Top notch riders squared off in exciting competition for a share of $450,000 in prize money at the richest western horse event in Canada. The Canadian Supreme brought close to six hundred horses to Red Deer’s Westerner Park September 23-29.

The cream of the crop in performance horse riders put their equine stars through the paces in cutting, reining and cow horse classes. Fans hooted and hollered for their favorites during exceptional runs.

Trainer John Swales capped off a tremendous week by riding three of the six horses in the Finals of the Open Bridle competition during Saturday’s Cinch Night at the Supreme performance. When the dust from the fence work contest cleared, the Millarville talent claimed both first at second place in the popular class, with scores of 152 riding Jim Baird’s Smart Marina, and 148 on Deborah Anderson’s Signed Prescription.

“That’s the most horses I’ve ever had in a Finals,” smiled Swales. “I knew all of them were capable of winning.”

“Smart Marina can really run. She just goes like a machine,” he stated, of the horse that earned over $3000 in the Finals alone.

It was Swales’ most successful year ever at the Supreme, as he also won Open Hackamore class on Smart Black Royale, and the Open Snaffle Bit Futurity on Crazy Cat Lady.
“I had good horses to ride,” added Swales, modestly. “They looked after me.”

Former pro rodeo steer wrestler Greg Hoar of Innisfail has made the switch to the reined cow horse world, and he claimed the Supreme Non Pro Derby title on High Output Dually. In the cutting classes, trainer Dustin Gonnet of Cayley won the three-year-old and Open Classic Challenge buckles; while Cochrane’s Shawna Sapergia won the Open Reining Futurity.

While there were plenty of familiar names in the winner’s circle, one of the most excited participants at the Supreme was Dave Cuming of Crossfield. He qualified for the ‘Never Won a Buckle’ class through the season of provincial cutting competitions, and had a tremendous 146 point run on his horses Stylish Memories at the Supreme to take first. He was beaming all weekend to have now won his own cutting buckle and a beautiful bronze to boot. So whether newcomer, or veteran talent, the Supreme provided plenty of thrills for competitors.

Friday night’s Western Horse Sale filled the Stockman’s Pavilion at Westerner Park with spectators. Organizer Elaine Speight of Rocky Mountain House was pleased to see over three hundred registered bidders for the sale, up considerably from last year. There was a wide variety of ages, bloodlines, and training levels represented, but final calculations showed an average selling price of $4265 on the 49 horses sold, which was more than $700 over last year’s average price. Sale highlights included the mare Catty Jewel from Hiners of Oregon, which sold for $19,000 to buyers from Washington. As well, the brood mare Merada Cee, also from the Hiners, sold for $9900. The yearling Gray Lucky Cat, consigned by JEM Ventures of High River brought $8600 from buyer John Thomas of Spruce Grove. There were buyers from as far away as Mexico at the sale.

The Western Lifestyles Marketplace was a popular spot for doing business, featuring artists like Paige Albrecht of Elnora, who was commissioned to do the 2012 Canadian Supreme art poster.

A new feature of the Saturday night at the Supreme was musical entertainment from KG Country Radio’s Tera Lee.

“We were pleased with the turnout of horse lovers for this year’s Canadian Supreme,” said President, Dave Robson. “We look forward to returning to Red Deer again next year.”

For full show results, check the website or contact Betty Gardner @ 403-313-8673.