Postcards From Kentucky – Day 3

Team Alberta with their championship ribbons, flowers and team sheets made by Equine Essentials - THANKS NOVA! - NAJYRC

My Stable Life and Western Horse Review were the first to report to you yesterday that Team Alberta at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Kentucky, won gold medals in the Team Competition held July 29. Check out: Postcards From Kentucky – Day 2.

Said Kim Magnuson, mother of youth team member Chloe Beveridge and “groom extraordinare”, “It’s just so exciting! The girls all put in really good, solid runs. There were some tough contending teams here and the US had some nice runs, but in the end they didn’t add up to as much cumulatively. Team Alberta  beat 2 American teams in the process!”

Nancy Pratch, a member of Team Alberta and the highest scorer in Wednesday’s Welcome class revealed, “It has just been an AWE-some day. We are having a blast.”

Team Alberta listens to the Canadian National Anthem while standing atop the podium.

The Canadian flag is raised to the tallest height.

“The girls each got a championship sheet, big ribbons, flowers and a medal. And they got to do a couple of laps around the arena in celebration. They put their blankets on over their saddles and rode their victory laps – it was pretty cool!!” said Magnuson.

The girls enter the arena for the championship presentation.

Golf carts are a necessity to get around the park.... there are approximately 2,000 horses stabled on the ground with all the horse shows going on.

And here is the official Press Release:

The Alberta Reining Team won the gold medal on July 29 at the 2010 Adequan FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships. Presented by Gotham North, these Championships are being held July 28–August 1 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, also the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

From a start list of 20 competitors representing six regions throughout Canada and the United States, the Team from Alberta handily won the competition with a score of 629.5. The Team, comprised of Chloe Beveridge of Calgary, AB, Kaylynn Malmberg of Carseland, AB, Nancy Pratch of St. Paul, AB, and Sage Sapergia of Cochrane, AB, finished three points ahead of the USA-East Team. The bronze medal was awarded to the USA-West team with 622.

Team Alberta gets their picture taken with their mothers.

The Ontario Reining Team which consists of Lyndsay Kloster of Newmarket, ON, Darcy Wilson of Goodwood, ON, and Lane Wilson of Goodwood, ON, finished just out of medal contention in fourth with 620. Fifth place went to the Combined Team from Quebec/British Columbia. Laurianne Gagnon-Duval of St. Augustine de Desmaures, QC, Gabrielle Martel of Repentigny, QC, and Vanessa Strotmann of Salmon Arm, BC, earned a score of 618. Rounding out the top six was Megan Robinson of Dufresne, MB, Christine Simpson of Winnipeg, MB, Kylie Wasiuta of Winnipeg, MB, and Kelsey Wiens of Winnipeg, MB, of the Manitoba Team that posted a score of 608.5.

Vet drug testing was done randomly in competition horses.

“The Team competition was a very tight, exciting display of power and horsemanship,” said Wendy Dyer, who is the Chef d’équipe for all four Canadian teams. “The scores were so close it was incredible. Everyone did their best and showed their maturity and skill.”

The riders from the Team competition go forward to the Individual Final competition, which will be held on Saturday, July 31.

Complete results are available at


The Beauty of the Open Breed Show

One of the great aspects of regional and local open horse shows is the variety of breed, discipline and dress. The Didsbury Horse Show recently held it’s 47th annual event on July 3-4 at the Didsbury Agriculture Society grounds.

The show holds a great variety of classes from dressage to reining to costume. It makes for a great photo opportunity and photographer Deanna Buschert capitalized on that and captured these wonderful shots for us. Thanks so much Deanna!


The in-hand classes.

The finesse of American Saddlebred.

Western Pleasure.

In the outdoor arena.

A post-class hug.

Hunter classes were offered.

Costumes were in style for the day.

Road Trips CDs #4

Here’s my last set of Road Trip CDs. The final five. Hope you’ve enjoyed the trip and please check back to see week one, two and three’s selections at Road Trip CDs.


Tom Petty – The Highway Companion

With the line, “a coyote raaaaan across the road,” . . . how could this not make the Road CDs list? Seriously, Tom Petty is a serious road tunes listen, and that pretty much includes any one of his compilations, however, this one is my favorite at the moment.


Frida Soundtrack

From the excellent movie, featuring Salma Hayek, it’s Lila Down’s music I’m drawn to most in this musical compilation, though I don’t think there is a single musical gem within which I haven’t heard a thousand times or more. Any road trip will benefit from the inclusion of this landscape of the the mysterious and tumultuous Mexico of the mid-20th century. Pay attention to Chavela Vargas’s Paloma Negra, recorded 40 years earlier. Vargas, once a lover of the free-spirited Frida Kahlo gives an unforgettable performance and she is featured in the movie as well.


Lucinda Williams – Little Honey

No music list of mine could be complete without a mention of the Goddess Lucinda. Williams is the real deal, drawing powerful breaths of authenticity. Little Honey is a wonderful rocky, bluesy sound, unmistakably Williams, who at 57, appears to have a lot of peak left in her. That’s an inspiration for a 40-something girl.


Corb Lund – Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier

At Western Horse Review, we love Corb Lund almost as much as . . . well, almost as much as Ian Tyson. I’m really, really sorry about this Corb. But consider, it’s not a bad deal being named in the same sentence as Ian. I especially love Especially A Paint, a beautiful ballad that draws a parallel between a lost desire and the Old West.

. . . which brings us to . .  .


Ian Tyson – Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories

It’s that gravelly voice that brings us to Ian’s latest, a beautiful compilation of songs and ballads suited for any drive, anywhere, any day.

And that finishes off the Road Tunes CDs set of four.

Now it’s your turn. What do you listen to down the road? Comment below with your fave Road CDs, and we’ll enter you to win one of three Ian Tyson, Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories CD’s we have to give away.

Contest closes June 30.

Leaving you with Lucinda William’s latest Letterman appearance performing Real Love. Enjoy!

Road Trip CDs #3

Because it’s Friday.

Because my lawn mower is in the repair shop. Not that it matters.

Because I am resplendently rich in lilacs and rain showers on this day.

Because we might just head out on our own road trip this weekend to little daughter’s first horse show of the year. With her still slightly chubby pony, Princess.

And, because there have been such great suggestions for Road Trip CDs already made in the comment section below, I’m going to share my next five top Road Trip CDs right here, right now.

Before you do anything check out week one and two of the Road Trip CDs saga.


Crazy Heart Soundtrack

T Bone Burnett and the late Stephen Bruton penned the songs for character Bad Blake, an aging, alcoholic, yet achingly beautiful country singer, played by Jeff Bridges in the movie. It’s these originals I love most on the soundtrack: Hold On You, Somebody Else, Fallin’ And Flyin’ with the catchy line, “Funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’ but only for a little while.” And then there is the Oscar-winning The Weary Kind, by Ryan Bingham, which captures, for me, the loves of a dear friend or two in all of their haunting beauty. Combined with country classics like Waylon Jenning’s, Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way, this collection has laid hold of the number one spot in my truck player for two months running.

P.S. Don’t miss the movie, it’s raw and true, and the music is a huge part of it.



Greg Brown  – The Evening Call

I can hardly believe this is Greg Brown’s 23rd release and my first. Brown’s vocals are not comparative to any other, and his lyrics are intelligent and poetic. It’s eclectic, completely authentic and so unusually, yet beckoningly different. My son loves Eugene (as in Oregon), wherein Brown talk-sings his way through a six-some minute long travelogue of camping and fishing spots across America and wise observations along the way, including “everybody’s got a story, everybody’s got a family, and a lot of them have RVeees.” This is a great one for the wee hours of the morning, after a long drive, when you can’t yet quite settle down to the idea of sleep.

By the way, Brand New Angel, in the movie Crazy Heart, is a Greg Brown tune.

Beginning to see the karma of my week?


Sam Baker – Pretty World

I heard a cut from this on CKUA’s fabulous Saturday morning program, Wide Cut Country, hosted by Allison Brock. Because I don’t know a lot about Sam, I looked up his website to see if he plays in Canada. On his home page, a note: Please confirm shows before travelling. This stuff changes in a most unpredictable manner – thanks, Sam.

Kinda like life.


Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Naturally

What is this? Funk? Soul? Blues? Motown? . . . oh whatever . . . every piece on this recording is a wee little retro gem.


Steve Earle – Washington Square Serenade

Okay, so I was told that no road tunes collection would be complete without a little bit of the great Steve Earle. So, I thought, which one? I settled on this. An older mellowed Steve Earle lives on Washington Square. Though much of this CD is comprised of tunes of a more political nature, Sparkle and Shine and Come Home to Me are my faves.

And that, in a three-week nutshell are some of my favorite road tunes. I only have five more. Well, that’s not quite accurate.

I have 57 more.

But for this series, I only have five more and I’ll be posting them next Friday. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, I hope you find something within that hits your groove, and when you do, turn it up.

Now it’s your turn. What do you listen to down the road? Comment below with your fave Road CDs, and, as long as you try not to mention Toby Keith in the same sentence, we’ll enter you to win one of three Ian Tyson, Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories CD’s we have to give away.

Contest closes June 30.

I leave you with this video of Ryan Bingham singing the Oscar-winning The Weary Kind.

Have a great weekend, friends.

Road Trip CDs #2

Okay, so before you do anything check back into my post from last Friday. It will give you the insight to this stream which is all about favorite road tunes. What we’re doing is sharing our road tunes selections, and I began with counting my #20-#16 last Friday and this week continue with my next five.

Just in time for the weekend, here they are:


American IV: the Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash

I’ve never been as passionate about Cash as I have been after hearing the American series. I’m drawn to the roughness of Cash’s aging voice in this CD and particularly the two tracks, Hurt, and The Man Comes Around – the first a rendition of the Nine Inch Nail’s classic, and the latter Cash’s interpretation of the Book of Revelations.


The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere – Utah Phillips and Ani Difranco

Satirical and intelligent, from a man whose mind was wounded in the Korean War and ended up on skid-row back in America, awesome music and reflective words, for real thinking and laughing out loud, when heading down the highway. This one, produced by and punctuated with the music of the original righteous babe, Ani Difranco, make for a brilliant collaboration.


DeStijl – The White Stripes

You don’t have to be a thinker to love this music . . . come to think of it, White Stripes is best for the days you don’t want to think at all . . . horse in the trailer, a few precious dog days of summer, a long stretch of gravel road and this CD mix well. I particularly like DeStijl, it has a raw quality to it that was somewhat compromised later, when the band was signed by a major record company.


A Love Song for Bobby Long Soundtrack – Various

From the opening scene of Bobby stepping out from the warm, protective graciousness of a smoky corner bar, into the unforgiving light, this movie and the music in it resonated with me. Set against a beautiful backdrop of New Orleans decay, with a collection of broken people I could completely relate to, the movie and soundtrack are a work of art, and from blues to rock, this collective fits any highway trip.


1,000 Kisses – Patti Griffin

It’s that voice. Soft, melodic, lonely; Griffin is a songbird. From Springsteen’s brilliant, dark, prairiesque Nebraska album, I especially love her bold rendition of Stolen Car.

That’s what I have for you in music this week, check back next Friday for five more and don’t forget to enter our great giveaway. Just mention your one or a few of your favorite road tunes CD’s in the Comments section below and you’ll automatically be entered to win one of three Ian Tyson, Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories CD’s we have to give away.

Contest ends June 30.

Road Trips CDs #1

In the March, 2006 edition of Cowboys and Indians magazine, columnist Bill Reynolds put a call out for readers to submit their favorite road trip CD’s. Mr. Reynolds led off the request with his own list of 12 favorites. His were specifically “for the Drive to the Rodeo.” It was an eclectic gathering and I recognized talent I could appreciate – Jimmy Buffet, Joni Mitchell, Lucinda Williams and, in a nod to the musical talent of his neighbour to the north, the Cowboy Junkies and Sarah McLachlan.

I can get really excited about music, it’s one of my passions. Naturally this 12 Road Trip CDs was right up my alley and I almost immediately fired off my 12 faves directly to Bill Reynold’s inbox. And, much to my surprise Bill Reynolds replied to me. He wrote something along the lines of “great list, good to see Ian Tyson at the top of it.” I kept that e-mail for years, then my laptop blew up, and that was the end of that.

But, as I recall, my number one CD happened to be Ian Tyson’s latest at the time, Live at Longview.

Since then, he’s released two more: Songs From the Gravel Road and Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories. I highly recommend them both. I am a longstanding fan of Ian Tyson. Not only is he a Canadian icon, a horseman and a true talent, he champions for the land – his land, my land, our land, and I have a great respect for folks like that.

He’s authentic and true to himself. I like that in a guy. Girls can have a little “pretend” in them, a little this, a little that – that’s cool. But guys need to be the real deal. No pretend. No hair color. No botox.

A tattoo is okay.

Back to the road tunes. Since I had so much fun doing this the first time around, and on the off chance that Bill Reynolds might write me again, I’m going to share my new and revised Road CDs with you. I’ll list them over four weeks, every Friday, counting down from 20 to 1.

Now mind, these are Road CDs, not Pre-Show CDs, which is a different entity entirely. That list might name the likes of Nirvana, the Ramones and even Eminem or 50 Cent, all designed to provide fortitude and strength to the guts upon entering the show ring. Road CDs are all about melting into and enveloping the landscape, as you lean into those kilometers ahead of you. Here’s my top five this week.


Timeless – A Tribute to Hank Williams – Various Artists

When she was a wee one, Teenager daughter often used to request original Hank when we were driving down the highway. She loved all that “hey, good lookin, whatcha got cookin’” stuff and it really was entertaining to listen to her belt it out from the back seat. No one could write or sing it the way Hank did, but I also love this tribute CD and particularly Keb Mo’s and Beck’s interpretation of the classic, mournful Hank, with I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry and Your Cheatin’ Heart.


My Sweetheart The Drunk – Jeff Buckley

“I don’t write my music for Sony. I write it for the people who are screaming down the road crying to a full-blast stereo.” – JB.

Guess that’s why I like it. Last fall, I really got into this vintage CD, some of which was compiled from tapes found in his studio after his tragic death.


Where’d You Hide the Body? – James McMurtry

If that name rings a bell, it’s probably because you’re familiar with McMurtry’s novelist father, Larry, of Lonesome Dove fame. Like father, like son, McMurtry’s descriptive, short novelette songs encompass entire lifetimes and characters, many of which could have been plucked right out of the tragedy-rich lives of the people I seemed drawn to most, in the prairies of my childhood.


Time Out of Mind – Bob Dylan

I purchase, and usually subsequently fall in love with anything produced by Daniel Lanois, and this gem is definitely no exception. A Dylanesque landscape of beauty, this fits the quietness of any night driving, and is particularly special at dusk.


Achtung, Baby – U2

Again produced by Daniel Lanois, my favorite all-time U2, I listen to it when I think I’ve been treading too long on placid waters.

That’s my top five this week. Enjoy and check in next week for five more. In the meantime, let me know your top Road Tunes CD’s in the comment section below. Name one, name five, whatever you like – just about anything but the Toby Keith Christmas Collection will be welcome in this county – and your name will be entered to win one of three of Ian Tyson’s Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories CDs, which I happen to know you’ll love.

Yearlin’ Catchin’

On this day, Clay and I got to go along with Kevin Stallings of Tuscon, AZ, to round up some yearlings.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a movie worth? For Clay and I, this little adventure was akin to two kids in a candy store. Seriously, there are all kinds of amazing bloodlines in this herd. Smooth As A Cat, Smart Chic O Lena & “Elvis” babies just to name a few…
– JW

Oden Cattle Company

This is Mike Oden of Oden Cattle Company. You can probably tell, Mike is quite a character. Here he offered to “pose” for me.

Oden cattle company is a unique operation in that it is one of the remaining ranches that still relies heavily on horses to get the work done each day. With ranches in Northern Arizona and North Eastern New Mexico, Oden Cattle Company has the capacity to run 1,400 to 1,500 mama cows: therefore, the proper term in the industry for what Oden Cattle Co. does is “Cow Calf Operator.”

Here's a close-up of Mike's Arizona boots.

In order to graze this many cows, Mike needs a lot of land. At Oden Cattle Co. there are about 100,000 acres or 156 square miles of land. They gather cows two-three times per year for branding, weaning, and shipping, or just to move them from one pasture to another. That’s why they have such a big need for horses.

Horses at Oden Cattle Co. all wear the 7Up brand.

Mike, along with his wife and head book keeper, Jamie, are crucial elements to the operation. They also have two children –  Abigail is now 6 and Sam is 12. Sam won 10th place in the 2009 AQHYA in Oklahoma City in heading, aboard Topless Valentine.

Last year was Sam’s first world show and he continues to do well with his horses. Sam loves to play all sports but roping is his passion and he has even started to win some money doing it!

Sam (left) and Mike (right) get ready to rope together.

The other cool aspect about Oden Cattle Co. is their chuckwagon –  they honestly have an ol’ time wagon that can be rented for parties, weddings or reunions. However, you will have to do the cooking and hosting yourself! <smile>

Photo courtesy of Oden Cattle Co.

The Odens are neat people. They have an impressive herd of horses and place a big emphasis on their mares. For that matter, they place a lot of emphasis on their heifers as well.

“In order to raise good calves you need a good bull, but most important is the cow. Same goes for horses,” Mike says.

If you want to check out more about this notable operation check out

Photo courtesy of Oden Cattle Co.

Back On Saskatchewan Soil

Sadly, the last day of our trip home from Arizona was rather uneventful. No steep grades nor broken noses. But if you’ve been following along (April 26-27 posts), you already know that enough excitement took place on Day 2 of our trip to headline a bad reality show…

Our day started in Billings, Montana. We had overnighted at Box T Ranch and hit the road at 7 am, as the drive to the North Portal border crossing would take approximately 7 hours.

Clay on top of the rig throwing hay down for the horses’ lunch. In an effort to avoid pieces of alfalfa down my shirt, I ran for my camera instead...

Since Clay and I were importing two new horses – one who had been in Texas within the last 15 days – we were required to make an appointment with the federal vet at North Portal.

The vet office is only open until 5 pm, so it was important that we were there on time for our appointment. Otherwise, we could have been stuck at the border until the federal veterinarian could see us. In the end, Clay and I were 15 minutes late for our scheduled time but thankfully, the good vet at North Portal had the patience to wait.

We went through Customs in smooth fashion, largely in part to the fact that we had all of our paperwork in order prior to hitting North Portal. Applying for a permit to import the horse who had been in Texas was a bit of a process – and we had to cross with the original permit in our possession – but the days of work to get organized prior to our departure paid off in the long run.

Because no one likes to sit at the border for hours on end, with horses on board.

So prior to arriving at North Portal, Clay and I were having a “debate” on whether or not I was a good passenger. Meaning that since I can’t take the wheel of mini-freight, it is my job to engage Clay in conversation and make sure he stays alert while driving.

I didn’t realize my husband was also a paparazzi…

Honestly, under normal circumstances, there’s no way I would ever post such a picture of myself on the internet. But I thought this was pretty funny too. I’m not a good passenger. I admit. Moving vehicles put me to sleep.

By approximately 6 pm Saskatchewan time, Clay and I were pulling into the yard of our home, J. Drummond Farms just south of Regina, SK.

Danielle and Wade, through through the passenger window.

Clay’s assistant, Danielle and her husband, Wade were there to meet us.

And as soon as the horses on the trailer were offloaded and everything unpacked, we ran around to get a quick update on the horses that were left behind for the winter.

I ran straight for the baby pasture.

Here’s “Roo” and I – our 2010 colt by Roosters Wrangler.

We are happy to be back!!