It’s easy to say a long-standing successful show is ‘bigger and better’ each year, but it can be harder to achieve. Yet the Canadian Supreme has managed to do just that, in a time of economic uncertainty.
“Our entries have climbed ten per cent this year,” related Canadian Supreme Chairman Jeff Robson, about the event coming to Red Deer September 29th to October 4th. “We’ve got over 600 entries, with horses coming from as far away as Texas and California coming to compete.”
For almost 40 years, the Canadian Supreme has celebrated the equine disciplines of Cutting, Cow Horse, and Reining. All of the contests showcase the working cow horse of the western world. Trainers demonstrate how much these cow-savvy horses can learn, even at a young age.
Another healthy growth sign for the Canadian Supreme is the addition of two new classes, to go along with the four added last year. All of them are designed to encourage newcomers to the sport to enjoy the thrill of competition.
“We reached out to competitors last year and asked them ‘what are other shows doing? Are we missing anything?’ They suggested we add more mainstream classes for less experienced competitors. We did, and have gotten a good response,” explained Robson.
As well this year, the Canadian Supreme debuts a bigger size for the main competition arena at Red Deer’s Westerner Park.
“This is a major step forward in both our development and in our partnership with Westerner Park,” stated Robson. “Expanding the cutting and cow horse arena to 110 feet wide and 226 feet long keeps us in step with the arena size competitors and their horses experience at other elite shows. This has long been a priority for the Supreme Board of Directors.”
Last year, two of Alberta’s best in the western horse world managed to dominate their competitions at the Canadian Supreme, picking up both top prizes. Shawna Sapergia of Cochrane took two horses to the NRHA Open Reining Finals championship, splitting first with herself by posting two identical 147 point runs. Cayley based trainer Dustin Gonnet did much the same in the Open Classic Challenge Cutting Finals, when he rode two different horses to first and second place. Both those competitors will be back and eager to defend their titles. Others who are no strangers to the winners’ circle are Lacombe’s Brad Pedersen, Vince Kaglea of High River and Suzon Schaal of Calgary. Central Alberta’s own Kevin Baumann and Michelle Lund are hometown favorites, along with Geoff Hoar of Innisfail, Jim Dobler of Delburne and Bill and Elaine Speight of Rocky Mountain House; while Dale Clearwater of Hanley leads a strong Saskatchewan representation. Keep your eyes on Clay Webster of Okotoks and young Austin Seelhof of Cochrane, as well as veteran Locke Duce of High River in the reining.
Friday night’s signature Western Horse Sale will see over forty horses offered, ranging from prospects to competition-ready mounts. More information on this year’s sale is available at www.thewesternhorsesale.com.
Cash and prizes totalling well over $410,000 will be paid out after the six days of competition, making the Canadian Supreme the event where every contestant wants to excel. For fans, it guarantees some exciting fence runs, daring equine dances with determined cows, and the sizzle of fast spins and sliding stops. Plus, the Saturday Cinch Night at the Supreme is back, with some of key Finals, as well as the popular Bridleless Cutting and last year’s big hit, the Team Doctoring contest. The Trade Show returns with a wide range of horse related and western lifestyle products, as well as western art. It opens daily Thursday-Saturday at 10:00 am. Best of all, admission to the Canadian Supreme is again free.
Enthusiasts can also keep up with the action thanks to the live webcast, which can be accessed, along with daily schedules, on the website www.canadiansupreme.com.