Calgary Polo magazine 2010

Page 1

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Table of contents 9 12 14 17 18 22 26 29 30 34 43 46 53 57 68 70 73

Executive Message Welcome Facilities and Staff Calendar 2010 Polo Sponsors Calgary Polo: 120 Years Terms and Rules Polo Equipment Polo School Tournaments and Results 2009 Awards 2009 Players The Equine Muse People Ladies Polo Polo Pups Ranch House Members | 7


PO L O Publisher and Marketing Director Megan Kozminski Editorial Director Lisa Muirhead Art Director Rachelle Painchaud-Nash Photographer and cover image Lacey Winterton Contributors Sue Bird, Rebecca Bollenbach, Anne Evamy, Kyle Fargey, Rob Foster, Kerri Kerley, Rob Roenisch, Aubrey Amante, Kendra Roberts The image on page 29 appears courtesy of Rebecca Bollenbach, reprinted here with her permission Š2010 Calgary Polo Club Printed in Canada by Friesens

Published for the Calgary Polo Club by: Poise Publications Inc. 101-478 River Avenue Suite 707 Winnipeg, MB R3L 0B3

Executive Message Welcome to the 2010 season


he Board of Directors is proud to welcome new and returning members, players, social members, visitors, and spectators to the 120th season of play at the Calgary Polo Club! As we celebrate this important milestone in the club’s history, we would like to take a moment to thank all of the supporters who help to make the “Sport of Kings” a success in Alberta, and share some of our ideas for the club’s exciting future. The Calgary Polo Club Executive is very pleased to work with several generous sponsors for the 2010 season, including: After Eight Interiors, Big Rock Brewery Ltd., Barbados Tourism Authority, The Mill Store, Royal Bank of Canada – RBC, Sorrell Financial, and Triangle Steel Ltd. This season marks a celebration of tradition at the Calgary Polo Club, as well as a year of exciting change. The executive is proudly made up of several new and returning members: Cam Clark, Club President; Anne Evamy, Director; Rob Foster, Director; Pat Powell, Director; and John Rooney as Chairman of the Board.

Several new committees have also been formed to assist the polo club in welcoming new members, hosting social events, and launching three annual invitational tournaments: the Western Canadian Ladies Heart Cup Invitational and the J.C. Palmer Memorial Invitational tournaments in July 2010; and the Kimo Cup Invitational tournament in September 2010. In August, the executive is looking forward to hosting the always successful Barbados Challenge Trophy weekend. The Calgary Polo Club is pleased to offer a range of polo this season, including Pee Wee Polo, Coaching League, Ladies League, 2-Goal and 6-Goal Tournament Leagues, invitational weekend tournaments, and international-caliber high goal match games. As always, the Ranch House offers social members, players, and visitors the opportunity to take in polo from its fantastic location at centre field, while enjoying a range of great food and wine events. The Calgary Polo Club is pleased to welcome the Ranchmen’s Club as the official caterer at the Ranch House. For more information on polo scheduling and Ranch House events, please visit the Calgary Polo Club website at We would like to welcome our 2010 Polo Manager, Rob Roenisch, who brings years of polo management experience to the Calgary Polo Club. Our returning club staff includes Sue Bird, Events/Marketing Manager, and Tim Mills, Facilities Manager. Kyle Fargey returns as Polo School Instructor, providing individual and group lessons, and special clinics for the next generation of Calgary Polo: our Pee Wee, beginner, and intermediate players. Good luck to all players and teams as we embark on an exciting new polo season at the beautiful Calgary Polo Club—we look forward to seeing you fieldside!

Sincerely, The Calgary Polo Club Board of Directors. Cam Clark, President • Anne Evamy, Director Rob Foster, Director • Pat Powell, Director John Rooney, Chairman of the Board | 9

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Welcome to the Calgary Polo Club

Welcome E

stablished in 1890, the Calgary Polo Club is celebrating 120 years of polo history in southern Alberta. As the oldest polo club in Canada, the club’s legacy is a testimonial to the dedication and strength of the local polo community, and to the multitude of opportunities the club offers to its members and spectators.

The Facilities Located just 10 minutes from the city, the club occupies 200 acres of land nestled on the doorstep of the Rocky Mountain Foothills, in the heart of Alberta ranch country. The dedicated staff maintains seven full-size playing fields, an outdoor polo arena, a training ring, and a hitting cage. The club is committed to supporting all aspects of polo culture. It takes the development of upcoming players very seriously. The club’s Polo School provides new players with a horse and the equipment they need to learn and develop their skills. Group and private lessons are offered to meet the individual needs of participants. Pee Wee polo gives the children of members and supporters the opportunity to nurture their skills and love for the sport. The Coaching League offers students of the polo school a fun, safe and educational transition into league play. One of the fastest growing leagues at the club is the Ladies Polo League, which culminates with an annual tournament each season. 12 | Calgary Polo 2010

The Game Polo is the oldest extant team sport played in the world. Its roots in training soldiers for battle hint at the thrilling game it has evolved into today: a sport that showcases the skill of the players and their specially trained horses. Players participate in league play at the low goal or high goal levels, according to their handicap rating, and the combined rating of their team. Handicaps are determined by a club committee, in conjunction with the United States Polo Association. Low goal games are perfect for the beginner or intermediate player, as they provide an opportunity to learn the rules and strategies of game play. High goal polo takes the level of play to a professional level. Skilled players navigate the vast playing field—an area the size of nine NFL football fields—at speeds reaching up to 40 km/hour. High goal games will get your adrenaline pumping as players display athletic skill, finesse, and courage at break-neck speeds. These feature games are played every Sunday: we welcome you to come share in the excitement—it’s free to visit the club as a spectator!

The People You do not need a string of horses to enjoy the benefits of being a member of the Calgary Polo Club. Every season, social membership makes an important contribution to the club’s success and longevity. The Calgary Polo Club regularly hosts social

events, fieldside and at the historic Ranch House, for anywhere from 100 to 1,000 spectators. As a Ranch House member, there are a variety of social events to enjoy, both formal and casual. All events are catered by the talented Ranchmen’s Club. Season highlights include the annual Barbados Challenge Trophy, Lobsterfest, Friday night dinners, and the annual Polo Ball. With its sweeping facilities, established reputation, and long-standing traditions, the Calgary Polo Club welcomes everyone to come and enjoy the thrill of the game

this summer season. For more information on upcoming tournament play and social events, see page 17 or contact the polo club administration office.

THE CALGARY POLO CLUB PO Box 17, Site 9, RR2 Okotoks, AB T1S 1A2 Phone: 403-938-0182 Chukker Hotline: 403-938-7260 Fax: 403-938-8205 Email: Website:

WHERE TO FIND US: Take McLeod Trail South to Hwy 552W. Turn right and follow Hwy 552W for 10 km, and turn left on 306th Ave West. Turn right at the stone gate. The Ranch House is straight ahead! OR Take Deerfoot Trail South to Dunbow Road. Turn right on Dunbow and drive until you cross Hwy 2A . Take your first right after Hwy 2A, drive north and turn left on Hwy 552W. Follow Hwy 552W for 10 km, and turn left on 306th Ave West. Turn right at the stone gate. | 13

Facilities and Staff Rob Roenisch, Polo Manager Rob Roenisch is acting Polo Manager at the Calgary Polo Club for the 2010 seaon. Rob has extensive experience playing and managing polo in Canada and the U.S.; the knowledge and expertise he brings to the club is invaluable. Sue Bird, Events/Marketing Manager Sue Bird has acted as Events and Marketing Manager at the Calgary Polo Club for the past seven years. Sue brings experience in all facets of event planning and promotion, and she serves as professional liaison for the club in all marketing endeavours. Tim Mills, Facilities Manager Tim Mills has been the Facilities Manager at the Calgary Polo Club since 1992. His knowledge and expertise in field preparation and maintenance is unmatched in Canada. Kyle Fargey, Polo School Instructor Kyle Fargey has served as the Polo School Instructor at the Calgary Polo Club for the past six years. Kyle’s knowledge of game strategy, hitting technique, and player development has graduated dozens of students to tournament and league play at the polo club.

14 | Calgary Polo Magazine | 15

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Calendar Tournaments and Events


June 16

Season Opener Reception

June 17–27

Mike Francis Cup (2 Goal)

July 1

America Day Cup Match Game

July 1–10

Gilgit Cup (2 Goal)

July 2–11

Roenisch Memorial Cup (6 Goal)

July 13–17

J B Cross Cup

July 14–31

Rocky Mountain Cup (2 Goal)

July 15–18

Heart Cup (6 Goal)

July 15

Stampede Dinner

July 15–18

Western Canadian Ladies Invitational

July 23–25

J C Palmer Memorial Invitational

July 23–August 1

Fish Creek Cup (6 Goal)

July 24

Italian Night Dinner

July 30

Ranch House Lobsterfest

August 2

Pee Wee Polo Playoffs & Grooms Race

August 4–14

Hull Cup (2 Goal)

August 5–15

Calgary Cup (6 Goal)

August 7

Barbados Challenge Trophy (8 Goal)

August 7

The Barbados Cup Afternoon Reception

August 19–28

Big Rock Cup (2 Goal)

August 20

Greek Night

August 20–29

Canadian Open (6 Goal)

August 26

President’s Ball

September 9–12

Kimo Cup Invitational (2 Goal)

September 16–19

Low Goal Tournament

September 23–26

Low Goal Tournament

Please consult for updated information on social events and tournaments. | 17


2010 Polo Sponsors

Polo A Foothills Tradition

calgary Polo

120 years of play


n celebration of 120 years of polo in Alberta, we take a brief look back in time. The sport of polo was in full swing in southern Alberta during the late 1880s, with the first club in Canada founded at Pincher Creek. The Calgary Polo Club was officially established in 1890, and by 1892 there were polo teams in Calgary, High River, Fort Macleod, and Pincher Creek. Early polo players emerged from a range of locales and livelihoods, including not only remittance men, ranch owners, bankers, and lawyers, but also farmers, clerks, and cowboys. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, local players and the club’s home fields moved locations around Calgary. The earliest club chukkers took place just west of the Louise Bridge and north of the Bow River. Around the turn of the century, Colin W. Ross relocated play to the centre of the former Owen Race Track in the present day neighbourhood of Elbow Park.

This site was sold to urban developers in 1907, at which time the club made arrangements with the city for the use of Meewata Park. The club went without polo grounds for several years, until a group of investors purchased 30 acres of land near the Chinook Race Track. The polo fields were in play at Chinook Park, located on present day 14th Street in southwest Calgary, by 1914. The 1920s saw a women’s team organized out of Calgary and Kamloops to travel to the first international women’s polo tournament in New York. Following the Second World War, the Calgary Polo Club was the only club in Canada still operating. Both the First and Second World Wars, as well as The Great Depression, had a stifling impact on polo in southern Alberta. The passion of the Calgary Polo Club’s players, however, prevented the sport from falling off the radar. Determined to revive interest in the sport, Frank McHugh, A. E. Cross and C. J. Yorath arranged play for men who were returning from war. Thanks also to the efforts of members such as Charles Hetherington and Morris Palmer, the Calgary Polo Club became respected for hosting tournaments and players from across North America. The Chinook Park polo grounds were eventually sold in 1960, and the club facilities moved to land in Okotoks that was formerly owned by J. B. Cross. Since then, the Calgary Polo Club has become respected for its worldclass facilities, tournaments, and events. Calgary Polo team: L-R: T. S. C. Lee, Jack Critchley, Osward Critchley, Sir Francis A. MacNaughten, 1893. Photo by W.E. Wing (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, PA-3687-11).

22 | Calgary Polo 2010

Calgary polo team, 1893. Photo by W.E. Wing (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-659-101).

Polo game, Millarville, Alberta, ca. 1900–1903 (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-2520-34).

Group and buggy at Polo Grounds, Calgary, Alberta: L-R: unknown; Mrs. Eckford; Lady MacNaughton; J.B. Cross; Mrs. A.E. Cross; Frank Bedingfeld ca. 1900 (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-280-6).

Calgary Polo Team takes the Cup after a 5–3 victory over Pekisko. Presented by the American Men’s Club at the Royal North-West Mounted Police barracks, 1908 (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-5554-14). | 23

Girls polo club in Stampede parade, Calgary, Alberta, 1927 (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-2552-9).

Captain Harry W. Foster, Lord Strathcona’s Horse, on left, ca. 1927–1932 (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-5554-9).

Polo team, members of Lord Strathcona’s Horse, Calgary, Alberta, ca. 1927–1932 (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-5554-7).

Calgary Blues polo team: L-R: D. K. Yorath, T. Williams, J. B. Cross, F. M. Pardee, captain. The third division runners-up in the Western Canada championship were beaten in the final by the Calgary Whites after throwing a scare into Cochrane, ca. 1930 (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-5554-5).

24 | Calgary Polo 2010

Calgary Pirates polo team: L-R: H. A. Chadwick, Archie Kerfoot, W. Wolley-Dod, H. W. Francis, captain, ca. 1930 (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-5554-4).

Laurie Johnson playing polo, 1931. Photo by W. J. Oliver (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-2924-13).

The Calgary Reds, after their 9–3 victory against Spokane in the Pacific Northwest polo championship. L-R: Clint Roenisch, Pat Linfoot, Jim Cross, Thornton Gregg, August 1955. Photo by Jack De Lorme (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-5600-7100c).

Mr. and Mrs. Mike Francis officiated at the Pacific Northwest Polo Tournament in Calgary. August 1955. Photo by Jack De Lorme (courtesy of Glenbow Archives, NA-5600-7100a). | 25

Polo Terms and Rules Get in the Game!

Chukker Similar to periods in hockey, there are four chukkers in Low Goal games and six chukkers in High Goal games in regulation outdoor polo. Each chukker is seven-and-a-half minutes long, and players have four minutes between each chukker to change horses.

Divot stomping Spectator participation! At half time, spectators are invited onto the field to replace pieces of turf dug up by the horses during play.

Foul Fouls include any infraction of the USPA rules, ranging from dangerous riding to interrupting the line of the ball.

Goal A goal is scored every time the ball crosses the line between the goal posts. Teams change ends after each goal to equalize playing conditions.

Handicap A player’s handicap is a rating between -2 (or B) and 10. A rating committee decides the handicap of each player based on playing ability, horsemanship, team play, horses, and knowledge of the game. The handicap of a team is the sum total rating of all of its players, and the final score of a match is adjusted according to discrepancies in the two teams’ handicaps.

26 | Calgary Polo 2010



As a defensive technique, a player can use his or her mallet to interfere with an opponent’s swing.

The right-hand side of the horse.

Penalty Knock-in When a team in an offensive drive hits the ball across the opponent’s backline, the defending team resumes play with a free hit from their back line.

A penalty for an infraction of the rules of play is given a rating between one and nine by the umpire, with the severity of the infraction determining the level of penalty awarded.

Ride-off Line of the ball Also called right-of-way, this is an imaginary line that the ball creates each time it is hit. The trajectory of the ball creates a line that separates two lanes. These lanes determine the right-ofway of each player. Interfering with this line is a foul.

Mallet The side of the mallet head is used to hit the ball. Mallets are made of a bamboo stick and hardwood head, and range in length from 49 to 54 inches, depending on the size of the horse.

Near-side The left-hand side of the horse.

In a defensive move, a horse is pressed into the horse of another player in order to prevent him or her from taking a shot or to drive the player off the line of the ball.

Throw-in Games begin when the umpire bowls the ball between the two teams.

Umpires Two mounted officials are on the field ensuring safety and enforcing rules. In the case of a disagreement between the umpires, the Referee (also known as the “Third Man”) on the sidelines has the final say. | 27

Polo Equipment Gear for the Game

MALLET HEAD Made of hardwood and angled to allow for full swing flush to the ground.

MALLET Shafts are made of bamboo or plastic composite. The mallet shaft is flexible and can make a complete arc under pony neck or tail when swung hard. Mallets come in different lengths to accommodate height of pony.

HELMET Hard surface, lined and strapped, protects the player from swinging mallets and balls travelling at a speed of nearly 100 miles per hour. Face guards can be attached.

CLIPPED MANE Eliminates interference of pony’s mane with the player’s reins.

BREECHES Always white in polo.

POLO PONY May be a thoroughbred or part thoroughbred, part quarter horse. Selected for their agility, speed, endurance, and intelligence.

POLO SADDLE Differs from a jumping saddle which has extra pads.



Series of leather strapping, metal or copper bit, and supports to give the player steering and stopping control.

Causes less obstruction to mallet in execution of back and tail shots.

DRAW REINS To enhance control of the pony.

POLO MARTINGALE To stop the pony’s head from rising.

BREASTPLATE To stop the saddle from slipping back during the game.

KNEEPADS For the player’s protection.

RIDING BOOTS Always brown in colour. Provides additional protection for the player’s lower leg.

BELL BOOT POLO BANDAGE Protective wrapping to shield pony’s legs against contact with the ball and other ponies.

Protects the pony’s front heels from contact with the back hooves. | 29

Polo School Professional Instruction

“I really enjoy helping new players progress into the game. I encourage everyone to come experience the exhilaration of polo. My only warning is that the sport is very addictive – after only one game, you can become hooked for life!” ~ Kyle Fargey


yle Fargey is a 3 Goal professional player based out of Calgary, Alberta and Indio, California. Kyle played for Team Canada at the FIP World Cup in Mexico City in 2008, and has played polo throughout North America, and in England, Africa, and China. Kyle is involved in every aspect of the sport, from playing and instructing, to training young horses to play polo. Kyle customizes lessons to fit the needs of each of his students, whether it is in individual lessons or in groups.

Come try polo at the Calgary Polo Club • Lessons available May through September • Horses and equipment provided • Private and group lessons • Hitting cage and foot mallet polo • Coaching League

Start your polo career today! Contact Kyle Fargey Office: 403.938.0182 Cell: 403.998.7260 Email:

Whether you are a seasoned rider or player, or a determined athlete looking for an exciting new sport, Kyle can teach you the skills, rules, mechanics, and strategies of the game.

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Tournament Results 2009 The Winner’s Circle

Barbados Challenge Trophy Winners Team Barbados Danny Atwell, Nick Snow, Cheryl Carter (Barbados Tourism Authority), Phillip Tempro, Matt O’Leary

Barbados Challenge Trophy Runners Up Team Canada Bryan Thomas, Martin Estrada, David Rice (Barbados Tourism Authority), Julian Mannix, Dayelle Fargey

Big Rock Cup Winners Grande Prairie Fernando Pliego, Tyrel Sutherland, Ed and Linda McNally, Ross Adam, Lee Nilsson

34 | Calgary Polo 2010

Tournament Results 2009 The Winner’s Circle

Fish Creek Cup Winners Blizzard Jason Crowder, Tomas Obregon, Gary and Jan Moore (After Eight Interiors), Fergus Gould, John Rooney, Paula Rooney

Gilgit Cup Winners The Hawks Scott M. Cunningham, Kyle Fargey, Julian Mannix, Gerald Levin

Calgary Cup Blizzard Jason Crowder, Tomas Obregon, Gary and Jan Moore (After Eight Interiors), Fergus Gould, John Rooney, Paula Rooney | 35

Tournament Results 2009 The Winner’s Circle

Hull Cup Winners Tekarra Alejandro Gonzalez, Patrick Uretz, Rob Foster, Diego Cossio, Pat Powell

JB Cross High Goal Match Game Winners The Hawks Joe Henderson, Fred Mannix, Kelsea Forzani, Bruce Mackenzie (RBC), Juan Curbelo, Julian Mannix

JC Palmer Memorial Cup Winners The Hawks Scott Cunningham, Joe Henderson, Laura Palmer, Juan Curbelo, Julian Mannix

36 | Calgary Polo 2010

Tournament Results 2009 The Winner’s Circle

J Vair Anderson Cup Winners The Hawks Kyle Fargey, Joe Henderson, Shelley Walsh, Juan Curbelo, Julian Mannix

Mike Francis Cup Winners Gordon W. Ross RE/MAX Gordon W. Ross, Patrick Uretz, Wiley Uretz, Juan Curbelo

Mountbatten Plate Winners The Hawks Diego Cossio, Fred Mannix, Philip and Laurie Sommerville (Triangle Steel), Daniel Roenisch, Julian Mannix | 37

Tournament Results 2009 The Winner’s Circle

Regional Cup Winners Misty Vale/Identity Fergus Gould, Reg Whyte, Anne Evamy, Scott M. Cunningham

Rocky Mountain Cup Winners Blizzard Tomas Obregon, John Rooney, Scott M. Cunningham, Pat Powell

Roenisch Memorial Trophy Winners The Hawks Rob Roenisch, Julian Mannix, John Rooney, Fergus Gould, Fred Mannix

38 | Calgary Polo 2010

Best Playing Ponies 2009

Barbados Challenge Trophy Ruby Two, owned by Martin Estrada

Fish Creek Cup Ni単era, owned by Tomas Obregon

JB Cross High Goal Match Game Lumpy, owned by Triangle Bar Farms

Mullen Trucking Ladies Challenge Marcella, owned by Anne Evamy | 39



USPA PaciďŹ c Circuit Governors Cup The 2010 Governors Cup was awarded to Misty Vale, sponsored by Calgary player Reg Whyte. We invite all members of the Calgary Polo Club to participate in the 2011 Governors Cup. Best wishes to you for a successful summer season!









Proud Sponsors of the 2010 Mountbatten Plate

Awards 2009 Recognizing Achievement

Most Improved Player Gordon W. Ross was competitive in the 2-Goal League throughout the 2009 season. In recognition of his marked improvement in polo skills and game strategy, Gordon W. Ross was presented the Billy Linfoot Award for the Most Improved Player for 2009.

Rookie of the Year Pat Powell picked up polo in the spring of 2009, and played in the Low Goal league at the Calgary Polo Club throughout the summer season. Pat’s strong riding abilities, sportsmanship, and determination on the field earned him the Rookie of the Year Award for his first ever year in polo.

Sportsmanship New to the sport of polo, Matt Robinson exemplified superior athletic ability as well as integrity, fairness, and appreciation of the rules of play. Showing respect for his fellow players both on and off the field, Matt Robinson was the 2009 recipient of the Sportsmanship Award.

Clockwise, from bottom left: Tomas Obregon and Darcia M. Siryjenko; Gordon W. Ross and Veronica Rooney; Pat Powell and Veronica Rooney; Derek Dalton and Matt Robinson; Saul Torres and Veronica Rooney.


Groom of the Year

Darcia M. Siryjenko presented the 2009 Horsemanship award to Tomas Obregon. Tomas displayed exemplary skills in the care, training, and preparation of his string, and attained a high level of performance from his ponies throughout the 2009 season.

Saul Torres was the recipient of the 2009 Groom of the Year Award. Nominated by the Cam Clark Polo Team, Saul displayed an exemplary understanding of and commitment to horse care, presentation, and health throughout the season in Calgary. | 43

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Players 2010 season

Marcelo Abbiati Rating: 4

Susan Abbiati Rating: A

Cam Bailey Rating: 2

Blake Clark Rating: 1

Cam Clark Rating: A

Diego Cossio Rating: 4

Scott Cunningham Rating: 1

Scott M. Cunningham Rating: B

Anne Evamy Rating: A

Dayelle Fargey Rating: 1

Kyle Fargey Rating: 3

Rob Foster Rating: B

Dawn Godard Rating: B

Francis Harley de Urtasun Rating: B

Joe Henderson Rating: 4

Cole Horne Rating: B | 47

Our Players 2010 season

Doak Horne Rating: B

Mitch Horne Rating: B

Megan Kozminski Rating: B

Sara Inkster Rating: B

Tom LeBoldus Rating: B

Deidre Lake Rating: B

Dyan Leyshon Rating: B

Bill Lloyd Rating: A

Fred H. Mannix Rating: 6

Julian Mannix Rating: 3

Lee Nilsson Rating: 1

Pedro Orellana Rating: 4

Scott Palmer Rating: A

Aidan Pettigrew Rating: B

Pat Powell Rating: B

Matt Robinson Rating: B

48 | Calgary Polo 2010

Our Players 2010 season

Daniel Roenisch Rating: 4

Julie Roenisch Rating: A

Rob Roenisch Rating: 1

Alyson Rooney Rating: B

Donna Rooney Rating: B

John Rooney Rating: 1

Gordon W. Ross Rating: B

Peggy Schultz Rating: B

Barry Siebel Rating: B

Darcia M. Siryjenko Rating: B

Rick Stelmachuk Rating: B

Bryan Thomas Rating: A

Nacho Verela Rating: 2

Sue-Anne Wearmouth Rating: B

Les Wilson Rating: B

Derek Wolstenholme Rating: A | 49

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The Equine


Jody Skinner, The Lineup: Billabong, Rambler, Picafleur, Linea, Maple and Tequila. Oil on linen.

assion informs almost everything in a horseperson’s life. For three Alberta artists, this passion combines with an artistic vision to create works that contribute to our appreciation for horses and our natural environment. Meet Jody Skinner, Rich Roenisch and Jan WalkerRoenisch and learn what inspires their work and brings them to the forefront of the art scene in Alberta.


artist mother’s studio and started putting her fascination with horses to canvas. Her medium soon turned to oil, and over the years she developed her dynamic style. Jody now works exclusively in oils on oversized linen canvases. Her technique of applying the paint with palette knives creates a vibrant texture that makes her equine subjects almost leap off the canvas.

Jody Skinner

It was her husband’s enthusiasm and support that encouraged her to make the leap from her work crunching numbers (“I wasn’t very good at it,” she jokes) to becoming a full-time artist. “We often look back and chuckle and think, ‘What did he see in my early work?’” The faith paid off. It turns out that Jody’s husband was not the only one who recognized her talent for capturing the beauty and grace of her equine subjects.

Western artist Jody Skinner grew up in Edmonton, and spent her summers on the family’s horse ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Jody enjoyed summer holidays riding bareback and immersing herself in ranch life. She still rides when she can—Western, English, she isn’t picky; she simply tries to get on a horse as often as life with two busy children allows. Her awe for her equine subjects is tangible. Art and horses “have gone hand in hand since the beginning,” explains Skinner. They are her two passions, each inspiring the other. Jody is a self-taught artist whose creativity was initially stoked 19 years ago when she picked up some pastels in her

Jody’s art career bloomed when she auctioned her work for the first time at the 1993 Stampede art auction. She became a regular exhibitor at the Calgary Stampede Western Art Salon in 1998. Her first foray into the salon yielded her the Best in Show award. Since then, her work has won Best | 53

in Show three times (2002, 2008, 2009) and yielded two Collector’s Choice awards (1999, 2000). In 2009, she was commissioned to create the artwork for the Stampede poster. Though Jody doesn’t normally do commission work, she made an exception for the Stampede; she was thrilled to accept the honour. In the 2009 poster, Jody captures the explosion of Calgary rodeo champion Grated Coconut in action. Jody works all year to produce between 18 and 23 iconic oil paintings. Her subjects range from wild horses coursing through the badlands, to cowboys in their Western gear, to polo ponies in action. The Stampede Western Art Salon and auction are the only places one can purchase her work. If you want the chance to own an original oil by Jody, come early. Admirers of her art have been known to line up for hours, chomping at the bit to own a piece of her collection before they sell out. For Jody, the real payoff is getting to work with her beautiful subjects. The horses she paints are her muses and at the very heart of her work. She admits “I don’t think I would be painting if I wasn’t painting horses.” As long as horses remain a part of her life, Jody Skinner will create art that inspires.

Rich Roenisch and Jan Walker-Roenisch Rich Roenisch and Jan Walker-Roenisch have a strong passion for horses, ranch life, and art. Both Rich and Jan are noted Western artists who share a life together immersed in the subjects and environment they skillfully capture in oil and bronze. Rich grew up riding at his grandfather’s Round T Ranch, and started working on the O H Ranch when he was a young teen. His connection to ranch life is deeply engrained—he is still an eager hand who will drop whatever he is doing when his help is needed working cows. His connection to polo also has deep roots in Alberta—he is a third-generation polo player who reached his career high at a 3-goal rating. Though he and Jan have retired from the sport, they continue to contribute, supporting the polo club through artistic donations. The O H Ranch had another very important influence on Rich: in and among the cowboys, a rich artistic community grew. Most influential to Rich was Mac McKenzie, a noted sculptor from Cochrane, who initially got him interested in bronze work. Other notable artists who have spent time 54 | Calgary Polo 2010

Rich Roenisch, George Lane Attacked by Wolves – 1886. Located at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site. Bronze sculpture.

at the O H Ranch include fellow bronze artists Bob Spaith and Steve Hoar, painter Gaile Gallup, and author Bert Sheppard. Like Rich, and many Western artists, Jan’s love for horses was instilled early. She spent summers with her grandparents on a ranch in California, and her love for all wildlife was influenced by her time working as one half of a two-girl forest service trail crew in the wilderness and forestry areas around Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For three years, she spent the summers in the backcountry with only her partner, five horses and four dogs. These roots grew into a lifelong desire to enfold horses into her working and artistic life. Jan is a diverse artist who has studied various media, including scientific illustration in college, photography under Western photographer Jay Dusard, and watercolour. About 15 years ago, she made a very practical discovery that led to her current preferred medium: oil. “When working in watercolour, if you spill something, you’re done. I am a very messy painter, and I discovered that you can spill whatever you want with oils, and just go right back over it.”

Jan considers her primary genre to be portraiture, broadly written—“portraits of anything,” in her words. In the 1960s, she worked for a stint in L.A., creating portraits of musicians for radio station KLRA (where such radio greats Casey Kasum and Dick Hull got their starts). Her work now focuses largely on what has always been close to her heart: horses and wildlife. Jan also lends her hand to working in bronze, creating her own sculptures and also aiding Rich in many stages of his bronze works. Her skill in this area is focused from January through March, when the Roenischs produce in excess of 140 bronze polo trophies. Rich’s bronze work is prolific on polo podiums around North America, awarded at clubs in Alberta, California, Florida, and Hawaii, among others. Replicas of Rich’s work are presented to all new inductees to the United States Polo Hall of Fame. Outside the polo world, Rich’s large-scale work is highly sought-after by communities and private collectors alike. His larger-than-life bronzes can be seen around Western Canada, including the ICU Bronc Twister at the Stampede, George Lane Attacked by Wolves – 1886 at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site, David and Charlotte Thompson in Invermere, and George Emerson, which stands in High River. His bronze, She Gave Her Best, stands at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA. Rich’s bronze work displays intricate detail and a deep knowledge of anatomy. When building a model, whether it is horse or rider, Rich will often start from the inside, initially crafting the muscles and bones and building the

Jan Walker-Roenisch, Between Chukkers. Oil on canvas.

model outward. His newest project, a collaboration with cousin Bob Spaith, has been keeping Rich busy since 2008: an elaborate bronze commissioned by the Calgary Stampede entitled By the Banks of the Bow that will depict two cowboys herding 15 life-size horses across the Bow River. The cowboy and horses in the front are being created by Rich in the style of traditional riders, while the cowboy and horses that follow, created by Bob Spaith, will represent the rodeo horses that have come to represent the Stampede site in contemporary Calgary. The piece will be a Calgary landmark that speaks to the importance of both public art and the Western lifestyle to the heritage of the province. Western artists have been a part of Alberta’s history since its pioneer days. Horses and ranch life are woven into the very fabric of the province. It is no wonder that they serve as such important muses to the artists who have grown up in and among them, artists whose work reinforces what it means to be a part of the West.

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60 | Calgary Polo Magazine


John and Donna Rooney Bryan and Marjorie Thomas Pedro and Sol Orellano Tracey Skinner and Deidre Lake Cam Clark and Dayelle Fargey Jen Whyte warming up her dad’s pony 7. Rob Foster gets the tough guy award

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porate meetings. Our new clear span 1743 sq. ft. tent provides additional room for breakout sessions. During the Polo season, you can add the thrill of a polo match to your itinerary. The Ranch House is an intimate, charming facility located just ten minutes south of Calgary and is available year round on a pre-booking basis.

LEAPS AND BOUNDS Our students understand the sky is the limit. At Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, they learn to dream big dreams and grow up to achieve them. Here, in an environment of wide open spaces and endless opportunities, we support and develop each of our students from Grades 1 through 12. What we offer them is unique – and it goes way beyond the classroom. DISCOVERING A WORLD WITHOUT BOUNDARIES Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School helps students to foster a global perspective. Through the International Baccalaureate Programme, Round Square and many international service and exchange opportunities, our students come to see themselves as global stewards.

THRIVING ON A COUNTRY CAMPUS Our campus is situated on 160-acres of beautiful COUNTRYSIDE SOUTH OF #ALGARY 3TUDENTS INVESTIGATE THE woodland ecosystem, cross-country ski on trails and use nature for artistic inspiration and are nurtured by a tightknit community of faculty, parents and alumni.

INSPIRING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Since it’s founding school opened in 1905, one of the cornerstones of Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School has been academic achievement. Students learn to aim high, without fear, supported by highly-skilled teachers and learning specialists who are leaders in their ďŹ elds.

CONNECTING THROUGH CURRICULUM #RITICAL THINKING SKILLS ARE FOSTERED WHEN DISCIPLINES COME TOGETHER IN THE MOST UNLIKELY PLACES #HEMISTRY CLASS BY THE pond, geometry and GPS mapping in the ďŹ elds, canoeing while conversing in French. This is the unique environment in which our students express their individuality, choosing from over 100 teams, clubs and co-curricular activities.

“S TS ’ ma ntra ‘ S c ho la r s hip, L e a der sh i p an d Cha ra c te r’ e mbo die s a ll tha t the Sch ool h as ins pire d in my two c hildre n. They h ave h ad the o ppo r tunity to explo re a ll aspects of the ir e duc a tio n, pe r s o na l growth an d u n i q u e inte re s ts while be ing s tro ngly su ppor ted by de dic a te d, exc e lle nt a nd c a r ing teach er s . A n e duc a tio n o ffe re d in this d i ver se an d s uppo r tive e nviro nme nt is the most val u abl e gift we c o uld ha ve give n o ur c h i l dr en an d o ne tha t will fo llow the m fo r a l i feti me .� Anne E vamy, ST S Parent and Calgar y Po lo Club Member

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