Largest barrel-racing event in Canada coming to CalNash Centre

DJT Photogarpghy - Red Deer - Central Alberta - Calgary - Edmonton - Olds - Photographer 20150801-IMG_1182Over 1100 horses and 750 riders will descend on the CalNash Centre in Ponoka for the 20th annual ABRA (Alberta Barrel Racing Association) finals.

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.

9 days in jail for refusing to unclench hands

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ponoka Regional Airport turned into dragstrip for the weekend

Ponoka Drag Races
Craig Pateman of Ponoka starts his Chevy S10 heading down the track at the Ponoka 1/8 Mile Drag Race on Saturday, Aug. 1. Photo by David Thielen

By David Thielen

94 cars varying from street legal, to the world’s fastest muscle car and 2000 horse power exhibition cars signed up for the third annual Ponoka 1/8 mile Drag Races.

Gord Wright, one of the organizers for this year’s event, said “that without all of the volunteers that stepped up to help, this year’s race would have been dead in the water.”

“We simply could not have put the race on without their help.”

He described the drag races as a “heck of a deal for a family, because its very cheap entertainment.”

Craig Pateman, of Ponoka, who raced his street legal Chevy S10 this weekend, said “it’s something that gets in your blood.”

Pateman took four years, and three separate bodies to build his S10 from the frame up. “The original was in pretty bad shape when I started.” The motor is a Chevy small block 383. “I have no idea how much I’ve put into building this truck, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t afford to build a second one.”

It’s street legal, but Pateman says he doesn’t drive it on the street much because law enforcement tends to raise an eyebrow. “it’s just too noticeable.”

“What I like most about racing is the comradery and fellowship. Yeah, we smack talk each other, but it’s all in good fun.”

Pateman normally competes in the races in Stettler, Castrol (near Nisku), Rimbey, and Ponoka, but said “it’s just a hobby. If I were to do it every day, it would probably lose its attractiveness. “

40 years of rodeo at Tees

DJT Photogarpghy - Red Deer - Central Alberta - Calgary - Edmonton - Olds - Photographer 20150801-IMG_1245By David Thielen

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.