All these photos are from a single day of coverage for the Peace Country Spotlight and involved several hours of driving getting to and from the different locations. There were a number of different ball games, The Paddle for the Peace, and drag racing. All in a day’s work for photographing for a newspaper.
Held from August 19 to 23 the ABRA finals are the largest barrel-racing event in Canada, and in 2014 were second highest added money barrel-race in North America.
“This year, the added money is $119,600, and the total payout between cash and prices will top $217,000,” said ABRA Office Manager Jill McDougall. “Last year we had the sixth largest payout in North America.”
“For us to be rated the second highest added money is a really big deal. Especially when you look at all the events that are hosted in Oklahoma, Texas, California and the rest of the United States.”
“Texas has more horse than all of Canada, so it’s a lots to be proud of,” added McDougall..
Added money is money that added to the pot on top of the entry fees.
“It comes from a combination of sponsors, and final entry fees at races through the year,” said Janet Patriquin, public relations director for the ABRA.
“We have competitors as young as four, and the oldest is in their late 70’s so barrel-racing is something that the whole family can participate in,” said Patriquin.
The association has over 2400 members, and of that, six have been ABRA since the start and have ridden in the finals every year. “They will be honored at a banquet on Friday night,” said Patriquin.
The other highlight of this year’s finals, according to Patriquin, will be the Peewee barrel-races which will be held on Saturday at 4 p.m. “Everybody loves the Peewees, they put more sparkle and color in their hair. That’s the highlight of the event.”
There is no charge for any of the barrel-racing events, and there is a free tradeshow all weekend. For those that cannot make it to the centre, there will be a live webcast.
In the open, there are 780 horse and riders entered. The youth have 270 horse and riders, and the Peewees have 61 horse and riders.
By David Thielen
Failing to open his hands when asked to by a police officer, netted Jason George Cattleman, nine days in jail, and a prohibition from being in any school ground, playground, or public park in Ponoka while drunk.
At about 3:50 p.m on Thursday, July 30 RCMP were called to Centennial Park where they found two drunk males trying to pick fights with others in the park.
When the police asked for identification, Cattleman said “What are you going to do? Shoot me?” he then turned and jogged away from the officers. When the officer caught up with him, Cattleman had his fists clenched and refused to open them when asked. Because of Cattleman’s previous record, the officer was concerned for his own safety and used pepper spray to subdue Cattleman. Cattleman was then transported to cells.
The crown asked for a sentence for a sentence of between seven and 15 days, plus a peace bond prohibiting Cattleman from being in any school ground, playground, or public park in Ponoka for one year.
The defence suggested that part of the penalty for not unclenching his hands was the pepper spray. In addition he said that Cattleman had made arrangements to go to Poundmakers Lodge Treatment Centre, an Aboriginal addiction treatment centre near Edmonton. Part of the requirements for entry into the treatment program is staying sober for one week prior to entry.
In sentencing, the judge said to Cattleman “if you would have just listened to the officer and opened your hands, it is likely you would not be in custody.”
In handing down nine days in jail, and the 12 month peace bond, the judge said he hoped it would help to keep Catttleman sober so can get into Poundmaker.
It took eight years but RCMP always get their man
On January 26, 2007 at 10:15 a.m. RCMP were called to a single vehicle collision on Highway 53 west of Ponoka. When officers arrived on scene they found a semi truck had run into a power pole, and that the driver was still in the cab with live electrical lines on the ground.
Officers instructed the driver to stay in the cab until the power could be turned off.
Once the power was turned off, officers detected the strong smell of alcohol, and found a part full bottle of vodka behind the passenger seat. They then gave a breath demand, and two police officers were required to help the driver to the police car.
At the police station Breathalyzer readings of .320 and .350 were obtained and the driver charged with driving while over .08 and given a date to appear.
Now over eight years later, the driver, Michael Norman Lund, pleaded guilty to the driving over .08 charge and a number fail to appear charges.
In speaking to sentence the defense stated that Lund except for one 24 hour binge, Lund had been sober since 2010.
The judge said “I have to take into account the very high readings, the collision, the fail to appears, and in my view the type of vehicle you were driving.”
“It’s to your credit that you have taken steps to deal with your drinking, but that is mitigated by your failing to appear.”
On the .08 the fine was $3,000 or in default 37 days in jail. On the multiple fail to appears, Lund was sentenced to 10 days in jail on each count to run concurrently. He then received credit for nine days of pre-trial custody, leaving one day jail which was satisfied by his appearance in court. In addition Lund is prohibited from driving for one year, and two years probation.
Uttering threats via Facebook nets jail time
Joshua Martin Howse received a total of 45 days in jail for texting threatening messages to his ex, stealing a friends car, and breaching conditions of his release. In addition he received 18 months probation, prohibited from owing or possessing firearms for a period of five years and must provide a DNA sample.
Over 400 cowboys from across central Alberta descended on Tees for the 40th Annual Tees Rodeo last weekend.
The rodeo, which attracts most of its riders from within a three hour drive of Tees, is put on the by Tees Agricultural Society and is part of the Central Alberta Rodeo Association.
Justin Steeves, who has been riding bulls since 2012, scored a 60 while riding Angry Bird, on his recorded bull ride, but then on an exhibition ride managed what most of the cowboys later told him was at least an 80 point ride, riding a new bull called Mancy.
The exhibition does not count towards points though. “I was asked to ride him, because they knew I would do it. Nobody had been out on that bull and they wanted to see how he would buck.”
Steeves, who works for the highway department in Rimbey, said he started competing because “I was going to the rodeos anyway, figured I might as well ride in them.”
He said he thinks the most dangerous part of bull riding is actually in the chute while trying to get on the bull.
The rodeo started at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31, and ran until Sunday, Aug. 2. Results for the rodeo were not available at press time.
By David Thielen
It started with Terry Fox and his attempt to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Steve Fonyo followed with a successful cross Canada run to raise money for Cancer research. It continued with Rick Hansen and his Man in Motion World Tour to raise money for spinal cord research. The Cross Canada walk/run/whatever has become a familiar form of fund-raising attention getting for lots of causes.
Passing through Vermilion on Monday, May 18 was Steve O’Brien on his Cross Canada Tour to raise awareness for children’s activity.
“Everywhere I stop, I seek out the schools, the youth groups, etc. and let them know that we are here to listen to their concerns,” said Steve O’Brian, when he stopped at St. Jerome’s in Vermilion on Tuesday morning. He had a similar message for Vermilion High School.
“Family life has changed so much in the last 30 years, kids today are very bright, but they have little to no physical activity. “
“When I was young, my mother stayed home, and we went outside and played all of the time. Whether it was Kick the Can, a pick-up baseball game, or just heading down to the local swimming hole. We were active,” he said.
“But today, everybody is so tied to technology that they just don’t get out and get active. For example when I was in Edmonton, I stayed with a cousin. After dinner, both the kids and the parents were tied to their phones texting. “
So when I meet with the schools and the youth groups, I challenge them to get active, and then to record that activity in our log book on our website. www.steveobrienfoundation.com with the goal being that all of the kids combined are able to rack up more kilometers than I will on my cross Canada tour, said O’Brien.
“My trip isn’t about raising money, although we do get some donations, it’s about raising awareness that we need to listen to and support the youth of our communities. That parents have to make time to spend quality time with their children. “
“I cannot even begin to count the number of children that I have talked to that both their parents work, so there is no time for the family. They get up, they go to school or day care, they go home, have supper, and then nothing. Everybody is either too busy with work, or too tired from work to spend any time being a family. “
Steve is alternating between means of transportation on his journey. In the morning, to warm up he will start by walking or running five kilometers. Then approximately every five kilometers he will change his method of transportation. Depending on road and weather conditions it may be roller blades, long board (an extra-long skateboard) , scooter, bike, adapted bike, wheel chair. All the methods are ones that have been chosen by kids that he has talked with,.
“If I can find one, I’m even going to add a pogo stick to the mix,” said O’Brien.