Adventures in Fashion: Behind The Scenes of our Fall Photoshoot

Alex Callaghan, the talented photographer behind Callaghan Creative Co. captures three of our fabulous models – Allison, Nancy, and her fabulous horse Rooster, in front of Todd Lemieux’s Citabria airplane.

The September/October issue of Western Horse Review is now on stands, and the team at WHR has been loving all the positive feedback we have been receiving on our fall fashion shoot entitled “Adventurous West.” They say that it takes a village, and that saying is no truer than when you embark on a photoshoot that includes a variety of locations, amazing models, outfits from a wide range of boutiques, a gifted photographer, a talented team of hair and makeup artists, and the staff at the magazine to get it all done. Oh, did we forget to mention houses, horses, vintage vehicles and even a plane? It was an amazing shoot, and we want to share with our readers some of the action that occurs behind the scenes of the final product that is published in the magazine.

Callaghan Creative Co. at work photographing 2017 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, Savanna Sparvier and one of Sally Bishop’s talented horses, Frosty.

Something that we truly enjoy at Western Horse Review is the fact we use authentic true-to-life horse persons as models in our fashion shoots. For example, above is Savanna Sparvier, the 2017 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, who also graced our cover this issue. This young lady is not only beautiful, and kind, but a great ambassador for the Calgary Stampede, as well as a true role model for young women in the indigenous community and beyond. You will also find accomplished and incredibly strong horse women in this feature, including a professional  Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association roman rider and stunt performer, and a FEI North American Junior Young Rider gold medalist in reining, among others.

Wrangling photoshoot horses is no joke. Here is WHR’s own, Sally Bishop, with two of her beautiful horses, Frosty (left) and Mattise (right).


WHR’s own, Louisa Murch White, holds Frosty in-between takes.

We are very grateful to the Vulcan Flying Club for allowing us to take over their beautiful facility as one of the locations for our shoot. As you can imagine, it’s not always easy to wrangle horses, humans, and planes to get the beautiful shots we did. Thankfully we had the use of Sally Bishop’s exceptional horses, such as Frosty and Mattise pictured above, and Nancy Pratch’s wonderful Rooster, who were ever the professionals, didn’t bat an eye at a plane taxiing down the runway, and allowed the models to be comfortable and relaxed to get those perfect shots.

Louisa Murch White modeling Savanna Sparvier’s beaded tack. Photo Credit: Liz of The Aria Studios.

There were many funny moments throughout the day, but one of our personal favourites was WHR’s Sally Bishop and Louisa Murch White wrestling Savanna Sparvier’s beautiful beaded tack onto a pre-existing bridle. Sometimes, as you can see above, you just have to throw the bridle on yourself and go with it.

Callaghan Creative Co. capturing a stunning moment of Savanna Sparvier modelling a Janine’s Custom Creation jacket.

Finally, we would remise to not mention the team that pulled it together. Our talented photographer, Alex Callaghan of Callaghan Creative Co., stunning makeup by The Aria Studios and hair by Meagan Peters and Amber Bigplume. A massive thank you to Todd Lemieux for providing the 1960 Chevrolet Apache, Citabria, as well as some of his own modelling skills. To Hailey Stewart who lent a much-needed hand in all areas of the photoshoot. Finally a thank you to Kimes Ranch Jeans, Janine’s Custom Creations, CR RanchWear, Bold and Brassy, Cattle Cait, #NotInMyCity, Classic Rodeo, Cody & Sioux, Paige Leather and Stick and Ball for their amazing fashion contributions that truly made this fall shoot as spectacular as it was.

Louisa Murch White scoping locations, we felt this turquoise antique bench out in the pasture was a great backdrop.

Forever In Blue Jeans

by guest blogger Deanna Beckley

Aww blue jeans. Dark wash, acid wash, worn out, boot-cut, straight leg, fancy pockets, relax fit…so many styles to choose from! You can never have enough blue jeans!

Photo courtesy of Krista Kay Photography

I will admit, I have enough jeans to get me through several weeks without wearing a single pair twice. I firmly believe they are a must have staple that should be in everyone’s closet.

We couldn’t have a fashion steal without giving away a pair of jeans. This week’s giveaway item is sponsored by Cavalier. Thank you Cavalier for giving away a great pair of Iron Horse Jeans.

Cavalier is a privately owned Canadian company based in Stratford, Ontario. The business was founded in 1975. Cavalier has three operating divisions each focusing on a distinct segment of the equestrian market. The Cavalier division focuses on English riding equipment and apparel. Select Distributing focuses on the needs of the western rider and the Equine Advantage division represents the most comprehensive selection of Equine animal health care products. Be sure to check out their facebook page.

I actually interviewed Christi Simoneaux of Iron Horse Jeans last year. Here is what she said about Iron Horse Jeans and western fashion.

WHR: What influences Iron Horse design?

IHJ: “We really don’t look within the jean industry per say for design but we center ourselves on vintage heritage and then we explore fashion products in other categories’ such as women’s accessories to find design inspiration.”

WHR: What is the biggest jump we’ll see western fashion take in the next two years? Or what has been the biggest jump it has taken?

IHJ: “For years now western retailers and some manufactures feel as though western fashion is two years behind main street and slower to react to current trends. I think thats changed and western is following much closer to main stream, especially the younger crowd. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more straight leg fashion and possibly a softening of the bling on jeans in the next few years to come.”

WHR: What trends are we seeing for 2012?

IHJ: “In denim, lighter washes are starting to gain a little presence while deep dark washes with bright contrasting stitching is coming on fast. Low rise for gals has settled in at 7” and is the norm in the market with 8” rise following close behind. For guys its dark washes simple pockets minimum distressing and in a low rise offering.”

WHR: Is there one item that is timeless that will never go out of style?

IHJ: “Absolutely it’s called denim and boot leg cut, its been here from the start and for the most part has stayed the same just maybe with a little bit more flare!”

So the question for this week’s giveaway is…
What equine event are you most looking forward to this summer?


Fashion Shoot Steal, Giveaway 3 Winner

The “Quarter Horse” purse we featured in last weeks Fashion Shoot Steal, Giveaway 3 attracted a justified amount of interest and comments. It really is a sweet western vintage gem. We happened across it at a photo shoot of a western home we’ll be featuring in the Sept/Oct issue of Western Horse Review. I’d love to share some of the other rich western finds in that shoot, but I had better save them for the issue.

Photo by Deanna Buschert

Here’s what I found out about the purse. It was made by Texan handbag designer Enid Collins. She opened Collins of Texas in Medina in 1959 and produced hundreds of handmade whimsical and original purses, up until 1970, when she sold the company to Tandy Leather Corporation, which took over the production of the purses. Most were canvas bucket style, as is the Quarter Horse purse and others were wooden box purses.

Thanks to reader Deseri Tammie Cooper who also filled us in with a bit of detail on the bag:

[It’s a] Collins Horse-Themed Bag. 1960s. Maker: Collins of Texas. Linen-type fabric bucket bag featuring a horse print that makes playful puns. “Ol’ Paint” has a painter’s palette, “Appaloosa” has three-dimensional apples, the “Quarter Horse” has a real 1966 quarter sewn, via a plastic patch, to its rear, and the “Strawberry Roan” has three-dimensional strawberries. It’s an adorable Collins bag that I haven’t seen before.

Enid Collins in her Texas studio.

Collins hand decorated her purses with sequins, buttons, feathers and rhinestones. I’ve come to think of her as the original Queen of bling. When I try to imagine what kind of woman would carry a EC handbag back then, sassy, stylish, particular and fun come to mind. I bet Enid Collins purses made just as many trips to the grocery store as to social functions.

This particular EC handbag is a western treasure, I was hard pressed to find another for sale online. I did finally track one down on eBay, though the quality was questionable.

If your curiosity about EC handbags is still peaked, Cool Old Stuff has an informative piece on the collectibility of the Enid Collins purses. If you’d rather just view more handbag eye candy, Enid Collins Collection is a site which celebrates her style with hundreds of collectors sharing photos of their EC handbags.

Thanks to everyone for entering the contest we held last week on Screen Doors & Saddles and Western Horse Review Facebook. We asked you to guess what year the purse was made. So many near-on guesses and great comments. As I suggested above, from the research and markings on the purse, we’ve nailed it as an Enid Collins original, produced sometime in the ’60s, though we couldn’t pin down the exact year.

We just did a random draw amongst all the entries on the blog post and Facebook and drew Susan Gail Jenson Sjogren’s name out of the bag. Susan wrote:

“It looks new! But I will guess 1976.”

As promised from the onset, you didn’t have to guess the year correctly, just enter!

Susan Gail Jensen Sjogren, you’ve won a $100 gift certificate from a modern-day bling and western purveyor, Cowgirl Finesse. Please contact us at [email protected] to claim your gift certificate.

Thanks everyone for taking part in the contest, loved all your comments. Look for Fashion Shoot Steal, Giveaway 4 later this week, when we’ll be giving away another fabulous piece from our 2012 fashion shoot. Hint for this piece – it’s demin!

Fashion Shoot Steal Giveaway 2

by guest blogger Deanna Beckley

Our Fashion Shoot Steal is underway! If you missed the rules you can check in at my last post for all the rules and regulations.

As promised we announced the winner of our first Fashion Shoot Steal giveaway prize – the gorgeous Bohemian styled mexi-dress compliments of Punkies Place last week on our Facebook page. We did a random draw from all of the Facebook comments and blog post comments, and Leslie Penner was the lucky winner.

Leslie’s comment was, “Hmmm they look like spring time, maybe if you send this way we will actually get some!!” Hope so, Leslie, contact us at within 10 days to collect your dress and congratulations!

Irvines is located in Crossfied, Alberta just north of Calgary. I had never been to the store before heading out to pick up the clothing for the shoot. The store is massive and carries everything a horseman could desire. From clothing and boots and hats to saddles (an entire wall full), furniture and everything in between.

Amanda Andrews, one of our lovely models, kicked off the fashion shoot with a cute chic summer outfit from Irvines.

 Doesn’t she look stunning! This set was inspired from a magazine clipping Krista Kay and I found. Krista’s stunning horses served as “props”.

Amanda’s favorite item from this outfit were the boots. Beautiful gold embossed Ferrini boots with cross accent. These boots are HOT!

And guess what…you have a chance to win them! Simply tell us what your favorite brand of boot to ride in are AND what your best dress-up boots are (perhaps they are one in the same, that’s fine too), in the comment section below and you will be entered to win. If you want to get multiple entries, head on over to our Facebook page and simply “LIKE” the Page, “SHARE” the photo and don’t forget to comment and tell us you shared.

Stay tuned for more great Fashion Steals and sneak peaks from this year’s Western Horse Review fashion shoot, coming to you in the July/August issue!

The Fashion Shoot Steal

by guest blogger Deanna Beckley

This year’s fashion shoot is the best one ever for Western Horse Review readers! What makes it extra special is the fact that WHR readers have a chance to win some of the product showcased in the fashion shoot.

The 2012 WHR fashion shoot, scheduled for our July/August issue, will feature some of the hottest trends and up-coming fashion in the horse industry from major retailers and companies throughout Canada and the United States. This year it’s not just the models that will be wearing the product – all you WHR fans and supporters out there get a chance to grab some of the swag!

We’re calling it the Fashion Shoot Steal.

Thanks to the amazing support of our fashion shoot partners – Punkies Place, Irvines Tack, Cavalier, 2 Chicks In A Stitch, Tumbleweed Tilly, Tricked Out Cowgirl, Brahma Boots, Cowgirl Finesse, Equi Products, Cowboy’s Choice, Granola Feathers, Manitobah Mukluks and Little Bow Tique – we’re able to give away some of the very items we shot for the fashion spread.

You have a chance at winning this…

Or how about an item from this pic.

So here are the rules and I must say they are quite simple.

Every week we’ll post a photo of one of the items both here in Screen Doors & Saddles and on the Western Horse Review Facebook page.

You then have two ways to enter to win that item:

1) On the blog post: Comment on the blog post (just leave a comment answering one of the question we post)

2) On WHR Facebook page: You need only to LIKE the page, then “share” the photo. Be sure to “comment” to let us know you shared.

We’ll make a random draw from the comments and shares when the contest closes.

Remember, the more you comment, the more you share, the greater the chance of you wearing the styles from the 2012 Western Horse Review Fashion Shoot.

Without further adieu here is our first Fashion Shoot Steal giveaway item.

Unleash your inner bohemian with this colorful Mexican dress from Punkies Place! Bright and bold colors with traditional floral embroidery throughout.

Just let us know in the comment section below what the staple item of your western style wardrobe is. A belt? Buckle? Iconic boots? Let us know in the comment section below and you’ll be entered to win.

And remember, to have a second chance to win this, get on over to our Facebook page, like it and share the photo.

Thanks to Krista Kay for the beautiful photos, and remember to stay tuned for sneak peaks from our 2012 Fashion Shoot!

Fashion Shoot 2012

Guest blogger, Deanna Beckley shares her experience organizing Western Horse Review’s annual fashion shoot.

Since I started at the magazine I have assembled and been in charge of two fashion shoots. With 2012’s edition being my third, I am determined to make it the best one yet! With some experience under my belt I feel that each year’s fashion project gets better.

The first year I was assigned the project I had no experience organizing and coordinating such a large project, but I was so excited to have an opportunity to let my creativity and fashion sense shine.

That year we decided to use our very own Western Horse Review staff to model in the shoot.

To make it even better we used Three Bars Ranch (where I now call home) in Cranbrook, BC as our venue of choice for the backdrop to for our photos. It offered so many options for scenes – from an old red barn to cabins, a tack shed and even a beautiful lodge.

Being this was my in-laws ranch, I had them participate in the shoot (wink), the guys were less than thrilled.

Jesse Beckley


Tyler Beckley


Jeff Beckley

Our photographer was Brian Clarkson, owner of Cranbrook Photo and long-time friend of the Beckley family.

In 2010 I put together my second fashion shoot, this time at  John Scott’s ranch where many great movies have been filmed. I even got John Scott to pose for the camera. I have to say he is very photogenic.

I recruited some great models, one of which was my lovely Mom (insert heart here). She not only helped us out by giving us some great pictures, but she helped me with organizing everything and taking care of the clothes and other models. Moms are so great.

It was actually a bit of a family affair. My Dad was the “wrangler” for the day. He trailered over a couple of their horses to include in the photos.

Our photographer was fellow reiner, Travis Rogers of Wainright, AB. His work is amazing and what was even better – he knew horses and how they should be photographed. Check out TJ Photography and flip through his albums.

The fashion shoot just about didn’t happen that year when a freak snow storm whipped through Alberta two days before the scheduled shoot, leaving roads and highways closed – including the highway from Wainright to Calgary. It was touch and go as to whether we would have a photographer or not for our shoot. I did not have a back-up plan, I was scheduled to leave three days later to Texas for the National Reining Breeders Classic. But, good ol’ Travis and his crew pulled through. I might mention this was in the middle of April!

Travis did an amazing job and was great at directing our inexperienced models. Another successful fashion shoot!

Erin Hussey

Cutting Competitor, Sandy Hansma

You can go here for some more shots of the 2010 Fashion Shoot. 

This year will make my third fashion shoot I have organized, and although I have more experience under my belt, I am faced with new challenges. In addition to trying to organize such a large project, I work full time at the College of the Rockies, have an embroidery business (which seems to be inconveniently VERY busy right now) and of course all my other writing assignments. At the moment I am just trying to keep my head above water (I’m currently writing this at 11:30 pm).

That said, I am determined to make this the best fashion shoot yet!

This year’s shoot will take place in the Westwold Valley of British Columbia – a place that holds so much potential for amazing photos. The north side of the valley is abundant in sage brush and tiny cactus, while the cooler southern side holds moisture in its mossy forests and pine laden trails.

Stay tuned for some exciting things that we are planning with this year’s shoot and  learn just what it takes to put together a successful fashion shoot.