up Challenge at the Calgary Stampede. An Extreme Cowboy Racing rookie, Stewart ripped off a run of 110.5 points in the final round for victory. Photo: Calgary Stampede

For a sport that presents extreme challenges, Glenn Stewart sure made this look routine.

Against a throng of American heavy hitters, during the first Extreme Cowboy Race held in Canada, Stewart and Genuine Jet Smooth, his faithful 10-year-old quarter horse stallion, emerged as the unexpected winners of the inaugural Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge on Monday afternoon at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

“I was learning from them other contestants. They’ve done this lots, and it was my first go at it,” said Stewart, who operates The Horse Ranch in Baldonnel, B.C. “I was thinking, better pay attention to what’s going on out here, and see if I can learn something.”

Clearly, he did. During Monday’s 12-team championship final of the Cowboy Up Challenge, Stewart and Genuine Jet Smooth were fast and clean and smooth and nearly flawless, negotiating the obstacles on the Saddledome infield with ease and grace. Stewart’s winning score from the event’s two-man judging team was 110.5, good for a $5,000 cheque, a coveted Stampede championship buckle, and an automatic berth at the Extreme Cowboy Association’s (EXCA) world championship later this year at Topeka, Kansas.

Robin Bond of Vista, Calif., placed second aboard Jose’s Perfection with 109.5 points, collecting a reserve champion’s cheque of $4,000. Kelly LeBlanc ofRiga, Mich., was third on Sun Sparkle Cricket with 103.125 points, stuffing $2,000 in his Wranglers.

Stewart spends about 250 days a year conducting horsemanship clinics, camps and courses, some of which take place out in his stomping grounds, the wilds of northeastern British Columbia. His Stampede opponents such as Robin Bond of Vista, Calif., Bill Cameron of Rosamond, Calif., and Sally Addington of Polk, Penn., arrived with plenty of Extreme Cowboy Race experience under their belt, but Stewart’s only EXCA event was a clinic and demonstration held by the sport’s founder, Craig Cameron, held in March at the Corral on Stampede Park, where he finished third.

“We do years of riding out in the bush, out in the corral and up in the mountains, with nobody around, and you’re workin’ and workin’ and workin’ on your horsemanship, trying to improve,” said Stewart, who’s dabbled in team roping, team cattle penning, cutting and working cow horse disciplines, but not in an organized manner. “This (Cowboy Up Challenge) just came out of nowhere. I have a lot of friends who poked and prodded me to get into this, let the Stampede know I was around.

“So I jumped in it in March, with two weeks’ notice, and they let me enter this one. Unbelievable.”

The fastest-growing sport in the equine industry, Extreme Cowboy Racing is a timed and judged event that demands both horsemanship and speed, and challenges both horse and rider with an obstacle course that may include such challenges as moguls, bridges, log crossings, tunnels, cowboy curtains, roll backs, and water crossings, among others.

Glenn Stewart of Baldonnel, B.C., is all smiles Monday afternoon after winning the Calgary Stampede’s inaugural Cowboy Up Challenge, sanctioned by the Extreme Cowboy Association of Bluff Dale, Texas. Victory was worth $5,000.

Judges award points for each obstacle, on a scale of one to 10, based on criteria such as horsemanship, cadence, control, and overall execution. Horse-and-rider teams are required to complete each obstacle within a predetermined time period to collect points.

During the three rounds of competition at the Cowboy Up Challenge, organizers changed the course each time, dotting the Saddledome infield on Monday with a dozen obstacles that included water crossings, jumps, a spin box, a dragging discipline, and a maze of deadwood.

Bond, who was third at the 2009 EXCA world championship and won the California Equine Affaire in Pomona, Calif., earlier this year, trains Extreme Cowboy Race horses for a living in the Golden State. After scoring a weekend-high, 108-point ride on Sunday during the second go-round, she and Jose’s Perfection incurred a few hiccups in the final that allowed Stewart to steal the win.

“The lights and the crowd make him excited. He did freestyle training, and he associates the clapping with running fast,” said Bond. So when there’s lights and sound, that causes a few (excitability) issues with him. He’s usually a pretty honest horse, and pretty much does what I ask him to do.”

Extreme Cowboy Racing, sanctioned by the Bluff Dale, Texas-based EXCA, was created by Cameron, known as the “cowboy’s clinician,” and originated as a TV program on Rural Free Delivery-TV (RFD-TV) in the U.S. Thanks to a wild surge in popularity, EXCA staged 70 events in 22 American states, from Hawaii to Maine, during its first official season of competition in 2009, and more than 100 events are scheduled for this year.

Stewart traveled nearly 1,000 kilometres from Baldonnel, just east of Fort St. John, B.C., to participate in the Cowboy Up Challenge. Will he take EXCA up on its offer and travel another 2,000 clicks to Topeka?

“I guess I should go,” he said, a grin spreading across his face. “Quite often, my schedule’s booked a year in advance, with clinics and camps and (an annual horsemanship tour of) Brazil. But if they’re giving me a bye, I’ll have to try and fit it in there somehow.”

Calgary Stampede Class 7 Results

Seated from left, Debbie Myslicki of Calgary, Ron Vogel of Strathmore, Alta., and Denise Guzowski of Millarville, Alta., celebrate their Calgary Stampede 7 Class Team Cattle Penning competition victory on Monday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Victory was worth $15,621 to the trio. Photo - Calgary Stampede

It didn’t take long, back in horse-trailer row, for the jokes to start up about borrowed horses . . . and the legal ramifications thereof.

“Wasn’t there some kind of contract?” wisecracked one gal.

“Oh, there’s gonna be now!” shot back Ron Vogel.

Just three days before the Calgary Stampede’s 7 Class Team Cattle Penning competition began, Vogel’s horse came up lame, and he reached out to a friend, Michelle Waldner, of De Winton, Alta., for the services of Casey, a 14-year-old quarter horse gelding.

“It’s a pretty tricky thing,” said Vogel, of Strathmore, the former Canadian Team Cattle Penning Association president. “You have no idea how the horse is going to react on cows, or what it’s capable of doing. But he didn’t let me down.”

No, he didn’t. In fact, Casey’s substitute heroics carried Vogel to his first Stampede championship on Monday evening at the Pengrowth Saddledome, with teammates Denise Guzowski of Millarville, Alta., and Debbie Myslicki of Calgary joining in the 7 Class title celebrations.

The trio’s victory was worth $15,621 from a total prize purse of $52,070 in the 7 Class, the final division contested this year at the Stampede. Their winning aggregate time over 12 head of cattle was 139.5 seconds, a sizeable margin better than the runner-up trio of Larry Cressman of De Winton, Rob Schalk of New Serepta, Alta., and Clayton Mason, who turned in a time of 159.35 and split the reserve champions’ cheque of $10,414.

A race against the clock, Team Cattle Penning gives a team of three riders on horseback 60 seconds 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. Teamwork is key, with all three riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen.

Vogel, Guzowski and Myslicki entered Monday’s third round and final at the Saddledome sitting pretty, with the lowest aggregate time of the elite 20 teams who qualified out of an original 127 during preliminaries at the Okotoks Agricultural Society. Their enviable time of 37.34 seconds in the final cemented the win.

“It’s communication. We do lots of yelling at and to each other, and that’s paramount in this sport,” said Guzowski, who was riding 14-year-old quarter horse gelding Shorty on Monday, and had previously won a Stampede buckle in 2008, the last year Calgary hosted the 5 Class. “You need to do that.”

If there were a hard-luck award of the night, it surely would have gone to the team from British Columbia’s Lower Mainland of George de jonge, his daughter Cathy Sinclair, and his granddaughter Taylor Sinclair.

The trio was very nearly home and dry, and looking at a great time that almost certainly would have meant victory, when one steer sneaked its way back up between the fence and the back wall. They absorbed a no-time score for the fourth round, and finished fifth overall.

“It was a case of mixed emotions for us,” said Myslicki, who rode eight-year-old quarter horse gelding Hiccup on Monday, and celebrated her first Stampede title. “You wish them best of luck. That’s not the way they wanted to finish out the Stampede.”

In all, the Stampede handed out more than $225,000 in prize money this year in four Team Cattle Penning divisions, attracting a total of 481 teams from across the Western half of North America.

Day 4 Results – Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby

Neal Walgenbach - Tops In All Categories On Night 4 In Calgary. Photo Carol Easton.

Afternoon rain and hail made for some interesting races on night 4 of the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby. Penalties were in abundance, but when the mud subsided, it was Neal Walgenbach, driving the Team YYC Calgary International Airport outfit who had the top time of the night with a 1:16.91.

Coming off barrel number 2 in heat number 4, Walgenbach won the day money by 65 one-hundreds of a second over Kirk Sutherland who placed second for the night. Gary Gorst, Luke Tournier and Jason Glass rounded out the top 5 for the night.

The day money run moved Walgenbach to the top of the leaderboard with a 4 day aggregate time of 5:09.86. He is followed closely by 10-time Calgary Stampede champion Kelly Sutherland with Gary Gorst, Buddy Bensmiller and Jason Glass filling out the top five after four runs. Rookie driver Devin Mitsuing, who was in 3rd place overall after 3 runs, knocked both barrels and dropped into 28th place overall.

The aggregate winner will be declared after 8 nights on Friday, July 16, and the top 8 in the aggregate on that day will go into “Semi Final Saturday.” The top 4 times from heats 8 and 9 on semi final Saturday on July 17 will go into the sudden death championship final heat. The winner of the final heat will be declared the 2010 Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby Champion.

The chuckwagon races from the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby which will run at 8:00pm every night.

~ Billy Melville

Day 4 Results
Rank Driver Sponsor Total Time
1 Neal Walgenbach Team YYC Calgary International Airport 1:16.91
2 Kirk Sutherland Ranchman’s Cookhouse & Dancehall Inc. 1:17.56
3 Gary Gorst RE/ MAX Realtors of Calgary & Area 1:17.78
4 Luke Tournier The Cowboys Posse 1:17.96
5 Jason Glass Shaw GMC Chevrolet Buick 1:18.08
6 Brian Mayan Bernie Brown’s Boot Hill Gallery 1:18.45
7 Reg Johnstone Matco Financial Inc & MFI Group of Funds 1:18.56
8 Troy Dorchester The Roadhouse Nightclub and Continential Imaging Products 1:18.67
9 Wayne Knight Express Employment Professionals 1:19.02
10 Grant Preece MaXfield Inc. 1:19.05
11 Jerry Bremner Oak Environment Inc/Foothills Creamery 1:19.18
12 Hugh Sinclair Airstream Heating & Air Conditioning 1:19.29
13 Rick Fraser Chickwagon! Foundation for Women/Heninger Toyota 1:19.61
14 Mark Sutherland VisitCalgary.com 1:19.75
15 Layne MacGillivray Impact 2000 Inc. 1:19.89
16/17 Jim Knight Talisman Energy 1:20.06
16/17 Shane Nolin Bell 1:20.06
18 Kurt Bensmiller WestJet 1:20.20
19 Vern Nolin Mayfair Diagnostics 1:20.22
20 Ray Mitsuing Diamond’s Sports Grill – Mesa 1:20.47
21 Tim Haroldson Chinook Energy Inc. 1:20.55
22 Chad Harden ATB Financial 1:20.57
23 Obrey Motowylo H & E Oilfield Services Ltd. 1:20.80
24 Buddy Bensmiller Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park 1:20.84
25 Roger Moore Cal-Terra Fence & Construction 1:20.86
26 Brian Laboucane The Mavericks 1:21.05
27/28 Doug Irvine B & R Eckel’s Transport 1:21.30
27/28 Troy Flad Canadian Tubular Services Inc. 1:21.30
29/30 Grant Profit Pride of Cochrane 1:21.55
29/30 Mike Vigen Cell Bridge Communications Corp 1:21.55
31 Kelly Sutherland Lucid/Lux Chuckwagon Team 1:21.62
32 Barry Hodgson Friends of Calgary Food Bank – Crew Energy 1:22.79
33 Tyler Helmig Pidherney’s From Start To Finish 1:24.14
34 Rae Croteau Jr. Stony Nakoda Resort & Casino 1:24.17
35 Devin Mitsuing Noralta Lodge 1:29.31
36 Léo Tournier Friends of the Mavericks 1:32.92
4 Day Aggregate Standings
Rank Driver Sponsor 4 Day Total
1 Neal Walgenbach Team YYC Calgary International Airport 5:09.86
2 Kelly Sutherland Lucid/Lux Chuckwagon Team 5:12.21
3 Gary Gorst RE/ MAX Realtors of Calgary & Area 5:12.28
4 Buddy Bensmiller Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park 5:12.57
5 Jason Glass Shaw GMC Chevrolet Buick 5:12.66
6 Kirk Sutherland Cam Clark Ford & Ranchman’s Cookhouse & Dancehall Inc. 5:13.00
7 Troy Dorchester The Roadhouse Nightclub and Continential Imaging Products 5:13.45
8 Kurt Bensmiller WestJet 5:13.59
9 Rick Fraser Heninger Toyota / Chickwagon! Foundation for Women 5:13.61
10 Grant Preece MaXfield Inc. 5:13.76
11 Luke Tournier The Cowboys Posse 5:14.71
12 Wayne Knight Express Employment Professionals 5:14.74
13 Layne MacGillivray Impact 2000 Inc. 5:14.92
14 Vern Nolin BKDI Architects 5:15.23
15 Mark Sutherland VisitCalgary.com 5:15.41
16 Mike Vigen Cell Bridge Communications Corp 5:15.55
17 Grant Profit Thru Tubing Solutions 5:15.96
18 Chad Harden ATB Financial 5:16.21
19 Roger Moore Lynx Brand Fence/Stephen’s Fine Homes 5:16.23
20 Shane Nolin Bell 5:16.50
21 Jim Knight Border City Oilmen 5:17.07
22 Ray Mitsuing Diamond’s Sports Grill – Mesa/Heritage Park 5:17.20
23 Brian Laboucane The Mavericks 5:17.83
24 Brian Mayan Bernie Brown’s Boot Hill Gallery 5:18.17
25 Doug Irvine B & R Eckel’s Transport 5:18.30
26 Obrey Motowylo H & E Oilfield Services Ltd. 5:19.18
27 Jerry Bremner Oak Environment Inc/Foothills Creamery 5:21.68
28 Devin Mitsuing 1-800-Drywall 5:21.74
29 Rae Croteau Jr. Stony Nakoda Resort & Casino 5:21.92
30 Reg Johnstone Matco Financial Inc. 5:22.78
31 Barry Hodgson Friends of the Calgary Food Bank 5:23.24
32 Tyler Helmig Pidherney’s From Start To Finish 5:24.29
33 Tim Haroldson 1525423 Alberta Ltd. 5:24.50
34 Troy Flad BNL (1997) Ltd. 5:24.80
35 Léo Tournier Friends of the Mavericks 5:28.88
36 Hugh Sinclair Airstream Heating & Air Conditioning 5:32.49

Cowboy Up Challenge

He’s got the resume of a daredevil extraordinaire. So it seems only natural that Bill Cameron, silver-screen stunt man in the saddle, has gravitated to Extreme Cowboy Racing.

Cameron, of Rosamond, Calif., virtually grew up in the motion picture industry as the son of the famed Denzel Cameron, who trained horses for such movies as The Man From Snowy River and City Slickers. Bill himself, who began wrangling on movie and commercial sets at the age of 14, once famously trained a horse to jump from rooftop to rooftop — four times in a row — for a Tag Heuer advertisement.

Bill Cameron of Rosamond, Calif., once famously trained a horse to jump from rooftop to rooftop for a wristwatch advertisement. “Once you overcome the fear, it’s amazing what you can accomplish,” says the Hollywood movie and commercial wrangler and stunt man, who’s in Calgary to compete in the Calgary Stampede’s inaugural Cowboy Up Challenge. Calgary Stampede photo.

The secret to his success? Taking one big leap of faith after another.

“My dad pushed me to do things as a child that no kid would have ever dreamed of doing — putting me on race horses when I was nine years old, that kind of thing,” says Cameron, one of the heavyweight entries at this weekend’s Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge, the first Extreme Cowboy Race ever held in Canada, at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

“And I found out that once you overcome the fear, it’s amazing what you can accomplish if you have enough faith,” adds Cameron. “I guess one of the main things I found out is that if I really believe I can do something, I’ve always been able to do it. And I think that applies to this sport — I have a lot of faith in my horses, and they never let me down.”

Cameron and his faithful mount I’ll Cowboy Up, a nine-year-old American quarter horse gelding, were one of 12 horse-and-rider teams who qualified Sunday afternoon for the championship final of the Cowboy Up Challenge, as the field was narrowed from its original 15 entries. The final round gets underway on Monday, July 12 at 3 p.m. at the Saddledome.

Extreme Cowboy Racing, sanctioned by the Extreme Cowboy Association (EXCA) of Bluff Dale, Texas, was created by Craig Cameron, known as the “cowboy’s clinician,” and originated as a TV program on Rural Free Delivery-TV (RFD-TV) in the U.S. Thanks to a wild surge in popularity, EXCA staged 70 events in 22 American states, from Hawaii to Maine, during its first official season of competition in 2009, and more than 100 events are scheduled for this year.

A timed and judged event, Extreme Cowboy Racing demands both horsemanship and speed, and challenges both horse and rider with an obstacle course that may include such challenges as moguls, bridges, log crossings, tunnels, cowboy curtains, roll backs, and water crossings, among others.

Judges award points for each obstacle, on a scale of one to 10, based on criteria such as horsemanship, cadence, control, and overall execution. Horse-and-rider teams are required to complete each obstacle within a predetermined time period to collect points.

Top 10 qualifiers for today’s 3:00 p.m. final are Robin Bond of Vista, Calif., aboard Jose’s Perfection, Glenn Stewart of Baldonnel, B.C., on Genuine Jet Smooth, Kelly LeBlanc of Riga, Mich., aboard two horses (Peppy’s Classy King and Sun Sparkle Cricket), Kateri Cowley of Exshaw, Alta., on Kokanee, Tammy Botsford of Rockyview, Alta., aboard Dez Add To The Assets, Sally Addington of Polk, Penn., on Ghost of a Chance, Kateri’s brother David Cowley of Exshaw, Alta., on Desperado, Russ McKenzie of Eckville, Alta., aboard Quincy Dans Dancer, and Jonathan Cooper of Cremona, Alta., on Cool Kelly’s Bear.

Also making the grade were a pair of wild-card entries – Bill Cameron and Don McLeod of Hanna, Alta., aboard Hiccup. Scores over the first two rounds will be wiped out, and horse-and-rider teams will start Monday’s final with a clean slate.

Some of the sport’s heavyweights like Bill Cameron (fourth at the 2009 EXCA world championship), Bond (third at the ’09 worlds), and LeBlanc, who qualified on two horses here, made the trek to Calgary because of a tasty carrot being dangled by EXCA — an automatic berth at the 2010 world championship in Topeka, Kansas. Competitors ordinarily must qualify for the worlds by collecting enough regional points at sanctioned events.

In addition to his silver-screen work at the Cameron Movie Ranch, Bill Cameron – who’s no relation to Craig Cameron –gives clinics and lessons in reining, cutting, roping, barrel racing, jumping, and dressage. He’ll be heading to Alaska later this year for a group training session, and over to Sweden for a series of clinics, but admits the Cowboy Up Challenge has been foremost on his mind since the spring.

“The topic of conversation, every day, for the last several weeks, has been Calgary. I consider it an honour to have been invited,” says Bill Cameron, who’s giving Saddledome fans fair warning for Monday’s final round.

“I can get the crowd going pretty good because of the way I ride, with my speed and everything. I can really bring the house down,” he says. “I’m more like the Top Gun of this sport . . . I really attack the course when I go on it.”

Watch today’s finals at the Saddledome or through our live feed here at www.westernhorsereview.com. You’ll find the button to click through on the home page.

Calgary Stampede Team Penning Open Finals

From left, Jody Elliott of Lacombe, Alta., Skylar Hansen of Calgary, and Skylar’s father Lonnie Hansen of Calgary won the Calgary Stampede’s Open Class Team Cattle Penning competition on Sunday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Victory for the trio was worth $10,266.

A penning associate of Lonnie Hansen figured it was time for a little good-natured, post-victory ribbing. All in fun, you understand.

“Even a chicken gets a kernel every once in a while, eh, Lonnie?” she chuckled. “Or should we say a wrinkled-up rooster?”

If Hansen has been waiting a long time to win a Calgary Stampede buckle in Team Cattle Penning, his 15-year-old daughter Skylar may well be the Stampede’s youngest winner in history in the Open Class, the highest-caliber of competition contested annually at The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

The Calgary-based pair did it together on Sunday evening, though, winning the Open along with Lonnie’s longtime penning pal Jody Elliott of Lacombe, Alta. Victory for the trio is worth a cool $10,266 and three of those coveted, gold-and-silver handtooled Stampede buckles.

Lonnie Hansen and Elliott have been trying their luck in the Stampede’s Team Cattle Penning for almost as long as the competition has been around.

“Sweet. For Jody and me, it’s been coming a long time,” said Lonnie Hansen. “And with my daughter involved . . . I can’t think of two other people I’d rather celebrate this win with.”

A race against the clock, Team Cattle Penning gives a team of three riders on horseback 60 seconds 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. Teamwork is key, with all three riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen.

After beginning the competition with two rounds of preliminaries, along with 57 other triumvirates, on Thursday at the Okotoks Agricultural Society, the trio arrived at the Saddledome on Sunday sitting seventh overall among the elite 20 entries heading into the third round and championship final.

After runs of 37.35 and 43.01 seconds, on a night when the cattle were particularly rank, their performance stood up for victory. Hansen, Hansen and Elliott’s winning aggregate time for 12 head of cattle was 139.99 seconds, one second and change better than the 141.14 turned in by Travis Kaiser of Ontario, Wisc., Ken Kresbach of New Prague, Minn., and Russell Armstrong of Armstrong, B.C., who collected $6,844 as reserve champions.

“You’re sitting on the fence watching the clock for the other teams,” said Elliott. “You don’t want to wish bad luck on anyone else, but you’re still hopin’. You just wait and see.”

Skylar Hansen has been penning since she was four years old. So what will this 15-year-old Stampede champ do for an encore?

“Maybe come back and win it again next year,” she suggested with a laugh.

The third round and final in the 7 Class, the last of the four Team Cattle Penning divisions being contested at the Stampede, begins today at 5:30 p.m. at the Saddledome.

To follow the action live on the Internet, please visit our home page and click through to the live coverage.


Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby – Day 3

Rick Fraser - Best Of The Night On Day 3 In Calgary. Photo By Paul Easton

There was a little sun shower just prior to the start of the first race, but track conditions were reasonably good nonetheless. Night 3 saw Rick Fraser, driving the Heninger Toyota / Chickwagon! Foundation for Women outfit, posted the top time of the night with a 1:16.25.

Coming off barrel number 2 in heat number 4, Fraser won the day money by 36 one-hundreds of a second over Gary Gorst who placed second for the night. Buddy Bensmiller, Neal Walgenbach and Devin Mitsuing rounded out the top 5 for the night.

10-time Calgary Stampede champion Kelly Sutherland continues to lead the overall aggregate with a 3 day total of 3:50.59. He is followed closely by 10-time Calgary Stampede champion Buddy Bensmiller with Devin Mitsuing, Neal Walgenbach and Kurt Bensmiller filling out the top five after three runs.

The aggregate winner will be declared after 8 nights on Friday, July 16, and the top 8 in the aggregate on that day will go into “Semi Final Saturday.” The top 4 times from heats 8 and 9 on semi final Saturday on July 17 will go into the sudden death championship final heat. The winner of the final heat will be declared the 2010 Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby Champion.

The chuckwagon races from the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby which will run at 8:00pm every night.

Billy Melville

Day 3 Results
Rank Driver Sponsor Total Time
1 Rick Fraser Heninger Toyota / Chickwagon! Foundation for Women 1:16.25
2 Gary Gorst RE/ MAX Realtors of Calgary & Area 1:16.61
3 Buddy Bensmiller Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park 1:16.77
4 Neal Walgenbach Team YYC Calgary International Airport 1:16.83
5 Devin Mitsuing Noralta Lodge 1:17.01
6 Kelly Sutherland Lucid/Lux Chuckwagon Team 1:17.06
7 Vern Nolin BKDI Architects 1:17.25
8 Luke Tournier The Cowboys Posse & Royal Liquor Merchants 1:17.42
9 Grant Preece MaXfield Inc. 1:17.45
10 Mark Sutherland VisitCalgary.com 1:17.62
11 Mike Vigen Cell Bridge Communications Corp 1:17.70
12 Tyler Helmig Pidherney’s From Start To Finish 1:17.78
13 Kirk Sutherland Calgary Archives Inc. 1:17.91
14 Layne MacGillivray Impact 2000 Inc. 1:17.99
15 Léo Tournier Friends of the Mavericks 1:18.02
16 Obrey Motowylo H & E Oilfield Services Ltd. 1:18.09
17 Shane Nolin Bell 1:18.26
18 Jim Knight Talisman Energy 1:18.41
19 Wayne Knight Express Employment Professionals 1:18.59
20 Roger Moore Stephen’s Fine Homes Ltd. 1:18.62
21 Chad Harden ATB Financial 1:18.80
22 Kurt Bensmiller WestJet 1:18.96
23 Brian Laboucane The Mavericks 1:19.32
24 Reg Johnstone Matco Financial Inc & MFI Group of Funds 1:19.39
25 Troy Dorchester The Roadhouse Nightclub and Continential Imaging Products 1:19.50
26 Doug Irvine B & R Eckel’s Transport 1:19.69
27 Rae Croteau Jr. Stony Nakoda Resort & Casino 1:19.78
28 Jason Glass Shaw GMC Chevrolet Buick 1:19.88
29 Ray Mitsuing Friends of Heritage Park 1:20.09
30 Grant Profit Pride of Cochrane 1:20.25
31 Troy Flad Spool Transport Ltd. 1:21.10
32 Jerry Bremner Oak Environment Inc/Foothills Creamery 1:21.68
33 Tim Haroldson Aluminum Fence Depot.com 1:21.75
34 Barry Hodgson Friends of the Calgary Food Bank – Heinz 1:22.07
35 Brian Mayan Bernie Brown’s Boot Hill Gallery 1:23.04
36 Hugh Sinclair Airstream Heating & Air Conditioning 1:29.78
3 Day Aggregate Standings
Rank Driver Sponsor 3 Day Total
1 Kelly Sutherland Lucid/Lux Chuckwagon Team 3:50.59
2 Buddy Bensmiller Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park 3:51.73
3 Devin Mitsuing 1-800-Drywall 3:52.43
4 Neal Walgenbach Team YYC Calgary International Airport 3:52.95
5 Kurt Bensmiller WestJet 3:53.39
6/7 Mike Vigen Cell Bridge Communications Corp 3:54.00
6/7 Rick Fraser Heninger Toyota / Chickwagon! Foundation for Women 3:54.00
8 Grant Profit Thru Tubing Solutions 3:54.41
9 Gary Gorst RE/ MAX Realtors of Calgary & Area 3:54.50
10 Jason Glass Shaw GMC Chevrolet Buick 3:54.58
11 Grant Preece MaXfield Inc. 3:54.71
12 Troy Dorchester The Roadhouse Nightclub and Continential Imaging Products 3:54.78
13 Vern Nolin BKDI Architects 3:55.01
14 Layne MacGillivray Impact 2000 Inc. 3:55.03
15 Roger Moore Lynx Brand Fence/Stephen’s Fine Homes 3:55.37
16 Kirk Sutherland Cam Clark Ford & Ranchman’s Cookhouse & Dancehall Inc. 3:55.44
17 Chad Harden ATB Financial 3:55.64
18 Mark Sutherland VisitCalgary.com 3:55.66
19 Wayne Knight Express Employment Professionals 3:55.72
20 Léo Tournier Friends of the Mavericks 3:55.96
21 Shane Nolin Bell 3:56.44
22 Ray Mitsuing Diamond’s Sports Grill – Mesa/Heritage Park 3:56.73
23 Luke Tournier The Cowboys Posse 3:56.75
24 Brian Laboucane The Mavericks 3:56.78
25 Doug Irvine B & R Eckel’s Transport 3:57.00
26 Jim Knight Border City Oilmen 3:57.01
27 Rae Croteau Jr. Stony Nakoda Resort & Casino 3:57.75
28 Obrey Motowylo H & E Oilfield Services Ltd. 3:58.38
29 Brian Mayan Bernie Brown’s Boot Hill Gallery 3:59.72
30 Tyler Helmig Pidherney’s From Start To Finish 4:00.15
31 Barry Hodgson Friends of the Calgary Food Bank 4:00.45
32 Jerry Bremner Oak Environment Inc/Foothills Creamery 4:02.50
33 Troy Flad BNL (1997) Ltd. 4:03.50
34 Tim Haroldson 1525423 Alberta Ltd. 4:03.95
35 Reg Johnstone Matco Financial Inc. 4:04.22
36 Hugh Sinclair Airstream Heating & Air Conditioning 4:13.20

Calgary Stampede’s World Champion Six Horse Hitch Competition

When he drives a hitch, he’s still got the itch. And that’s why Brian Coleman’s third career win on Sunday afternoon at the Calgary Stampede’s World Champion Six Horse Hitch Competition doesn’t feel old hat at all.

Brian Coleman of Didsbury, Alta., drives the Jackson Fork Ranch outfit of Bondurant, Wyo., to victory Sunday during the Calgary Stampede’s World Champion Six Horse Hitch Competition at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Calgary Stampede photo.

“I don’t think it ever could get old,” said Coleman, of Didsbury, Alta., the trainer and driver for the Jackson Fork Ranch outfit from Bondurant, Wyo. “To have a crowd like that in (the Pengrowth Saddledome), and the (Calgary Philharmonic) Orchestra, and the level of competition . . . pretty exciting. I can’t put it into words.”

Coleman also drove the Strawberry Lane Percherons rig of Oconomowoc, Wisc., to victory at the Stampede in 2002 and 2004.

Relative newcomers to the scene, the Jackson Fork Ranch crew snared their first World Six championship – and $10,000 winner’s cheque – against one of the toughest fields in event history on Sunday. Not only did the World Champion Six Horse Hitch Competition field 15 rigs, matching the most ever, but for the first time in most committee organizers’ memory, five wagons were called back to the Saddledome infield for a drive-off.

The Jackson Fork Ranch outfit of Bondurant, Wyo., a newcomer to the Calgary Stampede, won the World Champion Six Horse Hitch Competition on Sunday at the Pengrowth Saddledome, topping 14 other rigs from across North America. Calgary Stampede photo.

When the smoke cleared, Coleman’s Jackson Fork Ranch rig was declared the winner, while the Prins View Belgians of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., driven by Zephrin LaRiviere, were runners-up. Also in that drive-off were the Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch of Cheyenne, Wyo., the McLaughlin Clydes of Listowel, Ont., and the Rocky Bar Belgians of Esterhazy, Sask.

The Jackson Fork team of jet-black Percherons is also the first mare hitch to win the World Six, the highlight of the Stampede’s annual Heavy Horse Show.

“I would say that this year’s field equalled or bettered the quality of six-horse hitches that we’ve ever had here,” said Jess Debnam, past president of the Stampede’s Heavy Horse Show committee. “That’s what this show does. People want to come to Calgary to compete, but they also come here because it is the Calgary Stampede, and they know the quality and level of competition is going to be equal to, or better than, any other show they go to.”

A panel of three judges rated Sunday’s 15 entries for conformation, presentation, driving and reinsmanship.

For the 11th straight year, Sunday’s Six Horse Hitch competition was accompanied by live music, courtesy of a full 38-member orchestra of musicians from the CPO, led by its new resident conductor, Melanie Leonard. Musical highlights included Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Strauss’s Radetzky March, Offenbach’s Can Can, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances, and Bizet’s Les Toreadors.

The Jackson Fork Ranch folks only began showing hitches last year across the American midwest, and Sunday’s World Six was only the second show at which they’ve fielded a six – last weekend in Olds, Alta., being the first.

“We scoped a lot of top sales in the States, and knew individual breeders who had great animals available,” said Coleman. “I’ve got training programs set up for them . . . we have days where we work slow and heavy, and days where we’ll do cardio – lighter weights and longer distances.

“And we actually had two spares in today, because of a couple of injuries that left us without our most experienced players, so to speak. You have to be able to go to your back-up players. To have them come out and perform, they have to be at an equal conditioning level. You can’t leave them on the back burner, so to speak.”

The seeds of the Jackson Fork Ranch championship, in fact, were sown a year ago at the 2009 Stampede.

“The fellow who owns the hitch at Jackson Fork Ranch (J. Joseph Ricketts) was here last year. He’s a Percheron enthusiast, loves draft horses in a big way,” said Debnam. “He went home from Calgary, started putting animals and people together, and the culmination is a World Six Horse Hitch championship.”

The Stampede’s Heavy Horse Show sees Belgians, Clydesdales, Percherons and Shires competing in more than 100 classes over four days. The affair wraps up on Monday, July 12, with breed Supreme Champions and the overall best in show crowned at 11 a.m. in the Saddledome. Classes include cart-drawn single horses, two-horse teams, three-horse unicorn hitches, and four- and six-horse hitches.

This year, entries have arrived from as far away as Eastern Canada, the American East Coast, the U.S. heartland, and the U.S. Pacific northwest, giving the Stampede’s Heavy Horse Show a true coast-to-coast flavour.

Heavy horses have been part of Calgary’s annual agricultural fair for 125 years, dating back to the Stampede’s predecessor, the Calgary Industrial Exhibition. They’re the longest-running agricultural component of the Stampede and its predecessors, and the only livestock class consistently presented throughout that period.

Calgary Stampede Team Penning Results – Saturday

They started the night as outsiders, but ended up occupying the winner’s circle.

Steve Sigouin, Deja Iannone, and Katy Kosinski earned everything they got – and then some – on Saturday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome, beating very long odds to win the Calgary Stampede’s 10 Class Team Cattle Penning Competition.

From left, Deja Iannone of Abbotsford, B.C., her husband Steve Sigouin, and Katy Kosinski of Williams Lake, B.C., captured the 10 Class final of the Calgary Stampede’s Team Cattle Penning Competition on Saturday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Their winnings totaled a whopping $22,878. Calgary Stampede photo.

The British Columbia trio had fought hard just to make it out of Wednesday preliminaries in Okotoks, where a whopping 186 teams had thrown their hats in the ring. And starting Saturday’s proceedings at the Saddledome, they stood 15th among the 20 teams left standing, with a good 19 seconds and change to make up on the leaders after the first two rounds.

But Sigouin, Iannone and Kosinski methodically stopped the clock in 31.71 seconds during the third round, which allowed them to advance directly to the 10-team final. From there, they laid down the fastest time of the night – 26.80 seconds – to take over the lead. And, finally, they watched for several anxious moments as the final five teams tried in vain to match their challenge.

Suddenly, the winners’ cheque of $22,878 was theirs. Simple, right?

“I didn’t believe it. I was having trouble believing it. And I still don’t believe it,” grinned Kosinski, of Williams Lake, B.C.

“I just prayed, and I am so thankful . . . it’s just amazing,” added Iannone, who lives with husband Sigouin in Abbotsford, B.C. “And it’s my son’s birthday, to boot (Jayden turned eight on Saturday).”

The West Coasters’ winning aggregate time for 12 head of cattle was 130.12 seconds, and their margin of victory was slim – just 0.45 seconds over the runner-up squad of Hugh McPherson of High River, Alta., Robbie McKay of Okotoks, and Chris Baczkowski of Claresholm, Alta., who took home $15,252 for their efforts.

“We’ve been talking about how important it is to get the cows in the pen as quickly as we possibly can. If we take one more step, if you don’t jump in when you need to, we might not have won tonight,” said Sigouin, who rides Blondie, a 13-year-old quarter horse mare.

“We kept it together, and that’s what it’s all about when you come here. With the (Saddledome) crowd, and the loud cheering, you can’t hear each other, so you’ve got to trust each other,” he said.

“I thought we had good odds of making the top 10, but to finish first? Not likely,” added Sigouin, who’d been part of a fifth-place finish in the Stampede’s 14 Class final on Friday night. “But we came here to win.”

Team Cattle Penning, a race against the clock, gives a team of three riders on horseback 60 seconds 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. Teamwork is key, with all three riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen.

All three members of Saturday’s winning team earned their maiden Stampede championship buckle, although Kosinski has been a winner before in Calgary at the Canadian Team Cattle Penning National Finals.

“We’ll be here (for the nationals) in October,” said Kosinski, who rode Stevie, an 11-year-old quarter horse mare, on Saturday. “We will be riding in the 10 (Class), and everybody will be gunning for us, I’m sure.”

“With the size of this cheque,” noted Iannone, who rode Bo, an 11-year-old quarter horse gelding, “we’ll be able to enter for the next 20 years.”

The third round and final of the Open Class, the highest caliber Team Cattle Penning competition at the Stampede, will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 11 at the Saddledome. The third round and final in the 7 Class begin at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 12, also at the Saddledome.