Exciting competition, a bigger pen to play in, and a fitting tribute were all part of the 2015 Canadian Supreme at Westerner Park in Red Deer.
A highlight was the induction of long-time show announcer, Ron Anderson, into the Canadian Supreme Hall of Fame, presented by Western Horse Review. The Hall honors those who have made outstanding contributions and achievements in preserving and promoting the useful training traditions of the western horseman. Anderson was presented with the prestigious honor during the Cinch Night at the Supreme. His knowledge of the competitors and the various disciplines, plus his quick wit and smooth style have kept Canadian Supreme audiences informed and entertained for decades.
“I was blown away by the award,” admitted Anderson, whose wife Marilyn and other family members joined him for the special evening. “I’ve never been in that kind of circumstance. I’m used to helping give out such awards, not getting them!”
It’s not often Anderson is left speechless, but this was one evening where he found words hard to come by.
“It’s very humbling, especially when I look at who’s in the Hall of Fame. To be alongside someone like Bill Kehler, who was such an influence for me, is an honor.”
Anderson has been both a competitor and a horse owner at the Canadian Supreme, but it was the seat behind the microphone where he found his true calling. He began helping out announcer Bill Kehler in the late 1980’s as the ‘color man’, even doing some of that on horseback. What began as ‘lending a hand’ grew into a long working relationship with Canadian Supreme founder Dave Robson.
“It’s just really, really nice,” adds Anderson, about being part of the Supreme Hall of Fame. “I still haven’t gotten used to it!”
Another role Anderson now plays is as an organizer of the Western Horse Sale, held during the Canadian Supreme.
“The prospect sales were especially strong this year,” Anderson noted. “There was a real appetite for the young, well-bred horses, and that tells me this has become the performance bred prospect sale for breeders to be at.”
Sale highlights included a trained cutting horse mare, which sold for $15,000, and several horses which sold for around the ten thousand dollar mark.
In the competitions, coming north to Red Deer proved to be a profitable decision for Russ and Julie Elrod of Terrebonne, OR. In their first Supreme appearance, Russ rode their horse May I Be Wild to a first place tie in the rich Open Cutting for 3-year-olds, earning $11,152; while Julie was on board the horse in the Non Pro competition, winning a go and topping the Finals, for another $5628.
Sharing the Open title with Elrod was Look Im Scootin, ridden by Greg Smith, who’s now training horses in Texas. The horse is owned by Leea Arnold and Dudley Caraway, of Weatherford, TX, and won $12,984, for taking first in a go and tying for first in the Finals.
Calgary’s Cody Smith took My Stylish Ride to the top of the 4-year-old Open Cutting, for $6367; while Kade Smith (Greg’s son) was the high scoring Non Pro on Hay U, collecting $4299. In the new $50,000 limit Amateur cutting class, Haley Straddling of Abbotsford, BC led the charge on Saucy Smooth. Other cutting competition winners included Brady Jensen of Delburne on Pamshighbrowcd ($6835); John Thomas of Spruce Grove on Dual Smart Deal ($4402); and Michelle Lund of Bluffton on Youll Miss Me ($2014). In the Canadian Supreme category, which featured a bonus purse for horses from nominated stallions, the winners circle included Colton Hall of Lacombe on Catatulla ($4255); Dustin Gonnet of Cayley on Just Sophisticated ($3290); Dunnys Lil Cat ridden by Elaine Speight of Rocky Mountain House ($2531); and Caughtin Hicken, ridden by Larissa Price of Langley, B.C. ($2531).
In the working cow horse category, one of the crowd favorite contests is always the Open Bridle Finals, a sudden death fence work during the Cinch Night at the Supreme. This year, for the first time Geoff Hoar won the title, riding a horse called Dazzle Disco owned by Lionel Gibbs and Shawna Husted of Acme. The Innisfail trainer scored a 150, to snatch the $2896 purse.
“I’ve been reserve once before, and I’ve crashed and burned in the Finals before too,” smiled Hoar. “This is one of the bigger titles to win, and it was neat because the horse is only six, and was the youngest in the contest.”
“He’s cowy and gritty, but definitely has some swagger. When he saw the crowd watching him on Saturday night, he stepped it up.”
The horse is already a Canadian champion and has qualified for the Worlds in Texas, where Hoar also plans to put in him in the World’s Greatest Horseman competition.
Hoar also took first in the fun Team Doctoring competition in the Saturday night performance, with his fellow ‘hands’ Clint Swales and Rob Palmer.
Saskatchewan’s Dale Clearwater rode to the top of the Open Snaffle Bit class for 3-year-olds on Very Harry Remedy ($3668), with Colter Schlosser of Nanton winning first for the Open Snaffle Bit/Hackamore class ($3760). And in the NRHA reining competitions, Sheza Juicy Chic turned in the best performance tally of 297.5 points, with Jesse Beckley of Cranbrook, B.C. at the reins. He picked up a total of $6273 with the round wins and Canadian Supreme bonuses. But he only defeated veteran reiner Locke Duce by half a point! Shawna Sapergia of Cochrane claimed the Open Reining for older horses, with 149 points on Top This Chic ($2958).
Canadian Supreme Chairman Jeff Robson is excited about the future of the show, given the 2015 success story.
“We were pleased to see the increase in entries in what could have been a tough year,” said Robson. “We believe we’re able to provide what participants are looking for. Having the larger competition pen at Westerner Park was a big plus. Adding mid-range classes is broadening our reach, and giving more riders a chance to get the Canadian Supreme experience.”
For full results of the Canadian Supreme classes, go to www.canadiansupreme.com.