Thursday, July 30, 2015

Friendly competition at 2015 Pincher Creek Cowboy Show

Christian Davis

Pincher Creek's Horseshoe Pavilion was alive with the sights, sounds, and sensations of rodeo last weekend, on the occasion of the 2015 Ranch Rodeo. 9 area ranches competed in teams against each other. It's a friendlier competition than the pro-rodeo circuit.  Money isn't the motive.  The prizes are swank, but modestly so.  Volunteers build it. Enthusiastic local and regional sponsorships pay the big bills, and everybody chips in.

Overall 2015 Cowboy Show champions: Willow Springs

Justin Keeler performed admirably as MC, Alyssa Barbero led the crowd in the singing of 'O Canada', and an army of volunteers adjudicated and kept track of results.  Barry and staff were cooking at the burger window during the events, and for suppers as well.  The coffee was particularly good on Sunday.

Competing were Willow Springs, Davies Ranch, Remington, Esser, North Fork, Sears, Meadow, Lazy U, and YU Cattle.

The weekend began with the Ranch Horse competition on Saturday afternoon, including Ranch Cutting, Cowboy Challenge/Reining, and One Man Doctoring.  "Cowboys bring their best horses to town", in the words of Cowboy Show organizer Shelley Stokke.

An action packed Sunday began with a morning roping event.  Paula Cox was top female roper. Sunday afternoon events included a Wild Horse Race, Branding, Team Sorting, Team Doctoring, Wild Cow Milking, and Bronc Riding.

Teams lining up for Sunday afternoon events
Jenkins Lazy U Ranch and Robbins Ranch were the subjects of two heritage moments,

Robbins Ranch began as a Fred Robbins livery business, first in Pincher Creek in 1903 and at the then thriving Pincher Station from 1906.  His son Gerard began with farming and horses at Pincher Station and then moved into raising cattle.  Gerard's son Alvin took over, established a purebred herd in 1985 and still ranches there today, walking in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him.

Justin Keeler taking Calcutta bids
The Jenkins Lazy U began with the 1888 adventure of one Henry Herbert Jenkins, then a veterinary surgeon with the North West Mounted Police (NWMP).  After leaving their service he established a horse ranch along what is now called the Waterton river but was then called the Kootenai.  The NWMP remained the primary customers for the polo ponies and cavalry mounts. In 1909 the family purchased land further up the river at what is now the border for Waterton Lakes International Park.  The family raised sheep, cattle, and horses there. Frank and Tracy Jenkins  live at the old homestead with their family of three children, and the Jenkins Ranch is now known as the Jenkins Lazy U.

Thanks to the person who did the write up for the event brochure, to whom credit for the above extracted biographical information is entirely due.

C. Davis photos and videos

The wild horse race is popular around here with young cowboys and cowgirls.  Apparently older cowboys still enjoy it.  First, an old hide is thrown onto the dust and whatnot of the arena.  A rope inevitably connects it to a grinning man on horseback.  Another participant lays down on the hide.  Away go rider, horse, hide, and in a timed run around a pylon at the other end of the arena and back again.  It's a relay, so there's a sucker teammate waiting to to take over the hide at the halfway point.

Former Miss Rodeo Pincher Creek, future Miss Rodeo Canada? Chelsea Stokke's going for it.

Chelsea Stokke was on hand to help hand out the awards. She was Miss Rodeo Pincher Creek for two years.  Now she's running for Miss Rodeo Canada 2016.

Cowboy of the Day Dan Chalifoux (Willow Springs) on Cache was First in the One Man Doctoring event and Second in overall points.  Dan was Cowboy of the Day last year too.

The Hard Luck award went to Bob Cook (Esser Livestock) after a rough ride.  Cowgirl of the Day was Gina Marr.  Horse of the Day was Nanton cowboy Rory Sapergia's Banjo.  That one comes with a sweet trophy.  "This means the most to me out of anything," said multiple award winner Rory.  He was also first in the Cowboy Challenge and for points.

Best Bronc Rider was Kendall Miller.

In the final tally, Willow Springs placed first, Lazy U ranch second, North Fork third, and Davis Ranch fourth.

Rory Sapergia with Horse of the Day trophy

Three Lazy U's, Second Place

Willow Valley/Lundbreck area's North Fork took third place this year

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