John Swales, of Millarville, Alberta.As the last Working Cow Horse Classic finalist existed the Calgary Stampede’s Agrium Western Event Center arena on Friday, July 10, many weary committee members, volunteers, trainers, riders, and their helpers and family members were looking forward to some much-deserved rest. And probably none more than five-time Calgary Stampede Open Bridle Champion
During the two-day event, Swales won one championship – the Open Hackamore – showed three out of the five Open Bridle finalists (back-to-back), coached three of his clients to championship titles in the Open Bridle, Limited Open Bridle and Novice Non-Pro Bridle, and helped and encouraged many of his fellow competitors.
The Limited Open Bridle, Limited Open Hackamore and Novice Non-Pro Open Bridle champions were determined Thursday, July 9, during the Non-Pro Bridle and Open Hackamore preliminary go-rounds. Five horse and rider teams in each division advanced to Friday’s finals.
Swales took home the Open Hackamore Championship, a title his brother, Clint Swales, won on HR Chic Nic in 2014. Swales rode SLR Won Smart Wolf (Paddys Irish Whiskey x Smart Miss Wolf x Smart Trip Olena), a 2011 gelding bred by Stump Lake Ranch & Cattle Co., of Calgary, and owned by Hudson-Reykdal, to the win.
“I was very happy with him,” Swales said about the gelding. “He’s a really, nice horse. He’s the same every day that you get on him.”
The Open Hackamore Reserve Championship was claimed by Chance Harmon, of Okotoks, Alberta, and Metallic Cat Rose (Metallic Cat x Teletrona x Little Trona), a 2011 mare bred by Diamond LK Cutting Horses LLC, of Celina, Texas, and owned by Jerry and Nicole Myer, also of Okotoks, with an 578.5 aggregate score.
Harmon and the mare won the Limited Open Hackamore Championship on Thursday with a 290.5 cumulative score (145 in the reined work and a 145.5 in the cow work).
Pleased with Metallic Cat Rose’s performances, Harmon said, “I was happy with everything. She changed good, ran good and stopped and turned good. Usually, if I just do my job, she does hers!”