In The Corral Dec/Jan 2009

 

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Photo courtesy of Lighthouse Productions
The poignant biography of bull rider Lane Frost now available on DVD

The Challenge of Champions
Producer David Wittkower and Lighthouse Productions has released the authorized biography of Lane Frost, as told by the people who knew him best; his parents, Clyde and Elsie Frost, travelling partners Tuff Hedeman and Cody Lambert and friends.

Challenge of Champions – The Story of Lane Frost and Red Rock premiered at the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City.

For more information or to order the DVD, visit lanefrost.com.

 

Empty Saddles
Bill Greenwood, 1917-2008
Chuckwagon driver Bill Greenwood, 91, died August 21, 2008 of natural causes.

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Photo by Billy Melville
From left, Bill Greenwood, Norm Haynes and Norman Edge received the Calgary Stampede Pioneers of Rodeo honour this past summer

Greenwood debuted as a driver in 1947 and went on to win dozens of championships, including two World Championships (1958, 1967), three Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby Championships (1958, 1965, 1966), three Cheyenne Frontier Days Championships and five Ponoka Stampede Championships. He drove for the last time in 1973. At the sale that officially ended Bill Greenwood’s successful racing career, a young driver named Kelly Sutherland emerged with the nucleus of Bill’s winning chuckwagon outfit. Greenwood was also the chuckwagon director with the Cowboys’ Protective Association and the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association at different times throughout his career.

In 1989, Greenwood was honoured with the WPCA’s Special Tribute award. In 2007, he was inducted into the Ponoka Stampede Hall of Fame. The following year the Calgary Stampede honoured him as a Pioneer of Rodeo.

 

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Photo courtesy of Wrangler Western Wear
Karl Stressman, new ranahan for PRCA

Karl Stressman Tough Enough To Head PRCA
Wrangler Western Wear recently announced that Karl Stressman – director of rodeo and special events for Wrangler Specialty Apparel – will join the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) as president and CEO of PRCA Properties and interim CEO of the PRCA.

During his tenure with Wrangler, Stressman proved instrumental in developing marketing alliances with the PRCA, National High School Rodeo Association, National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, American Quarter Horse Association and Miss Rodeo America. Stressman established the brand as the first-and-only title sponsor of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the largest annual sporting event in Las Vegas, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

In 2005, Stressman helped lead the western and equine industry in the fight against breast cancer by co-founding Wrangler’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink™ campaign. To date, the program has raised more than $5 million.

 

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Photo courtesy of National Cowboy Hall of Fame
Marty Wood will join fellow Canadians Jerry Ambler, Winston Bruce, Harry Knight, Pete Knight, Herman Linder, Hughie Long, Kenny McLean, Smokey Snyder, Guy Weadick, Marie “Ma” Gibson and Mel Hyland in the National Cowboy Museum Rodeo Hall of Fame

Canadian inducted into National Cowboy Museum Rodeo Hall of Fame
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City honoured its 2008 inductees in October.

Induction into the Rodeo Hall of Fame is one of the top honours bestowed on a rodeo cowboy or performer. The Hall of Fame class of 2008 includes: Hadley Barrett, Don Gay, Charles Sampson, George Williams and Canadian Marty Wood. Honoured posthumously were Lane Frost, Chuck Parkison, Claire Belcher Thompson and C.E. “Feek” Tooke.

Marty Wood, Pendleton, Oregon, was known for his colourful style, incredible balance and ability to anticipate a horse’s next move – skills developed riding the jumping horses trained by his father. During his career, Wood won three world champion saddle bronc titles in 1958, 1964 and 1966, qualified for the NFR 14 times, was named RCA saddle bronc runner-up four times and won the Canadian saddle bronc championship three times.

Wood is the son of a horse trainer and former bronc rider and his first love was baseball. However, an early shoulder injury put a career in baseball out of reach. At age 20, he turned professional and hit the rodeo trail, competing in saddle bronc riding and winning at every major rodeo in the United States and Canada. Wood was a 1991 Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame inductee and has been inducted into the Calgary Stampede Hall of Fame, Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

 

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Photo courtesy of Mandeville family

Empty Saddles
Harold Mandeville, 1925-2008

Eight-time Canadian rodeo champion Harold Mandeville, a longtime member of the Canadian Pro Rodeo, Alberta and Lethbridge Sports Halls of Fame, died after sustaining massive injuries in a farm accident. He was 83 years old.

Mandeville competed in bareback riding, bull riding, calf roping and steer wrestling, winning eight Canadian championships over three decades.

His first was in 1946 for steer decorating; his last in 1966 in steer wrestling, which replaced steer decorating in the early ‘60s.

In between, he won the bareback riding title in 1947, three more steer decorating championships, including two in the ‘50s, the calf roping buckle in 1960 and the coveted all-around in 1965. He was voted Cowboy of the Year in 1972.

Mandeville founded the Canadian Rodeo News, the official newspaper of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.

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Photo courtesy of Calgary Stampede
Bob Spaith, George Brookman and Richard Roenisch with the replica of the massive sculpture to be installed at Stampede Park in 2010

15 Bronze Horses to Thunder into Stampede Park
The Calgary Stampede unveiled plans for a stunning Western bronze destined to become one of the largest sculptures in North America as well as one of the city’s most photographed icons.

By the Banks of the Bow, an ensemble of 15 horses and two cowboys, blends historical and modern day images into a larger-than-life exhibit that reflects the spirit of Calgary — from the influence of the Bow River to the significant role of the cowboy and the free spirit of the western horse.

George Brookman, chairman of the board and president of the Calgary Stampede, says the sculpture- which depicts cowboys herding their horses across the Bow River — exemplifies what public art is all about, as it captures the public’s attention, invites people to walk alongside the horses and cowboys as it creates a unique, historical sense of place.

Created by local artists and ranchers Bob Spaith and Richard Roenisch, the piece depicts a time when the area around Calgary was wide-open prairie and ranchers herded their horses across the Bow. “This piece really embodies the western tradition of everybody helping everyone else,” says Spaith.

The 1,250-square-foot sculpture, funded by a $2-million contribution from an anonymous donor, will be located just south of the Corral in the heart of Stampede Park. It will be ready for installation early in 2010.

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Photo by Terri Mason
Working cowboy gear at the gathering included this 60-foot braided rawhide reata by Guy Murphy

Maple Creek Gathering & Gear Show
The Cowboy Capital of Canada, Maple Creek, Sask., hosted their 19th annual cowboy poetry gathering art and gear show under a waning bucking horse moon in September.

Poets and musicians from across the West — including Hall of Fame yodeler Shirley Field, champion fiddler Ben Beveridge, funnyman Ol’ Ugly, musicians Al Owchar and Ed Brown (sigh) and poets Doris Bircham and Anne Slade — converged on the cowtown to share their gifts with the ranching community.

The gear show also featured western artists and top artisans such as saddlemakers Stan Groff and Bob Kaufman, rawhide braiders Guy Murphy and Wayne Bevins, silversmith Esther Nagel and photographers Jon Bowie and Heather Beierbach.

Next year will see the 20th anniversary of this traditional gathering; the community plans to welcome back top poets, musicians and gear makers to this buckaroo event.

 

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Photo by Shelley Fletcher
Scottish comedian Billy Connolly and Liz Twan of Alkali Lake Ranch at the B.C. Livestock Co-op stockyards in Williams Lake, B.C., in September

‘Twas a grand day…
Renowned comedian and filmmaker Billy Connolly spent the day at the Williams Lake stockyards shooting footage for his upcoming travel documentary Billy Connolly: Journey to the Edge of the World.

While in the Cariboo, Connolly and his crew made many stops, taking time to observe grizzly bears in the wild with Gary Zorn of Likely, B.C., as well as ride with the Gang Ranch cowboy crew trailing cattle. He also attended the annual Gang Ranch barbecue where he happily chatted up area ranchers. Connolly, a brilliant comedian, is referred to in the United Kingdom as a “national treasure”.

Producer Ben Smith consulted with Canadian Cowboy Country magazine back in June to determine “what Billy could experience” regarding the B.C. cowboy shoot. The documentary will air (ITV, Granada) this spring.

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Photo courtesy of RDOS
Bronze depicting the great Kenny McLean on Warpaint

Kenny McLean Bronze Gallops Nearer
The Kenny McLean Project is gaining momentum. Funded entirely by public support and through the sale of a limited edition of 100 replica bronzes, the 18-foot-high bronze statue by noted B.C. sculptor Lois Hannah will immortalize the great Kenny McLean in a spectacular ride on the Christensen Bros. great saddle bronc, Warpaint. The pinto horse was the 1956-1958 PRCA Bucking Horse of the Year. (Warpaint tied in 1958 with Harry Knight’s Joker.)

During his career, McLean won 14 Canadian championships, the World saddle bronc championship, was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Canadian Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and received the Order of Canada. McLean died July 13, 2002.

The statue of McLean will be erected in Centennial Park in the champion’s hometown of Okanagan Falls, B.C.

The 18-inch replica bronzes are available for $2,500 (tax-free); purchasers receive a charitable tax donation receipt. Charitable donations to the Kenny McLean Project are also gratefully accepted. Contact the Okanagan Falls Heritage & Museum Society or the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen at 250-492-0237 or email info@RDOS.bc.ca.

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Photo courtesy of Ranch Country Horse Sale
Pictured here is the high selling dun roan Filly, consigned by Roger and Lou Parsonage

Annual Ranch Country Horse Sale
Congratulations to the top buyers and sellers at the annual Ranch Country Horse Sale held Sept in Maple Creek, Sask.

The highest-selling baby was a 2008 dun roan filly consigned by Roger and Lou Parsonage. The filly was purchased for $1,350 by Don Kraus of Langham, Sask. Jack Kingsbury of Lewistown, MT, purchased the highest-selling saddle horse, a 2002 bay gelding, Freckles Legacy Olea, consigned by Goldridge Quarter Horses for $8,000.

 

 

Canuck Cayuses’ Counting Coup
Out of thousands of horses in the running, Canadian equine athletes in the rodeo arena galloped home with half of the world’s top awards.

The Calgary Stampede’s sensational bucking horse, Grated Coconut, has again been named world champion bareback bucking horse by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

This is the third straight year – and fifth time overall – that Grated Coconut has been chosen as the top bareback bucking horse by the PRCA.

In the saddle bronc riding, Cool Alley, from the Kesler Championship Rodeo string, shared top honours with Burch Rodeo Company’s Blood Brother.

A versatile talent, Cool Alley was voted Bareback Riding Horse of the Year in 2001 and Saddle Bronc Riding Horse of the Year in 2004. It was the first honour for Blood Brother.

In steer wrestling, Rtr Little Willy, better known as Willy, finished first in the voting. It was the first American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horse of the Year win for the Canadian equine star owned and trained by Greg Cassidy. Willy has carried Rope Myers (2001), Lee Graves (2005) and Jason Miller (2007) to a trio of world championships.

Sugar Moon Express aka Martha — owned, trained and ridden by Lindsay Sears — was voted Womens Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) and AQHA Barrel Racing Horse of the Year.

Then, to round out the field, Saskatchewan’s own Gary Rempel was again voted in as a pick up man for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the sixth time.

There will be a host of Canadian flags waving over our superstars at the 50th annual WNFR in Vegas.

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Photo courtesy of Cindy Shipton
Jim and Carol Hern of Bindloss, Alta, Pat and Irene Rutledge of Consort, Alta, John Gattey and Cindy Shipton of Consort, Alta, Frances Hargrave and Bill Christie of Brooks, Alta, in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Where in the World is Canadian Cowboy Country?
The flagship of South African national parks, Kruger National Park, was established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld. This national park of nearly two million hectares is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.

Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals as well as archaeological sites that range from bushman rock paintings to majestic sites like Masorini and Thulamela. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park’s natural assets.

 

 

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