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Last updateFri, 20 Jul 2018 1pm
  • Carbon boy Cole Goodine competes against best of the best

    Carbon local Cole Goodine takes a breather after two rides at the Calgary Stampede on July 10, 2017.

    Competing in the Bareback category of the Calgary Stampede, Carbon boy Cole Goodine competes against the best of the best.

    Riding from July 7 to July 10 in the ‘A’ pool, Goodine was able to squeeze $3,000 out of the event.
    Within the sport of Bareback riding, control and flare are a cowboy’s two favourite assets.

    “The way to get the best marks is to show control but exposure while you’re still in control. So the longer the spurs stroke, the more wild it looks while you maintain control,” explained Goodine.

    Goodine split his winnings three out of the four days. On the final day, he was able to take a decent amount of pay for his re-ride.

    “The money got split up a lot, I never got one full cheque for myself.”

    Initially, Goodine started team roping and calf roping before discovering his love for bareback riding.

    Goodine got into the sport after he and a buddy tried it on a dare. After that, there was no going back.

    “I was hooked as soon as I got thrown through the air,” said Goodine.

    Goodine hangs on for dear life at a rodeo competition from earlier this year - Submitted photo

    Rodeo runs in the family.

    “My dad was a bull rider and my mom was a barrel racer and my grandpa was a bareback rider and my other grandpa was a calf roper”.

    “My mom literally planned me and my sisters’ births so that she could still barrel race and not miss out on anything,” said Goodine. “I was born in the saddle.”

    As of this past week, three generations of Goodine’s have now participated in Stampede.

    “Unreal, it’s pretty exciting. It’s always been a dream just to have my dad there with me.”

    Goodine got himself into ‘a bit of a wreck’ on the last day.

    “The horse came down on me and then once I got out of it, I got offered a re-ride and I was about to get on the re-ride when my dad was waiting there behind the chutes to help me out – make sure I was okay.”

    He rode the re-ride with ease, earning himself a cheque.

    This is Goodine’s first year fully committed to the sport after being laid-off from work. “I thought I might as well go for it.”

    This year he has been fighting with a number of minor to serious injuries due to the sport. He has a problem with the disk in his back as well as hip, rib problems, thumb dislocation, and a bone was put out in his foot.

    Goodine was ranked #1 in Canada last year until the end. He continually pushes himself to do better to compete with the best, year in and year out.

    “I typically train three to four hours a day, five to six days a week. I try to stay healthy and strong enough to compete with the best in the world. We’re all pushing harder and harder to be better and better and pushing the human limits.

    "In order to compete against the best, you have to push that a little bit more all the time,” said Goodine.

    When asked how it felt to compete on the world stage, Goodine smiled and fervently said “There’s not really words to describe it. It’s unreal to just be in the same category that they are.”

    Out of the four draws for horses, two were great, and two not so much.

    “There were two that didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.”

    The first day, he got a horse that was difficult to ride but was able to regain himself on the next two.

    “So I got a couple horses that really suited me and a couple horses that did not but I managed to fight through it and I’m really proud of myself for that.”

    Despite the multiple injuries, Goodine has much more fight left in him for the rest of the rodeo season ahead.

    “There’s a lot of rodeo left and I’m feeling foxy.”

  • 60th Rockyford Rodeo draws huge crowd

    Chance Bohmer of Hillcrest, AB., left, rides Ned Pepper (91) in the Saddle Bronc portion of the 60th annual Rockyford Rodeo.

    Chance Bohmer of Hillcrest, AB., above, rides Ned Pepper (91) in the Saddle Bronc portion of the 60th annual Rockyford Rodeo.

    Denny McKinney of New Sarepta, AB., below, competes in the Junior Steer Riding portion of the 60th annual Rockyford Rodeo.

    Denny McKinney of New Sarepta, AB., right, competes in the Junior Steer Riding portion of the 60th annual Rockyford Rodeo.

    The event featured Gringo bullfighting and the local Catch and Keep. Throughout the three days, July 28 to July 30, Steer Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Bareback, Senior Barrels, Saddle Bronc, Calf Roping, Bull Riding, Wild Horse Race, Mutton Busting were all part of the live action.

    mailphotos by Terri Huxley

  • Barrel Racer Kristy White showcases Big Valley on world stage

    kirsty white

    Three-peat Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) qualifier Kristy White lit up Calgary Stampede last week with four top placing scores in the women’s barrel racing competition.

    After attending the first four days in the ‘A’ pool, White walked away with $15,000 in day money from the Calgary Stampede this past weekend.

    She was elated to represent the small village of Big Valley on the world stage, placing third on her first day with 17.42 seconds.

    “It’s been like a dream week really,” said White. “We had a really good run, I ended up placing in every round.”

    On her second day of the four-day competition bracket, she placed fourth only to climb into the number three position the next day with 17.54 seconds. On her final day, White placed top dog with a time of17.33 seconds.

    “Those are pretty good competitive times on a standard like that and kudos to Calgary because they kept the ground amazing so it was a very good barrel race.”

    She credits her Canadian born and bred horse Racy for performing so well at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

    “I raised her and I trained her so it’s nice to show that we are competitive on the world stage like that,” said White. “She’s a life changer. She has so much heart – she’s all heart.”

    Due to high qualifications and stiff competition, not many Canadians are represented at the world famous rodeo anymore.

    “They don’t allow a lot of Canadians in there because their qualifications are pretty stiff to get into so it’s just such a grand feeling to be able to showcase Canada,” said White. “Those girls that are there are all at the top, they are the top barrel racers in the world.”

    White moved to Big Valley 15 years ago from B.C. and has loved every second of it. “I love living here, it’s just amazing,” said White.

    White has plans to attend the CFR in Edmonton in November.

    “I got some really nice young horses too so I hope to give Racy a bit of a break and start riding those younger ones,” said White.

    As a horse trainer, her main focus has always been horses so during the winter months, White will travel to Arizona to continue riding and training throughout the year.

    “I pretty much ride everyday.”

  • Matt Howard making third appearance at Stampede

    Matt Howard of Drumheller, AB, makes his third appearance at the Calgary Stampede

    At only 15, Matt Howard is on his way back to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
    Over the last few years, Howard has been making a splash in the Junior Steer Riding Alberta Circuit. This will be his third appearance at the Calgary Stampede. He will be riding this Wednesday, July 12.
    He is excited to be back at the Stampede and explains that in the Junior Steer Riding division there is no need to qualify, but he has proved so far that he is up to the task.
    In the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) Alberta Circuit, while he hasn’t won any event this season he is ranked in the top six.
    “I was third up until this weekend, and he I was bumped down to fourth or fifth,” he said.
    This is Howard’s last year of Steer Riding and then he will go up to junior bulls. Howard rides for Bridgemen Services ofDidsbury, and wears the Canadian Cancer Society patch on his vest inhonour of his mother Tanya Howard who passed away from cancer in 2008.

  • Rockyford Rodeo makes 60th turn around the sun

    Rockyford Rodeo NASH photo

    The Lions Club Rockyford Rodeo hits the ground running come July 28, 29, & 30.

    The Foothills Cowboys Association (F.C.A.) approved event will continue the classic competitions of steer wrestling, team roping, wild horse races, bull riding, and barrel racing with big local highlights including chuckwagon and chariot racing, mutton busting, and catch and keep.

    The main feature of the three-day bender will be the Gringo bulls featuring seven professional bullfighters including Dylan Miller.

    “It’s like one bull fighter out there against a Mexican fighting bull. It’s free style bullfighting basically,” said Justin Geeraert, event planner.

    Rockyford Rodeo Catch and Keep

    (Photos courtesy of N*A*S*H Photography)

    As for local events, Catch and keep is a fun event for little ones where they essentially catch an animal, typically a pig or chick and then get to keep it to take home.

    “It’s a good way to get a pet chicken – You gotta be there to see that,” said Darcy Koester.

    Professional rodeo announcer Mike Labelle, best known for his service during the annual Calgary Stampede, will be the commentator for the event.

    A parade is scheduled for the Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m. as well as the traditional Chuckwagon pancake breakfast. The food doesn’t stop there as a barbecue beef supper with Alberta prime beef will be at 5 p.m.

    Dances will be held both nights. The free family dance will be on Friday with the Cowboy Ball on Saturday. TC & Company Band will be playing at 9:00 p.m.

    The rodeo grounds are a great place to camp with weekend and day rates so you will never be too far away from the action!

  • Rodeo endures for six decades

    IMG 8638

    What started as a sports day for the community, has evolved into one of the premier rodeo events in Alberta.

    The Lions Club Rockyford Rodeo is turning 60 this year. While many rodeos have fallen by the wayside, the event offers an extravaganza of rodeo events, family fun, and a good time for all.

    According to “Rockyford: Where We Crossed the Creek and Settled,” before 1957 the community would gather for a sports days with events such as tug of war, baseball, and horse races.

    A few of the organizers that year decided to make it an even bigger event and the rodeo was born.

    The initial events included calf roping, cow riding, wild cow milking and some races.

    The day started with a chuckwagon breakfast, a parade, and a flag raising ceremony before the rodeo took off. Gilbert Burke was the first arena director.

    Louie Geeraert details how he decided to build a chuckwagon to serve the annual breakfast. He, along with Joe Koester, Bert Davenport, and Stan Harry worked to make the breakfast a success with the community pitching in supplying the food and utensils. The wagon even caught fire but everyone was safe.

    Their second year more joined in to help, and Fred Keeler and his orchestra provided music at the breakfast. In the early years they would hitch up the wagon and pull it in the parade, however, they soon found they would never finish serving in time to get in the parade queue.

    The rodeo grew and by 1960, the track was improved to make way for pony wagon and chariot races, and a fair was added in 1962.

    In 1965 they began to build the new facility and in 1967 it became a Foothills Cowboy Association (FCA) event, with a full slate of events including bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding, steer wrestling and calf roping, boys steer riding and wild cow milking. This was along with the gymkhana and chuck and chariot races.

    The rodeo grew into a Saturday event, and by 1973, they added an evening show to accommodate all the entries. By 1976, it was a full weekend show.

    Another mainstay to the rodeo was the addition of Stampede Wrestling, which attracted even more fans.

    This year the spirit lives on with an FCA sanctioned events, a parade, breakfast, and beer gardens. This year slack begins at 11 a.m., Friday, followed by chuck and chariots at 6:30 p.m. and family dance at 9 p.m.

    Saturday it all gets going again with breakfast starting at 7 a.m., with the parade at 10 a.m., and rodeo events beginning at 12:30 p.m. There is a beef barbecue dinner at 5 p.m. with the chariots and chucks and then the cowboy ball at 9 p.m.

    Sunday opens with breakfast at 7:30 a.m., with the rodeo at noon, beef on a bun at 5 p.m., and then the chucks and chariots at 6:30 p.m.

  • Three-peat for Zeke

    Big Valley native Zeke Thurston holds up his third consecutive cheque of $100,000 from the Calgary Stampede

    Big Valley star Zeke Thurston claims his third top win for saddle bronc from the Calgary Stampede on Sunday, July 16.
    With an outstanding score of 90 points on Timely Delivery during the opening round on Sunday, Zeke was able to rise above in the final four.
    On his final ride of the day in the final four, Thurston rode the famous Northcott Macza horse ‘Get Smart’, netting him the $100,000 win.
    “Every jump I thought I was going to get bucked off,” puffed Thurston, moments after his thrilling 92 point ride. “That horse bucks so hard. He’s probably only 800 pounds, but that’s one of the strongest horses I’ve ever been on.”
    A cowboy is only as good as the horse underneath him.
    “Honestly, that horse could buck you off any day of the week. I was just lucky to stay on.”
    Following the three-peat trend, this is not the first nor the last time Zeke and Get Smart have encountered each other. Ironically enough, the two horses and the Big Valley local worked together to win the Ponoka Stampede two weeks ago and plan to see each other again next weekend.

    Zeke Thurston's 92 point ride on 'Get Smart' during the Calgary Stampede rodeo finals on Sunday, July 16.


    Zeke’s championship score was just a half point higher than the 91.5 turned in by his friend Layton Green on Wild Cherry moments before.
    “That was pretty special to be riding against your buddy that you’ve known since you were eight years old,” insisted Zeke. “We grew up riding steers together, came up through high school rodeo, learned to ride broncs together, and now to be competing against him at Calgary, it’s pretty cool. He made an awesome ride. I knew I was going to have to do something to set myself apart. Turns out I had the buckier horse, was all.”
    Zeke, who just turned 23 on Saturday, hasn’t thought too much yet about making his mark in history as the first saddle bronc rider to notch three consecutive wins with the $100,000 paydays attached.
    “That’s crazy to me. You know, a lot of guys will go their whole careers and maybe never win this rodeo and to win it three years in a row, that’s unbelievable,” Zeke explained.
    Family, especially Zeke’s mother Lynda, was beyond proud to watch her own blood make history.
    “It feels pretty exciting, it actually took a little longer this time to sink in I think,” Lynda laughed. “It was a pretty great round of bronc riding. It was awesome to watch four outstanding horses and four good cowboys and yeah, it was close but I’m really proud of the ride that Zeke made. It was a heck of a ride.”
    Thurston’s takehome from Stampede was $110,000, with the cash he won earlier in the week; while Green gets the $25,000 bonus to go with his earlier $13,000 take.
    Taking the third place bonus of $15,000 for a 90 point ride on Stampede Warrior was Taos Muncy. Sterling Crawley also received a $10,000 bonus for his 89 point ride on Magic Carpet in the Showdown round.