Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024

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CORB LUND on Alberta's Greasy Politics

APRIL/MAY 2024 • $6.95


Exploring FARM CRIME @cowboycountrymag @CowboyCntryMag @cowboycountrymagazine






Miles Kingdon, working cowboy, teacher and Canadiana vaquero


His new music, and saving Alberta’s Rocky Mountains from greasy politics


Bit & spur maker Richard Brooks on his award-winning passions


Jack Fuller, cowboy, soldier, teacher & artist of the Rockies



A tribute to the men and women who joined up and helped save the world


RCAF veteran Adam Kaine on ranching and honouring his comrades in arms


This multi-episode docu-series examines the complexity of ag crimes


ON THE COVER: PG 16 Miles Kingdon The buckaroo life and heart-stopping tragedy that shaped Miles Kingdon into Canada’s premier vaquero Photo by Natalie Anfield



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@cowboycountrymagazine 3


April/May 2024 Vol. 27, No. 6

Proud Member of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame

JACKIE RAE GREENING JR’s Rambling Mind, page 11


Jackie Rae Greening of CFCW Radio was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, plus received an Honourary Doctorate from MacEwan University.


Ranch Ramblings, page 13


Niki and her husband, Dustin Flundra, ranch together in Southern Alberta with their three sons. She is a clinician, award-winning Liberty horse trainer and a performer for live events and the film industry. Niki is the producer of The Heart of the Horse event.


Corb Lund, page 21 Multi-award-winning writer Sid Marty writes mainly on natural history and Western life and culture. He and his wife, Myrna, live at the foot of the Livingstone Range near Pincher Creek, Alta.

Publisher Rob Tanner Editor Terri Mason Art Director Shannon Swanson Sales Manager Kristine Wickheim Subscription/Circulation Marie Tanner circ Accounting/Administrator Marie Tanner Columnists Brittney Chomistek, Tim Ellis, Niki Flundra, Jackie Rae Greening, Hugh McLennan, Billy Melville Contributors CrAsh Cooper, Tim Lasiuta, Sid Marty Tanner Young Publishing Group Box 13, 22106 South Cooking Lake Road Cooking Lake, AB T8E 1J1 Tel: 780-465-3362 | Toll Free: 1-800-943-7336 Website: E-mail: askus

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Call Marie at 1-800-943-7336 Make all cheques payable to Tanner Young Marketing Ltd 1 Year: $29 incl. tax | 2 Years: $46 incl. tax | $Single Copy: $6.95 + tax Canadian Cowboy Country magazine is published six times per year by Tanner Young Publishing Group PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40070720 ISSN 1701-1132 Please return undeliverable addresses to: Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine c/o Tanner Young Publishing Group Administration Office Box 13, 22106 South Cooking Lake Road Cooking Lake, AB T8E 1J1 FREELANCE POLICY Canadian Cowboy Country welcomes freelance contributions but will not be held responsible for unsolicited text or photographs. Direct all freelance enquiries to: PRIVACY POLICY At Tanner Young Publishing Group, we value your privacy. For our complete privacy policy go to or call us at 1-800-943-7336 Canadian Cowboy Country makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it publishes, but cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions.


Trailblazer Jack Fuller, page 26 Tim Lasiuta is a writer, entrepreneur and communicator based in Red Deer, Alta. He is a noted historian, a B-Western/film aficionado, and considered one of the preeminent Lone Ranger experts.

This magazine is a proud member of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, and Magazines Canada, abiding by the standards of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors. Visit

BRITTNEY CHOMISTEK Common Threads, page 28



Brittney Chomistek earned the title Miss Rodeo Canada in 2017 and is now an elementary and rodeo academy teacher at Foremost School. She has always expressed her own style of fashion and now runs the social media account Canadian Cowgirl Closet, highlighting fashion trends and styles.

“This project is funded [in part] by the Government of Canada.” «Ce projet est financé [en partie] par le gouvernement du Canada.»

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


All Hail Heroes!

View from the back of Search & Rescue CH-149 Cormorant from 442 Squadron (Comox) flying over stranded vehicles in BC in November 2021. Landslides in front and back trapped these motorists— including my nephew and his son (circled in red).



ero” is one word that is thrown about far too much, diluting the meaning and the gravity of the courage, noble qualities and outstanding achievements of a person. Without a doubt, anyone who has ever been in a life-threatening situation certainly doesn’t downplay the meaning, and in this issue, we are featuring a lot of bona fide heroes. First — and they will always be first — are those who signed up for active service in the military. This year, the Royal Canadian Air Force is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and on behalf of the active, the retired, the descendants of and the ones who never came home, we honour the organization and the individuals forever connected to the RCAF and trust this anniversary will be celebrated because, without a doubt, the RCAF helped save the world. It takes a lot of courage to produce a TV show on rural crime when you admittedly

don’t know which end of a cow gets up first, but it turns out that isn’t necessary, telling the story is. We bring you a feature on a terrific documentary series airing on CBC Gem — Farm Crime. When Corb Lund steps up to a microphone, that man draws a crowd, and for a singer to throw their fame, their voice and their livelihood up against one of the richest women in the world to save Alberta’s drinking water — then he too deserves the title of hero. All this, plus the story of one of my favourite Living Legends, Miles Kingdon, a talented horseman, cowman, and a true friend to all who ride the range here in Canadian Cowboy Country.

— Terri Mason, Editor

RENEWAL INFORMATION: To keep costs down, we will send your renewal notice via email to those with an email on file, so please check your inbox. To renew, visit and click “Subscribe Today!” or mail in the form attached to your email or call us at 800-943-7336. If you do not have an email, you will continue to receive notifications with your magazine copy. Thanks for your cooperation! A penny saved is a penny earned — Marie

DEAR COWBOY COUNTRY… REFLECTIONS I was very sad to hear during the ceremony that Bryn's column will be retired. I, and I'm sure many others, would rather his legacy live on by revisiting previously written words of wisdom. Tina Rose Buchli, Andeer, Switzerland

SISTERS! Audrey and I got our magazines a few weeks back. The article is great! We got several extra magazines to share with friends and family members. Thanks for your work in making it all happen. We definitely have fun together and Audrey has always been my idol. Susan Griffin, Living Legend, Feb/Mar 2023

ART PROFILE I just got my gorgeous copy of the magazine yesterday. I am so happy we were able to connect and the care, attention and respect you've shown to me as an artist was so greatly appreciated. The article is concise and quickly hits all of the points. The spread is very well curated — right down to the fun turquoise quotation marks! Thank you again for this opportunity and wishing you all a wonderful 2024. All the best... Crystal Beshara

CLOSEST I GOT… Reading the article in the last magazine about the Nicola Lake Ranch brought back some old memories. In 1960, when I finished high school, a buddy and I did what was common in those days: we hitchhiked down the road looking for a job. We got as far as what I think was then called The Nicola Lake Stock Farms. We had the skills they wanted and got hired. For the next three months, we worked 12 hrs a day and 7 days a week changing irrigation pipes and haying—all for $5 a day. The closest I got to a horse was watching the cowboys saddle up in the morning. Dave Schalm, West Kelowna, B.C.

COVER TO COVER Love your magazine! Look so forward to seeing it in the mail. I read it cover to cover! Thanks for doing such an incredible job! Mac Ranch, Duncan & Jean MacMillan, Vermilion, Alta

BEYONCE GOES COUNTRY (We got a LOT of feedback on this post!) Here’s one of the nicer ones… I like Beyonce! But country? Why? Maryanne Gibson, Edmonton, Alta.

DROP US A LINE! We love hearing from our readers!

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Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024




WORLD CHAMP CLASS In May of 2023, Montana tie-down roper Haven Meged put a ring on the finger of Langdon, Alberta’s Shelby Boisjoli, at their wedding held in Texas. In December, he helped his bride put on her new gold buckle following her record-breaking year. Shelby’s 2023 World Champion Breakaway Roping gold buckle carries her maiden name. She is quoted as saying that she “knew how much it would mean to her family to have her maiden name, Boisjoli, in the record books.” Shelby officially changed her name to Shelby Meged in January 2024.



HITTING THE RODEO ROAD! AS CANADIAN RODEO gains momentum in April, I am excited to get on the road in style, thanks to our incredible sponsor, Innisfail Chrysler! I’ll soon be hitting the road, heading to Dawson Creek, Medicine Hat and Taber pro rodeos. I will also be at Horse Expo in Red Deer (with an appearance at one of our prestigious sponsors, Peavey Mart) and then the Kananaskis Pro Rodeo the last weekend of April. I will officially pass on the Miss Ponoka Stampede title during their Ponoka Stampede Tarp Auction in May. Then I’m off to Drayton Valley Pro Rodeo, Falkland Stampede, Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement and Grand Prairie Stompede, which will wrap up the month for Canadian rodeo events. I am beyond excited about the schedule this year, as I will get a front row seat to champions being made throughout the season. Be sure to say hi!

2024 Miss Rodeo Canada Kaylee Shantz on the midway landing of the Petco Park arena, home of the San Diego Padres. The Park seats over 42,000.

Listen to

SAN DIEGO! My (so far) once-in-a-lifetime experience as Miss Rodeo Canada was the San Diego Rodeo. Outriders, San Diego Padres, and the incredible Canadian company C5 Rodeo created this inaugural event. Petco Park was vibrating with excitement! San Diego was my first rodeo of the year, and I so appreciated the hospitality and support of our partner, C5 Rodeo. The rodeo action was a thrill to watch, and it was exhilarating to cheer on the world’s top Canadian athletes and international competitors. I hope to see this exceptional rodeo continue for many years to come! For Kaylee’s appearance schedule, visit

THE SPIRIT OF THE WEST “Radio Program” Ride through the Rangeland of the West every week

Celebrating over 30 YEARS

of Stories Great Western Music Horse Training Advice And much more

Hear it on your favourite radio station or on demand at Check out the new Spirit of the West Facebook page too!


Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


with Hugh McLennan



“Canadian Bucker” created by Shay Keller

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE upcoming CPRHF members (who will be announced in June), and in case some of us don’t get a chance to see this stunning sculpture in person, I wanted to give you the first look.

Technically, the art doesn’t have a name, but its nickname is “Canadian Bucker.” “It’s a bit similar to the last sculpture I did for them,” says 35-year-old bronze artist Shay Keller from his studio in Killdeer, Saskatchewan. “There isn’t one particular picture that I worked off of because, with sculpture, you have to see all the way around.” His work is incredibly life-like. “I work from the inside out; I build the skeleton and then put the muscle and skin on top,” he explained. “If you build the skeleton right the first time then if you need to move a leg, the shoulder moves with it, and the whole body changes.” For those that are wondering, “back in the day,” every bronc rider rode with a lefthand rein, that is until the immortal champion, Kenny McLean. When Kenny won the World in 1962, he was the first right-hand rider. Nowadays, it’s about 50-50. The Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame is located in Ponoka, Alta, in the Calnash Trucking Ag Event Centre. To nominate a cowboy, cowgirl or rodeo stock for the Hall of Fame, visit their website at Nominations are accepted all year round.


Bryn Gordon Thiessen Sundre, Alta. 1960–2024

Lifelong rancher, working cowboy, popular cowboy poet, songwriter, preacher, and writer, Bryn was a major influence on many lives—and all for the good. Early in his cowboy poetry career, he discovered his gift for preaching, and founded many cowboy church events at poetry gatherings. Bryn was a popular Reflections columnist for us for nearly 20 years, and to honour him, we have included his Reflections column page in this issue one last time, with tributes from a few of his close friends.

Specializing in Rodeo, Ranch & Humourous Fine Artworks!

It is not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.”

Check our Facebook page to see where Ash will be next: Follow Ash Cooper Art and Ranch Gallery





Congratulations to Scott and Becky Guenthner on the birth of their son, Tyce Otto Guenthner, on January 25, 2024. Tyce will be a fun little brother to their sons, Quade and Ridge. Becky is a lab technician, and Scott is the 3X Canadian Steer Wrestling Champion, 4X NFR qualifier and the 2022 Cowboy of the Year. The couple make their home near Consort, Alta.

Congratulations to Jared and Tulsa Parsonage on the birth of their son, Kip Roy Parsonage, on February 17. He weighed 7 lb, 8 oz., and is a younger brother to Kade. Jared is the 2023 Calgary Stampede Bull Riding Champion, 2021 & 2022 Canadian Bull Riding Champion and 2021 Canadian All-Around Champion Cowboy. Jared and Tulsa ranch near Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.





Congratulations to Paige (Lawrence) and Richmond Champion on the birth of their son, Forrest Brooks Champion. Forrest was born in Missoula, MT, on Sept 7, 2023. Paige in a multi-medal-winning Pairs figure skating champion who competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Richmond is the 2018 Canadian Bareback Champion, and has eight trips to the NFR.

Congratulations to Layton and Brooke (Bornau) Green on the birth of their first child, a daughter, Annie Lee Green, on January 29. She weighed 7lb 9oz. Layton has qualified for the NFR four times (2017, 2021-2023) in saddle bronc and earned the 2017 Canadian Saddle Bronc title. Layton is also the 2012 CFR Novice Saddle Bronc Riding Champion. Brooke has a career as a power engineer. The couple make their home near Millarville, Alta.


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PARADISE VILLAGE RESORT in Nuevo Nayarit (previously known as Nuevo Vallarta) is located north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This tourist paradise is a popular spot for sun-seeking humans and endangered wildlife, including caguama turtles, who lay their eggs on the beaches of Nuevo Vallarta. The eggs are removed and placed under the care of biologists to keep them safe from humans and other predators. This area welcomes over 3.1M tourists annually, including David and Diane Demyen of Calgary, Alta, who visit here often. Says David, “Several issues of Cowboy have been to Paradise Village; I resist reading them until we arrive, then I find a nice palpa by the ocean, grab a cool beverage and read it cover to cover. Love it.” He adds, “My wife Diane has taken up reading Cowboy. She is familiar with a lot of the cowboys that you have featured. She is a huge chuckwagon fan and knows who all the drivers are.”


Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


Nuevo Nayarit, Mexico





There’s an old saying on the prairies: “Gather a room full of Albertans, and half will hail from Saskatchewan.” I say that to encourage you to find this book and take it home because, chances are, there will be at least a hundred photos in here that will pique your interest, even if only for the cars or the fashions of the day. In truth, Everett Baker is famous in Southern Saskatchewan for the tremendous project he started, marking the NWMP Trail from Wood Mountain to Fort Walsh used from 1875–1912. Like the memories of an ol’ Eon song, he knew the trail would soon be plowed under, and he wanted to commemorate the trail before it was gone. Along with that gift to humanity, Baker was a prodigious photographer who obviously enjoyed capturing the everyday life of an era we’ll never see again. For regular readers of Canadian Cowboy, Everett Baker’s name is well familiar. We have published many of his historic photographs over the years. Many of the people photographed are named, and wonderful scenes range from a horse-drawn milk wagon (with a beautiful grey in harness) to kids riding home from school. If you’re old, each turn of a page will take you back; if you’re young, you’ll see just why your parents and grandparents are so tough. Get it; this book is worth the trip down memory lane. Everett Baker’s Saskatchewan: Portraits of an Era | Selected by Bill Waiser | Softcover | 202 pages | Publisher Fifth House Publishing |

WEDGIE-GATE This is my first ever column in Canadian Cowboy Country magazine. I’m going to tell you about the time Ricky Ticky Wanchuk gave me a wedgie. I don’t even know if that’s how you spell wedgie, for crying out loud, and I’m not going to tell you that story until the end of this article to make you read the whole dang thing. As I was trying to figure out what to write about, Bell Media announced they were selling many radio stations and eliminating a bunch of employees. Having been in the media for over 40 years, you never like to hear about the elimination of jobs. At CFCW, we’ve been lucky. Why does this station continue to flourish? Simple. Our devoted country audience. The loyalty of our audience is undeniable, so as you listen to CFCW or read this great magazine from Rob Tanner and his team, remember to support the businesses that support them. It’s the only way we’ll be able to continue to bring you coverage of the things we love… like rodeo. And on that subject, let me take you to the Bruce Stampede. One day at a live auction for the Friends of Pro Rodeo in Edmonton, I bought an auction package called “Clown for A Day” where the top bidder could spend a full day at the Bruce Stampede alongside Ricky

Ticky (Yes, I shelled out a few hundred dollars for this). I take you to a 32-degree day in Bruce; even his chickens were wilting. Ricky had a sexy clown outfit for me and did my clown make up. I then headed out in the dirt with Kolby & Kyle and Ricky. I wore my runners because I thought, “If I must run from a bull, I must be able to motor,” so no cowboy boots for this cowgirl. A bull comes in my direction, I run for the fence, but my runners didn’t fit in the mesh fence! Ricky to the rescue— he picked me up by the back of my big clown pants, giving me the biggest wedgie. And kids, if you don’t know what that is... talk to your parents.

Jackie Rae Greening 840 CFCW Program Director & Mid-Days Honourary Doctorate MacEwan University CCMA & Country Music Alberta Hall of Fame Hear Jackie Rae weekdays on 840 CFCW! Email Jackie Rae with column suggestions:




Canadian statistics show there are over 4,300 people currently waiting for an organ transplant and a donor list that is very small. Many of these folks are waiting for THE call: “We have an organ; get here as soon as possible.” That’s the good news, of course, but it’s the beginning of a long and costly process. Our health care system, thankfully, covers the cost of the surgery and the hospital care, but travel expenses, post-surgery, living expenses and many more are up to the patient. That’s where this Ride plays a huge part. Since its

Morris Irvine and a passel of grandkids on the 2023 2nd Chance Trail Ride


hat’s my boy draggin’ calves to the fire...” This lyric from the Red Stegall song, Draggin’ Calves to the Fire, reminded me of the gift that’s given so many of us a second chance to watch our sons, daughters, and grandkids grow up and learning to become good people. Our bodies are far from perfect machines, and when vital parts fail, it is life changing. Some of us, however, after facing challenges like end-stage chronic kidney disease, liver failure, emphysema, C.O.P.D., or heart failure, have been given a second chance—thanks to an organ transplant.


In 2012, five people, all double lung transplant recipients, got together to form the 2nd Chance Trail Ride Society to increase awareness about organ and tissue donation and build a strong community to support other transplant recipients and their families going through the process. They were all country guys who organized a fundraising trail ride where riders would pay a fee and solicit donors who would pay to sponsor them. Over the years, they have helped support locals and Western Canadians from as far away as British Columbia and Manitoba to get assistance to over 40-plus people a year.

inception, hundreds of donors and recipients have benefited from the funds raised by this group. That’s the serious part—this is the fun part! When the Society asked if I’d like to participate in the Ride, emcee the banquet and supply the entertainment on May 11th, it was an easy answer. The ride goes from Lindbergh to Elk Point, Alberta, along the scenic Iron Horse Trail, followed by a supper, live and silent auction, and my stories and songs at the Elk Point Allied Arts & Leisure Centre. Along with riders, there’ll be a group of teams and wagons for non-riders who want to take part. I’m hoping someone out there can find a good, solid, gentle horse that this ol’ cowboy can ride without falling off or stampeding through the riders. Billie and I are looking forward to being there, meeting so many of our old friends, and making new ones. You can get all the information, including rider pledge forms and banquet tickets, at c

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


"...over 4,300 people are waiting for an organ transplant..."



Niki checking cows after feeding on their outfit near Pincher Creek, Alta.



he seasons on the ranch determine all our daily activities and how and what we spend our time and energy on. With each spring, we feel renewed hope as calving begins and things green up and come to life. Then come the prayers for rain, a year of good grass, and the opportunity for longer and more productive workdays. We are thankful each year to keep the cattle in good shape, to get the fencing done, and to get the hay off. Sometimes, there are worries about drought and the other challenges that Mother Nature sends our way. The fall brings the satisfaction of getting all the cattle work done, the calves shipped, and everything ready for another winter. Often, the long winters allow us time to reflect on the things that are really important to us and how we will go about prioritizing them in our lives.

The same seems to be true of the seasons of our life. When we had our three boys, they entered the world with a gift of hope, faith and love. All the energy and enthusiasm that comes along with youth is contagious. Much like spring, everything is

“... it's also a lot of laughing and loving.” new and exciting, and the worries and cares seem fewer and farther between. I remember the season of venturing out on my own as a young adult with a carefree spirit, endless energy, and a can-do attitude — grateful for work opportunities to begin building my own life. Somewhere along the way, I began

to acquire some responsibility and felt a shift. Whether it's having a family or heightened ownership—whatever it may be for you, the once simple days feel a bit… more. More of everything, but with that also comes more reward, purpose, and love for the life you have made for yourself. We are full-on in the season of “doing” around here—running, hustling, building and all the things a young ranching family does. Getting the work done with kids in tow when simply getting out the door seems to take forever. You bet it's a lot, but it's also a lot of laughing and loving. I know that another season is coming. Through what feels like a blur some days of keeping all the balls in the air, I know I will miss the chaos, the good, the bad, and the busy. I tell myself to soak it all in and feel the sunshine on my face so that when the next season comes, I will know that I made the most of this one. c



100th Anniversary One for the Ages

Chance Vigen, Day 5, Ponoka Stampede, tying Dale Flett's 62-year-old record. Ultimately, Chanse broke it the next night.


023 was the 100th anniversary of the first official chuckwagon races held at the Calgary Stampede. Not only was it a historical landmark for the chuckwagon races, but the 2023 season was one for the history books and was nothing short of spectacular. Right from the first stop on the WPCA Pro Tour at the Grande Prairie Stompede, Chanse Vigen set the stage. He swept both the Ralph Vigen Memorial Aggregate title in memory of his legendary grandfather, and then in the Championship final heat, Vigen overcame a two-second false start penalty to claim his first Grande Prairie Stompede Championship. At the Ponoka Stampede, Chanse Vigen again made history by winning the day money in all six performances in a dominating demonstration to win his first Ponoka Stampede title. In the process, Vigen broke a 62-year record of five consecutive first place runs set by the legendary


driver Dale Flett at the Calgary Stampede in 1962, which, ironically, was ended by Chanse’s grandfather Ralph Vigen. Heading into the Cowboys Rangeland Derby at the Calgary Stampede, Chanse Vigen looked unstoppable. Jamie Labou-

“... the drivers and their horses laid it all on the line...” cane’s track record run on opening night ended his streak of consecutive day money runs, but Chanse posted four first place runs in the first eight days of the big show. Despite seven devastating seconds in penalties—five for knocking a barrel and two for failing to stop and being ahead of the barrel—Chanse was still hanging on to a spot in the Championship Final Heat and a chance

at winning his first Rangeland Derby Championship. But Mother Nature had other plans for Chanse Vigen on night nine—the final night to secure a spot in Sunday’s Championship Final. A freak thunderstorm hit at the midway point of the night’s races, slowing the racetrack down as much as five seconds in the final four heats compared to the drivers in the first five heats who got the advantage of running on a dry track. The result was Vigen getting bumped out of a spot in Sunday’s final by Ross Knight, thus taking away the opportunity to capture the show he seemed destined to win. However, this opened the door for Layne MacGillivray to make some history of his own when he became the first chuckwagon driver to receive the Calgary Stampede’s prestigious Guy Weadick Award and go on to win the Rangeland Derby in the same year. But Vigen bounced back at the Battle of the Rockies with a track record on the final night to win his third show title of the season and end the race for the World Championship in a tie with Jamie Laboucane heading into the Century Downs World Chuckwagon Finals. In an epic battle for the ages that kept all chuckwagon fans on the edge of their seat, the drivers and their horses laid it all on the line, back and forth, for four exciting nights. When the smoke finally cleared, it was Chanse Vigen claiming his first World Chuckwagon Championship by a mere three points in a photo finish over a hard-charging Jamie Laboucane, with both drivers breaking the previous record for most points in a season set by Layne MacGillivray in 2022. It was a fitting way to cap off the 100th anniversary of chuckwagon racing in extraordinary record-breaking style. As we look forward to the start of the next 100 years of chuckwagon racing, one can only imagine what is in store for 2024. (Written with assistance from Eddie Melville.) c

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024




Reflections Tribute



ver 1,200 people attended Bryn’s funeral, and afterwards, his friends stayed for hours, telling Bryn stories. For those who have enjoyed his writings for the past 20 years but never chanced to meet him, I asked three of his good friends to write a short tribute so you could share in our loss and yours. Bryn was the consummate performer. I shared many stages with him over 35 years across Western Canada and the U.S., watching with almost a reverential awe at how he would lead each audience on a journey—up this hill, down this draw—and then slap them upside the head with an unexpected start. He loved shock value and used it mercilessly. He wasn’t satisfied to simply make his audience laugh so hard they cried; he wanted them to drop their teeth. Then, before they knew what was happening, they would be transported by another story or poem into some deep life-truth that was both simple and elegantly complex, leaving them breathless and wondering why they never thought of that before. He was insanely gifted with the ability to draw parables out of the most common occurrences. He loved music, but you’d never want him to sing. At one show, he suggested that I spout my songs and he sing his poems. That lasted for about half a poem, and we quickly decided we were better off being ourselves. —Ben Crane, cartoonist, songwriter, record producer, Eckville, Alberta

spaces and how to introduce folks to the beauty of God’s creation as we explored the wild spaces on horseback. He was a good friend, and I am glad for the memories and friendship. — Rob Holland, cowboy, pastor, Bergen Church, Bergen, Alberta

I can’t say that I met Bryn for the first time; rather, I found myself in his presence. He was there at the kitchen counter at Pioneer Lodge, and I found myself wondering if this guy was real. As it turned out, he was, and I had the privilege of knowing him as a good friend for a lot of years. What came next was a load of shared experiences ranging from how to introduce people to adventure and discovery at Pioneer Camps to discovering the thrill and adventure of moving horses and cattle in the Alberta foothills—oftentimes at a higher rate of speed than expected. He helped me understand the value of a good cup of coffee shared over a campfire or the kitchen table, how to welcome folks into those

One cold winter morning at Helmer Creek, Bryn had on a great coat that pretty near reached his ankles. His colt (naturally, a colt) wasn't much impressed with it. Once he'd climbed aboard, the colt showed his opinion by humpin' up and hoggin' around. Albert, the dog, being a helpful sort, barked, dove in, and grabbed a heel. This encouraged the colt, of course. Bryn had unbuttoned the coat so he could get on, and it's pretty much over his head by now, which improves his vision quite a bit, and from underneath comes, "Aaaalbert! That'll do... Aaalbert!” What strikes me all these years later is this: he didn't feel the need to work the horse over or get off and kick the dog—just laughed his laugh, and off we went. He had the skills to hold a job pretty much anywhere, I think, but he mostly chose home. Any time he showed up, I was always glad he had. —Vern Ballantyne, rancher, Unity, Saskatchewan c




Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024





iles Kingdon is a cowboy’s cowboy, a man well-respected in the ranching world for his seemingly magical abilities with cattle and horses. Whether riding a workshop rider’s young mare or a seasoned bridle horse, you understand the phrase “at one with his horse”—it’s a dynamic, controlled, compassionate partnership. But as sophisticated as he is in the saddle, it wasn’t until recently that he learned what a podcast was when he was asked to be a guest on Jason Swick’s show, Let Freedom Rein. In fairness, there’s not a lot of reception deep in the arid, semi-desert of southern British Columbia, where Miles and his long-standing partner Kathryn (Possum) Normand have their new outfit, Orange Valley Ranch. But there is good grass and plenty of soul-filling work in building their hard-earned, forever homeplace. Miles hails from deep in southeastern Saskatchewan, where the towns in North Dakota across the Medicine Line were closer than any in Canada. His parent’s outfit shared a fence line with Coalfields, a 33,000-acre community pasture, of which all but 100 acres was native grass. “I used to ride colts for people, starting when I was 13; I rode quite a few on the prairies,” said Miles. “I grew up on miles and miles of waving prairie wool.” His was a childhood that won’t be seen again. “My brother and I rode a lot,” he said. “We had tractors, but in the wintertime, Dad would drain the radiators, and we’d use teams for chores and to go to the neighbours, and sometimes we’d get snowed in.” Not surprisingly, Miles’ first job was riding community pasture. Next came the sprawling (now 1.2 million acres) Douglas Lake Cattle Company in B.C. Back then, several hands who cowboyed on Douglas Lake had over 30 years of experience; a few had 40-plus years, and many had at least 15 years. “It was a huge benefit to the ranch and the young people coming up and riding out behind them stiffnecked ol’ boogers,” he said. “I say stiffnecked because when they hit a high trot and rode out, they rode for seven or eight miles before they’d get to the cows, do a day’s work of sorting and trailing cattle, and then jog the eight miles back home again. So it was a long day. And when they were riding out in the morning, they didn’t bother looking back,” he said. “The other thing I noticed was there were a lot of native cowboys, and their fathers had been cowboys, and their grandfathers had been cowboys,” he said. “Heck, their moms might have been cooks, but they got along with a horse better than most cowboys did. And they could read cattle so well. It was a knowledge born into them from generations of working with livestock.”



These and other superb, experienced horsemen strongly influenced Miles. “Cowboys like Spook McCray, Jake Coutlee, and Ken Knapp—a very good, wellrounded cowboy.” Soon Miles’ skill was becoming apparent. “I got to where my horses would work pretty good,” he said modestly. “I was happy to be on a horse, but I knew they could get a little better because, and this is an important factor, when I went to Douglas Lake, there were a lot of guys using the bosal, and they used it differently to what I’d seen,” he said. The use of the bosal came with the early Californios who brought up the herds for the Gold Rush, and these techniques were passed down. “The fellas who owned the early herds kept the cowboys working for them. So, that style of going from the bosal to the bridle, I saw older guys using it at that time,” he said. “Some guys on Douglas Lake were really smooth with their horses. Dan Murphy was smooth; he didn’t use a spade bit. Paul Jex Blake did; John Young was good with a bosal; Orville was good with a bosal, and Ken Knapp as well,” he said. Four hard-riding years later, Mark Grafton offered Miles the job of cowboss at the Bar K, north of Prince George, B.C. He then rode the Nicola Ranch and was named the cowboss of the Empire Valley Ranch. He was on his way.


Miles also got busy building a marriage and a family. Then, in the fall of 1992, disaster struck. While his wife, Tonya, and their daughter, Shannon, enjoyed a day together, Miles and his three sons, Riley, 2, Adam, 7 and Jessie, 9, had a “guy’s day.” On the way home after tearing out a cow camp, his truck’s front wheel got sucked into the soft mud and suddenly plunged over the steep cliff, high over Carpenter Lake near Lillooet. As the Dodge rapidly sank, the windshield

From left: Possum, her brother, John Normand and Miles; Burgoine Corrals, Quilchena Cattle Company, June 2008

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


Miles roping in the North Courtney branding trap on Shorty. Quilchena Cattle Company, 2007

blew out. Miles, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, dove over and over, desperately trying to save his sons. The truck was later found by divers to be some 100 feet below the surface of the black water. Divers repeatedly searched and then began dragging the lake. It was months before their son’s bodies were found and they could be laid to rest in Merritt. In the wake of the tragedy and despite the birth of another precious daughter, Emily, the young couple’s marriage eventually crumbled. Miles ultimately headed to the Quilchena. It was on this spread that he became re-acquainted with Kathryn (Possum) Normand. The Louisiana cowgirl was a fine hand, and the now-couple rode for the Quilchena for 15 years. Then, on December 31, 2013, the ranch was sold. The upheaval was huge—no ranch, no jobs, no home. “Possum had broken her leg real bad, so we moved here to Orange Valley Ranch outside of Merritt to caretake,” Miles explained. It turned out to be the perfect place for the couple to heal and make some plans. They bought the place in the fall of 2020. Now, it was time to put their plans into action. Miles’ rep as a horseman far exceeded the borders of the Canadian province, and with prodding from friends and support from Possum, Miles entered into the world of horsemanship clinics.


“I had a lot of people ask me to teach,” he said. “What I teach is horsemanship, what I call the signal, balanced ride. The bosal is probably the best tool known to man that teaches the horse that you have no control.”

WAIT. WHAT? “And that’s a good thing,” he continued. “Because people need to learn to stop controlling. You cannot control an animal that needs to make choices for itself.” Miles is also the judge of a major show in California. Several years ago, Bruce Sandifer, the president of the Californio Bridlehorse Association, asked him to judge a competition called Early Californios Skills of the Rancho. “It’s ranch horse patterns, ranch roping, sorting livestock. So it’s really a ranch rodeo, but they have to work them as if we were working on the outfit. If we start jamming cattle around rattling the panels, the Boss is gonna kick us out of the corral,” he laughs.

His workshops are well-attended, and ninety-nine percent are women. Along with signal balanced riding, Miles teaches ranch roping, stockmanship, how to read stock, how to read horses, and how to be with a horse. “People spend a lot of

“The bosal is the best tool known to man that teaches the horse that you have no control.” money on clinics, and they don’t have the basics of how to read a horse,” he said. “People look away from the horse’s head way too much.”

Since the pandemic, the couple has been busier than ever. “I don’t know how many workshops I do,” Miles said. “In winter, I do private lessons every second weekend all winter. I’m on the road every weekend from mid-May to mid-September, and then we do private or semi-private workshops at our outfit here.” Miles paused. “I never thought it could be a business,” he said. “But I knew I needed to do something with horses because that’s what I knew. Possum just started looking after the bookings and the office—and I just started teaching.” Miles has ridden a wide circle, and with his life story of highs and lows, both he and Possum have achieved that which eludes many people—contentment. “When we realized why we were here, all we could say was thank you, giving thanks to God for us being here,” he said. “It just seemed to play out the way we hoped.” c

RIDING FOR THE BRAND Are you a reader of Canadian Cowboy Country magazine? Do you live the Western lifestyle? We’re looking for a Westerner with a fresh approach to carrying the Cowboy brand further into their region. The job is not a “one-trick pony”—it involves a little bit of advertising sales and a little bit of field reporting in BC, Alberta, and/or Saskatchewan. Does it matter where you live? No! This is a part-time, work-from-home opportunity that offers commission and perhaps some freelance work reporting on events, Western news, and, of course, advertising sales. If you are interested and would like to find out more, contact Rob at







Corb Lund strides in to greet me at the Flamingo Grill in Lethbridge, Alberta, wearing jeans and a Tough Duck work jacket, his trademark curls spilling out under a hat gifted by Smithbilt Hats in Calgary.




We order drinks, a coke for him and a lager for your reporter. Corb looks strong and fit, younger than his years, 55 and ready to rock. “I like this place,” he tells me, glancing around at all the slot machines that dominate the joint. “It’s close to home, and it kinda reminds me of Vegas.” I can’t help grinning; a number of the songs on Corb’s new album, El Viejo, are about gambling in one form or another. “The Card Players” is about being half-cut and thrown out of a casino for winning too much; “I Had It All” is about betting the house and losing, while “Out on A Win” is about a fighter who pushes his luck, desperate to finally win a major fight before he retires or dies.

Corb grabs this old guy’s briefcase unbidden and leads us to a table where we can talk about his new album and also his ongoing battle against the proposed Grassy Mountain strip mine project in the Crowsnest Pass. (Although Benga Mining’s proposal to reopen the mine was roundly rejected by the Alberta Energy Regulator, the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court back in 2021, the zombie coal miner, owned by Australian billionaire Gina Rhinehart, is back in the news under the name Northback Holdings. In the mining business, it seems when the going gets tough, the tough change their names. Northback is determined to get an exploration

“I don’t care who you vote for; everybody has to have clean water and water to grow food. It’s just insane.”

permit and a water diversion permit for Grassy Mountain, and the Alberta Energy Regulator is considering the application despite previously turning the project down. Not surprisingly to anyone who knows Corb’s story, El Viejo is dedicated to his friend, the late Ian Tyson, who passed in 2022 aged 89. “Tom Russell was a songwriting partner with Ian for a while,” Corb explains, and he always called him El Viejo (the old man). That’s where that comes from.” Corb is keen to talk about his new baby. “We did it really organically. This is our tenth record of original material. With every record I make, I become more and more in favour of less fancy and more raw and gritty. So we didn’t use any electric instruments at all; it’s all mandolins, banjos and acoustic guitars. We just did it as four guys in a room, like sitting around a campfire. With all my story songs I think they translate better with those sounds. You can redo vocals, but we didn’t do any of that. I think it has more emotional impact that way. At the end of the day, we’re telling stories. We’re trying to relate to other human beings, right?” It’s not an easy process. Corb does many revisions, and it can take months before he is satisfied with a song. And he believes in “…getting really deep into the details. Words are important. To me. Whether I’m writing about cowboy stuff, gunfighters or card games or whatever, it’s important to get the terminology correct.” One example of that is “Out on A Win”: I been choked out, tapped out, and knocked out cold I been heel hooked, leg locked, and TKO-ed El Viejo is a joyful and somewhat unpredictable romp, like Corb, and Tyson before him. It can veer suddenly from cowboy to almost Klezmer and fade into retro like a hazy Greenwich Village jazz joint with finger-snapping and upright bass, i.e., “When the Game Gets Hot.” There are strains, to my ears, of Steve Earle in Corb and Jaida Dreyer’s “Red Neck Rehab” with its pulsing mix of guitar and banjo: “Redneck rehab, momma got trashed I gotta kick speed 'fore daddy gets back.”


Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024



“...well, to me, the way I was raised, that’s corruption. It’s probably legal... but it’s dirty, and it's greasy.”

But I can’t help but think of Jerry Jeff Walker when listening to “That Old Familiar Drunken Feeling” with its happy cowpoke chorus: it’s a true story about an experiment with legal pot in gummy form that nearly ruined the singer’s performance. But he straightens himself out the cowboy way, which is to “... pour enough whiskey on the problem till it catches on fire or goes away.” Corb describes his music as “...a mix of traditional Western stuff mixed with a dose of irreverence. I just write about what turns my crank, basically. The good thing about not being on the radio in a mainstream way is I can write whatever I want, and people seem to like it. So far so good.” One of the things people like about Corb is his authenticity. He’s the real thing as a cowboy singer—the son of ranchers on both sides of his family. His mother’s family ranched near Cardston, his father’s clan near Raymond. Lund Sr. was a large

animal vet, a champion steer wrestler and a judge at the Calgary Stampede. His mother won the inaugural women’s barrel racing competition at Calgary in l959. Corb could not help but be a conservationist because ranchers simply cannot thrive if they don’t conserve their land and water. And it was the threat of water contamination in the Oldman watershed by selenium in particular, that first led him to oppose the coal mines. In fact, the pollution of our water resources by selenium leaching from old coal mines has been going on since 1886 in the Crowsnest Pass, according to a study done by the government’s own scientists in March 2024. (They are not allowed to discuss their findings with the public.) Corb was part of a grassroots movement to stop the Grassy Mountain project, one of five mines proposed on the east slopes after the Kenney government secretly overturned the l976 coal policy

that had protected sensitive habitats from destruction. Bennett Jones, a Calgary law firm, is suing the Alberta government for $10.8 billion on behalf of Northback and other miners as a result of its decision to deny the mines. What particularly incenses Corb is the fact that Jason Kenney is now a Senior Advisor to Bennett Jones. “You’ve got a guy who was the Premier, whose administration quietly made deals with the coal companies, quietly rescinded the coal policy, got us into this mess. Now, the coal companies are suing us, the taxpayers, for $10 billion, and he’s on the side of the lawyers representing them. It’s like a bad Meryl Streep movie. So when people tell me I’m exaggerating the corruption, well, to me, the way I was raised, that’s corruption. It’s probably legal... but it’s dirty, and it's greasy.” “But the whole thing is about water, water, water,” he insists. “We’re in the middle of a drought! Number 1: they are subjecting our water source to contamination; number 2: Coal mining is a thirsty business. They’re going to need a lot of water. And where are they going to get it from but the headwaters of the Oldman? And they’re (the government) already reducing irrigation allocations!... I don’t care




who you vote for; everybody has to have clean water and water to grow food. It’s just insane. And the only people pushing it are the foreign coal companies, the government, and a handful of people in the [Crowsnest] Pass who want the jobs. I understand jobs, but I’m on the rancher’s side on this one.” I asked if he had any blowback from his fan base over his activism. “Not sure who it was from, but I’ve had plenty of violent threats on the internet and stuff, threatening to come to my house and stuff like that, and I’ve had some nasty comments in the bar. I don’t give a shit at this point. They’ve pissed me off so much, the pro-coal lobby, they’ve been so disingenuous and so dishonest. They’ve pissed me off to the point that I’m not going to go away until we have strong legislation in place. I don’t care anymore; I don’t care what it does to my career, quite frankly. This is about the water we drink, right?”


“This is in my backyard,” he insists. “And I’m not a movie star flying in from Hollywood... to scold people.” “This is in my backyard,” he insists. “And I’m not a movie star flying in from Hollywood... to scold people.” People have told him he should “stay out of politics; mind your own business.” “But this is my business,” he tells them. “My family and I have to drink this water.” It was time for Corb to move along. He was heading for Alpine, Texas, with his band and would soon launch a coast-tocoast tour to promote his new album. Then

it’s off to Eastern Europe; seems they like irreverent cowboy music over there, too. We got up to leave. As I glanced around at the slot machines, it occurred to me that, like the characters in El Viejo, Corb is gambling. He’s gambling that El Viejo will be a success, of course, but also that the people of Alberta will not tolerate the kind of greasy politics that turns the stomach of a native son—and he’s gambling they will rally for the fight one more time. c


The good folks at Canadian Cowboy Country magazine are putting together another photo contest! This time, the contest is all about your Ranch Life – where you live and how you live. For full contest details, rules, regulations and prizing go to PHOTO BY TERRI MASON


Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024






This Spade bit created by Richard Brooks was featured in the Cowboy, Arts & Gear Museum fundraiser in Elko, Nev. Says Richard, "I didn't leave a lot of open area." The cheek pieces are fashioned after a "Garcia # 99".




The top bit: More angles of the Garcia # 99. Photo # 2: This Brooks Spade features his "Crescent Moon Cheek" with a copper fluted spoon on the mouthpiece.


Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


"Getting your hands on one of these beauties is possible..."




ichard Brooks didn’t come to the art of silversmithing later in life; he was born into it. “I learned from my grandpa, Roy Brooks. They had a ranch west of Cochrane, and it was a great day when the school bus couldn’t make it through the snow, and we got to spend the day with him in his shop, watching him do silverwork,” said Richard. Almost a half-century later, he’s using the same style of tools, building highly-soughtafter bits in his ranch shop, and, like his grandfather before him, he has passed the trade down to his son, Leighton, who also, providentially, has taken to the leather work and saddle making side of the cowboy arts. Years ago, Richard took his silver skills to Alberta’s famous buckle maker, Olson Silver, and not only did he work there, but he soon bought into the business. At the end of the day, he was at home in his own shop, building bits and spurs. Richard and his wife, Brenda, live on the almost-century Moncrieff ranch (“we’re at 99 years”) from his wife’s side of the family, near the Old Woman Buffalo Jump west of Cayley, Alta. It’s an area filled with the mystique and romance of vast ranches and a

Richard and his son, Leighton, on the home place Moncrieff Ranch near Cayley

long-standing history of cowboys, but with the glow of Calgary lighting up the sky at night, all that’s fading fast. These days, like most other cowboy artisans, Richard looks across the Medicine Line for clients. Speaking of south of the border, you can see Richard’s work in Elko, Nevada. Anyone with a smidgen of knowledge about cowboy gear has heard of Garcia’s. Garcia bits and spurs have been deeply rooted in our Western heritage since the late 1800s. Guadalupe Garcia’s shop is now a museum, and as a fundraiser for the Museum, bit and spur makers enter their work in a competition. Each craftsman is sent the same “parts,” and what the maker can create is unlimited. Each work of art is auctioned off, and there’s some nice prize money, too, making it worth each maker’s time. Richard doesn’t have time to make custom work, but the Elko deal is different; it showcases his skill and is a tribute to

Guadalupe Garcia. Getting your hands on one of these beauties is possible through the magic of online bidding. Ironically, the demand for Spade bits almost died out. “We built very few, and then since COVID, about 95 percent of the bits we make are Spades,” said Richard. “I think everybody figured they’d have time to work on their horses. It was a real shift because as soon as COVID hit, boom— and it’s been that way the last three or four years.” Richard enjoys seeing his work at work. “We see a lot of it at ranch rodeos,” he said. “I like seeing it being used rather than disappearing into a museum setting.” After thousands of years of use, education about Spade bits and how they’re used is still not mainstream—probably never will be because few have access to those who “know” and those who can teach. To quote from The Californios, the Spade “is not for beginners, either human or equine.” “With social media, we run into that a lot now. People are absolutely terrified because they don’t know,” said Richard. But the art of the Spade is not lost—yet. There are masters, disciples, and bit makers like Richard Brooks who still respect, understand and support the vision and wisdom of Guadalupe Garcia. For more, visit c




Photography: Wild Mane Photos | Hair: Kole Van Marrion at The Social by Red Velvet | Makeup: Aria Studios

Tag us on Instagram @canadiancowgirlcloset @cowboycountrymagazine with your spring looks

Outfit and Jewelry Classic Rodeo Boutique Hat Resistol Jacket Double D Ranch Wear Boots Lane Boots



s winter fades, puffy coats return to the closets, and new fashion emerges. A new spring trend that I am excited about is “Corporate Cowgirl,” which is making a strong impact on Western fashion. With a few key Western fashion statement pieces, the Corporate Cowgirl can look powerful in the boardroom or fashionable at a rodeo. The classic cowboy hat, bold jewelry, and leather fringe, coordinated with a western bowtie and business-style jacket, are the perfect combination. These spring trends can cross over Western and urban styles while leaving the bulky winter layers behind. Fashion trends are simply guidelines that repeat with a twist for each year and generation. So don’t be afraid to pull from your grandmother’s closet or add a vintage accessory to create your own look. Tag me on Instagram at Canadian Cowgirl Closet with your spring looks. I would love to see your take on these new spring styles! c

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


Jewelry Wild Mane Co Hat Smithbilt Boots Alberta Boot Company

Outfit, Hat, Accessories and Jewelry Classic Rodeo Boutique Jacket & Boots Double D Ranch Wear Purse Juan Antonio Handbag

Outfit, Jewelry and Purse Classic Rodeo Boutique Jacket Double D Ranch Wear Purse Juan Antonio Handbags Boots Alberta Boot Company Hat Smithbilt

Jewelry Wild Mane Co Hat Smithbilt Sweater Vest Rodeo Quincy Boots Lane Boots



Jack Fuller Artist, Horseman, Carver BY TIM LASIUTA

Cowboy, rancher, game warden, soldier, writer, artist, and sculptor—Jack Fuller was all those things and many more. Jack was born in 1900 on a horse ranch in the Innisfail, Alta area, to Gerald Gascoigne Fuller and Bertha Emma (nee Smith). Throughout his life, he maintained his ties to Innisfail through his grandmothers’ family, Mathilda and James Smith, who homesteaded near Antler Hill. The Fullers found themselves in the Cochrane area in 1905, where he began his life-long love of horses. “I got my first horse, Queenie, the summer of my sixth year, a cayuse Dad bought from the Sarcee during the Calgary fair,” wrote Jack in the Cochrane History book. Prior to 1914, the Fuller family moved often, finally landing at their Grease Creek homestead by Water Valley. His father and his Uncle Cyril joined the 12th Calgary Mounted Rifles in 1915. Tragic news got back to the family; his father, Gerald, was killed in action, and his Uncle Cyril was taken prisoner on June 2, 1916. Gerald is buried in Ypres, France. Bertha later married his Uncle Cyril, who returned from the war when he was released. Jack rode for the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch horse round-up in 1917. For a 17-year-old, it was the experience of a lifetime and his 1980 book, Red Saddle Blankets, tells the story of the gathering that included colourful cowboys who later became his friends and inspiration for the book. His telling of the story of Edward “Boney” Thompson is essential to Red Saddle Blankets, and his painting, “Breaking a Bar C Bronco,” was his first watercolour and the cover of the tome. Jack enlisted in September of 1918 and was quickly sent home at the end of the conflict. With the war behind him, Jack and his family continued to work the Grease Creek ranch.


Top: Jack Fuller on Queenie, 1906 Bottom, left: Jack Fuller sketch, 1933 Bottom, right: Jack Fuller card, 1940

To improve his natural talent for art, Jack went to New York in 1926 and studied at the Art Students League for three months while working as a hod (wheelbarrow) carrier on Broadway. Outstanding graduates of the ASL include Bob Kane (Batman) and James Bama (Louis L'Amour book covers). 1927 saw Jack marry Thelma in Banff, Alta, and honeymoon at the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. Together, they had two

children, Jack Jr and Yvonne, who both became artists. Thelma passed in 1943, and Jack later married Rita Ella in the late 1940s, with whom he spent the rest of his life. Together, they had Jane (Gilmar) in 1951, who still lives in the Banff area. During his time in Banff, Jack followed his father’s footsteps and became a game warden in the early 1930s while still creating art and sculpture. He guided in Banff

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024



and became a carpenter, tinsmith and sheet metal instructor, as well as a foreman on a relief gang in the Kananaskis area. Jack expressed his love for the area through Christmas cards, sculptures of ‘old timers’ he carved into the bark of the area’s trees, carvings that have startled and amused a thousand tourists and locals, painted buckskin hides, created life-size sculptures for Norman Luxton (and his museum), and a 1966 statue commissioned for the Coleman Legion of a mourning soldier in the Crowsnest Pass to honour the soldiers killed in WWII. After his retirement in 1958, he opened a curio shop in Jasper. Among the items he sold were plaques made from casts of his original woodcarvings signed simply, “J. Fuller,” along with his artistic trademark “running iron.”

Top: Fuller painting on buckskin, 1980 Bottom: Casts of Fuller carvings

Throughout his life, Jack expressed admiration for the old timers of the pioneer days before the trails were ‘plowed under,’ and he recorded that in his art and

writing, including Red Saddle Blankets, which is part of his legacy. Canadian Cattlemen magazine featured his recollections in the early 1950s. Looking back on his life, he once wrote: “I went up there in 1962 (to the homestead), and I was disappointed, but I wouldn’t change those years, the friends, the fun, the love, mad gallops and the knowledge I gained on that place for a ring-side seat at the Right Hand Side of the Golden Throne.” “He was an artist, cowboy, and a man who was close to his many family members,” said Gilmar, whose home is still graced by Jack’s artistry. Jack Fuller passed away in 1986, leaving a legacy of family, art, ranching and love of life. He is buried in Banff, Alta. c





ou might ask yourself, “Why is Canadian Cowboy Country featuring the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force?” Simply put, we know our readers. My dad was in the RCAF; most prairie families had at least one relative serve in the RCAF — often more than one. These were the young men who grew up hearing of the horrors of WWI trench warfare; joining the Navy was incomprehensible to a prairie kid, but the sky — they’d been watching the sky their whole lives. So, they joined to soar above the earth for the adventure of flight. It is estimated that roughly 60 percent of the WWII RCAF personnel were the sons and daughters of prairie farmers and ranchers. Here is their brief history.


HISTORY OF THE RCAF The RCAF traces its origins to the early days of aviation in Canada, but it was during the First World War that the aircraft was first viewed for its war potential. In WWI, Canada did not have its own air force. Still, many Canadians volunteered to serve in the British Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, and some pilots became household names, including flying aces Billy Bishop and Raymond Collishaw. In the aftermath of WWI, Canada established a permanent air force, which was granted the royal title by King George V in 1924 and was rechristened the Royal Canadian Air Force. This 8" x 6" aluminum panel features "nose art" from 78 Squadron Whitley, signifying pilot Stew Robertson’s connection to Canada and to Calgary.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR On Sept 10, 1939, Canada declared war on Germany, and the Second World War

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


The Avro Lancaster B Mk X was built in Malton, Ontario. This particular aircraft is flown with the paint scheme of KB726 VR-A, depicting an aircraft of No. 419 Squadron RCAF. It is known as the "Mynarski Memorial Lancaster" in honour of Canadian Victoria Cross recipient Andrew Mynarski.


AVIATION MUSEUMS MANITOBA Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada Grateful citizens leaving the Search & Rescue Griffon helicopter

(WWII) began, launching what was the most significant period in the RCAF's history. It was Canada’s RCAF that ran the vital British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), which remains one of the single largest aviation training programs in history. This program trained nearly half the pilots and crew, including navigators, bomb aimers, air gunners, wireless operators and flight engineers, who served with the RCAF and the British, Australian, Navy and New Zealand air forces. Training sites were set up at 231 locations across Canada. There were two such sites in British Columbia — Comox and Boundary Bay, but the vast majority were on the prairies in places like Claresholm, Alta, Moose Jaw, Sask, and Gimli, Manitoba. During that time, the RCAF enlisted 232,000 men and 17,000 women and operated 86 squadrons, including 47 overseas. They played a major role in the Battle of the Atlantic and contributed to the Battle of Britain, the bombing of Germany, and the invasion of Normandy. The RCAF also operated in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. From 1939 to 1945, the Royal Canadian Air Force sent nearly 94,000 trained personnel overseas. By the war's end, the RCAF had become the fourth-largest Allied air force, with over 200,000 personnel and 78 squadrons.

THE COLD WAR After WWII, the world faced the threat of nuclear war and the rise of the Soviet Union. The RCAF joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command and maintained a visible presence in Europe and Alaska. In 1968, the RCAF was amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Navy and the

Canadian Army as part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. However, in 2011, the name and rank structure of the Royal Canadian Air Force were restored in recognition of its heritage and achievements.

PATHWAY TO THE STARS Today, the RCAF continues to serve Canada and its allies with modern aircraft and equipment, ranging from the CF-18 Hornet to the CP-140 Aurora. It also operates satellites, radars, and drones and supports the Canadian Space Program. The RCAF is constantly evolving and adapting. The RCAF also maintains a domestic presence and is a massive help in a crisis. In November 2021, the RCAF made headlines when the Fraser Valley on the West Coast was hit with severe flooding and landslides. Over 300 people (including the editor's nephew, Devon, and his son, Nathan) were rescued from isolated stretches of the highway by massive RCAF helicopters, including CH-149 Cormorants, from 442 Squadron of Comox. All told, the RCAF had 12 aircraft on the mission, rescuing stranded individuals, flying supplies to isolated communities, and conducting emergency medical flights. “It’s always nice to relieve people from stressful situations,” said Cpl Domonkos. “It’s nice to show up to a tasking and have people come aboard that aren’t in dire need of medical attention. People from all walks of life came on board that day, including their pets. It was nice to have some people in such a situation who were merely excited during the helicopter ride to distract them from what they had just endured.” Once again, the RCAF's men and women earned our nation's gratitude. For more, visit c

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum Air Force Heritage Museum and Air Park SASKATCHEWAN Saskatchewan Aviation Museum Western Development Museum ALBERTA Alberta Aviation Museum Air Force Museum of Alberta Hangar Flight Museum Bomber Command Museum of Canada Reynolds Alberta Museum Cold Lake Air Force Museum air-force-museum/ BRITISH COLUMBIA The Canadian Museum of Flight Comox Air Force Museum British Columbia Aviation Museum



Sky Hound Ranch Major Rancher BY TERRI MASON

—Interview with Major (Retired) Adam Kaine— It’s funny how a man can travel around the world, experience a myriad of cultures, and is still drawn back to his roots. “My grandfather, Gerald Leslie, was a master warrant officer in the Air Force when he retired,” said Adam. “He was also a horseman, and he was well connected with the ranchers around Moose Jaw, Sask, which is where my family calls home.” His was an idyllic introduction to rural living. “When we grew up, our summer vacations were wagon trains from Saskatchewan to Montana, weekends at rodeos, and going from branding to branding. My grandfather introduced me to horses first and then ranching,” said Adam. “Then, I joined the military,” he explained. “I started my career in the Army as a combat arms officer. I did tours in Africa as a military observer, both in Angola and Mozambique.” Adam’s army career included some highresponsibility postings. “I was an instructor at the Combat Training Center in Gagetown,


New Brunswick,” he said. “My last job in the artillery was as the Officer Commanding 4 Air Defence Regiment Detachment, Cold Lake,” he said. “While I was there, I put in for an OT [Occupational Transfer] to pilot.” Adam completed all of his pilot training to Wing standards, graduating as a helicopter pilot. “I was sent to CFB Edmonton for my first operational posting and began my flying career on the CH146 Griffon helicopter.” “I met my wife Beverly in ’93,” said Adam. “Our family joke is our oldest child’s dad was an Army officer, and my youngest child’s dad was a pilot.” Air Force life, like all military life, is about being ready. “While I was in Edmonton on my first tour, we were constantly training,” he said. “I did two rotations into Bosnia. Then, when the Canadian battle group moved from Kabul to Kandahar, they sent UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.)

Six pilots were chosen, and we trained together; three guys went over on the first rotation, and then I went over in 2006 with two other mission commanders and flew in Afghanistan for about seven months.” After that tour, Adam was posted to Petawawa, Ontario, as the Deputy Ops Officer for 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron. From there, he was sent to Gagetown as the Aviation Tactics Flight Commander and Chief Helicopter Instructor at 403 Squadron. ”As part of that job, I was also the exercise director for Winged Warrior. That's when they started sending helicopters into Afghanistan. And because I'd been there as a UAV mission commander and had tactical knowledge as a former Army officer, plus all my time on tours, I was the right fit,” he said. Basically, Winged Warrior is a tactical exercise using computer-based simulations. But it was way more than just a

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024






1. Two of the Sky Hound ranch horses; Jack (sorrel) and Turbo; 2. The lush south pasture; 3. Checking cattle on Jack; 4. Adam's "last flight" at 403 Squadron in NB; 5. Rachel, Adam, Beverly, Amelia and her [now] husband, Josh

simulator—it was an entire world built up with a force on force. This simulator literally had individual crews flying each helicopter; if one of the other planes flew in front of them, they saw it—it was all interactive. It was constructed in a massive hangar, and it was the largest simulated exercise the Canadian Forces had ever run at that time. After all that, Adam was keen to return to the prairies, and he was posted back to Edmonton, but with a catch: part of the deal was that he continue to run those simulation exercises, which he did until he retired from the military in 2013. Adam continued to fly, but for civilian companies around the world, mainly offshore oil and gas. He flew in Nicaragua, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea, trained in China, trained in the United States and then, for the last four years of his flying career, he was the Director of Flight Operations for S.T.A.R.S.

AT A GLANCE NAME: Sky Hound Ranch OWNERS: Adam & Beverly Kaine WEBSITE: ESTABLISHED: 2021 NEAREST TOWN: Cherhill, Alta ELEVATION: 750M (2,460 ft) PRECIPITATION: 221mm / (8.7 inches/year) SIZE: 159 acres BREED: Angus / Speckled Park cross HERD SIZE: 30 head CATTLE BRAND:


“It was always my goal to get into ranching,” said Adam. “We found the right piece of land. I had a couple of horses. Originally, I bought some cattle so we could raise and butcher them for our family.” Their own beef needs shrunk as their kids made lives of their own. “The ranch is pretty much me,” said Adam. “Our two daughters love the ranch; they love the horses. My oldest daughter is now married, lives in BC, and works in the film industry as a camera operator. Our youngest is still in university, working on her science degree.” Those with military and STARS experience see a lot of trauma, and Adam’s experiences make him perfect for helping veterans. “Before I bought the ranch, I took the Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) coaching certificate, and my focus is working with veterans and first responders dealing



with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's not something that I advertise; it's more word of mouth.” Adam’s life’s work has centred around a supportive brotherhood, so it’s no surprise that giving back to his specialized community is a major part of Sky Hound Ranch. Opening the ranch lands up to veterans for EAL and even quiet camping is another healing aspect. It’s the giving back to his community that closes the circle for the brothers-in-arms. “If veterans want to camp at the ranch, they can, and I don't charge them anything. It's free,” he said. Adam also runs their rustic camping sites through a website called Hip Camp— it's like an Airbnb for campers. “Those campers that pay, that money just goes back into ranch operations for veterans and first responders,” he explained. For beef production, the focus is on regenerative agriculture and raising grassfed, grass-finished beef. “The first year on

Adam and his grandfather in the Felmer Eamor saddle

the ranch, some of my friends and family asked, ‘Can I buy half a beef from you?’ So, I found a custom butcher who is provincially inspected and sold all my cattle before winter.” An encouraging start. Adam and Beverly then signed up for the Young Agrarians Business Bootcamp,

exploring options ranging from production to marketing. Now, he has expanded into full cattle rearing. “This [2024] is going to be my first year calving; the first one’s due April 15, and they’ll be dropping on grass,” he said. Adam’s family lineage embraces two of the oldest professions favoured by men—military service and ranching, and the connection to his family history is evident. “I have a saddle that my grandfather had custom-made by F. Eamor. I have a picture of my grandfather and I sitting in that saddle on his bay gelding when I was about three years old, and that saddle is still at my ranch,” said Adam. From one cowboy to another, the saddle, the cattle, and the military careers have come full circle. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted,” said Adam, “and that’s what works for us.” c

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In his poem, Mending Wall, American poet Robert Frost (1874–1963) coined the most-repeated and truest advice ever written: “Good fences make good neighbours.” Nothing revolutionized land ownership more than the ‘coming of the wire.’ Oft lamented in cowboy songs as the end of the open range, the coming of the wire sure improved neighbourly relations. Whether you are downsizing to an acreage or upsizing to an acreage, the advancement of fencing options offers a range of good looks and practical applications, depending on your budget and what you want to keep in or out.



BARBED WIRE Here in Western Canada, the most common and the most economical of all fencing is barbed wire. To enclose large pastures over vast distances, barbed wire is practical, effective and long-lasting. It’s also easy to repair, which makes it a great project to get some sun, check out the state of your farflung property, and a handy way for your kids to earn some jingle for their jeans. Barbed wire is used most commonly for containing cattle but is not the fencing of choice for horses. *Tip: if you live in Pronghorn antelope country: In Alberta, an ongoing project is to create a migration corridor for antelope. The Pronghorn Corridor Enhancement Project is replacing the bottom wire with smooth wire and increasing the height of the bottom wire to 18" to reduce or prevent injuries to antelope. Why? Antelope go under fences, not over them like deer. (Or through them, like moose.) Barbed wire cuts their thin skin and causes grievous and often fatal injuries. So far, they’ve replaced 600 km. Visit afga. org/pronghorn-corridor-enhancement

SNAKE-RAIL FENCING Snake-rail fencing is a viable and attractive alternative as it doesn’t require digging post holes. They require more timber, though. You see them a lot in BC as they are popular in mountainous areas because you don’t have to dig post holes. The main downside of wood fencing (these days) is cost–the cost of lumber has gone through the roof. However, remember how much you paid for those horses—chances are, it will be considered a justifiable expense to protect that investment.


Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


BOARD FENCE For horses, perhaps the most popular, safest and aesthetically appealing fencing is wood–namely, horizontal boards. Stained or painted, rail fences are gorgeous. Wood fences require more maintenance, but again, maintaining them could be a good summer job for your kids. The relatively new plastic rail fencing systems are popular with acreage living; they’re surprisingly strong, look great, and never have to be repainted.


WOVEN WIRE FENCE These are made of vertical and horizontal wires woven together to create a grid between fence posts. They are good for containing sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, and *horses (*recommend the 2”x4” opening size as they can get a hoof through 4”x4”). This system prevents climbing, digging, or, in the case of athletic chickens, flying through the fence. Woven wire is also durable and can resist predators. Woven wire fencing comes in many varieties, including 2”x4” and 4”x4” wire openings, high tensile or non-high tensile, different gauges of wire, electrical or non-electrical, and vinyl coatings (e.g. UV resistors to prevent sun damage). Also, you can install it as high as eight feet to keep deer out of your garden or to enclose your stackyard — unless you like dodging antler sheds with your feed truck tires.


HIGH-TENSILE WIRE High tensile is made of strong wires that are either smooth or woven. They are durable, can be economical, and require low maintenance. They can last up to 50 years and are suitable for almost any setting. However, high tensile can be pricey and challenging to install, as they require installation knowledge, beefed-up corner posts as it’s heavy and specialized equipment (including bolt cutters to cut the wire.) They’re also often electrified. *Tip: It has been my experience that, until your cattle recognize the one-strand high tensile wire as a fence, consider tying lengths of flagging tape that flutter in the breeze to the wire. This will help your cattle and your cousin’s visiting children identify it as an electric fence.

TEMPORARY FENCING Temporary fencing is really useful for rotational grazing, and depending on what you’re keeping in (or out), you might consider installing a temporary electric fence. Step-on fence posts are easily installed, and half-inch wide “horse” tape is the most visible and seems to be the strongest. You may or may not warn your cousin’s kids that running into this fence is a shocker. c




Alberta's senior Livestock Investigator Corporal Lindsey Anderson


stumbled on this TV show through a conversation with an RCMP Livestock Investigator. This riveting, documentary-style television series goes beyond the brief headline and investigates the many layers of these complicated crimes. Producer Geoff Morrison is the last person you’d think of in telling the stories of crimes taking place in tight-knit rural communities. He doesn’t know which end of a cow gets up first, and he just doesn’t fit the part, and he admits it.


“I grew up in the suburbs north of Toronto,” he explained. “I came to it without any experience of agriculture and rural communities. I suppose the first real ‘farm crime’ that came to my attention was the maple syrup heist in Quebec.” To the ‘great unwashed,’ this crime was hilarious. “The Great Canadian Heist” was the brunt of jokes on late-night TV shows. Even Amazon, not exactly famous for their class, green-lighted a “comedy series based on the heist.” The reality of the crime was

this: It cost syrup producers over $18M, and the thieves earned 18 years of total prison time and over $10M in fines—some joke. Morrison comes across as sincere and with an eye and ear for a story. As an independent producer and production company, they need a place to air their creations, and that’s their real job. Not only do they have to get the broadcaster to buy their idea, but they also must create a series that will capture the public's interest. When it comes to agricultural

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


topics, they can’t be “preaching to the choir” because it is estimated that 97 percent of today’s audience has never made a dime from producing a crop, livestock or any product considered agriculture. Hell, many can’t keep a houseplant alive and are understandably uneducated in producing any crops of any nature, plus doing so under the strain of a calculated risk, notwithstanding the whims of weather, government interference and wading through the highly politicized international trade groups. In short, Farm Crime is a true crime series, and because this is authentic, the endings aren’t always Hollywood. Perhaps that’s why this series is succeeding. Morrison relies heavily on those whose livelihoods, and in some cases, their trust in government organizations like the Canadian Farm Inspection Agency, are forever scarred. “Instead of trying to fake it, you can see in the storytelling that there's a bit of that outsider perspective. We're trying to tell these stories to make them accessible to city dwellers.” “We try to center the victim's experience, to get the audience to empathize with them and get a sense of what they've gone through,” he explains. The first episode I watched on CBC GEM featured a shepherdess and her Shropshire sheep, and it was unbelievable that a short show could leave a jaded viewer like me so angry. “It's absolutely heartbreaking,” said Morrison. “But it's complicated as well. It's emblematic of what we try to do with the show—find stories with depth and layers. That episode was very much told from the shepherd's perspective and is quite sympathetic to her. But it was unfolding, and we're very concerned about the industry at large and in breaking from the CFIA protocols.” Morrison returns to the maple syrup theft. “I remember thinking how incredulous it was that someone could steal that much of an agricultural product and think they could sell it on the black market. But this is people's livelihoods, who entrusted their product to the Federation of Syrup Producers in Quebec.” “We thought that ag crime was interesting territory for a documentary series,” he continued. “But if we're going to do it, we've

Top: From episode 3, the Shropshire Sheep Scandal Bottom: From episode 4, The Farmer & the Fraudster

got to take these stories as seriously as the people involved, or the show would have no credibility.” As a Western writer, the lineup of topics fascinated and surprised me—from

“It's absolutely heartbreaking,” said Morrison. “But it's complicated as well.” lobsters to blueberries to the Shropshire sheep fiasco to the theft of timber, stolen horses and rustled cattle. It covers a vast

territory of agriculture that nobody (including me) thinks of as “agriculture.” I’m born and raised Alberta, chose to live in Saskatchewan, and believe me, I would never have considered lobster as agriculture, but they’re a type of livestock. We don't hear about lobster thieves much out here on the Great Plains—but we're well familiar with cattle rustling. “I find it fascinating,” said Morrison. “One of the most rewarding things about this project is what we've learned from the people.” This series also shows that a producer of an excellent ag-based story doesn’t need to know which end of a cow gets up first. There are three seasons of Farm Crime on CBC GEM, and they’ve been racking up the awards. It’s well worth watching. c




Dustin Sippola, 2023 Horse Expo Trainers Showdown


Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


What's Happening & Where! BY TERRI MASON

CENTURY MILE — MILESTONE! Congratulations to Century Mile Racetrack & Casino of Edmonton, Alta, who are celebrating their fifth anniversary this April. Along with the live action of horse racing, including Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Standardbred breeds, racing fans can also “make the leap” from fan to horse owner. This exciting venue also offers fine dining, casino excitement and casual bars, plus, if you’re looking for an extraordinary venue for your next group event—contact Century Mile and plan a unique experience. And be sure to mark your calendars, live Thoroughbred racing begins May 4! For more, visit

BIG NEWS FOR CANADIAN FINALS RODEO! As you may (or may not) have heard, the Canadian Finals Rodeo is moving back to Edmonton — just in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary! But there are two BIG pieces of news surrounding this move: • The Finals will be a full MONTH earlier; the new dates are Oct 2–5, and—there will only be five performances. • The reduction in the number of performances will affect the record books.

As well, the winnings from four Canadian rodeos held in September: namely, Coronation–Sept 6-7, Medicine Lodge, AB–Sept 7, Olds, AB–Sept 13-14, and Hanna, AB Sept–13-14, will not count towards the 2024 CPRA rodeo earnings, that determines the competitor's standings, but will count towards the 2025 earnings. However, if it just seems weird not to be attending a major Canadian rodeo in November, then saddle up and head to Regina Nov 27–30 for the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals!


MILES KINGDON APPEARING AT HORSE EXPO At Horse Expo, the 2024 show once again is bringing a wealth of talent—of course all centred around the horse. Whether your forte is in the English fields of training, jumping, or dressage, or lean more towards the Western seat of starting colts, cutting, and a wide range of horsemanship skills, then this is the weekend-long event for you. One of the professional horsemen who has been invited to Horse Expo is our featured Living Legend, Miles Kingdon, who will bring the traditional Californio-style of riding and training to the skills-hungry crowds. For more on the trainers and presenters, visit c

Send your Ranch Rodeo info to THE COWBOY SHOW June 14–15, 2024 (Pincher Creek Ranch Rodeo) Pincher Creek, Alberta SHAUNAVON RANCH RODEO June 30, 2024 Shaunavon, Saskatchewan Check “Shaunavon Ranch Rodeo” on Facebook DAWSON CREEK RANCH RODEO Aug 7, 2024 (Part of Dawson Creek Exhibition) Dawson Creek, BC


TRIPLE L CATTLE HANDLING TOP HAND CHALLENGE JUNIOR RANCH RODEO + MAPLE CREEK RANCH RODEO Aug 9-10, 2024 Maple Creek, Saskatchewan Check “Triple L Cattle Handling” on Facebook for updates


WESTERN EVENTS CANADIAN PRO RODEO ASSOCIATION 2024 RODEO SCHEDULE APRIL Medicine Hat, AB.................................................... April 19–21 Dawson Creek, BC.................................................April 19–20 Taber, AB................................................................April 28–29 Crowsnest Pass, AB...............................................April 26–28 MAY Drayton Valley, AB......................................................May 3–5 Falkland, BC............................................................ May 18–20 Buffalo Lake Metis S. AB — SMS............................May 25–26 Grande Prairie, AB — SMS ............................. May 30–June 2 Leduc, AB......................................................... May 30–June 1 JUNE Hand Hills, AB............................................................ June 1–2 Brooks, AB................................................................. June 7–8 Lea Park, AB — SMS .................................................. June 7–9 Rocky Mountain House, AB....................................... June 7–9 Bonnyville, AB............................................................ June 7–9 Gleichen, AB * (SB).......................................................June 11 Stavely, AB..............................................................June 13–15 Wildwood, AB * (SB)....................................................June 15 Innisfail, AB.............................................................June 15–16

The 2024 Grande Prairie Stompede hits Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie May 29 to June 2! Join us for rodeo action, chuckwagon races, live music, midway, and so much more! Immerse yourself in the Western way of life at the 2024 GP Stompede!

JULY Benalto, AB..................................................................July 5-7 Teepee Creek, AB — SMS.........................................July 12-14 Bowden, AB..............................................................July 13-14 Morris, MB — SMS.....................................................July 19-21 Kennedy, SK.............................................................July 20-21 Medicine Hat, AB — SMS ....................................... July 25-27 Rockyford, AB......................................................... July 26-27 Pollockville, AB * (SB)...................................................July 27 Bruce, AB...................................................................... July 28 High Prairie, AB........................................................July 30-31 Stettler, AB * (SB) — NEW............................................ July 31

SMS = SMS Equipment Pro Tour *SB = Saddle Bronc Dates are tentative; visit THE CANADIAN FINALS RODEO WILL BE HELD OCTOBER 2-5, 2024 IN EDMONTON, AB

Visit us at 44

Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024




Bradi Whiteside breakaway roping; that’s her sister, Kylie, in the roping box, in the turquoise shirt at CFR 2023. Photo by Wildwood Imagery/Chantelle Bowman

t’s an accomplishment unrivalled in Canadian professional rodeo, and it was impossible for female competitors until three years ago. In 2022, in Red Deer, Kylie and Bradi Whiteside became the first siblings to qualify in two events at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. “When I was in high school rodeo, there was no breakaway roping at the pro level, so I thought I was pretty much done,” admits Kylie, the elder by two years. “I thought it was kind of a lost cause at the time.” But, in 2021, she was among six women who qualified for the CFR after the

Canadian Professional Rodeo Association added breakaway roping to its schedule of events. “It’s pretty cool, actually,” affirms Kylie, one of just three women qualifying in the event each year since its CFR debut. “Now, when I go to a rodeo, if one event doesn’t go right, I have a chance to win money in the other one.” The “other one” is the barrel racing. “Barrel racing has always been my favourite,” suggests Kylie, who trains horses and practices equine dentistry when not on the rodeo trail. “I like starting with two-year-olds and watching them

grow through the futurities and onto the pro rodeo trail.” Younger sister, Bradi, is one of only four women to have qualified for the CFR in barrel racing in each of the past three years. “It’s amazing to have the opportunity to compete in both events at the CFR,” says Bradi, who has also qualified for the Finals in the breakaway in two of the last three seasons. “Getting to the CFR is so important because that’s when you can actually make money.” “It was exciting when they added breakaway roping,” she continued. Not everyone wants to be a barrel racer, so this opens another opportunity. At some rodeos, it had the second-highest number of entries. I’m thankful to all of the committees who have added breakaway.” Both are also thankful to have a ninetime CFR qualifier in their corner. Their dad, Travis, the 1997 Canadian Bareback Champion, remains an important member of their support team. “He’s definitely been a huge part of our careers,” confirms Kylie. “He really helps with our mental game, trying to teach us not to make the mistakes he did.” “When we first started, it was so nice to have someone with you who knew everything when we showed up at a rodeo,” reveals Bradi, who won the 2015 Alberta High School breakaway roping title. “He was always there with advice on looking forward to the next rodeo and not worrying about the past.” But, make no mistake, Dad has learned some things along the way, too. “I think he follows barrel racing more now,” suggests Bradi. “He also now realizes just how much more work is involved in taking a truck and trailer down the road than just throwing a riggin’ bag into a pickup and heading to a rodeo.” c


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Cooking the Cowboy Way BY TIM HILLER

Our Cowboy designer Shannon made the ribs and the stuffed pepper recipe, and the verdict? "Really tasty!" "Great recipes!"


Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024


Blacksmith, artist and fine Dutch oven cook, Hay Lakes, Alta, author Tim Hiller’s cookbook will teach you how to turn your Dutch oven into your main oven with his tips, recipes and inspiring photography!






• Your favourite rack of ribs • 1 c of brown sugar • 1 c ketchup • ½ c soy sauce • 3 c red wine • 3 tbsp white vinegar • 2 toes garlic, minced • 2 tbsp cornstarch



1. C over the ribs with water and boil in your Dutch oven for 15-18 minutes. 2. P our 2 cups of the red wine into your favourite wine glasses for your drinking pleasure while preparing the ribs and sauce. 3. W hile the ribs are boiling, prepare the sauce by combining the brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, ½ c red wine, vinegar and garlic in a small saucepan and boil over medium heat. Boil for a couple of minutes to dissolve the brown sugar. Whisk the cornstarch and remaining ½ c red wine together and add to the boiling sauce while continually stirring. Bring the sauce to a low boil and reduce heat to simmer; continue stirring until thickened. 4. D rain ribs and bake in the Dutch oven at 350° for 10 minutes. 5. R emove from the oven and coat the ribs with the thickened sauce. Pour the remainder of the sauce over the ribs and return to the oven to bake for an additional 50 minutes or until the meat pulls back off the bone. 6. R eturn to drinking your bottle of red wine while waiting for the ribs to bake to your desired consistency.

INGREDIENTS: Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper plus the following ingredients, dependent upon which recipe you make: RECIPE 1: Mashed Potato, Real Bacon Bits, Fresh Parsley, Pinch of salt RECIPE 2: Sticky rice prepared according to directions on the package, Mozzarella Cheese, shredded Fresh Basil, Pinch of salt RECIPE 3: Sticky rice prepared according to directions on the package, Asiago Cheese, shredded Fresh Cilantro, Pinch of salt

• About 6 cups of apples, or enough slices to fill a large ziplock bag • 1 c of brown sugar • 1 tsp of Cinnamon • Gob of Nutmeg (½ tsp) • Lump of Tapioca (2-3 tbsp) • Pinch of salt (pinch) • Fistful of butter (¼ cup) • For my fantastic pie crust, I simply turn a box of Tenderflake on its side and follow the directions; works every time. (Don't tell anyone.)


1. M elt your butter, mix in all the dry goods, and toss with the apples 2. R oll out the bottom crust and place in Dutch oven; add the mixture, and cover pie filling with the top crust. 3. B rush the top crust with egg white before baking to help brown the crust, also sprinkle with white sugar. 4. B ake over the fire at about 350° for 35 to 45 minutes, turning the lid every 15 minutes. 5. Y ou may have to top up briquettes on the lid ½ way through.


1. P repare the peppers by cutting off the top of the pepper and scooping out the seeds from the inside. For the mashed potato recipe, mix all four ingredients in a small bowl and stuff the peppers to the top. 2. F or the Rice and Cheese recipes, mix the salt into the precooked rice. 3. L ayer each ingredient into the pepper three times, starting with 1 tbsp rice, a sprinkle of fresh herbs, and 1 tbsp cheese. 4. P lace the top of the pepper back on and back over the fire in a Dutch oven for 3040 minutes until the pepper is tender.

COOKING WITH YOUR CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN • When baking in a Dutch oven, most of your heat has to come from the lid. • When cooking over a fire, a good rule of thumb is to line the lid's circumference with hot coals and place three more coals in the middle. Approximately one-third of that amount should be underneath the Dutch Oven. • Cooking temperatures depend on the day's temperature, elevation, and humidity, which are always changing. Remember, it's a Dutch oven, with "oven" being the keyword. • To order Tim’s Cooking the Cowboy Way cookbook and Dutch oven primer, contact Tim at his welding shop or call (780) 499-4520.



What’s Your Why? BY R.C. (REG) STEWARD

To make your ranch a safer place can seem a daunting task But when you think of those you love, it’s not too much to ask There’s always so much work to do, and it mostly falls to you But safety needs to be a daily part of everything you do Don’t say I’ll do it 'cause I must, or the rules say “comply” Just say, “I do it for my loved ones,” if someone should ask why Cause think for a just moment, please, and ponder if you might The many ways your life would change if you ever lost your sight To never rise with day’s first light and see the sky and land To never see that little one reach up to take your hand Would any rancher scoff at guards if that cost your wife her arm? Or was the shortcut that you took the one that made you sell the farm? Working by yourself? Would someone know you’re there? Could they find you real quick and get you help and care? Could you stand before the magistrate and tell her what you did? When explaining what has happened to that worker or that kid? So think of all the shortcuts (you know the ones you take) Then think of each decision—you know the one to make So, “What’s your why?” when asked for all this safety stuff Because you love your family, say no more, 'cause that’s enough.


What’s Your Why? by R.C. (Reg) Steward. Reg is a highly decorated RCMP officer (retired) and is now a BC ranch safety specialist and consultant.


Canadian Cowboy Country April/May 2024



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