Lake Louise Ski Resort may never be the same. Saturday, March 30 saw the hill inundated with skiers and boarders decked out in rodeo chaps and cowboy hats for the inaugural Ski Louise Stampede Canadian Cowboy Ski Race. Presented by Calgary Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall and Twisted Tea (along with a number of other sponsors), 53 cowboys and cowgirls from rodeo associations across western Canada entered up for a variety of ski and snowboard races. Entrants were joined by numerous fans for both the race and evening festivities, which included a silent auction, dinner and a cabaret with the proceeds ($6,300 at last count) going to the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team.
Stampede Race winner was bronc rider Riley Harvie who was awarded a hand-crafted Becker buckle (sponsored by Becker Buckles and Ranchman’s) for his efforts. Kudos as well to Ski/boarder Cross champion, bull rider Wyatt Laughlin. (Laughlin earned a leather event jacket sponsored by Ranchman’s with the embroidery provided by Storm Front Promotions. Storm Front also donated t-shirts for all contestants.) Barrel racer Jessica Hansen was named top lady of the day while bareback rider Sam Trottier was the top boarder. Bull fighter, Brett Monea was recognized for having the day’s worst wreck!
Ski race organizers, Ted Stovin, Kynan Vine and Brandon Thome teamed up with Ski Louise’s owner, Charlie Locke and PR director Sandy Best (also from the resort) to set up the event. Organizers were thrilled by the success of the endeavor… particularly considering they only started planning the event early in 2013.
“Our major challenge was time,” Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Administrator, Kynan Vine acknowledged. “We didn’t start planning it until mid-February. We also had the challenge of putting together an event none of us had ever done before and working with a group we had no previous relationship with. I have had a lot to do with skiing over the years but this was a whole new concept for me too.”
Ted Stovin of EverythingCowboy.ca was equally excited, and is already making plans for next year. “I think the event overall, was a huge success. We\’re already looking forward to making it even bigger and better for 2014. The evening event was outstanding and added even more to the day. That would be pretty tough to find anywhere else I think.”
Vine went on to say, “I think we will add a couple of new events or races next year for the entertainment factor. Maybe a big air competition or an inner tube race that would be for anyone, not just skiers. The event is meant to be fun and entertaining. The rodeo community is just that and we have gotten away from spending time promoting and enjoying our community so it is very nice to see us come together and have a blast while promoting our sport.”
Submitted by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association