Spring Edition of Western Horse Review

Page 1

$495 PRINTED IN CANADA SPRING 2023 $5.95 PRINTED IN CANADA PUBLICATION MAIL REGISTRATION NUMBER 42204012 DISPLAY UNTIL MAY 31, 2023 westernhorsereview.com 100 Years of Chuckwagons
MIKKELSEN Rabbit Rodeos
Turkish Egg Breakfast
Bold seasonal looks made for sunny days and chilly nights. Horsemanship • Culture • Style Spring On Shining IN TOWN His Winning Ways + The Power Couple behind Heule Reining Horses 3 Major Female Players In Canadian Agriculture
Supernova Productions Presents By $250,000 Guaranteed Prizing & Payout July 26 July 28 July 27 July 29 July 30 Still accepting vendors and sponsorships for 2023! Our Sponsors WedNEsDay $30,000 4D OPEN $15,000 USD $6,500 $5,000 FUTURITY $5,000 DERBY $5,000 3D YOUTH $5,000 ThuRsDAy FriDAy SatURdaY SunDAy 7:00 am • ShowDown Round • Awards Ceremony 7:00 am – Run 2 after last run 6:00 p.m. Remembering Callie Rose Pee Wee Race 7:30 p.m. Back Number Ceremony for Show Down Round Qualifiers Entries Open July 15th , 2023 at supernovaproductionbarrelraces.com • Pool B • Buy Backs 6:00 Wee • Pool A – Run 2 • Buy Backs after last run • Pool A – Run 1 • Buy Backs after last run • Grouped Barrel Work • • 2:00 p.m. • Pool B – Run 1 • Buy Backs after last run • Contestant Appreciation Day in Hall – Margaritas & Mustaches 7:00 p.m. • Under The Lights Breakaway Roping 4:00 p.m. • Warm Up Race




Clay & Jenn Webster Editor

Jenn Webster

Art Direction and Production

Kendra Roberts

Advertising (403) 250-1128 or advertising@westernhorsereview.com

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Laurie Price ldprice63@gmail.com


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Chelsea Schneider Media

Chris Bolin

Mike Edgar

Debbie MacRae

Lee McLean

Glen Mikkelsen

Waltenberry Inc.

One World Drone

Mike Ridewood

A podcast created by Teddi Jevne and Jenn Webster, as a division of Western Horse Review magazine. In each episode, Jevne interviews various individuals of the horse industry and holds in-depth conversations about everything from breeding horses, to western lifestyle and design, food of the west and training tips. Come for the stories and professional tips, stay for the chemistry and intellectual journey of host, Teddi Jevne.

Published six times a year by: WESTERN PERFORMANCE PUBLISHING INC. 235, 3545 - 32 Ave. NE, Unit/Box #814 Calgary, Alberta T1Y 6M6 (403) 250-1128 editorial@westernhorsereview.com www.westernhorsereview.com We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 42204012 Western Horse Review is a proud member of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association www.albertamagazines.com, abiding by the standards of the Canadian Society of Magazine Publishers Member Of Horsemanship • Culture • Style
@WesternAlchemy @WesternHorseReview WITH YOUR HOST TeddiJevne Get Social Witth Us!
Spring 2023 WESTERN HORSE REVIEW.COM 5 Calla Lampertz Equi-bow Practitioner  www.empowerequine.ca calla@empowerequine.ca 587-982-0606 A light touch, non-invasive bodywork technique that connects the nervous system through the body’s vast network of fascia allowing the body to heal itself. This body reset can result in improved performance, balance, body functionality, behaviour, and overall wellness.  Book Today! Reservations TCAA.NATIONALCOWBOYMUSEUM.ORG Proxy Information PROXY@NATIONALCOWBOYMUSEUM.ORG October 6 – 7, 2022 Roadrunner, Wilson Capron, Traditional Cowboy Arts Exhibition & Sale 2022


Out West



Meet a mother and daughter duo who build each other up (both literally and figuratively), to achieve success in the barrel racing arena.


A re-creation project for a Yellowstone origin story.


This year represents 100 years of pancake breakfasts at the Calgary Stampede. Read about the new children’s book coming out that celebrates the true story behind this wild tradition.


She borrowed her Daddy’s pick-up horse and turned him into a jumper. The WHR Facebook fans loved it!


A new AQHA rule will debut in June 2023, concerning leased horses.

Western Culture


Five things you’ll want to add to your barn this spring.


Megan Weir is an artist who truly paints to the beat of her own drum.


If you’re typically an Eggs-Benny type breakfast person, this incredible dish is about to blow your mind.


Promoting and sharing the sport of reining with the Canadian public is a family endeavour in the Heule family.

32 17



An except from 100 years of gripping, chuckwagon racing stories.


Meet three ladies who are dedicated to preserving Canadian agriculture.


Our newest western fashion editorial combines classic vintage finds with new looks that are guaranteed to keep you warm at night and chill during the day.


Rabbit rodeos were cruel, but necessary. Here’s how communities combatted irresponsible land management, depletion of prairie grasses and other plagues of the dust-bowl era.


Lee McLean and a mishap in the kitchen.

on the cover

The World Class reining stallion, Shining In Town and his rider/owner, Jennifer Neudorf. For breeding information visit www.heulereining.ca. Photo by Waltenberry.

20 24 28 18
Ralynn Michels

Recently, our family acquired some bottle calves. Their purpose is multifaceted. For one, they are helping to get our children out of bed earlier in the day, and for two – they give the kids another reason to stay off screens. The calves mean we have one more thing to worry about, care for and protect, but our family have never been shy of responsibility. For us however, it’s typically been foals, puppies or kittens in the past. Therefore, we never expected to fall in love with some little calves as easily as we did – yet here we are.

Helping the kids coordinate bottles twice a day and shuffling the youngsters in and out of their stall morning and evening, has given me another appreciation for the men and women who ferociously support agriculture. On page 32, you’ll read BAR XP PHOTO’S story about three women who are literally in the trenches of the industry. These ladies explain why it’s now, more important than ever that agriculture remains appealing to younger generations. And why proper avenues of support need to remain accessible to everyone.

Agriculture endeavours are also often family endeavors. On page 24, you will meet the Heule family, a young family of four who have made it their mission to share and promote the sport of reining with the public. Hubert and Cara Heule are based in Abbotsford, BC, and along with their two young daughters and some exceptional horses, they are making their mark on the industry.

Then on page 28, read an excerpt from The Rangeland Derby, 100 Years of Chuckwagon Racing at the Calgary Stampede. One the book’s quotes that really caught my eye was the following:

In 2005, Chris Turner wrote, “That’s why real, live rodeo is so refreshing: it’s decidedly underhyped – in fact, it’s kind of ridiculed in many circles – and yet it’s genuinely, heartracingly, holy-crap-that-chuckwagon’s-gonna-tip-over-andkill-us-all, exciting.

“Not for nothing are the chuckwagon races the headlining act of the Stampede: this is one wild freaking ride. This is NASCAR meets Ben Hur, with Clint Eastwood directing.

Author Glen Mikkelsen does a fabulous job of researching chuckwagon racing and is truly an artist in prose with this book. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did. As always, we hope you enjoy the issue!

8 WESTERN HORSE REVIEW Spring 2023 Send your comments, questions, letters or story ideas to me at editorial@westernhorsereview.com. We may include them in an upcoming edition of Western Horse Review. publisher’s note
My daughter (in front) with a friend, bottle-feeding the new calves.


Rancher boots started early 2020, with the need for quality boots in Canada. Dana Herr designs all of her own boots with whimsical patterns and bright colours that truly show off one’s original style. She also developed the Cowhide Lechara shorty style – an original to the Rancherr boot brand.


rancherrbootco@gmail.com www.herrwildrags.com



MOMS Our Coaches, Competition & Cheering Section!

“Life doesn’t come with a manual – it comes with a mom!” Embracing motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mother figures, we pause and reflect on the blessings that “mothers” bestow upon us. Related by blood or bound by choice, many maternal influences guide and support each of us, daily. Mother figures are much more than a biological beginning. They shape thoughts, build character, and impart knowledge. While we honour maternal figures on Mother’s Day, the legacy that they facilitate and assemble in our talents and actions is an even better tribute.

In a unique spotlight, we share a snippet on Julie and Vanessa Leggett, of Kamloops, BC. Both dedicated equestrians and barrel racers, this mother-daughter duo exemplifies the bond of a successful, mother-daughter team. Pursuing their passion, competing, and cheering in unison, the two have travelled far and wide.

Julie Leggett, born and raised in Trail, BC, is a professional barrel racer and barrel horse trainer. Competing across Canada and the United States, Julie holds a decorated portfolio. She has qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) twice, competed in the Calgary Stampede three times, was the 2015 Cloverdale Barrel Racing Champion, qualified for the prestigious San Antonio Stock Show, made it to the Semi-Finals of The American, in Fort Worth, Texas and more. While many great horses have propelled her success, “Ice,” aka FDI Cash To Burn, a beautiful grey gelding, turned white, remains a favourite. He set multiple arena records and served as a go-to mount for just about everything.

Recently, Julie has shifted her focus to raising and training prospects. With her daughter, Vanessa, Julie has produced several young horses that stand out. Leggett highlights their accomplishments in stating, “Vanessa and ‘Whiskey’ have successfully navigated into the pro rodeo scene. They qualified for the 2021 Calgary Stampede and have won and placed in several CPRA Rodeos.”

“Looker” won two major futurity titles and a reserve title as a derby horse. “Boss” is on his way to becoming a winning barrel horse. The youngest, “Easy,” has already won a major roping event, as a head horse.

Julie loves the quote, “Steel Sharpens Steel.” She believes that being around and competing against, the best in the business, helps you become the best that you can be. She added, “Competing with my daughter Vanessa, on horses we make ourselves, is a very rewarding and gratifying experience. With time, it’s been nice to settle into the training mode of our business and watch Vanessa shine as a jockey. I still like to compete, but I feel okay watching her take the reins at some of the bigger events. I love watching her and our horses excel!”

Vanessa (age 27), has certainly followed in her mother’s footsteps. Through 4-H and High School Rodeo, Leggett, an accomplished rider, also holds a reputable portfolio. She remains one of only two Canadians to win the National High School Barrel Racing Championship and is a two-time British Columbia and Canadian High School Barrel Racing Champion. Leggett qualified for and competed in the 2021 Calgary Stampede, consistently placed in the top-five barrel racers with the Texas Tech University Rodeo Team, and has been in the top-ten of the Canadian Barrel Horse Incentive Super Stakes, for the last three years. She was third in the Breeders Elite Incentive for 2022 and holds multiple Canadian Pro Rodeo earnings, including a win at the Teepee Creek Stampede in 2022.

Vanessa, a registered nurse, notes that her favourite horse is “Whiskey,” aka Hagans Charger Fling, a 2015 chocolate, buckskin gelding. Whiskey has helped her with many of her recent accomplishments. While he is still young, Vanessa notes that Whiskey has quickly become a steadfast, tough rodeo mount.

A quote that speaks to Vanessa is, “Teamwork makes the dreamwork.” It perfectly describes how she works with her mom. Leggett’s favourite days are those when it’s just her and her mother, training horses in the barrel patch. Together, they can accomplish so much.

The daughter added, “My mom is my horse trainer, my coach, my mentor, business partner, and my best friend. I have always thrived when competing with my mom. We build each other up and perform better when we’re supporting each other. It never feels like we are competing against each other because when she wins so do I, and vice versa. We like to focus on the success of our horses. We often say it’s a win for them.”

In competition and kinship, this duo models passion, grit, and determination. Today, and every day, we honour our mother figures with the actions and talents that they have fostered and refined in each of us.

~ By BAR XP PHOTO – Kirk Prescott


A re-creation project for A Yellowstone origin story.


Taylor Sheridan continues to wow audiences and flood networks with gripping, western content. From the hit series, Yellowstone, to the current origin story, 1923, Sheridan has spotlighted the western lifestyle and highlighted several, equine industry leaders. Following the rise of Yellowstone, Sheridan successfully launched 1883 A heart-wrenching, prequel, 1883 depicts the Dutton family migration to Montana. Lead actors, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw steal the show. Showcasing the hardship of navigating the uncharted West, Sheridan and team take viewers back in time, setting the stage for Yellowstone. 1883 is both captivating and culturally diverse. As expected, 1923, a follow-up to 1883, continues the tale.

Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren gracefully depict the Dutton heritage and drive the plot toward current day, Yellowstone. With season two of 1923 on the horizon, viewership grows exponentially. Streaming service, Paramount Plus couldn’t be happier and recently reached out to Western Horse Review’s own, BAR XP PHOTO, to partner in promoting the series. Tasked with modernizing key images from 1923, while adding a Canadian vibe, Prescott had only a few days to round up keen cowboys and make the magic happen! With temperatures averaging -20C, Prescott and crew re-created iconic images with haste and a little humour. Enjoy a few of the modernized, re-creations. And be sure to check out Sheridan’s Yellowstone series.

About the Photographer

Kirk Prescott (BAR XP PHOTO) is a man of many talents. From teaching elementary school to photography and developing editorial content, Prescott has little down-time. He lives on a ranch near Dewinton, AB and spends many hours in the saddle, when he’s not behind the wheel of his truck. Prescott is an avid horseman, snowboarder and sales representative for Bex Sunglasses.

The Models

1923 character, Spencer modernized by Neil Hawryluk, Foothills, AB. Even at -20c Hawryluk brought the heat, much like his character in the series.

Miller mirrors Harrison Ford’s stance in the above re-creation, set against a majestic, Rocky Mountain backdrop.

Kendall Miller and April Jardie, Longview, AB provide a youthful, re-creation of Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, lead characters in 1923.



To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Calgary Stampede pancake breakfasts, the granddaughter of the legendary founder Wildhorse Jack, is releasing her picture book, FLIP FLOP FLAPJACK. Written by Brenda Joyce Leahy, this picture book (for ages 4-8), chronicles the antics of Wildhorse Jack, a larger-than-life cowboy who loses every event at the Stampede rodeo – but celebrates by hosting a huge pancake breakfast the next morning.

Much to the chagrin of his little daughter, Frankie…

Detailing the very first Stampede Breakfast in 1923, FLIP FLOP FLAPJACK presents the wild and true story behind the iconic western tradition. It’s a tale of community, sportsmanship and living life to the fullest. Set to launch on May 15, this 36-page 8x10 storybook features charming illustrations by Airdrie, AB, artist Melissa Bruglemans-LaBelle, archive photos, and the Morton Family pancake recipe.

For more information, check out: redbarnbooks.ca

14 WESTERN HORSE REVIEW Spring 2023 Outwest
One World Drone


27th Annual Sale



2:00 p.m. Preview of Driving Horses

3:30 p.m. Tack Auction to start

5:00 p.m. Social & Supper

6:30 p.m. Tack Auction to resume


8:30 a.m. Tack Auction to start

12:30 p.m. Horses sell - followed by remainder of tack & equipment


Invites Consignments of Horse Drawn Equipment, Harness, Tack, Shoes, etc; Purebred, Crossbred & Grade Draft Horses; Draft Mules & Mammoth Jacks


Barb Stephenson, Sale Secretary E-mail dpsteph@telusplanet.net 403-933-5765

(8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) wrdha.com


Bob Lewis 403-559-7725

David Carson 519-291-2049



(825) 910-8225 #5, 10820-27th St SE Calgary, AB

We consign and sell western saddles and other horse equipment, as well as western wear, small boutique vendors and much more!



The REAL DEAL Ranch Horse Sale

Friday May 5th, 2023 Showcase: 2:00 p.m. Sale to follow

Located: PBAM Outdoor Arena

Lethbridge, AB

Spring 2023 HORSE SALE

Saturday May 6th, 2023 11:00 a.m.

Located: PBAM Outdoor Arena Lethbridge, AB

Catalogue Deadline: April 6th

Entry Forms, Early Consignments can be found on our website: perlich.auction

Lethbridge, AB 3 Miles East of Lethbridge on Hwy #3 & ¼ Mile South on Broxburn Rd. Horse sale will be broadcasted and online bidding available on CLIX (Canadian Live Internet Exchange) Visit perlich.auction to pre-register before the sale. P: 403-329-3101 • E: richelle@perlich.com


Western e


She borrowed one of her Daddy’s pickup horses and now he may never get it back… Thank-you to Sheena Thomson for allowing us to share this photo of her daughter, Harlow, riding Hunny Badger. Thomson says, “Apparently Hunny Badger is Big Ben reincarnated.” Lol.

Here’s how WHR Facebook fans reacted:

That’s funny!! And Awesome.

“Damn the scope on that one!”

~Remy Campbell

“That horse can jump! Knees up!! Lol”

“Them Quarter Horses can be very extra extra, horn not recommended.

~Carolyn Thomas

Wow! That’s awesome! I wanna see the finish though! ~Sarah Nicole

“I’m pretty sure her horse saw something with big sharp teeth that looked hungry down there.”

Patty Gracey Wheaton

“Can you say “Grand prix/stadium jumper”? Dang!!!”~Cherie Turner Lashley


The AQHA Executive Committee approved a rule change requiring owners/ lessees of horses being shown at all AQHA-approved events to have a current AQHA membership in the name of the registered owner/lessee. This change to AQHA Rule SHW100.5 is effective June 1, 2023. Entries excluded from this requirement are Rookie and Level 1 youth and Rookie and Level 1 amateur.

Exhibitors who show in levels 2 and 3 in the youth and amateur divisions, as well as exhibitors in all open levels who choose to lease or show a horse not in their name need to ensure that the owner of that horse has an active AQHA membership to be able to compete in AQHA-approved events. Exhibitors will still need to have an active membership, as well, to compete. www.aqha.com/membership.

“ “

Smarty Supply Co. has partnered with Apex Cooler System to bring you the HEEL-O-MATIC ROPE N’ CHILL. Included in the package is a cooler, trainer head, sticker and Pay Day rope.

$550 US www.heelomatic.com

The quality of calf milk replacers is directly related to the products used to provide the protein and fat composition. That’s why BROWN’S MILK REPLACER is a best bet, as it’s enriched with coconut oil and only uses 100% milk proteins. If you’ve got bottle babies, you’ll appreciate this product for its smooth mixing consistency as well.

$102.50 for 20 kg

Rocking Horse Industries

The SHINE PERFORMANCE RODEO SHIRT from Ranch Dressn is a brilliant garment for any horse gal. Made from a poly spandex performance blend, this long-sleeved shirt is lightweight, comfortable and a pullover style. That means, the shirt does have buttons to give it a traditional western look, but it can’t pop open in the event it ever gets caught on your saddle horn!

$80 US ranchdressn.com

Not only do they deliver a crisp and refreshing taste, every beer from BUFFALO 9 BREWING CO. tells a story. Both of the founders of the company had family members serve in WWI and WWII – therefore, the military theme of their beers holds great pride and importance to them. Try out The Ridge by Midday IPA, The Peril in the Atlantic Pilsner, The Fighting Season Pale Ale, Dear Aunt Emma Mango Passionfruit Wheat Ale or The Sisters in the Sky Chocolate Stout.


If you’re looking for quality new and used gear, or collectables, CLASSY CONCHO is for you! Check out their curated collection of bits, bridles, chaps, chinks and more. All the hard work has been done for you as the tasks of currency conversion and importing to Canada are complete on every one of these high-end horseman products.


5 things you’ll want to add to your barn this spring.
Greatgear e

Painting to The Beat of Her Own Drum

Megan Weir – Painter, Rancher & Mom.

With an eye for composition and a love of both art and agriculture, Megan Weir, a self-taught painter, fuels her artistic passion with music, bold colours, and a vibrant approach to fineart. Weir, age 37 and a sixth-generation rancher, adorns canvases beautifully, in her home-studio near Manyberries, Alberta. Surprising to some, Weir’s spacious laundry-room doubles as her “art-studio,” for now. Here, the collage of colour that decorates most every surface speaks to her vibrant style and jovial process. Between wrangling three children and ranching with her family, Weir expresses her love of animals and ranch-life in unique, eye-

catching masterpieces. In true western style, her family brand completes her artist signature and validates the authenticity of each creation.

Weir entered the painting craft using acrylics as her primary medium and later transitioned to the use of oil paints. Her process is simple – get into the groove and make magic happen! Music pumping, two brushes in hand, Weir starts each piece with enthusiasm and energetic interaction. Weir begins with a grid-based sketch and brings each piece to life as she masterfully adds hand mixed paints to the carefully prepped canvas.

While many pieces are developed from Weir’s personal collection of

inspiration, custom creations are equally significant in her repertoire. The artist approaches each creation with dedication, determination and diversity. A quick visit to Weir’s social networks, Instagram and Facebook reveals works in progress, completed masterpieces and career milestones. Her self-titled website is affiliated with The Art Storefronts Organization. This union ensures that you can shop with confidence, knowing that Weir stands behind the quality and value of her products. As Weir’s collection of completed work continues to grow, several hold a special place in her heart. Enjoy, as Weir shares a brief description of her favourite pieces:

18 WESTERN HORSE REVIEW Spring 2023 GoodWork

A Dream That Was 60”x48”


“A bold and beautiful piece, inspired by several images and memorable interactions. This piece represents a conversation that I had with a Cree man, about the importance of the magnificent bison, detailing how his ancestor’s survival was dependent upon them. They were a major source of food, clothing, and shelter for his people. The title of this piece is inspired by a dream he shared.”

Cool Cats 48”x24”


“Inspired by AQHA Metallic Cat reference photos, this painting originally showcased roan horses. Organically, it turned into a bay and a palomino, with subtle, vibrant colours. I used loose and expressive brush strokes to complete this piece. The original painting was sold and shipped to Australia.”

Velasquez 30”x40”


“This unique piece honours a favourite bull of Belvin Angus. Velasquez, a Black Angus sire, is quite well known. Our own herd even contains his genetics. I loved the evolution of this painting. I navigated maroons and neutral blues while having it read ‘black’ to the viewer. This painting was auctioned in Moncton, New Brunswick via the Canadian Angus Foundation. It currently resides in the CEO’s office of the Canadian Angus Association.”

Tight Rope On a Loose Line 40”x30”


“This piece originates from a photo that my mother took of my father at our branding. The painting depicts, what I consider to be, exceptional horsemanship. The rider is asking for a soft feel with little pressure (loose line), while performing a job and staying in-time with each step.”

The Flames We Fan 20”x24”


“I love the dramatic feel of this painting and the contrast of warm/ cool and light/dark. To me, this piece represents shining your light through darkness and being a light for others. It symbolizes the act of helping to protect/fan someone’s flame, instead of letting it burn-out. It’s a reminder of the light that burns on the other side of darkness. Truly, as in any piece, I want the viewer to engage their imagination and develop a meaning that speaks to them.”


Turkish Eggs (Cilbir)

20 WESTERN HORSE REVIEW Spring 2023 Western Foodie

This recipe might come as a surprise, because it’s shockingly good. If you’re typically an Eggs Benny, breakfast-type foodie – you might want to give this dish a go. However the truth is, Turkish Çılbır, (pronouned chil-bir), is a hearty meal that can be served at any time of the day. It only requires a quick and easy prep and results in a beautiful presentation!


1 cup Greek Yogurt

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced Juice of 2 lemons

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.


1/2 lb Butter

2 Tbsp dried aleppo pepper

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

1/2 Tsp cumin

Put all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat until butter is melted. Stir to combine all ingredients.



Spread the dill yogurt on the plate. Top with eggs. Drizzle the Aleppo butter over the eggs. Garnish with fresh dill and sprinkle with a few sun-dried tomatoes. Serve with your toasted bread. Enjoy!

About the Chef:

Mike Edgar graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in the Culinary Arts. He stayed in Calgary, AB working at some of the city’s top restaurants. In 2007, he opened his own restaurant in Calgary’s east end. After eight years of being a chef there, Edgar decided to take a step back and left the industry to spend more time with his son. His son has now expressed an interest in learning his father’s skills and in horses simultaneously.


6 eggs

1/4 cup white vinegar

Fill a large sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add vinegar. Crack an egg into the water and let cook for three minutes. Pull out with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel and let it drain (dry up the excess water).


Get your favourite bread, toast it and spread with butter. Sourdough is amazing with this recipe!

Preserved, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil also punctuate this dish with an intense, sweet-tart flavour and add a savoury depth to it. Should you choose to incorporate them into this dish, you will not be disappointed.


Performance Horse Saddles and Tack

New and Used, Consignment 403-803-7893



All of Bob’s Custom Saddles feature superior quality, craftsmanship and performance and have carried more premier horseman to World, Futurity and Derby Championships than any other saddle maker.

Spring 2023 WESTERN HORSE REVIEW.COM 23 We offer many marketing options – contact us today! IN THE NEXT EDITION +317,000 FACEBOOK FANS +12.8K INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS +639.3K PINTEREST MONTHLY VIEWS NO ONE IN THE CANADIAN EQUINE MEDIA CAN TOUCH THE REACH OF OUR BASE. Booking Deadline: Feb 24, 2023 Contact us today to be a part of this popular issue! Horse Expo Canada, Red Deer, AB advertising@westernhorsereview.com or phone 403-250-1128 or 403-861-2609 WESTERN HORSE REVIEW SPRING FASHION, FOAL DISCLOSURE Everything you need to know about equine babies. BRONC GIRLS AND MUCH MORE! Extra Distribution plus ADVERTISE WITH US



The power couple behind Heule Reining Horses (Abbotsford, British Columbia) could not be any more dedicated to the reining horse industry. Hubert and Cara Heule and their two young daughters, Harlyn (age 10) and Addie (age 6) have lived and worked throughout North America and South America striving to improve their pursuit of reining excellence with every step.

Prior to moving home to Canada, the Heules worked for HDC Quarter Horses in Argentina, Hubert and Cara were in charge of setting up the enterprise’s breeding and training operation. They lived there for three years and sought out the best reining prospects for the operation that they could find.

This included ARC Gunnabeabigstar NRHA Futurity Champion and earner of $539,457 – which Hubert picked out as a yearling from the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity sale and Stepping On Sparks which they purchased from Andrea Fappani. Following a decade-long career managing HDC Quarter Horses, Hubert took his clients to the elite status of NRHA #1 Owner.

The Heule’s first daughter, Harlyn, was born in Argentina and she is now 10-years-old.

“My family is from British Columbia,” says Cara. “Once we had had Harlyn we realized how important it was to be close to family.”

That’s when Hubert and Cara decided to pack up and head home to Canada.

Their second daughter, Addie was born in Canada and she is now six-years-old. Heule Reining Horses are now situated in Abbotsford, British Columbia at Cornerstone Ranch. Located just a few miles from the USA/CA border, Cornerstone Ranch boasts 50+ stalls and an expansive indoor arena. It’s an excellent place to provide the Heules and their horses, and their clients with all the tools they need to achieve success.

Their primary focus is building and promoting the sport of reining in British Columbia. Hubert has continued to prove himself for having a great eye when it comes to selecting horses for his customers and has carried on successfully showing, selling and managing top performers.


One of those such horses is Shining In Town, owned by Jennifer Neudorf. With lifetime earnings exceeding $202,000, this palomino stallion better known as “Chubbs” is a NRHA Non-Pro L4, 3, 2, 1 Derby Champion. Chubbs is sired by Hollywoodstinseltown (Hollywood Dun It x Miss Tinseltown x Great Red Pine), the winner of $178,156 and the sire of horses with earnings of more than $2.5 million. He is an AQHA 5 Panel N/N ad IMM N/N and a force to be reckoned with on the Canadian horse-power scene. Currently he is managed by Heule Reining Horses, with both cooled and frozen semen available to the public.

Hubert is also a certified NRHA judge, and he’s contended at the World Equestrian Games twice for Team Netherlands. He was an American Quarter Horse Association Congress Ltd. Open Champion and has many other credentials to his name.

“We are trying to give people here in BC, the tools they need to be in the reining horse business,” Cara explains. “When we moved here, there wasn’t much. We had to drive to Alberta at least four times a year for shows.”

With limited shows in the area at the time, Hubert decided to found the Fraser Valley Reining Association (FVRA), to give enthusiastic reiners in British Columbia more opportunities. Currently Hubert is also the president of the FVRA and

Harlyn Heule at The Run For a Million. Photo by Chelsea Schneider Media. Hubert and Cara Heule.

members are invited to reining education, shows and jackpots in the Fraser Valley. The association’s “Super Saturdays” – held at Cornerstone Ranch – have become so popular that the Heules have seen more than 100 runs in a day.

“While our focus is reining, we have included ranch riding, jackpots (where the entry fee gets paid back to the winner), and cow horse classes. There’s $1,000 added and typically $2,500 paid out and although these shows are not NRHA approved, they are a great way for people to practice their reining patterns,” tells Cara.

Last year, Harlyn showed Tuckered Lil Chic (owner Jennifer Neudorf) in the rookie event, at The Run For A Million, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was the youngest competitor to qualify and enter. And her sister, Addie, likes to ride her pony “Sparky” in as many opportunities as she can muster as well.

With all of Hubert’s training and coaching efforts, Cara’s talents on the equine business side of things and Addie and Harlyn also sitting high in the saddle, the pursuit of reining excellence is truly a family endeavour in the Heule family. excellence is truly a family endeavour in the Heule family.


Growing up in the Netherlands, Hubert had an equine breeding and training operation in France. He was, admittedly, a less than stellar academic. In hopes of spurring the young man into action for a future career, Hubert’s father sent him to the United States right after high school for a labour-intensive job – mucking stalls. Unfortunately for his father, the plan backfired.

Instead, Hubert loved every minute of his time in the American western performance horse world and he quickly secured a job training two-year-olds for Babcock Ranch in Texas. He later went on to work for Santa Hill Ranch in New York.

Meanwhile, Cara Heule grew up in the Okanagan, BC. She had always ridden horses growing up, but she relays that she didn’t come from a horse family. Instead, her horse was boarded at a local facility.

That’s when professional reining trainer Lisa Coulter moved to British Columbia and took over at the barn where Cara was boarding. From there, Cara began to work for Coulter while simultaneously finishing up with high school at the time. She continued to work for the trainer for a few years.

“Then Lisa purchased a ranch in the heart of horse country – Aubrey, Texas –when I was about 21, and I was more than happy to move down south and continue my horse career” Cara says.

After that, Cara went on to work for Sterling Ranch in Pilot Point, TX. She rode their two-year-olds, became a breeding assistant and handled their prestigious stallion, Smart Spook. Cara stayed on with Sterling Ranch for almost five years. Next, Cara moved to the then, Green Valley Ranch (now Cardinal Ranch), in Aubrey, Texas, where she worked with such legends as Wimpys Little Step, Spooks Gotta Gun and Lil Ruf Peppy. She also went on to study business at the University of North Texas, while continuing to work in the reining horse business and that’s when Cara and Hubert met. All of her experiences gave Cara a diverse equine and business-related background.

Decidedly solid in their relationship, it was then time for Cara and Hubert to begin their lives together. Their experiences leading up to their move to Canada gave this power couple the tremendous amount of knowledge they have to offer the reining public.

For more information, visit their website heulereining.ca

Shining In Town and Jennifer Neudorf. Photo by Waltenberry.


DC The Master Spark Shown by Hubert Heule and Owned by Bar K 2 Ranch earned over $20,000 in 2022.

Reining By The Bay - 2022 Derby Champion L1, L2 3rd, L3 12th.

Best Little Derby In The West - Open Derby L1 Champion, L2 5th, L3 9th.

NRHA Western Canada Affiliate Regional Championships - 2022 Open Affiliate Champion Dun Shooting Shown by Hubert Heule and Owned by Andrea Krahn.

2022 Northern BC Ride N Slide Open Futurity Champion - Smart Talker Shown by Hubert Heule and Owned by Luc Gosselin.

Smart Like Juice - World Equestrian Games Team Netherlands.

Chrome Shiner - World Equestrian Games Team Netherlands.

Wimpys Slippers - Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity Finalist.

Mr Masota Star - trained by Hubert until June of his three-year-old year. He was then shown by Shawn Flarida at the NRHA Futurity placing third in the Open Level 4 finals.

Arc Gunnabeabigstar - Hubert selected him as a yearling out of the NRHA Futurity Auction and purchased him on behalf of HDC Quarter Horses. “Big Star” went on to win the NRHA Futurity and +$350,000 in his career.

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Addie Heule rides her pony “Sparky.”


A glimpse into 100 years of gripping stories from the men, women and horses, who create chuckwagon racing. An excerpt from The Rangeland Derby, 100 Years of Chuckwagon Racing at the Calgary Stampede.

Straight as a wagon’s pole, the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races are one of the planet’s most exhilarating contests. They are armrest-grabbing, sweat-forming, cardiac-arresting, did-you-see-that, electrifying. Since 1923, the rattling range wagons have awe-struck spectators.

You have your doubts? Check out these recounts from the past ten decades:

“Like the fearless charioteers of old, the chuckwagon drivers urged their racing teams to victory, skidding around curves at breath-taking speed, while spectators thrilled with excitement, and urged them on to greater daring with wild applause. “ 1928, Calgary Herald

“Then there are what Calgarians call the ‘chuck-wagon’ races. Actually, they are desperate things. A half dozen teams of four horses with what seem like ancient and very rickety

‘covered wagons’ stand side by side inside the arena track. As a gun barks out, the drivers and owners of these ‘chuck wagons’ must pick up their settlers’ effects – stoves, cooking utensils, etc. – turn their teams around, make for the track, dash round it. It is a case of every man for himself and woe betide him who gets into the way of the faster team behind him; a truly fearsome spectacle to a tenderfoot from the East.

“Yet Calgary likes it. Perhaps the liking is because it snatches some of the glamour of the past, it is a link with the old and perhaps otherwise, vanishing West.”

July 1934, Ottawa Journal

“Neck-and-neck finishes plus two wrecked wagons provided thrills galore…” 1945, Calgary Herald

“The world’s most unique horse race.” 1953, South American racing official

“As one prominent United States rodeo producer commented after seeing his first Calgary chuckwagon race event, ‘This is the greatest sports spectacle of our time,’ and

A view of some outriders. CREDIT: Shane Kuhn

1968, Mrs. Ina Gilmore, Aberdeenshire, Scotland - a Calgary Stampede guest.

his comment has been confirmed by thousands of fans all over the world.” 1956, Calgary Stampede Program

“These are the boys who put ‘stamp’ in Stampede!” 1961, British Movietone

“Everything explodes into action with the sound of a gunshot – they’re off! The pure thrill of the race itself would satisfy any spectator, but to complicate matters further, each wagon must do a figure eight around two barrels first. So violent, so swift is this maneuver that I watched two or three races before I could follow the action. To me, the wild rush onto the track, the rattling, sizzling Ben Hur speed of the wagons, the mad swirl of choking dust, the shouts of the drivers as they skillfully control their plunging teams through this bottleneck made the beginning of the race the high point and the end almost anticlimactic.” 1963, Sam

Visiting sports columnist Jim Coleman wrote, “The Calgary Stampede is unique in the cultural, athletic, and drinking life of Canada. This is fortunate – because human flesh and blood couldn’t survive more than one annual folk festival of this type. If any Calgarians or visitors sleep during Stampede Week, it is one of the best-kept secrets since Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt made rendezvous in the North Atlantic. Local restaurants are featuring orange juice and Benzedrine tablets.

“The driver of a chuckwagon isn’t considered to be ready for the stern competition at the Calgary Stampede until he has suffered at least four compound fractures in training sessions. I went into the building where the drivers were assembled before Wednesday night’s races – it resembled the emergency ward at an orthopaedic hospital. If all the plaster-of-paris casts were stretched end to end, they would have reached from here to Tokyo.

“On Wednesday night, a team driven by Stan Walker hit a barrel as they careened out of the infield, onto the main track. The chuckwagon turned over in the deep mud and Stanley, true to the traditions of the sea, went down with his ship.

“I thought that they would send for scuba divers to bring up the bodies, but someone happened to notice air bubbles coming

to the surface of the rich Alberta gumbo.” 1963, Calgary Herald

“I never realized it could be so exciting. Everything has been outstanding, but if I must select the best, I would have to say the chuckwagon races. It is this that will make it difficult for us when we return home. I don’t think our friends will believe most of it – you just have to see it for yourself!” 1968, Mrs. Ina Gilmore, Aberdeenshire, Scotland - a Calgary Stampede guest.

“Chuckwagon racing is a disease without a cure – as any horseman who’s witnessed one will tell you. It’s a race that is a test of great horsemanship. For the spectator who has seen one he is hooked for life, and for those riders, daring enough and able to compete, there is no thrill in the world that ever again will quite satisfy. The disease is communicable. Not too many realize that the top outriders and chuck-drivers are nearly all related. Possibly that explains the violent competitiveness of it all!” Summer 1970, My Golden West

“To see the wagons coming against a red sunset, under a pall of dust down the home stretch, is something never to be forgotten.” 1993, Andy Russell

“Chuckwagons: Part rodeo and part theatre of the absurd, the chucks as they are generally called, are the most talked about of all Stampede events. The danger and excitement are for real. However, the real excitement comes on the last night, when $50,000 in prize money is up for grabs. The rest of the time, the chucks are merely a matter of life and death.” 1996, Charles Frank, Calgary Herald

And finally, in 2005, Chris Turner wrote, “That’s why real, live rodeo is so refreshing: it’s decidedly underhyped – in fact, it’s kind of ridiculed in many circles – and yet it’s genuinely, heartracingly, holy-crap-that-chuckwagon’s-gonna-tip-over-and-killus-all, exciting.

“Not for nothing are the chuckwagon races the headlining act of the Stampede: this is one wild freaking ride. This is NASCAR meets Ben Hur, with Clint Eastwood directing. Get yourself a cheap rush ticket, muscle your way up close to the retaining fence and you’ll feel the sheer force of those charging horses as they come hard around the turn…

“ I never realized it could be so exciting. Everything has been outstanding, but if I must select the best, I would have to say the chuckwagon races. It is this that will make it difficult for us when we return home. I don’t think our friends will believe most of it – you just have to see it for yourself!
Racing chuckwagons entering the track from the infield, circa 1946. Calgary Stampede archives.

This is the greatest sports spectacle of our time...

“Here, bracingly, is a sporting event that’s considerably more than a non-aficionado would anticipate. The speed of it seems ridiculously reckless, and the proximity of these rampaging animals and their flimsy freight – to each other, and especially to you – appears flat out insane. You’ll be tempted to take a few steps back, but with a bit of tensing you’ll fight it off, and after the nail-biting finish you’ll be left with an adrenal tingle in your extremities that’ll last through all but the longest of Grandstand beer lines. At some point in the race, you might even be tempted, without provocation nor a trace of irony, to bellow, ‘Yee-haw!’ See? That’s where it came from.”

As these folks affirm, there is nothing like chuckwagon racing. The races are a controlled runaway. It is an endeavour rich in glory and disappointment, insignificance, and notoriety. The training. The barns. The horses. The families. The sponsors. The camaraderie. The pressure. The feuds. The community needed to run a wagon outfit. The element of catastrophe. The endless possibilities born of the western sky.

Like the shoes fitted onto their horses, chuckwagon cowboys were forged and hammered into resolute, steelyeyed, determined men. The measure of these Canadian cowboys has little to do with saloon fights and quick draws, and everything to do with how they conduct their lives centred around a dirt oval. Their numbers are few (less than 100); they truly are a breed apart. They sass, they fight, they cry. They eat dirt, spit desire, raise hell, and yet possess a compassion for horses that sees them wiping tears away with

their shirt’s mud-splattered cuffs.

These cowboys train some of the fastest racing Thoroughbreds in the world to pull their 1325-pound racing chuckwagon. These horses who race, do so by choice. If they do not naturally want to run and want to compete, they will not stay long with a chuckwagon outfit. With times measured to 1/100ths of a second, it is a true collaboration between horses and cowboys.

From re-imaging the high-spirited natures of old west cowboys, to the controversy it ignites today, chuckwagon racing demands attention. It is gripping. It is enthralling. Anything that spirited, and that inimitable, is bound to stir and ignite the audiences’ opinions and emotions. The cheering, confrontation, and celebration it kindles, reflects the energy pulsing in every race.

And it is at the Calgary Stampede where this energy beats like nowhere else. Within sight of the Elbow River, chuckwagon racing owes its origins to the Calgary Stampede. And it is at the Calgary Stampede where chuckwagons are followed and showcased on a scale like no other. With upwards of over 11 million spectators having watched Stampede chuckwagons, arguably, they are the most well-attended race in Canada’s history. Across the west, there are other chuckwagon races, but the Stampede was, and is, the event defining horse and teamster greatness. The best horsemen in the world are marked by earning a Stampede victory. There is no higher or more coveted accomplishment.

A beautiful evening of chuckwagon racing at the Calgary Stampede. Chris Bolin Photo

It is also the only professional sport unique to Canada. Canadians solely compete, support, and champion chuckwagon racing at this level. While sports like hockey and lacrosse have been embraced by other nations, chuckwagon racing is Canada’s own. No other families on the planet excel at chuckwagon racing like Canadians.

Around Calgary’s oval track, chuckwagon racing’s women and men have collectively lived their life’s circle. Chuckwagon racing is not just a sport, it is a culture. From conception in the parked motorhomes and Stampede barns, to fatal injuries on the track, and everything in between, the Stampede has witnessed the entirety of the chuckwagon community’s passions, frailties, tragedies, and glories. It is where the supreme moments of their lives are lived amidst the daily rhythm of feeding and bathing horses, raking and cleaning stalls, scrubbing harnesses and drying them in the sun.

It is a tiny tribe on the wagon trail. The sport’s high costs repeatedly require the capital foundation of a wagon family for the next generation to race. It is also very connected. Traveling and working so closely together, relationships bloom between young men and women of wagon families, creating an interconnected web of relationships. Marrying, working, playing, fighting, and laughing, the involvement of entire families is rare amongst pro sports. The Calgary Stampede is the catalyst and the centrepiece to the chuckwagon family’s human journey.

The story of chuckwagon racing is a tale worth hearing. Westerners, at times, champion values and a lifestyle in a different tune. Carrying an independent swagger sometimes divergent to attitudes seen in other parts of Canada and America, westerners can appear brash, blustery, and full of braggadocio. But these families north of the ‘49 carry on the enterprise of wagon racing in a uniquely Canadian way. Allowing for present perceptions, the Calgary Stampede’s chuckwagon races are a Canadian treasure, and an extraordinary event on the international stage. WHR

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Driver, Kelly Sutherland at the Calgary Stampede, July 17, 2011 Mike Ridewood Photo

Agricultural Appeal


Story & Photos by BAR XP PHOTO – Kirk Prescott

Canadian farmers and ranchers set a strong global example and stand at the forefront of the agricultural industry. While both male and female farmers / ranchers face daily challenges, women in agriculture have struggled, globally, for many years. Canada showcases incredible examples of females in agriculture and as a nation, we continue to set trends. Our agricultural sector has experienced growth in many ways, however the reported number of farmers/ranchers continues to decline. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that agriculture remains appealing to younger generations and proper avenues of support remain accessible to everyone.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) indicates that women make up 43% of the global, agricultural labour force. National Geographic indicates that most economically active women, especially in the less-developed countries, work in agriculture. Statistics Canada and the UN both indicate that approximately 30% of farmers in the United States and Canada are women. While these numbers continue to rise and a balance of gender-based participation in agriculture is near, gender specific obstacles burden many female farmers / ranchers, especially outside of North America. Land and livestock ownership, equal pay, and access to credit / financial services impede women’s ability to advance in agriculture, in many countries. National Geographic notes that less than 20% of landholders in developing countries are women. In some parts of the world, women still cannot legally own or control land.

National Geographic correspondent Maryellen Kennedy Duckett noted, “When a female farmer isn’t empowered to make decisions about the land she works; it is impossible for her to enter contract farming agreements that could provide

higher earnings and reliable sources of income.” Canada sets precedence, world-wide, having a powerful and influential female, farmer / rancher cohort. We have strong numbers of women in agricultural pursuits and promote programs that empower and encourage equal gender participation in the agricultural sector.

Female farm operators, and spokeswomen for farming/ ranching disciplines, play a pivotal role in Canadian agriculture. Federal government initiatives, such as the Women Entrepreneur Program (WEP), have fostered an increase in female based agricultural and agri-food endeavors. Launched in 2019, the WEP program has invested over $500 million dollars, to date. The 2021 Canadian Census shows that female farm operators increased by nearly 3%, for the first time since 1991. In the same period, a 5% decrease in male farmers was reported. While Canada’s female farmer population has increased, the Census of Agriculture shows a total farm operator decline of nearly 33%, in the past 30 years. These numbers are, uniquely, something to celebrate and something to be mindful of. While many believe this trend is influenced by male farmers / ranchers working “off- farm,” to keep afloat, others believe women are taking a more active role because access to funding has increased and more women serve as role models in the industry.

As a nation, Canada is quickly approaching gender equality in the agricultural industry. Sadly, our total number of farmers / ranchers requires attention. In any event, Canadian farmers / ranchers set a global example and our female farmers / ranchers have a wealth of knowledge to share. How can Canadian farmers / ranchers build appeal and support equal growth in our agricultural industry? Without prejudice, three Western Horse Review interviewees share their well-rounded thoughts.

These three ladies are passionate about preserving Canadian agriculture.

A fourth-generation farmer, Erica Thew loves everything about the agricultural industry. From the people involved and the work it entails, to putting food on tables (world-wide), and advocating for the industry, each element is an integral piece of a very detailed puzzle. In preserving a respected way of life and being a good steward of the land, Thew aims to uphold her family legacy and

carry forward Canada’s reputation in the global, agricultural industry. Farming close to 14,000 acres, Thew and family have a primary rotation of Hard Red Spring Wheat, Yellow Peas, Malt Barley, and Canola. In addition, Thew raises 80 head of commercial, Red and Black Angus cattle on her native, unfarmable pastureland. As a young girl, Thew spent a great deal of time with her father, learning


the trade. She always knew that farming was something she wanted to do, but her lead role in Sage Farms Ltd. began much sooner than anticipated. Only 18, Thew lost her father in a snowmobiling accident and immediately assumed the role of Farm Manager. Forced to learn things fast, Thew has forged forwards with a mindset toward further education and best practices.

Blending the knowledge of her family mentors, seminars, agronomy courses and agricultural meetings, Thew has become a well-respected farmer who values each member of her team. She noted, “Everyone in our farming family had to figure out what role they wanted to play when my dad passed. I’m proud to say we’ve retained a lot of the same employees over the years. They stepped up to the plate as much as I did.”

An average week for Thew, like most farmers and ranchers, varies, depending on the season. Things are a little more relaxed in the winter months. After feeding cows with her son in the morning, Thew spends time in the office catching up on bookkeeping, checking commodity markets, marketing grain, planning the upcoming growing season and delegating daily tasks for her hired hands. Once the farming season starts, things get busy! Thew’s winter task list is overshadowed by running machinery full-time. From seeddrills to sprayers and combines, Thew, her sister, and their hired men run the show. Thew grew-up surrounded by agriculture. The community it provides and the values it upholds mean the world to her. Thew notes, “My number one attraction to agriculture would be family pride, values, and our family legacy.”

In speaking to Canadian agricultural specifically, Thew mirrors the above sentiments and adds that the shared values

Robin Laurenson (31) Hussar, Alberta

and high standards Canadian farmers / ranchers hold themselves to are valued nationwide. “At events I’ve attended over the years when networking, it’s apparent how much pride farmers / ranchers take in their job. It’s unique to the industry.”

1. Where do you see Canadian farmers / ranchers in the global, agricultural market? What makes Canada stand apart from other countries?

“I see us as one of the world leaders in the global, agricultural market. Canada is a huge exporter globally. Our products speak for themselves. The quality of our agricultural products has always been nothing but that of the highest standard and they consistently remain that way in the marketplace. We are known globally for our wheat, canola, and livestock. We have a lot of other niche products such as malt barley, peas, canola, and AAA beef, to name a few, that other parts of the world can’t produce. Our products fill the needs of countries all over the world. Canada’s vast landscape and abundance of water, allows us to have a wide variety of products to offer in the marketplace.”

2. What do you feel is the biggest misconception regarding agriculture?

“The biggest misconception about agriculture stems from the negative press that the agricultural industry has been getting. Most of it has zero merit. Just to name a few – negative environmental impacts from carbon emissions and the size of our carbon footprint in the agricultural industry, effects of glyphosate on our food, the idea that all GMO’s are bad, and the notion that organic practices should be used over conventional practices, while still sustaining the world’s food supply.”

3. How might our agricultural sector improve to promote growth and maintain strength in our total number of farmers / ranchers?

“I think that traceability will upkeep our numbers. Consumers are currently very interested in knowing where their food comes from. If we can make a connection with consumers and have less ‘middlemen’ involved in the food process, I believe the family farm / ranch can remain viable and profitable. The consumers must also realize that these familyowned operations take a lot of pride in producing sustainable, high-quality products. The closer we move to corporate farming, the less of that there will be.”

4. How can we bridge the gap between our urban and rural populations?

“There’s such a large disconnect between the consumer and the producer and I think that is primarily between the rural and urban populations. I think educating our youth is the best place to start. ‘Knowledge is power.’ If we can teach our children where their food comes from, that’s the place to start. I know of some programs currently where they bring kids from urban areas to the farm for a tour. This is a super positive step in the right direction. There needs to

be more of that. We need to find a way to reach the adult populations as well. It’s as simple as knowing how to respond to a family member or friend in a conversation about food. When you have differing opinions, we need to respond less emotionally, put ourselves in their shoes / mindset, and have the correct tools to respond rationally while bringing a new way of looking at things, rather than just saying you’re wrong.”

5. Where do you see Canadian agriculture in the next ten years?

“I see us continuing to be a leader in the agricultural industry. Canada will be a top exporter, leading in research and development, sustainably producing our products. However, in all honesty, if we can’t get a federal government that’s behind farmers / ranchers, it will be hard. It’s looking like we will have a lot of obstacles to overcome in the future. If we as a community can come together and stand up for ourselves and our livelihood and get our message to the rest of our nation, I have no doubt Canadian agriculture will remain strong. Our products have spoken for themselves over the years, and they will continue to do so. Ten years from now, the technology we are currently exploring will likely be proven and implemented on Canadian farms. Canada has always stayed current with technology, and we will continue to do so. Canadian agriculture is proud, strong, and resilient. It will remain that way.”



Growing up on a ranch near Blackie, AB, agriculture is an innate passion for Rae Westersund. From a variety of ranching and equine pursuits to hands-on, innovative crop production assistance, Westersund has done it all. Her passion for team roping, working cow horse events, and crop sciences keeps her mobile and mindful. She is wellknown and respected among her vast, agribusiness customer base and ranching community. As a territory manager for an Agrochcemical company,Westersund provides retail customers and farmers with support, guidance, and training on crop input portfolios.. Actively involved with her family’s farm, Westersund helps run 100 head of commercial cattle and, together, they farm approximately 500 acres. Her average week depends on the season and, in-most cases, her days are long. In season, Westersund is hands-on with farmers, answering calls and checking field performance. When crops aren’t being grown or harvested, Westersund spends a great deal of time with retail customers, training on new products/label changes, and updating her Certified Crop Advisor credentials. Closing the gap between our urban and rural populations remains top priority for Westersund. She believes that educating and correcting the urban population’s understanding of GMOs and rural contributions to Greenhouse Gas Emissions is paramount.

Westersund is not alone in stating, “Agriculture is a traditional industry. We like to keep our head down and work hard. We often ignore the misconceptions and, unfortunately, this has allowed a false narrative to be written. It’s time for us in agriculture to tell our own story.”

As someone who grew-up in this lifestyle, Westersund couldn’t imagine a

better way to live. She recognizes that the agricultural sector is a traditional industry and states, “…we value handshakes, eye contact, and your word. This may seem old fashioned, but these characteristics are becoming a lost art. I love reaping what you sow. There’s no more literal definition of that, than farming.”

1. Where do you see Canadian farmers / ranchers in the global, agricultural market? What makes Canada stand apart from other countries?

“Canadian farms are some of the most sought after in the world. Our land is rich in organic matter and nutrients. Producers have adapted farming practices that have minimized environmental impacts and, with a shorter growing season than other areas, we farm intensively and quickly. Our weather is what makes Canada stand apart from other countries. Having a shorter growing season, we can harvest a single row crop per year. Canada also has the largest acres per farm ratio of any developed country. Canada is very diverse. We have horticulture on the east and west coasts and the prairie provinces produce both grain commodities and livestock. We are a leading country in agricultural exports.”

2. What do you feel is the biggest misconception regarding agriculture?

“The biggest misconception about farming is how bad it is for the environment. Legislation in

agriculture is being hit hard to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.”

3. How might our agricultural sector improve to promote growth and maintain strength in our total number of farmers / ranchers?

“The biggest factor preventing young people from farming right now is the high upfront cost. Land prices have soared astronomically, as more urban investors buy land. This leaves young people unable to enter the market. The high cost of equipment and inventory, paired with limited financing options, make it extremely hard for someone to enter the industry with no help or inheritance. I’m not sure how we grow the industry, without having the money come from urban investors and overseas. I do know that, until this is limited, the opportunities to start farming are extremely limited.”

4. How can we bridge the gap between our urban and rural populations?

“We can bridge the gap by sharing our stories. The false narratives that exist hold back the

Robin Laurenson (34) Calgary, Alberta

agricultural industry. There is a misunderstanding when it comes to food production. If urban populations understood our practices, and the regulations in place, they might have more confidence in the producers.”

5. Where do you see Canadian agriculture in the next ten years?

“I see middle level farms being phased out. I think large corporate farms will continue to trend upward, as well as small niche farms. As the average age of the farm owner continues to rise, mom and pop farms will be bought out by larger entities. I think land will continue to increase in value and prices will continue to rise. I also believe that, as urban populations take viable farmland, the need to produce more on less will continue. This will create new farming opportunities and change practices, as we work to limit inputs and push yields.”



Raised on a ranch in, Lathom, AB, Suntana Murray has a passionate eye for the progression of Canadian agriculture. Together with her husband George, their six children, her fatherin-law, George Sr., and an irreplaceable team of employees, Murray owns and operates Lathom Cattle, GW Murray Ranches, Dumaresq Brothers, Murray Ranches, and several other companies. Together, they run 3,000 Black Angus commercial cows, bred to Black Angus and Charlois Bulls. They own and operate a finishing lot near Tilley, AB, and a backgrounding lot, a few hours North, in the Neutral Hills.

Aside from ranching, Murray’s farming operation boasts approximately 45 irrigation pivots, growing everything from barley, wheat and corn silage, to garlic, sugar beets and sunflowers. Tilley, Rolling Hills, and Consort, AB, along with Tompkins, SK serve as Murray’s primary land locations. Together, the operations span approximately 60,000 acres. Involved in all aspects of daily farm / ranch life, Murray admits that she spends the bulk of her time in the office and supporting her children in a host of agricultural, athletic, and academic pursuits. Murray has always been passionate about investment and cash flow, regardless of the sector, and takes pride in her personal portfolio. For more than 18 years, she worked in the oil and gas industry and has remained active and invested in the farming and ranching community her entire life. Currently, Murray’s intent is to raise her children, and any youth interested in agriculture, to have passion, work-ethic, grit, and knowledge that will foster success in any agricultural sector. Speaking to her love of Canadian agriculture, Murray notes, “The appeal of the industry is that it is family driven. Everyone can be involved. It’s a great place to raise a family. There are areas and sectors for all personality types to grow, thrive, succeed, and be happy.”

(40) Consort, Alberta

1. Where do you see Canadian farmers / ranchers in the global, agricultural market? What makes Canada stand apart from other countries?

“Canadian farmers and ranchers are set in favorable conditions for food production and opportunity. With our large, productive land base and small population, we produce more than we can consume, presenting opportunities for export to markets with larger populations. If we continue to improve trade agreement access, enhance port/rail line infrastructure, and keep our regulations and taxes at bay, to be competitive in other markets, we are, and will continue to be, agriculture leaders on the world stage. Hopefully, we can capture a bigger piece of the world market with our high-quality products. Canada has a diverse land base, with many different growing conditions. There are many opportunities for niche products. She’s pretty much your oyster if you have the mindset and work ethic. If you want it, it CAN happen here - that is not always the case in other parts of the world.”

2. What do you feel is the biggest misconception regarding agriculture?

“There is a large disconnect between producer and consumer. A large part of the population

believes that beef and grains are poorly produced, not nutritious, and that we (the producer) don’t care about the consumer’s welfare. Outside information and influence will always be there. We need to better educate the consumer about our product and the food we produce.”

3. How might our agricultural sector improve to promote growth and maintain strength in our total number of farmers / ranchers?

“In Canada, for most sectors, you can buy/sell your commodities as you see fit and to your advantage. The more we can expand each other’s knowledge, in market optimization, through hedging, forward contracting, market timing, economics and different practices, the more profitable and strong our farmers and ranchers can become. Like any business, for people to want to be in it and for them to promote their youth to continue, they need to be prosperous. We need to foster youth involvement in agriculture to promote knowledge, leadership and a love for the land / animals. Agriculture businesses and communities are exceptional at donating their time and money to our youth. Some great organizations that help create an educational and motivating environment are junior stock shows, livestock judging forums, 4-H clubs, high school rodeo organizations, and the Canadian Junior Angus Association. Through these organizations, youth connect, gain exposure to business and life skills, and learn, at an early age, to become independent, confident leaders in whatever passion they pursue. We need to get more youth immersed in such programs, to gain retention in the agricultural sector.”

4. How can we bridge the gap between our urban and rural populations?

“With only 2% of our Canadian population living on the farms / ranches that produce all the domestic food for the entire population, we need to educate and involve the other 98%. I believe we should start with schools and introduce educational programs that explain how our local food is produced. We could introduce food programs that help our youth eat healthy lunches and snacks. We have so many nutritious, local, fresh products that are available. If we could get school boards and governing bodies to incorporate these options into schools, it could be a good direction for future consumers and it will bridge the gap in local connections and agriculture.”

5. Where do you see Canadian agriculture in the next ten years?

“Agriculture will remain strong in Canada. The future agricultural industry will succeed and grow if it’s led by young leaders that work together. By merging the pastexperience of their parents and grandparents with the many new innovations in technology, education, and marketing, our children will have a solid portfolio to work with.”


Spring TimeHUES

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They called them “Rabbit Drives” or Rabbit “Rodeos” – a term normally equated with competition, horse-flesh and skill. There was none of that.

A community comes together for a Rabbit Rodeo.

The rabbit rodeo was derived as a means of selfpreservation in an effort to combat irresponsible land management, depletion of prairie grasses, overstocked ranches and wind erosion. They were cruel, bloody and …necessary. Rabbit Rodeos would create a moral outrage not seen since the first World War. Their impact would be felt all over North America.

It is hard to imagine the innocuous little “bunny rabbit” as anything other than cute, cuddly and innocent – seemingly fragile and vulnerable.

A symbol of fertility and good luck, rabbits represent springtime, intuition and new beginnings; their presence evocative of warm summer days, picnics and light-heartedness.

Sadly, during the dust-bowl era, these creatures haunted the hearts of man and beast alike, plundering and pillaging the prairie. And in the race against time, there was no other option.

Until the first World War, rabbits and hares were considered to belong to the order ‘rodentia’ or rodents, small mammals gifted with continuously growing incisors on both the upper and lower jaws. It wasn’t until 1912, that the order of the rabbit was changed to ‘lagomorphs’ due to the evolution of their dentistry; having four incisors in the upper jaw including two non-functional teeth. They were no longer considered rodents.

The popularity of the rabbit dates back to the sixth or seventh century in China, during the Sui Dynasty. The Three Hares motif first appeared in cave temples, iconic along the Silk Road and was often associated with Buddhism – representing peace and tranquility.

The range of symbolic meanings varied between religions, but was generally presented in a circular motif with three rabbits chasing one another, with one of the three ears shared by two hares; (only three ears are shown.) With symbolism ranging from fertility and the lunar cycle to the Trinity, the rabbit has essentially

been venerated for centuries in geographically diverse locations around the world.

In an order of prey animals existing on six of the seven continents of the world (excepting Antarctica), the rabbit had never been viewed as predacious or threatening, coexisting in both wild and domestic environments, generally as food.

Prior to the introduction of the Industrial Revolution in the 1760s, society was largely agrarian, with limited urban centres, placed primarily along rivers and coastal waters. Less than 40 percent of the North American population resided in cities before the 1900s. Farmers performed their chores by hand or with the aid of a horse or an ox. Cows were milked by hand. Fields were plowed with walking plows, and farmers forked hay with pitchforks.

Grain was manually cut into sheaves, tied into bundles and vertically stacked against one another to air dry in “shocks”. This method of drying also kept the heads off the ground to avoid pillaging by vermin – typically rodents and rabbits.

After the devastation of the Civil War in the United States, the federal government introduced several land acts, which encouraged farmers to move further west and develop farmland in the great plains region. Most of these farmers flowed from urban areas and were inexperienced in the lifestyle. The work was labour intensive. Agriculture was powered by work animals and humans.

Canada’s prairie provinces saw incredible growth in immigration from 1900 through the

1920s as settlers came to the west, supported by the Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR), to establish their own farmland. The area was known as North America’s “Bread Basket” because of the successful growth of grain crops.

Previous to the 1920s there were a series of wet years, lending the impression that the plains area had rainfall which would naturally yield great production. This ecological misunderstanding led to over-cultivation of marginal lands which were more arid in nature than the perception they presented.

Cultivation of the grasslands disturbed the binding power holding the soil. Disruption of the soil and high winds, coupled with increasing wheat prices and over-grazing of cattle, created more soil disruption as farmers sowed more crop to benefit from the rising prices.

The over-production then created an overabundance of wheat yields, which dropped the wheat prices and led to the environmental and economic crises experienced in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Most Canadians who lived through the era remember the years as “The Dirty Thirties,” while our American counter-parts referred more to the term, the “Dust Bowl.” This term evolved from a line from an Associated Press reporter, Robert Geiger, who, on April 15, 1935, commenced his report with this line, “Three little words achingly familiar on a Western farmer’s tongue, rule life in the dust bowl of the continent – if it rains.”

Our parents and grandparents still turn their coffee and tea-cups upside-down reminiscent of the dust that accumulated in the cupboards.

A rabbit drive in the Radville area of Saskatchewan.

Those years were a culmination of drought and high winds, exacerbated by over-cultivation, soil disturbance, wind erosion, and over-grazing.

Ensuing on the heels of the stock market crash of October, 1929, the decade known as the Great Depression, was a period of extreme hardship.

Infestations of grasshoppers arose from the hot, dry climate of 1931. Devouring crops, and swarming people, even eating the laundry on clotheslines, their impact was a scourge on the earth. During wetter years, natural fungi and bird populations controlled grasshopper numbers, however, during hot, dry climates, grasshoppers exceeded the controls. It was estimated that in 1935, clouds of grasshoppers with as many as 23,000 insects per acre consumed anything they could eat. The National Guard was called to crush them, and burn infected fields. Conservations Corps spread insecticides, including mixtures of molasses, bran and arsenic in an attempt to reduce their numbers.

Dust storms turned daylight to darkness. Dust and sand choked animals and humans alike, smothering and blinding whole herds of cattle, sheep and horses. Dust pneumonia, known as the “brown plague,” killed children and the elderly by the hundreds, forming a type of silicosis often referred to as “farmer’s lung.”

Static electricity became a problem large enough to short out car engines and radios, prompting people to drag chains behind their vehicles to ground the static. Blue sparks and flames leapt from barbed wire, and even people shaking hands could generate a jolt so strong it threw them to the ground.

In the US, as part of a restoration strategy, the New Deal formulated by Roosevelt found the federal government purchasing herds of starving cattle to reduce the impact of grazing. Cattle healthy enough to be utilized for food, were provided to the homeless. Farmers were paid to use crop rotation techniques, leave their land sit idle, or replant prairie grasses. The federal government bought over 10 million acres of land, converting them to grasslands, some of which are still managed by the US Forest Service today.

However, the Canadian government was slow to follow suit. Although farmers struggled to maintain their farms, banks began repossessing them at an alarming rate. It is estimated that between the years 1930 and 1935, approximately 750,000 farms were lost; the majority of them in southeastern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan.

Following the transfer of natural resources from federal jurisdiction to provincial juris-

diction, Alberta formulated the Alberta Water Resources Act in 1931, demonstrating support for irrigation systems in southern Alberta. With irrigation came a resurgence of activity on arid and semi-arid farmland, and with that, new crop development. However, this was not yet the end.

In seemingly biblical chronology, plagues of rabbits descended on the prairies and great plains, destroying whatever meager crops and forage would grow. Tons of hay, preserved for feeding livestock would disappear in a day or two.

Rabbits would converge onto irrigated farmlands by the thousands, decimating crops before they could surface the ground. Acres of crop would disappear in one night. In an endless cycle of devastation, rabbits became the “new evil,” capable of producing litters of up to eight offspring every 32 days.

Many states and provinces declared the rabbit invasion a state of emergency. The US and Canada alike wrestled with effective measures of controlling their presence. When it came down to a battle between survival of livestock and humans versus a humane means of eradication, there was no contest. “Rabbit round-ups” or “Rabbit rodeos” became the only viable solution. Utilized as early as the turn of the century

A massive dust cloud, or “Black Blizzard.” CREDIT: Glenbow Archives NA-2496-1

in an effort to control rabbit populations, the concept emerged again in the mid 1930s. It was not pleasant, but it was not new.

Drives were generally held on weekends when the community would group together to herd the animals into corralled enclosures. Round-ups were most often held in February and March in an effort to curb increasing populations. They were advertised from county to county, on handbills and waybills, by newspapers and word of mouth, encouraging farmers and townspeople alike, to participate.

Varying contributors from municipalities to wealthy individuals supplied fencing and “drive” materials. Their sizes varied, ranging from mere acres of land to sections – some as large as several miles long and wide – to create a bottleneck by which the rabbits would eventually meet a gruesome demise. Faced with complete crop obliteration and decreasing feed for increasing numbers of starving livestock, the cost of the loss far outweighed the humaneness of the process.

The object was to walk in one or two lines, scaring the rabbits forward by yelling, making noise, pounding on pots and pans, or honking car horns – anything to make the rabbits run to the fenced area in the centre.

Ammunition was too scarce and costly to ex-

pend trying to shoot thousands of rabbits. The fear of hitting a person, or worse, eliminated that means of control. Although some rabbits were used as food given the hardships, fear of catching “rabbit fever” discouraged most from using rabbits as a food source. Ultimately, rabbits, by the thousands, would be controlled by clubbing – the most immediate and effective means of population reduction.

In response, moral outrage citing cruelty to animals was rampant. From the east and from the urban, references to the ‘ritualistic slaughter’ arose from ignorance of the real situation.

In trying to protect their livestock and their livelihoods, farmers stimulated the wrath of their neighbours. Eastern provinces and states harshly criticized participants for being inhumane and lobbied against the carnage, accusing agrarians of hunting rabbits “for the sport.”

Because the critics had not experienced the problem, they were quick to lobby against livestock prices, and newspapers throughout the mid-west carried stories about the drives creating further division.

However, attempts to send live rabbits to the east, both as a food source, and to reduce populations were quickly met with opposition. Game conservation and wildlife officials soon realized how destructive and prolific rabbits

were and orders were quickly cancelled. In the state of Kansas alone, it is estimated that feed for almost a quarter million cattle was saved by reduction of the rabbit population. Multiply that by almost half the US states, and half of Canada, and the savings in terms of livelihood, livestock and food availability was astronomical.

It is seemingly impossible to appreciate the full cost of the 1930s Dust Bowl impact – however one estimate provides that the US government expended upwards of $1 billion dollars toward economic recovery. Canada was among one of the most profoundly affected countries in the world, shirt-tailing on the economics of its southern neighbor, however, the real economic impact on Canada has never been fully realized.

There are fears that the devastation of the Dust Bowl years may yet be revisited. Drought is still a reality. It is how we manage that possibility that will determine our future outcome. But as we move forward into a new era of conservation, it is hoped the era of the rabbit drive has come to its final conclusion. From a humane perspective, it is hoped that we never have to experience the magnitude of either experience, physically or morally, on our conscience. again. WHR

The Three Hares. There are several variations of this motif, but they generally consist of three hares running in a circle, either clockwise or anti-clockwise, with each hare having two ears – three ears in total.  The ears form a triangle at the centre of the design.


I may be a lazy housekeeper…

If I have used an item, let’s say a bowl or a gadget—and there may be the chance I will use it again—I’ll leave it on top of the kitchen counter. This last while, I’ve been on a smoothie kick and so, it’s the blender that is sitting front and centre.

I may also have a bad habit of cleaning my tack on the kitchen floor. (This story is all about honesty and vulnerability. So, a warning.) The main reason for this quirk is that my Dad’s old slotted screw driver lives in the kitchen junk drawer. The conchas on my bridle ends all have slotted screws, so if I’m wanting to tighten one or change a bit out, it just makes sense to plop down on the floor and get on with it. And so, I did.

When I was done swapping out the bits on the headstall, to my annoyance, one of the runners that holds the tail end of the crown strap was missing. I mean, it was gone. AWOL. Poof. No trace. I turned every inch of our kitchen

upside down, looking for the leather keeper but I found nothing. Vexed mightily, I put the remaining bits and pieces together and went out to ride.

Fast forward an hour or so, to lunch time.

I made myself a Green Goddess smoothie, which is a slick name for a milkshake made with kale, cucumber and precious little else. Except this one was different, somehow. The first gulp surprised me with its earthy taste. Nutty, salty, gritty. That was strange. It wasn’t until I got a piece of linen thread caught in my teeth that I realized what I’d done.

I studied the drink in my glass and made a decision. At the price of fresh kale, you can bet I chugged the Goddess down.

If you need me, I’ll be downstairs at the bench, stitching up a new runner for my bridle. Burp. WHR

Backforty g



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