BY PIPER WHELAN
The snow didn’t keep anyone’s spirits down at this year’s edition of the Ladies of Canadian Professional Rodeo’s Luncheon and Fashion Show, and Western Horse Review was on hand to take part in the festivities. Held in conjunction with the 45th edition of the Canadian Finals Rodeo, this annual fundraiser warmed up a chilly Friday in Red Deer, Alberta. With a theme of “Ropes and Roses,” the sold-out event boasted a fun atmosphere, tons of desirable prizes up for grabs, and a performance by country artist Ryan Lindsay. Hosts Dennis Halstead and Jackie Rae Greening entertained the enthusiastic guests while promoting the spirit in which this fundraiser was founded.
Over the course of its lifetime, the Luncheon and Fashion Show has raised more than $325,450 for the two organizations it supports, the CPRA Cowboy Benefit Fund and the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team. The CPRA Cowboy Benefit Fund provides funds to CPRA members in the event of an injury, while the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team consists of a dedicated group of sports medicine professionals who volunteer their expertise on the rodeo circuit. Halstead spoke about the importance of both organizations, mentioning legendary pickup man Gary Rempel and bareback rider JR Vezain, both of whom were recently seriously injured, and the support that the rodeo community shows to those in similar situations.
The fashion show also served as the final component of the 2019 Miss Rodeo Canada competition. Miss Rodeo Canada 2018 Brittany Chomistek and the six finalists competing to succeed her. lit up the runway with a variety of western-inspired styles. Several bright young CFR competitors, including the buzzworthy twins Taylor and Tristen Manning, barrel racer Justine Elliot, and saddle bronc riders Dawson Hay and Clay Elliott, also made appearances to model a number of classic and trendy looks.
Clothing was provided by Classic Rodeo Boutique of Nanton, AB, Lammle’s, Stetson, and Roper. Bright, warm tones for fall and winter dominated the runway. For the ladies, statement bags, intricately-tooled leather, fringe, and southwestern print jackets were featured, while the gentlemen sported classic outerwear and retro prints. The fashion show concluded with the six Miss Rodeo Canada contestants showing off their own styles with custom-made outfits.
There was an overwhelming sense of community in the sport of rodeo during this afternoon, and the cheers and laughs coming from the audience made it evident that this is one fundraiser you do not want to miss.