By guest blogger Deanna Beckley
When putting together the magazine’s annual photo-shoot, one of the first things I do is pick out the models that will “display” all of the beautiful products and clothing.
I am often asked how we pick our models for the shoot every year and what the criteria is. The most important thing when looking for models for the WHR shoot is that they are involved in the horse industry in some way, whether that be showing, coaching, training, ranching, recreational riding or even being a “horse show” mom.
The first year I conducted the shoot, we used WHR staff members, along with a few others that I had connections with from the horse industry.
I always try to get an assortment of models – little kids, teenagers, the twenty-something’s and the 40 plus crowd. This allows me to showcase a wide range of fashions that appeal to all of our readers. I also try to recruit models of all different disciplines within the horse industry, making them recognizable to people throughout the equine world.
This year I put a call-out on the Western Horse Review’s facebook page, asking for volunteers who are involved in the horse industry to model for the shoot. I got a huge response and an abundance of emails and nominations. This made my task of choosing models both easy and hard. I had a lot to choose from, but only five or six spots to fill. I might mention that from all these emails and facebook posts, not one of them was a man! They are always the hardest to come by.
In this case I was very fortunate to have a great photographer who recruited two good lookin’ cowboys to fill the part.
Soooo drum roll please…here are your 2012 Western Horse Review Fashion Shoot Models!
Amanda was raised on a cattle ranch west of Stavely, Alberta, where horses have always been a huge part of her life. She lived her entire childhood on her parents ranch where they used horses almost daily to do ranch work. She is currently living and working in High River, Alberta, working as a Massage Therapist and is thankful that horses continue to be a big part of her life.
With Amanda’s parents being avid horse people and with two younger sisters who also shared the love, showing horses became a family affair which she started into at the age of 4. She began showing in local open shows and doing local rodeo’s and was also involved with horse 4-H for 10 years.
At the age of 14 Amanda’s interest turned to reining. She spent eight years in the reining pen, but her interests are now drifting into the working cow horse scene. Horses have always brought her great joy and a huge sense of accomplishment and she hopes they will continue to be an important influence in her life.
The beautiful area of Salmon Arm, BC is where Sandra calls home, situated on 140 acres in the prestine city her and her family have horses, buffalo, cows and a few dogs. When she’s not at work for the School District #83 she spends all of her time outside, riding and enjoying the wonderful outdoors.
Sandra got involved with horses when her children became members of the local 4-H horse club. She has found her passion, now competing competitively in reining on a horse named Wright N Chex that has earned her many buckles, prizes and of course, some cold hard cash, but most importantly the love for the sport.
Last year Sandra started to dabble in the cutting pen as a competitor and purchased a nice little mare, Royally Sweet Badge which earned her a buckle the first time out. She is always looking forward to learning more and is always having fun!!!
Carmen was born and raised in Salmon Arm, BC and her parents still own the same beautiful 25 acre piece of property where they now work together to operate Teixeira Performance Stables. They have a successful boarding and training facility and is home to their stallion, SR Kool Starlite. Buying this stud was a great dream come true for the entire family. Carmen and her husband Ryan Derksen live about 10 minutes from the farm. She credits a lot of her success to the support of her family.
Horses have always been in Carmen’s life – it’s a lifestyle for her. Carmen began showing in the western pleasure arena, but the more she learned about the reining horses the more she wanted to ride one. Once she got a taste of the sport of reining she also wanted to try her hand in the working cow horse divisions.
Having ridden with the legendary Bob Grimshaw for over 10 years before spending over a year and a half as an assistant trainer to world champion (AQHA, NRCHA) Jason Grimshaw in Texas, where she showed and trained both reiners and working cow horses. Carmen has successfully shown and trained horses for the public for over 13 years in reining and western pleasure. Carmen has now established herself as an accomplished trainer and coach in BC for riders and horses of all skill levels.
Amanda was 18 months old when she sat on a horse for the first time. Her parents got her a horse for her 11th birthday – a Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred off the track with a history of abuse. Maybe not your typical first horse, but she begged her parents for him. Together they rode English, mostly hunter/jumper and dabbled in dressage. Amanda grew up in 4-H and that horse was her project for all of her 4-H years succeeding.
From there Amanda went over-sea\’s to England where she was further exposed to the cross country world, but at a much more intense level. When she returned home, she spent some time trail riding and learning western. During this time Amanda found a passion for barrel racing and bought a young paint mare for gymkhana. She’s been riding western for six years and enjoys barrel racing, trail riding, reining, roping and cutting.
Ashley has been involved in recreational riding and horses since she was six years old. She enjoys both jumping and gymkhana and is currently taking a hiatus from horses traveling the world. She got her start riding in south east Kelowna taking riding lessons at a western barn with her best friend. Ashley always lived for the summers and for horse camps where they would often go for overnight trips and swim their horses in Lake Okanagan.
Mark has been involved for most of his life with horses. Originally from Williams Lake, BC, he enjoyed high school rodeo and roping is his passion. In 2009 Mark placed twice in the top ten at the Buckle Bonanza in Olds, Alberta and traveled back to BC with two shiny new buckles. In the spring of 2011 he won the saddle in the number eight incentive at the trailer roping in Claresholm, AB. Mark works part of the year on the rigs and spends his summers as a trained Olds College farrier traveling the Okanagan shoeing.
Savanna is eight years old and is in second grade at AB Daley Community School in Nanton, AB. She loves to swim, read and does jazz. She’s been on a horse since she was a baby in a snugglie and continues to love riding. She competes in ARCHA shows and open western shows and is excited to start 4-H.
Sierra is six years old and is in 1st grade at AB Daley Community School. She is a free spirit who loves tap dancing, hula hooping, watersports and, of course, her horses. She has ridden as long as she can remember and enjoys the time she spends with a horse. She loves competing in open shows through the summer.
Unfortunately I seem to be missing my info on Aaron, but what I can tell you is that he is a true cowboy through and through. With his perfectly shaped hat and his roping skills there is no doubt that he is no stranger to the horse industry.