Win Dinner With Amber Marshall

amber

Photo by Denise Grant.

Sometime in the spring of 2013, we undertook an ambitious endeavour and focused our editorial attention to the ernest task of finding 25 youth under the age of 25, who, in a nutshell, embodied and rang true to a modern Code of the West. We wanted young people who embraced independence, a love of the outdoor life, close connection to animals (in particular, horses), showed a fierce determination to follow their own path, buck convention, (and occasionally, conventional wisdom), and radiated all of these western measures of character through their daily lives.

As we worked our way down the long list, we were constantly reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exuded.

Included in that issue’s Top 25 Under 25 was the then 25-year-old Amber Marshall, star of the CBC hit television show, Heartland, a talented actress, who has managed to segue her passion for horses into a successful acting career.

Amber has been around horses as long as she can remember. She has been riding since a very young age and says that the two things she loves the most – acting and horses – have come together to create this dream role of Amy on the Heartland series.

In between filming and occupational commitments, Marshall lends her time and celebrity to a multitude of causes. Most recently she appeared with Niki Cammaert at Cowboys for Kingdom House, a fundraiser for special projects in Africa.

As Heartland films in Alberta, Marshall has made a home for herself on a small ranch outside of Calgary where she is surrounded by her many animals, including horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys and Jerseys. She stays true to her western roots and honours the people and animals around her while enjoying great professional successes. Grounded and focused, she is well on her way to creating a fulfilled, enriched life.

Her latest venture is partnering with Rustic Ranch, a furniture, home decor and gift store, located just 10 minutes north of Cross Iron Mills Mall, in Airdrie, Alberta. Located on the Giles family farm, the unique store shares a 30,000 square foot showroom with Airdrie Trailer Sales and Decked Out Vinyl, and specializes in log, reclaimed and rustic furniture and decor.

I’m pleased to let you know Rustic Ranch is offering you an opportunity to win a VIP evening with Amber Marshall!

Ballots are available in the store, and entries close on December 31.

Take the opportunity to meet Amber on November 1 when she’ll be in the store for a signing from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Perfect timing as Rustic Ranch’s yearly clearance sale is Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

In the meantime catch up with Amber Marshall at her site, and view Rustic Ranch’s latest offerings at here.

Young Guns – Ted Stovin

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles blog. 

The Calgary Stampede Ranch honoured Ted Stovin by naming bull rider 868, “Everything Cowboy.” Photo by Deanna Kristensen

Ted Stovin

(Nominated for Entrepreneurs)
Age: 22
Calgary, Alberta

Take the aptitude of a writer, the drive of a businessman and the air of a cowboy, mix it up and you have Ted Stovin, creator and owner of Everything Cowboy. For this young is rodeo promoter, his goal is to formulate a way to showcase rodeo to the masses. Since 2011, Stovin’s website and rodeo reporting have been raising some eyebrows and the profile of the sport.

I want to see pro rodeo cowboys on cereal boxes and making a pro athlete’s salary,” mentioned Ted Stovin. “That drives me to promote and help move our sport forward.”

From his first experiences riding steers in 2002 to winning his first trip out on a bull in 2005, the rodeo bug has bitten him good.

Typical cowboy? Not really. He has an Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies from New Mexico Junior College and continued his education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he studied Business and Construction Management. In 2012, he landed back in Alberta to attend University of Calgary for a semester towards his Business Degree.

“I have the goal to be a millionaire by the time I’m 25,” smiled Stovin. “I’d like to do the television broadcast for the Calgary Stampede at some point. I’d like to do the same all year and for the CFR, too. I’d like to write for some bigger publications as well.”

With a load of confidence and the goods to succeed, this young cowboy is on a mission.

“I want to be in the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, as a builder of the sport someday.”

~ Deanna Kristensen

Young Guns – John Murphy

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I’ll reveal one every week or so!

Murphy has been riding all his life. He began with team penning and then switched over to working cow horse a couple of years ago. He credits his life in the country to the person he has grown to be. Photo by Barbara Glazer.

John Murphy

(Nominated for Competitive)
Age: 19
Wetaskiwin, Alberta

John Murphy is a 19-year-old country boy whose cow horse talents skyrocketed him to the top of National Reined Cow Horse Association charts last year. Riding Pepto Peppermint, a 2008 stallion by Surely A Pepto and out of Haidas Pepermint, Murphy swept the championships of four non-pro divisions at the NRCHA Circle Y Ranch Derby in San Angelo, Texas. He took home four buckles, a fistful of cash and had driven over 40 hours with his parents to do it.

Murphy accepted his awards with modesty, citing mentors and educational videos as the tools as aiding in his success. He made cow horse folk back in Canada buzz with praise.

Murphy laid claim to a mountain of international titles against some tough non-pro competition. He trained for those awards in the dead of a Canadian winter without an indoor arena or benefit of live cattle. Instead, Murphy used what he had available to him and packed several loads of shavings out to his family ranch shop – where he had also strung up a mechanical cow on the outside of the building. Using only the wood particles for footing atop frozen ground, Murphy and his horse prepared themselves for the 2012 event in Texas. When he needed guidance, the young rider would return to the house to watch a cow horse training video.

Murphy has been riding all his life. He began with team penning and then switched over to working cow horse a couple of years ago. He credits his life in the country to the person he has grown to be.

When it came time for Murphy to contribute financially to his show ventures, he began apprenticing underneath his father, who was a farrier by trade for over 30 years.

“I needed a job that could allow me to make some good money but still be at home. Farrier work allows me to ride horses half the day and do farrier work for the other half,” he says.

However, he is also currently evaluating a long-term career option as an electrician.

“I like the work of a farrier and it’s very rewarding to be able to help horses that previously encountered soundness issues, but I have seen the direct results of a lifetime of farrier work through watching my father. I think ideally, I’d like to be a low-key part-time farrier on the side, in addition to working as an electrician. That way I wouldn’t have to break my body down and I could still ride good horses.”

~ Jennifer Webster

Young Guns – Rylee McKenzie

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I’ll reveal one every week or so!

A shining star in the barrel racing world, Rylee is already a two-time qualifier for the CFR.

Rylee McKenzie

(Nominated for Competitive)
Age:24
St. Paul, Alberta

Don’t let her age fool you. In professional rodeo, Rylee McKenzie is not the new kid on the block. It’s been ten years since McKenzie broke onto the Canadian Pro Rodeo (CPRA) scene and in that season, she won the CPRA Ladies Barrel Racing Permit Award for earning the most points in her rookie year.

Since she has gone pro, McKenzie has qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo two times. Her horses are fast, her goal is to win, but furthermore to McKenzie, she believes that being a barrel racer is a noble profession.

“A barrel racer symbolizes an idol, a role model, a professional, a lady, and must be elegant at all times,” said McKenzie. “So many young girls look up to more experienced barrel racers and they should represent the best version of themselves.”

According to McKenzie, her mom Debbi has been a great inspiration throughout her rodeo career.

“My mom did a great job, making sure I had horses to be competitive on.”

At this point, McKenzie said there are two dreams she still has in her mind.

“The first being to make the NFR and the second is to see a horse I’ve trained take someone to a major set of finals like the CFR or NFR.”

While growing up around horses and rodeo, she said barrel racing at a high-end level has always been a priority. With McKenzie’s gallant track record, being in the lead is the only place where this cowgirl aims to be.

~ By Deanna Buschert

Canadian Youth World Cup Riders

Photo by Jenn Webster.

The United States will be the host country for the next biennial American Quarter Horse Association’s Youth World Cup to be held at Bryan College Station, Bryan, Texas from July 2-15, 2014. This event, first held in Australia in 1986 as the International Youth Quarter Horse World Cup, has become one of the most prestigious equine competitions recognized world wide. It is a major initiative of the Canadian Quarter Horse Association to field a youth team for this competition which is held every two years.

The CQHA Youth World up Committee is pleased to announce that it has selected 10 qualified youth participants from applications received from all across Canada, for Team Canada 2014.

Competing riders are:

Shayley Beaton

Shayley Beaton, 17, from High River, Alberta joins Team Canada and brings with her a vast amount of horse show experience. Shayley competes nationally and throughout the US at top level shows and has earned many circuit awards at these shows. She has been an All American Quarter Horse Congress finalist in Showmanship, Western Horsemanship, Western Pleasure and Hunt Seat Equitation and has also been a member for the Alberta NYATT team. Shayley’s other accomplishments include qualifying nationally for the AQHYA world show, qualifying for and having a top ten placing at the Novice Championship Show (West) and earning National Championship titles in Western Horsemanship, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation, Halter, Showmanship and Western Pleasure.

Shayley’s life is pretty much dedicated to horses. When not in the show pen or starting young horses, she enjoys the opportunity to ride a variety of other equine disciplines including Reining, Cutting, Heading and Healing, Jumping and Cross Country Eventing. When not riding a horse, Shayley enjoys playing rugby for her school or volunteering in her community. Most noteworthy is that Shayley’s home community was destroyed by the June flood. High River had mandatory evacuations and Shayley spent her time giving back to the community by volunteering with Mission Impossible, a home-town flood relief organization.Shayley looks forward to bring her vast show experience and her passion for the sport to Texas with Team Canada in 2014.

Quinn Brandt

Team Canada welcomes back rider Quinn Brandt. Quinn, 16, is from Steinbach, Manitoba. She rode for Team Canada at the 2012 Youth World Cup in Kreuth, Germany. As an all-around rider, Quinn competed and placed in Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation and Trail. Her dedication to her team, her sportsmanship and of course, her riding experience and show record earned her a place on the 2014 team.

Quinn has been riding since she was five years old. Since her first riding experience, Quinn fell in love with the horse world and began her show career. She has had the opportunity to train with numerous trainers and show numerous horses in the Quarter Horse circuit as well as at futurities. Her success in the show ring has been rewarded with many circuit and year-end high point awards both in Canada and the United States, two 2-year-old futurity championships and top ten Novice Champion Show (west) in 2012. Quinn has also earned multiple Canadian National Championships and Reserve Championships.

In her little bit of spare time, Quinn is very involved in school sports. She plays volleyball, basketball, badminton and has participated in track and field. Quinn can also be found volunteering for the other school teams or helping at one of the school sponsored volunteer events. Quinn has also spent time volunteering with her local 4H and at events sponsored by her church, Quinn is excited to bring her enthusiasm, her experience and her dedication back to Team Canada 2014.

Jenna Salmon

Jenna Salmon, 16, is excited to be representing Canada as a rider for the 2014 Youth World Cup. Born and raised in Lacombe, Alberta, Jenna has had the fortune of riding horses most of her life. She has been involved with horses for as long as she can remember. She grew up riding her father’s horses and got her own first horse when she was nine years old. It was then she began taking lessons and showing at the Central Alberta open show circuits. It wasn’t long before she began showing the Quarter Horse circuits in Alberta and was soon traveling to the larger circuits throughout the US. In 2011, Jenna made the trip to the All American Quarter Horse Congress and ended being a finalist in Showmanship and was able to capture the elusive title of Congress Champion in Western Pleasure. Jenna has also accumulated many circuit championships throughout Canada and the United States.

When not showing, Jenna keeps herself busy playing ringette, being an Alberta Youth Quarter Horse Association board member and with her photography hobby.Jenna’s experience and success with showing at many of the top ten shows in the US and with showing many different horses has prepared Jenna to be a strong competitor for Team Canada 2014.

Madison Steed, 17, is from Cochrane, Alberta. She has been involved in the sport of reining for the past eight years and has built a most commendable show record. She has shown many different horses at a very high level of competition. Madison has shown successfully throughout Western Canada and has qualified and shown multiple times at the North American Affiliate Championships in Oklahoma, most recently being in 2012 where she earned the title of Youth 14-18 champion and top ten placings in the Non-Pro classes. After qualifying yet again, Sarah is heading back to Oklahoma in November to compete once again and try to reclaim her championship title.

Madison also had the opportunity to show at the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships in Kentucky this past summer. There she participated as a member of Team Canada and proudly wore the gold medal two times at the competition, once for her individual event and one for her team event.

When Madison is not in the Reining pen, she is busy volunteering at the barn she trains at or out playing volleyball. You may also catch her taking a Cutting or a Dressage lesson. Madison is looking forward to bringing her experience and her strong work ethic to Team Canada 2014.

Haley Stradling

Haley Stradling, 16, from Aldergrove, British Columbia, is thrilled to be returning to Team Canada for 2014. Haley was a rider for Team Canada in 2012 in Kreuth, Germany. On the first night of the Youth World Cup 2012, Haley had a great ride on the cutting horse she was given and soon found herself center-ring, with coach Della Cryderman, as the Canadian national anthem was played in honour of being placed first under both judges. What an opening night for Haley and for Team Canada!

Haley has been riding both English and Western all of her life. She is a versatile rider competing in Cutting and in the Hunter/Jumper rings. Haley has won many awards both in the Hunter/Jumper events and the Cutting ring. After becoming two times AQHA Youth World Cup Champion in Kreuth, Haley went on to become the BC Ranch Cutting $2000 Limited Rider Reserve Champion and the British Columbia Cutting Horse Association Aggregate $2000 Limited Rider Champion. She continued with, and surpassed these accomplishments in 2013. In the jumping world, Haley impressed many with top placings in all of her completions including The Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. She is presently preparing for the Maclay Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park in Kentucky and for the 2013 Royal Winter Fair. Haley’s outgoing personality, her dedication, her hard work and her goal oriented attitude has helped in meeting her number one equine goal: to be invited to be a member of Team Canada 2014.

 Alternate riders are:

Sarah Dow

Sarah Dow, 18, lives in Brownsville, Ontario. She has been riding American Quarter Horses since she was six years old. She has successfully shown and accumulated points in the all-around events in Quarter Horse circuits in Ontario and throughout the states. Sarah has shown her three horses over the past couple of years and is now focusing on showing her horse, Gentlemens Club.

When Sarah is not showing, she spends her time volunteering for a variety of organizations including the Key Club (Glendale High School), being a past president and director for the Oxford Trail Riders and being a past director at large for the OQHA (youth). Sarah also enjoys being involved in her high school band and music council. Sarah looks forward to bringing her skills and her enthusiasm to the team in 2014.

Hannah Buijs

Hannah Buijs, 13, comes from Lisle, Ontario. She has been showing her Quarter Horse, Lopin To The Bar, for the last four years. Hannah has been very successful in the show pen earning points in Halter, Trail, Western Pleasure, Showmanship, Western Horsemanship and Hunter Under Saddle. Hannah is a very motivated and competitive rider.

When not spending time with her horses, Hannah enjoys volunteering at her school in various capacities including lunch and bus helper, being a reader for a child with learning disabilities and at the school’s learning centre for children with disabilities. Hannah also gives her time as an Ontario Quarter Horse Youth Director. Hannah is looking forward to bring her enthusiasm, her charisma and her skills to Texas as an alternate rider for Team Canada.

Youth Leadership members are:

Laura Berensci

Laura Berensci, 16, who is from Paris, Ontario,returns to Team Canada as a leader for 2014. In 2012, Laura traveled to Kreuth, Germany with the team as a leader and her dedication to the team, hard work and outstanding leadership skills earned her spot on the 2014 team.

Laura has been riding since she was eight-years-old. She began showing with the Ancaster Saddle Club and then moved in to showing AHQA four years ago. Although focusing on her favorite English hunt seat classes with her present horse, Laura does not disappoint when stepping in to the Western performance classes.

Laura easily keeps herself busy inside and outside of the show ring. When not showing, she is quick to lend a helping hand to fellow exhibitors and often finds herself with a manure fork in hand. When not at the show or in the barn, Laura is busy with her rugby team, working towards getting her private pilot’s license, working at the Pita Pit or fulfilling her duties at the Admiral Nelles Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps. Laura is looking forward to bringing her experience and joining her teammates in Texas in 2014.

Paige McNally

Paige McNally, 16, lives in Fort Frances, Ontario. She has been showing Quarter Horses since 2008 in the all-around events. Paige has earned many circuit and year end championship and reserve championships awards, AQHA all-around and runner up awards and has most recently earned herself the title of AQHA Youth Champion on her horse, Solo Commodity. Paige enjoys riding just about any horse she can swing her leg over, two-year-olds to 20-year-olds.

Paige enjoys spending all of her time at the barn but also enjoys being a member of her high school band, helping coach for the Learn To Skate Program, working as a ring steward for open shows and volunteering at the local veterinary clinic. Paige is looking forward to putting her hard work to use in 2014 with Team Canada.

Sharese Rivait

Team Canada would like to welcome Sharese Rivait, 14, who hails from Orillia, Ontario. When not training and showing in Texas and other states, Sharese spends time showing with her family in the Eastern Ontario area. Sharese shows all-around events and her work has been recognized with numerous awards including being a four-times world show qualifier, earning her superiors in Trail and Western Horsemanship and becoming an AQHA youth champion. She has been a member of the Eastern Ontario Quarter Horse Association NYATT team in 2011 riding in the Western Horsemanship class (ending up being a finalist).

When not riding, Sharese is busy volunteering for the Ontario Quarter Horse Association as a director and with fundraisers. She also volunteers for her school and for various local organizations and events. Sharese is looking forward to sharing her passion for sport of horse-showing as she represents her country in 2014.

Team Canada’s coach and manager are:

Della Cryderman

Team Canada Coach Della Cryderman has been breeding, training and showing Quarter Horses for over thirty years and presently owns and operates a equine training facility. Her focus for Cryderman Training Stables is to prepare horses and their exhibitors for national and international competition. While the majority of the horse/rider combinations that she coaches show American Quarter Horse circuits, she also coaches several dressage and jumping horses/riders. Cryderman has travelled and shared her knowledge with riders who have committed to furthering their skills, and given many clinics ranging from first time riders to numerous youth and amateurs who became AQHA Superior Award winners, AQHA Champions, AQHA Versatility Champions, All-American Congress and AQHA World Show finalists. Cryderman’s daughter, Jessie Godin was a gold-medalist member of Team Canada while competing at the Youth World Cup hosted by Australia in 2004. Cryderman served as President of the Thunder Bay Quarter Horse Club for 15 years and as President of the North Superior Quarter Horse Council for 10 years.

Karen Westerback

Team Canada Manager Karen Westerback has been involved with Quarter Horses for approximately 20 years and competes as an amateur on AQHA show circuits in Canada and the U.S. She has achieved two AQHA Amateur Superior Awards and is an AQHA Amateur Champion. Westerback is employed as a Youth Services residential worker for youth who are at risk with the law, helping to develop therapeutic plans for release from custody. She has served her local Quarter Horse associations over the years as Secretary, Vice-President and Youth Advisor, and has been actively involved in major fund-raising events and organizing. In the past year, she has acquired a new role as a ring steward for several large AQHA show circuits including the Minnesota Corporate Challenge and the Bob Yanz Masters.

CQHA is very pleased and fortunate to be able to benefit from the previous AQHA Youth World Cup experience of Della Cryderman and Karen Westerback, as they were Team Canada’s coach and manager, respectively in 2008 and  2012.

Young Guns – Katy Lucas

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I'll reveal one every week or so! 

“I hope to some day be one of the top rodeo broadcasters in North America and be able to cover events all over the continent. I see myself in the near future doing behind-the-scenes interviews at the Canadian and National Finals rodeos, as well as a large pro rodeos during the regular season.”

Katy Lucas

(Nominated for Entreprenuers)
Age: 20
Carstairs, Alberta

She embodies the countrified, go-getter persona of the decade. Katy Lucas’ assertiveness and charm has hit the world of rodeo broadcasting in the sweet spot. This summer, she will be working with Rangeland Media to produce Road to the CFR segments for Edmonton, Alberta’s Northlands Park. She is also working as production manager for Juxtapose Production’s, Hell on Hooves television show, charged with arranging interviews and directing camera crews while on set at rodeos.

“Now that I am finished school, I am setting my sites on a career in rodeo broadcasting,” Lucas explains. She recently completed her Communication Arts Diploma and specialized in Broadcast Journalism at Lethbridge College. Lucas earned herself top honors for each semester and received the program’s ‘Top Broadcaster’ award.

“I hope to some day be one of the top rodeo broadcasters in North America and be able to cover events all over the continent. I see myself in the near future doing behind-the-scenes interviews at the Canadian and National Finals rodeos, as well as larger pro rodeos during the regular season.”

My mom, Sheona Lucas has also always been there every step of the way.

Lucas was raised on a ranch, in a family of four. Her father is retired rodeo cowboy, Joe Lucas.

“He has always tried to give my younger brother, Kyle and I every opportunity to succeed – both in and out of the rodeo arena. My mom, Sheona Lucas has also always been there every step of the way. Whether it was making sure we got our homework done so we could go to the rodeo, or making sure we had enough clean clothes to last the weekend, she was always there helping us out,” Lucas tells.

As for horses, Lucas got her start in junior rodeos at very early age. In fact, she actually has permanent proof on her forehead from falling off a horse when she was only a baby. But as they say, cowgirls dig their scars and it’s clear the young woman is proud of this one.

Alberta High School Rodeo Queen for the 2010/2011 season. She has also been the Vice President and President of the Alberta High School Rodeo Association (AHSRA).

Through the 2008/09 season, Lucas was the Carstairs Rodeo Queen and went on to become the Alberta High School Rodeo Queen for the 2010/2011 season. She has also been the Vice President and President of the Alberta High School Rodeo Association (AHSRA). Next year, she plans to run for Miss Rodeo Ponoka and then move on to run for Miss Rodeo Canada.

As if that weren’t enough, Lucas also has her own booming’ business on the side.

As if that weren’t enough, Lucas also has her own booming’ business on the side. KatyDid Custom Jewelry is a venture she operates in her free time. Triggered by her passion for designing custom western necklaces, bracelets, earring and key chains, Lucas offers a one-of-a-kind flare for forever cowgirl pieces. Lucas may be her own best customer as she admits to owning over 40 pairs of earrings, but for a teenager’s debut into the world of business this should be a journey worth following.

~ Jennifer Webster

Young Guns – Madison MacDonald

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I'll reveal one every week or so!

A free spirit who has had the honour of working with some of the best equine entertainers in the world, Madison isn't slowing down anytime soon.

Madison MacDonald

(Nominated for Entertainers)
Age:20
Stephenville, Texas

So how does a girl from the small town of Okotoks, Alberta end up being chosen as a Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Contract Act in 2011 and 2012 while studying at Tarleton University? Not many can answer that, but Madison MacDonald sure can.

“My mother used to produce the Black Tie Wild West Shows for the Calgary Stampede. When I saw the trick riders, I told my parents that that was what I wanted to do,” remembers MacDonald.

Starting at the tender age of 4, MacDonald was competing in dance and unknowingly preparing herself for an exceptional career doing what she loves.

“Performing was something that I knew I wanted to do. I was fortunate enough to be able to follow my aspirations and never thought I would be where I am at the age of 20.”

As with everything worth having in life, the road to where she has gotten has been long and arduous, but he has had experiences and opportunities that people twice her age have not yet seen. She began riding with Ron Anderson and still credits his wisdom as the foundation that has helped her succeed atop a horse. At 11, she learned to twirl a trick rope in her own living room by legendary Tomas Garcilazos. Then in 2011 she found her greatest inspiration in Los Angeles.

“I would not be the trick rider I am today if it wasn't for Tad and Wendy Griffith. I have been extremely fortunate to be able to train under Tad who is referred to as the greatest gymnast on horseback. I lived with Tad and Wendy in Los Angeles where I trained under Tad for the National Finals Rodeo WNFR and then for Fort Worth where I trick rode with Tad's 3 boys. I never wanted the Fort Worth Stock and Rodeo to end. Each day felt like it was just another of practicing with Tad and his boys, as we came into that show of 3 months straight of practice and preparation, the show was the easy part compared to the rehearsals prior to. They are my “other” family.”

How do you start to list the credits of a young woman that has traveled the world doing what she loves? Her high school years were filled with rodeo; earning countless awards in pole bending, barrel racing, goat tying, breakaway roping and team roping.  In 2012, she was cast as part of the Calgary Stampede’s production Tails, which kept her busy for three performances daily over the ten days of Stampede. She has performed twice at the WNFR in Las Vegas and repeatedly performed at the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse.

For MacDonald, the horses are about more than the tricks and the bright lights. “The horses keep my life busy and full. They have been my life forever they are a part of me and it is something that I cherish everyday as I feel fortunate to be able to have the lifestyle that I do. Between training horses, practicing trick riding, roping and keeping my barrel horse going my days are full but I love every minute of it.

“I was like a lot of young girls – they see the costumes and the fast horses and it catches their eye. I see it now when I perform stateside, afterwards at the autograph signings we are surrounded by young girls that are enthralled by the performance and have the same dreams as I once had. It is inspiring to know that my performance has captivated them and lifted their spirits to encourage their aspirations.”

What better inspiration could there be?

~ Dainya Sapergia

Young Guns – Amanda Antifaev

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I'll reveal one every week or so! 

Amanda has a lengthy list of accomplishments in the reining pen, but credits her horses and mentors along the way.

Amanda Antifaev

(Nominated for Entrepreneurs)
Age: 25
Nanton, Alberta

The reining industry in Canada has seen Amanda Antifaev’s name at the top of the competition for many years. First in the youth and non-pro classes and now in the open, competing against the best horse trainers Canada has to offer.

Antifaev decided to go professional when the National Reining Horse Association came out with their Apprenticeship program, making it possible for her to try training and showing in the open pen for a year before taking the full leap and committing herself to a career in training horses professionally. This young woman however, was made for open competition and a life of training horses. So, at the young age of 19, Antifaev turned in her Non-Pro card and took on the challenge of training and showing full-time.

Antifaev’s success in the open pen started out with some great horses she got from mentors Wayne and Duane Latimer. Lokota Chic, Shiners Lena Dust and Mambos Whiz helped carry Antifaev to multiple championships throughout Canada and the United States, including winning the North American Affiliate Championship at the NRHA Futurity in 2009 and 2010 aboard Lokota Chic. Her success in the show pen continued with her accomplished show skills and training program, taking young horses she started and trained to multiple wins for their owners.

“My next was Sugarplum Nic, owned by Larry and Deb Manley who have been long-time supporters for me. The mare and I were co-champions at the Reining Alberta Fall Classic in the Open Futurity and made the finals in the level one and two at the NRHA Futurity – a first in my career.”

“My success has also been on horses that I have started and trained which has proved that not only can I show a broke horse, but that I could train one to do all the right stuff too,” says Antifaev. “My first was Hard Times Sailor who I was reserve champion on in two futurities and went on to more wins as a derby horse. My next was Sugarplum Nic, owned by Larry and Deb Manley who have been long-time supporters for me. The mare and I were co-champions at the Reining Alberta Fall Classic in the Open Futurity and made the finals in the level one and two at the NRHA Futurity – a first in my career.” Antifaev had one of her best years in 2012 as an open rider, showing the young stallion Conchicador to the Wild Rose Reining Classic Open Futurity Championship, Montana Big Sky Classic Open Futurity Championship and a reserve championship at the Silver slate Reining Classic Open Futurity, winning over $13,000 for the year.

Antifaev wouldn’t trade her profession for anything. “I love the horses, everything about them. I love starting them, bringing them along and seeing how they learn and progress. I love maintaining broke horses and getting inside their heads to understand how they think and what makes them tick so I can get the best out of them so they also enjoy their job.”

Antifaev gives a little advice to those looking to become an open rider, “Learn from a trainer and stick with them for as long as you can. I believe that experience takes time and can be expensive, but no one can learn all there is to know about horse training and showing in a short time. If you learn from someone experienced such as I did from Wayne Latimer, you can learn from both their successes and their trials and errors.”

~ Deanna Beckley

Young Guns – Hayley Stradling

In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.

It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I’ll reveal one every week or so! 

At only 16, Hayley has already achieved significant success in both hunter jumper and cutting, not an easy feat for the most seasoned rider.

Hayley Stradling

(Nominated for Competitive)
Age: 16
Aldergrove, British Columbia

You don’t have to be very old to think that sixteen seems so young. But for an Aldergrove, British Columbia equestrienne, the years have been plenty to secure her place as one of the top competitors in the country.

Guiding her are the words of Stan Smith: Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it. She is well on her way with the confidence and experience, but possibly the element that sets Haley Stradling apart from her competition is diversity.

“I have been riding horses my entire life. I love riding both cutting horses and hunter jumpers and competing on them. I also have been in Pony Club since I was 6-years-old, and currently have my C1 Level.”

She has carved out a training regime that helps her to excel. On her cutters, she rides with Dr. Denton Moffat of Armstrong, BC and with her hunter jumpers, she trains with Brent and Laura Balisky and Laura Jane Tidball. No lackluster list of coaches on this girls resume, and it shows.

In 2012 alone, Stradling won an AQHA World Cutting championship and won two gold medals for Team Canada at the AQHA Youth World Cup in Kreuth, Germany. Closer to home, she was reserve champion in the youth cutting at the Calgary Stampede and won awards with the British Columbia Cutting Horse Association and the British Columbia Ranch Cutting Horse Association. On her hunter jumper, she was 2nd overall at the Canadian Equestrian Team Medal Regional Finals in Langley, BC and went on to finish 3rd overall at the Canadian Equestrian Team Medal National finals in Toronto, Ontario. It is no small feat for a rider to ride multiple disciplines, let alone excel in both.

On top of her awards inside the arena, Stradling was nominated by the Horse Council of BC for Junior Female Sport BC Athlete of the year and came third overall.

“My parents are my main supporters and are incredible,” raves Stradling.

During the rare moments that she is not homing her skills, Stradling helps with her local pony club by teaching stable management to the younger kids. She volunteers at her school building theater sets and likes archery and snowboarding. A diverse set of interests has gone a long way to form an exceptional young lady.

~ Dainya Sapergia