DOC WEST – Ranch Roping

Illustration by Dave Elston.

Doc West returns with his sage advice for the lost and lonely gunsel.

Q. Doc West, explain if you will, the nuances of difference between ranch roping and team roping?

A. The answer to this question if asked a few years ago would have been as simple as team roping is what the cowboys do at the rodeo, and ranch roping is what the cowboys do back at the ranch. Today however, ranch roping has grown into a popular “off circuit” competitive event that has reached an almost cultish status complete with its own set of rules and even governing associations. As a general observation both competitive events are similar in the sense a team (usually two, but sometimes three) of cowboys (or cowgirls) on horseback armed with ropes or lassos embark upon the act of roping a bovine. However, that is where the similarities end and the many differences begin: for example, team ropers rope a single isolated steer, ranch ropers pick a target out of a herd; team ropers start in the box and blast forward in pursuit of a running target, ranch ropers meander at a walk through a herd. Team roping is a timed event where runs are won or lost on a fraction of a second, ranch roping is scored on a point system of bonuses and penalties, so long as you get your calf roped within the time limit – a generous three or four minutes.
Differences in rules and regulations do little justice to what is a truer answer to such a question – a long meandering tale that does not easily lend itself to this column’s short and glossy smartly edited words, as it finds its beginnings 500 hundred years ago when conquistadors such as Cortes and Coronado and De Soto were the first explorers to bury into the North American continent in search of gold to take, but paradoxically leaving a much finer gift, the Spanish horse. Spain’s colonization of the new world brought with it the hacienda system of ranching, which gave life to the pillar of that system, the vaquero. Of Spanish origin and Mexican blood, the vaquero trailed up the Baja travelling the El Camino Real into California, where the gentle climate over time molded the California vaquero into its own unique creation – the “California Tradition” of the American cowboy. Later yet, when the big ranches in California started breaking up, many of the California vaqueros moved northward once again and spread out into the “Buckaroo-dom” of the great basin region of Nevada, Oregon and Idaho where the traditions evolved once more. As a collective, the California Tradition – the vaqueros and buckaroo’s are first and oldest cowboys – Spanish in origin and Mediterranean in mentality.
In the California tradition, style rules supreme – flat hats, silvered spade bits, rawhide romel reins, bossels and hackamores, elaborately finessed loops, and a horse tuned as finely as a Swiss watch. A vaquero was not just a hired cowpuncher, he was a caballero, a citizen, a gentleman, an aristocrat of the saddle. An emphasis on form and lifestyle permeated Spanish cowboying where cattle were moved leisurely over the rolling green hills, “it took as long as it took” – if it didn’t get done today, there was always mañana or tomorrow. Modern day ranch roping is a derivative of the vaquero traditions and those high plains riders, and the nature of the competition is rooted in the west coast mindset that faster is not always better; cattle were roped slowly, methodically and with as little stress on the animal as possible – 60-foot lariats are dallied to a leather wrapped pommel which allowed a soft catch and the ability to let loose if things got hairy.
The second part of this story finds its genesis in the mid 1800’s when Anglo settlers moved westward into historic Spanish territory and took up ranching, initially in the great plains of Texas. The English adopted the many of the fine vaquero cowboy traditions, however many of these were modified to adapt to a much more unforgiving environment and gave birth to what is known as the “Texas Tradition” – or as modern lore has coined simply as “the cowboy.” Over time the Texan style also spread – following the great cattle herds driven north up the Rockies eastern slopes into the wilds of Wyoming, Montana and across the 49th into Alberta and Saskatchewan. Cowboys of the Texas Tradition were practical individuals, not as concerned with the “how” as with the “is.” By way of example where the California Vaquero enjoyed a pleasant climate they could work all day and mañana too, by contrast most cowpunchers were beat by the panhandle sun into sweltering goo by noon, as such most cowboying needed to be done quickly and efficiently in the morning hours – there was no mañana for the Texas cowboy. Tack was practical and tough, durable clothing that could take thorns, basic working bits, heavy leather split reins, plain saddles, gritty cowponies and maybe a saddle gun too. The Texan roped hard and fast. The big “purdy” open country throws favoured by the buckaroos were impracticable in prairie scrub, cowboys ropes were shorter, throws were tighter and faster, ropes were often tied on to the saddle horn as dallying was deemed too slow and according to the seasoned cowpuncher were reserved for those afraid to commit. The team roping that we all see in rodeos is all about two things, making the catch and how fast you did it. In the Texan Tradition that’s all that mattered on the range and that’s all that matters in the arena.

Show Me the Money



Canada Night doesn’t happen until Thursday at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. But apparently the Canadian contingent of WNFR qualifiers either didn’t get the memo or they just plain couldn’t wait.

The first all Canadian team roping team hasn’t just showed up at this Finals, they have been a factor in every round, including a win in round one. Tonight the Alberta twosome, Ponoka’s Levi Simpson and Arrowwood heeler, Jeremy Buhler, had their fastest run to date, a 4.0 to split the round with Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, each of the four men pocketing $23,480. Simpson and Buhler remain in 2nd place in the average and have moved to 7th and 6th respectively in the world standings.

“We just missed the WNFR field last year,” Simpson commented. “This year, we worked harder at it, put in more practice time and prepared mentally for every situation in the arena.”

That preparation served the Alberta duo well in Round 5. “Like Levi, I don’t get caught up in the show,” Buhler, the man sporting the most famous beard at this NFR added. “I don’t hear the music, I just keep it simple and watch the feet.”

It took Jake Vold 14 WNFR rounds to win his first go round buckle. It took him one to win his second. Twenty four hours after winning round four with a sensational 89.5, the Airdrie (via Ponoka) three time Canadian champion came back with a spectacular 89 score on Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Wilson Sanchez. The back to back wins have propelled Vold to 4th place in the average and fifth in the world.

Before the twenty-nine year-old talent nodded his head tonight, there were already three scores of 86 points or higher on the board. No problem for Jake Vold.

“I want someone to jump out there with a 90 so I can go get them,” he confided. “Seeing big rides before me fuels my fire.”

The Calgary Stampede bucking sensation Xplosive Skies lived up to his name as he pitched Manitoba bareback rider Orin Larsen to the Thomas and Mack turf before the eight second klaxon en route to winning the Rank Horse of the Night Award.

And not to be outdone, the three Canadian bronc riders brought their A (Eh!) game with Canadian Champion, Clay Elliott grabbing a 3/4 split – courtesy of his 86.5 ride on Bar T Rodeo’s Son of Sadie. And right behind his countryman was the Hudson Hope, British Columbia man, Jake Watson who took home a 6th place cheque with his 85 score on Stace Smith Rodeo’s Resistol’s Top Hat. Watson has quietly fashioned a solid Finals to date after qualifying in fifteenth spot. He is now five for five and has climbed to third in the average.

The third Canadian bronc rider, recent bridegroom Zeke Thurston was 81 points on the appropriately named Maple Leaf of Frontier Rodeo. The Big Valley cowboy was just out of the money in Round 5. Reigning World Champion, Jacobs Crawley, from Boerne, Texas, bounced back from a Round 4 buck-off to mark a spectacular 89 on Frontier Rodeo’s four time world champion, Medicine Woman. The Monday night go-round also marked the end of 18 year old Ryder Wright’s record-tying run. After four consecutive go-round wins, the Milford, Utah cowboy bucked off Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Planting.

Minnesota bull dogger JD Struxness continued his hot streak with a 3.5 second run. Over the last three days, Struxness has two go-round wins and a 1-2 split. In the barrel racing, go-round winner was Keizer, Oregon cowgirl Amberleigh Moore with a 13.62 second run. And in the bull riding, Scottie Knapp of Albuquerque, New Mexico made his first ride of the 2016 WNFR a profitable one. His 87 on Rafter H Rodeo Livestock’s Breaking Bad was good for the go round win.

About the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) with headquarters in Airdrie, Alberta is the sanctioning body for professional rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves over 50 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.1 million. Join us for our premiere event – the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) – in early November each year in Edmonton, Alberta at Northlands Coliseum. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @prorodeocanada, like Canadian Professional Rodeo Association on Facebook, or online at

The Gain, The Pain and $17.04

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.


Probably no two contestants better personify the drama of the Cinch Pro Series Canada Series Final than Alberta team ropers Steele DePaoli and Kasper Roy.

DePaoli and Roy entered the weekend event as distinct longshots. Both were sitting 18th in the Canadian standings, $2,500 back of the 12th and final CFR qualifying berth with six teams between them and every contestant’s dream—Edmonton in November.

But the duo overcame a sluggish September to come up big when it mattered most. A 5.4 second run won the opening round on Friday night. Then the Mossleigh, AB, heeler, Roy, and Longview, AB’s DePaoli managed a 4/4 split in Saturday night’s second round with a 5.6. The two runs meant a second place finish in the average and a total payoff of $3281.25 per man. The payday vaulted six time CFR qualifier DePaoli all the way to 8th in the final standings with two time CFR contestant, Roy, climbing to 10th spot on the heeling side.

“We definitely had a game plan,” DePaoli admitted. “Kasper and I talked about it and we both thought we should just try to win the average and if we happened to do really good in the rounds, that was just an added bonus. Then when we won that first round, we knew we had a chance to be up there in the average. We figured if we caught our steer on Saturday we’d be going to Edmonton. I stayed off the barrier and took an extra swing in that last round just to be sure. And Kasper took an extra swing too. The runs we made there were pretty well exactly like the runs we’d been making in practice the last few weeks.”

And being a couple of veteran guys helped too. “Yeah, this was probably as relaxed as we’ve been all season,” DePaoli added. “One thing I’ve learned over the years is how not to panic. I guess I never thought I wasn’t going to be at the CFR but there comes a time when you have to do something about it. And it was cool that this was our time.”

DePaoli had high praise for the Pro Series Final. “It’s a great concept for competitors and it’s awesome for the crowd too.”

The Cinch Pro Series Final’s success was part of a special month for the second generation roper. Three weeks earlier, he and Becky Treich became engaged. For now DePaoli plans a little R and R with a sheep hunt in the offing before the serious practicing for the CFR gets started.

“If the weather  stays decent, I’d like to do quite a bit right here at home,” he noted. “And I’ll have to talk to Kasper about our game plan for Edmonton but I think if we made our goal to win the average up there as well, things should turn out okay.”

But the team roping drama didn’t end with the big move from Roy and DePaoli. Defending Canadian Champion (header) Roland McFadden hung on for 11th spot in the final standings and a chance to defend his title. And with families, fans and contestants working calculators and texting furiously back and forth, the battle for the final spot was the most dramatic of all. Clint Buhler who didn’t qualify for the Calgary event, had to watch helplessly as Riley Warren (and others) charged up the standings. In the end it was Warren who (roping with Buhler’s brother Jeremy at the Series Finals) came closest… his quest for 12th place coming up just $17.04 short. Cue the sigh of relief from Clint Buhler.

The nail-biting didn’t end there, however. On the heeling side, Merritt, BC cowboy, Spencer Rutherford, roping with Strathmore, AB, header Denver Johnson, was 13th heading into the weekend. The duo caught last hole (4th) in the average for $625, enough to sneak Rutherford into the top twelve. He finished up 10th on the season. And the moves into the standings by Roy and Rutherford meant that Chase Simpson of Claresholm hung on to the final CFR berth while Saskatchewan roper, Brady Chappel, and McFadden’s heeling partner, Tyrel Flewelling, were bumped from the top twelve. Flewelling, the three time and defending champion heeler from Lacombe, AB, finished just $24.19 back of Simpson. Rutherford too will have to find another partner for Edmonton as Johnson, with fewer rodeos through the season, fell short in his CFR chase.

The Cinch Pro Rodeo Canada Series Final Team Roping Champions were Klay Whyte and Brett Buss with earnings of $4,218 each.

The team roping was not the only high-stakes action taking place at the Agrium Western Event Centre. In the bull riding, 2006 Canadian champion, Tanner Girletz, was another guy with a large mountain to climb heading into the weekend. The third generation talent rolled into Calgary with a broken arm (his free hand) and a $1,200 deficit to make up if he wanted to extend his season. Girletz bucked off Friday night, leaving himself one final chance to add an eighth CFR qualification to his resume. But the 32-year-old was ready. A spectacular 86-point ride on Saturday night on Outlaw Buckers’ Tennessee Whisky was enough to win the round and guarantee Girletz third in the average. The $2,500 haul was more than sufficient to jump the popular Carstairs, AB, cowboy into the top 12 and relegate Meeting Creek’s Garrett Green to spectator status.

In tie down roping, it was the veteran Rimbey hand, Dean Edge, making the decisive move. Edge was his consistent self, placing in both go-rounds and the average to earn just over $2,000, enough to move him into the top 12 and slide Virgil Poffenroth to the sidelines.  Riley Warren, who narrowly missed the cut in the team roping, nevertheless had a profitable weekend. The timed event specialist earned  $4,687 overall and will be heading to Edmonton in the tie-down roping.

The overall Cinch Final Tie-Down Roping Champion was Alwin Bouchard with a total of $3,906.

For the second year in a row, Taber, AB’s Nancy Csabay enjoyed a stellar couple of days in Calgary. A year ago, she and her talented mare, Wicked, used a big Cinch Pro Series Final to capture season leader honours. This time around the stakes were a little higher as the reigning Canadian Champion was sitting in 13th spot and needing a little more magic if she wanted to get back to Edmonton to defend her title. The twosome responded to the challenge by finishing third in both rounds and winning the average to carry Csabay ($3,750) to the Calgary victory and punch her ticket to the CFR.

Csabay’s effort left rookie Colby Gilbert in 12th place and heading to her first CFR. Kerilee Noval, who had been sitting precariously in that 12th spot entering weekend action, had not qualified for Calgary and ended up on the outside looking in.

The remaining events were no less exciting but didn’t see the dramatic position changes noted above. In the bareback riding, late season surges by a youthful trio meant that all three would make their first appearances at the CFR. Eastend, Saskatchewan’s Dantan Bertsch, Sherwood Park, AB, cowboy, Kody Lamb and Okotoks, AB hand, Pascal Isabelle, finished up 10th, 11th and 12th respectively. Michael Solberg earned the Championship with $4,843 won.

Josh Harden, the defending All-Around champion, and the 12th man in the saddle bronc riding standings prior to the Calgary production, protected his CFR berth with a solid showing. But the story in the bronc riding was Sylvan Lake, AB’s Lane Cust. The two-time novice champion won both go-rounds and the average to ride out of Calgary with a cool $5,000 in his Cinch jeans and a Resistol Rookie of the Year title as well. Cust’s performance carried him past first year steer wrestler, Brendan Laye, to capture the top rookie honours.

No significant changes were recorded in the steer wrestling as a couple of central Alberta doggers, Rowdy Hays in 11th place and Brock Butterfield in 12th, neither of whom were in the Calgary Series Finals, were able to weather the storm. The 2012 All-Around Champion, Travis Reay of Mayerthorpe, AB, came up just short in his effort to catch one or both and qualify for a fifth consecutive CFR berth. The 2016 Cinch Pro Final Steer Wrestling Champion was Straws Milan ($4,687.)

For complete unofficial Cinch Pro Rodeo Canada Series Finals results, go to

Terry Dunk Memorial Team Roping

The 2014 Terry Dunk Memorial Team Roping was held at the Lazy D Arena, Campbellford, Ontario May 24th. With 443 teams signed up for the fist go, 140 teams came back for the second go and 54 teams roped in the final go. With contestants from Ontario, Quebec, and New York, they followed a pick one, draw one, three head progressive format.


High Point Saddle Winner, Cody Mousseau from Alymer, Ontario, shown with the Dunk family.

The first place winners, Cody Mousseau (Header), and Drew Carnes (Heeler) brought home over $1,500.00 each, buckles sponsored by the Scully family, and blankets sponsored by Bridle Path Tack Shop for getting a 25.16 on three head.

1st place in the average winners, Cody Mousseau from Aylmer, Ontario and Drew Carnes from Hornell, New York, shown with the Scully family.

Second place winners Daniel Briand (Header) and Drew Carnes (Heeler) won over $1,300.00 each and breast collars donated by Ken Doner for 27.42 on three head.

The fastest time went to Tim Carnes and Drew Carnes who received halters donated by Trevor and Teri Dunk.

The second High Point ropers, Michael Dillon and Jesse Kinsman received buckles donated by the Bowie family.

High Point ladies, Dawn Civiero and Morgan Bos took home halters donated by Al and Tracy Piglin.

For the slowest time, Tim Wettlaufer and Courtney Bos, received $100 donated by Nancy Nicholson.

The Dunk family would like to thank all of the above sponsors and also Dawn Civiero and Santos & Tina DeBartolo for the added money.


1st 25.16/3 Cody Mousseau Drew Carnes $1,541.46/each
2nd 27.42/3 Daniel Briand Drew Carnes $1,340.34/each
3rd 30.65/3 Jeremy McCulligh Fred Lelievre $1,139.34/each
4th 30.73/3 Cody Mousseau Jason Thomson $938.28/each
5th 31.89/3 Jeremy McCulligh Trevor Dunk $737.22/each
6th 33.42/3 Jeremy McCulligh Brad Bowie $536.16/each
7th 33.51/3 Trevor Dunk Jarod Nooren $335.10/each
8th 33.61/3 Ken Doner Brad Bowie $134.04/each


A Visit to Wickenburg


Photos by Deanna Kristensen

About 60 miles northwest of Phoenix and nestled into the Sonoran Desert lies the cowboy town of Wickenburg, Arizona. With a population hovering around 7,000, this town is all about good country living, with a healthy measure of Wild West thrown in. We visited just this past week to deliver a few of the issues containing our first Snowbirds Guide to Riding in Arizona.

While there we decided to pop into the Desert Caballeros Western Museum. The space is small and intimate with the first floor housing one of the most impressive collections of western art. Just about every iconic western painter and sculptor of the 20th century is represented here in original work, including works by George Catlin, Albert Bierstadt, Joseph Henry Sharp, Oscar Berninghaus, Joe Beeler, Harrison Begay and several stunning bronzes by the likes of Earle Heikka and Gib Singleton. Right next to Charlie Russell’s iconic The Navajo, is Frederic Remington’s 1890 Vaquero. That sort of thing. It took our breath away.

Heading out of town we stopped at a recommended and local favourite – the Cowboy Trading Post. Another worthwhile stop, it’s a divine little mix of gear and cowboy accruements.

“We call it Cowboy Ecletic,” said owner Connie Lynne, who explained the town of Wickenburg really comes alive with horse activity from late October to March. Known as the “team roping capital of the world,” the town is buzzing all winter long with ropings every day of the week. Connie and her partner Tim Pearce, know their clientele well. Pearce is a local farrier, horse trainer and roper, who has been involved in the local horse community for 30 years. With all the staff combined, Lynne notes the store has a century-plus worth of experience among all of those who work here.

By the time I left I was privy to some local western trivia, had a rundown of the incredible western performance talent in the area, such as cutter Todd Adolf, Buddy Uldrickson, and new talent in the area like Jaton Lord, Ray Hunt’s grandson,  who had just returned to his place at nearby Skull Valley from this years Legacy of Legends in Las Vegas.

Finally, I made a sweet birthday present purchase. All in a day’s work. (smile)

Cowboy Trading Post

Owner Connie Lynne, left, and one of her knowledgeable crew.

Rancho Rio

Team Roping at Rancho Rio in Wickenburg.


New Equine Events for Calgary Stampede

Arabian Horse Association Region 17 Championship covers every aspect of Arabian horse use and competition, from reining to English Pleasure, and Western to Arabic dress. Photo by Tex Cam.

Arabian Horse Association Region 17 Championship covers every aspect of Arabian horse use and competition, from reining to English Pleasure, and Western to Arabic dress. Photo by Tex Cam.

For year-round excitement, just add horsepower! The Calgary Stampede is thrilled to welcome four major horse events to their new home, the nearly-constructed Agrium Western Event Centre. Each event will draw new participants and visitors to the heart of Calgary from across Western Canada to enjoy top horses and riders in action. Collectively, the events will add to the reputation of Stampede Park as a year-round gathering place.

When we embarked on this journey to build Canada’s premiere agriculture showcase space, these are the types of events we envisioned – big national and international shows that will connect the country to the city and draw guests to Calgary,” says Max Fritz, director of agriculture and western events for the Stampede. “We designed the building to meet their needs and to create exceptional experiences for participants, animals and guests.”

The following four events have signed multi-year agreements with the Stampede to host their major shows and competitions at the Agrium Western Event Centre:

Arabian Horse Association Region 17 Championships

July 21 – 26, 2014

Arabian Horse Association Region 17’s Western Canadian Championships in July will draw up to 500 Arabian horse entries from across the West and even some U.S. competitors. This spectator-friendly event showcases these beautiful horses and riders in the full spectrum of event disciplines. Website:

Team Roping Canada, Canadian Finals

September 26 – 28, 2014

Expecting 1,200 to 1,400 teams and up to 2,500 spectators, Team Roping Canada’s Canadian Finals will feature ropers of all ages, from eight to 80 years old. This is the culmination of their association’s season, which spans the summer months and features professional, open, amateur, junior and shoot-out classes. Website:

Canadian Team Cattle Penning Association National Finals

October 9 – 14, 2014

The National Finals for the Canadian Team Cattle Penning Association brings together to up to 1,200 teams of three each, and an estimated 2,500 spectators to fill the stands and cheer them on. Competitors in this championship event come from across Western Canada and many U.S. states, including California, Montana, Texas, Oklahoma and Washington, all in the hunt for an estimated $285,000 in prize money. Website:

Royal West, produced by Rocky Mountain Show Jumping

October 23 – November 1, 2014

The Royal West is an all-new 10-day multi-breed show, offering Western Canadian riders an alternative, and prelude to the Royal Show in Toronto. Royal West will feature a division for international show jumpers, national hunter/jumper classes, hackney and heavy horse classes, and a multitude of other events including indoor eventing, terrier racing, barrel racing and even mutton-busting. Website:

Jordan Dodds  and Heeler Clark McCarroll team up to showcase the fast-paced sport of team roping in the summer of 2013. Photo by Mike Copeman, courtesy of Calgary Stampede.

Jordan Dodds and Heeler Clark McCarroll team up to showcase the fast-paced sport of team roping in the summer of 2013. Photo by Mike Copeman, courtesy of Calgary Stampede.

Agrium Western Event Centre

Agriculture is at the heart of the Calgary Stampede and the expansion activities underway with the Agrium Western Event Centre will provide a new focal point for agricultural events on Stampede Park.

One of the largest projects in our 100-year history, the Agrium Western Event Centre is a state-of-the-art facility for western events and agriculture education, exhibition and industry in southern Alberta. Designed to form a lasting connection between urban and rural communities, it will host an engaging, globally-focused educational program called Journey 2050, and it will play a central role in making the Calgary Stampede a year-round gathering place.

The Agrium Western Event Centre will be the new home for agricultural events on Stampede Park, hosting both regional and international competition, convention rodeos, and trade shows. The facility will include a 250’x150′ ft. show floor and 31,250 sq. ft. of clear-span space. It will also feature a 20,000 sq. ft. multipurpose hall, designed for competition, warm-up, trade shows, or exhibitions, as well as a magnificent 8,000 sq. ft. rotunda and entranceway.

Cattle Penning National Championships are returning to downtown Calgary each October at the nearly-completed Agrium Western Event Centre at Stampede Park. Photo courtesy of Calgary Stampede.

Cattle Penning National Championships are returning to downtown Calgary each October at the nearly-completed Agrium Western Event Centre at Stampede Park. Photo courtesy of Calgary Stampede.

Features in brief

250′ x 125′ Show Arena:

– Large arena for events that require the space, such show jumping, dressage and barrel racing, or to run simultaneous events within the same arena

– Allows events like team penning plenty of arena performance area with staging space alongside

– Arena seating for 3,200 including VIP suites, and stands with the right pitch for spectators wearing cowboy hats

– Concourse is fully open to main arena, ensuring great sight-lines throughout while accessing food and exhibits

20,000 sq. ft. Multi-purpose hall:

– Offers warm-up arena adjacent to main performance arena, can be used for smaller separate events or trade shows to accompany arena events

– Enables smaller events to stage their shows at the Agrium Western Event Centre and then grow their events to the size that merit booking the large arena

Animal-friendly features:

– livestock pens and traffic areas under stands instead of through performance arena

– adjacent multi-purpose warm-up arena with performance dirt and same-level ground throughout for optimal livestock and horse footing

– outside building roof overhangs to protect penned livestock from sun and rain

– direct access for participants and livestock to barn stalls through a no-traffic area

– Links with other Stampede developments to serve participants, including new bigger tunnel to infield livestock trailer parking, 1,200 additional stalls, RV Parking with amenities and improved Christie Bridge back entrance

Scheduled for completion before the 2014 10-day Stampede, the Agrium Western Event Centre will be an important milestone in the Calgary Stampede’s vision of becoming a world-class, year-round gathering place. The key sponsor, Agrium, along with the governments of Alberta and Canada, has been instrumental in helping the Stampede elevate its agriculture and outreach programs by creating this world-class facility.

Education will play a pivotal role in the legacy of the Agrium Western Event Centre. The building’s rotunda will be the home of the Journey 2050 program – an inquiry-based educational experience for Calgary-and-area middle school children. This world-class program will challenge students to sustainably feed the world’s nine billion people by 2050 in a fun and interactive way.

Show jumping returns to the heart of Calgary after a 30-year absence. Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping.

Show jumping returns to the heart of Calgary after a 30-year absence. Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping.

One of the most ambitious capital projects in the Stampede’s history, the Agrium Western Event Centre is an ultra-modern centerpiece for western events and agriculture education, exhibition and industry in southern Alberta. Slated to open in June of 2014, it is unique in Canada, creating 150,000 square feet of dedicated livestock-friendly space. The building’s key sponsor, Agrium, along with the governments of Alberta and Canada, has been instrumental in helping the Stampede elevate its agriculture and outreach programs by creating this world-class facility.

We’re thrilled to preview these four exciting horse events that will bring this building to life year-round. We’re looking forward to securing other major livestock and horse shows,” says Fritz. “Our ultimate goal is that regional residents, tourists and guests can enjoy western events, horses and livestock in the heart of Calgary most weeks of the year.”

Lorne Robertson of the Arabian Horse Association Region 17 says having a specialized agricultural arena in a major destination city will help grow their event. “Our Arabian horse championships are very colourful, elegant and formal events. Our horses are our primary focus, and our riders and trainers have confidence in the top- notch footing and facilities that have been custom-designed for the best care of our horses,” says Robertson. “We’re also hearing excitement from members because Calgary is a great destination city and they’re planning site-seeing activities around their visit.”

The unique features of the Agrium Western Event Centre convinced John Anderson of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping that Calgary is the right location for his show. Anderson is launching an all-new, ambitious 10-day show jumping and horse extravaganza in late October of 2014, called Royal West. Designed to provide Western Canadian show jumpers a prelude or alternative to the Toronto-based Royal Show, Royal West will showcase hunter-jumper classes plus a full spectrum of other events such as barrel racing, heavy horse shows and terrier racing.

I’ve always wanted to do something like this. Now this large arena and all the dedicated facilities make it possible,” says Anderson, who explains show jumping requires more space than standard arenas would provide, with careful attention to proper footing and warm-up areas.

Size and specialized facilities drew the Canadian Team Cattle Penning Association back to the Stampede after several years in other venues. Their championships finals draw up to 1,200 team entries with many as 2,500 spectators in the stands.

Agrium Western Event Centre is an ideal set-up for us,” says Kent Hillard, vice-president of the association. “Adjacent warm-up and staging spaces ensure the horses and riders can warm up, stand by to watch cattle and then jump into the action fully warmed up. The livestock stalls for pens of cattle right under the stands make for quick transitions between pens. The audience is going to love this modern arena because they can see the action from anywhere, even on the concourse, and won’t have to take their cowboy hats off sitting in the stands.”

Art Gallais, manager of Team Roping Canada, likens the Agrium Western Event Centre to the top facilities in Las Vegas where the world roping series are held. He says the building design is not only ideal for smooth operation of his event, but he adds the open concourse and VIP suites in the arena allows for valuable sponsorship exposure and experiences, which will help attract more sponsors to grow Team Roping Canada’s National Finals.

About the Calgary Stampede

As we enter our second century, the Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme: We’re Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

Weekend Rodeo Winners


Rodeos at Marwayne, Rocky Mountain House and Brooks paid out nearly $185,000 in prize money, but nobody turned in a dominant performance. Bull rider Denton Edge was the leading money winner, collecting $3,322 by winning his hometown rodeo at Marwayne with an 87.5 point score on the three-year-old Kelly Armstrong black calf Old School.

Only three other contestants won in excess of $3,000 – Utah tie-down roper Rhen Richard ($3,187), Wyoming bull rider Ty Hamaker ($3,171) and Texas bareback rider Heath Ford ($3,048).

And only five placed at all three rodeos. Hamaker was one of them. So, too, were Erskine tie-down roper Murray Pole ($2,723), New Mexico saddle bronc rider Cody Taton ($2,674), Cessford bareback rider Clayton Bunney ($1,538) and Minnesota bronc rider Tyler Corrington ($942).

No one group of cowboys could top the steer wrestlers for generosity. The three rodeos paid a total of 26 places and 26 bulldoggers picked up a cheque. With things so even across the board, there was little impact at the top end of the Canadian standings.

The only lead change took place in the saddle bronc riding, where Sam Kelts split first at Marwayne with an 82.5 on stock contractor Shane Franklin’s sorrel mare Scottish Sale. That paid $2,577, boosting Kelts’ seasonal income to $9,372 and moving him up first from fourth in the Canadian rankings. The income was also enough to kick him inside the top 25 in the world standings with $11,317.

Manitoba’s Tyrel Larsen is the only other Canadian in that territory with $12,456. Kelts wasn’t really expecting that much out of Scottish Sale.

“I drew her at Sundre last year and she was just nice for most of it before turning back at about six and a half seconds,” he said. “I was only 76 points and just out of the money.”

“She did pretty much the same thing this time and circled around to the left at the end. But, she was a little stronger the whole trip.”

The Millarville cowboy is familiar with his ranking in the upper echelon of the standings. He won the season leader award in 2009, then ended up the year fourth after the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Kelts closed out the weekend at Rocky Mountain House aboard John Duffy’s Home Brew and thought he had a chance to earn some more money. But, he hung a leg in the horse’s neck during the trip, pulled his left hamstring and jumped off to avoid further injury.

“It felt really bad when I did it, but it’s not nearly as sore now,” he said on Monday. “I reckon I should be fine for this coming weekend.”

He better be.

Kelts has drawn the Northcott family’s reigning Canadian Champion outlaw Get Smart in Sunday’s closing performance of the Daines ranch rodeo at Innisfail.

He won Strathmore on that horse in 2009 with a flashy 90-point ride, but the rank bay gelding got even that same year at the CFR when Kelts lost a stirrup.

“When rodeos like Innisfail pay that much money, it’s definitely a motive to win,” he said.

He’ll get to test out the hamstring at the one-day rodeo in Coronation the day before.

The team roping was the only other event where the standings leaders duelled it out on the weekend. The 2009 Canadian Champions, Travis Gallais and Kevin Schreiner, remained at the top of the leaderboard with $6,732 after winning Rocky Mountain House with a 4.4-second run and cashing third at Marwayne with a 5.5 for $2,264 apiece.

But, their closest rivals, Brett Buss and Matt Fawcett, strung together a pair of 5.4-second runs for first at Brooks and second at Marwayne. They earned $2,319 apiece and boosted their season’s take to $6,062.

Please visit for rodeo results and standings.

Team Roping Memorial

Saddle winner, Trevor Dunk, shown with the family presenters - left to right, Trevor Dunk, Teri Lee Dunk, Cheryl Dunk, Tayler Dunk, Tracy Pighin and Al Pighin.

The 3rd annual Terry Dunk Memorial Roping was held on Saturday, May 29th at Campbellford, Ontario.  It was a 3 head progressive roping with a pick/draw format and there were 312 teams in the first go round.  Ropers came from all over Ontario, New York and Quebec.  The results of the roping are:
1st Trevor Dunk/Jason Thomson 31.95/3 $1,610.40/each
2nd Trevor Dunk/Stu Cahill 33.03/3 $1,288.32/each
3rd Stu Cahill/Brad Bowie 37.11/3 $966.24/each
4th Brian Roworth/Cody Mousseau 50.26/3 $644.16/each
5th Brad Roe/John Scully 70.21/3 $483.12/each
6th Lacy Beer/Brad Bowie 73.85/3 $375.76/each

The average winners, Trevor Dunk and Jason Thomson with Teri Lee Dunk presenting.

The first place winners also received rope bags made by Ken Boroski and donated by the Scully family as well as leather jackets donated by the 730 Truck Stop in Cardinal, Ontario.  Second place received breast collars made and donated by Ken Doner.  The top lady header and heelers, Lacy Beer and Dawn Civiero received halters, made by Ken Boroski and donated by Teri Lee Dunk.  The fastest time of the day was 8.16 by Trevor Dunk and Tim Carnes. High point winner, Trevor Dunk, received the trophy saddle. The added money was donated by the Dunk family, Jeremy McCulligh and Dawn Civiero.

A kids barrel race was held and all the kids received prizes.  The winner of the barrel race was Tayler Dunk.  They also held a “team barrel race” where male/fermal partners were drawn.  The winners were Jodi Swearingen and Jim Woods (Jim is Teri Lee’s father and travelled from Nova Scotia to attend the roping).

Participants in the kid's barrel race - from left to right - Max Pearson, Abby Pearson, Brendan Bowie, Tayler Dunk, Mckayla Hart and Piper Dunk.

The weather was great, beef and pork barbeque after the roping was delicious and everyone had a great time.

The Dunk family would like to thank all the ropers who came, the sponsors and all the people who helped make this roping a success.