Thursday, 20 September 2012 13:28

Culture Days will definitely have a country/western component

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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This year’s Culture Days lineup truly offers something for everyone, with Ranchman’s Ridin’ & Recitin’ taking place at Kinetic Park Sept. 29.

The event showcases many aspects of Western culture, with a ranch horse competition, dog trials, and even a heavy horse pull.
“It’s a great chance for people to come out and see what the cowboys do,” explained event organizer Bryce Burnett.
The barns open at 11 a.m., where visitors will have the chance to check out chickens and smaller farm animals, some of which will even be available for purchase. At noon, the events kick off with stock dog trials, cattle pen show, and heavy horse competitions. The ranch horse competition will be especially exciting this year, since it will be the ‘finals’ for the horses that have been competing throughout the region over the summer.
“Everything should be fairly well-attended, last year we even had to add panels to accommodate all the pens,” Burnett admitted. “We get entries from all across southwestern Saskatchewan.”
Exhibitors will be set up for the day as well, including a rope-maker and a saddle-maker. Doc’s Town will supply lunch, refreshments, and pie and ice cream. Burnett added there will also be an all-day beer garden located in Barn 4.
“For a lot of cowboys, this is still an everyday thing for them — working their cattle with dogs and horses,” he noted. “There are still quite a few out there who use horses for everything, pulling wagons and all that. This is a great chance for people to come out and get a glimpse of that.”
The event finishes off with a cowboy roast beef supper at 6 p.m., put on by the Livestock Committee with Swift Current Ag & Ex. Proceeds from the dinner go towards funding a new livestock office on the grounds at Kinetic Park.
Following dinner, there will be entertainment for an hour and a half or so, right in the barns. The lineup will feature a variety of cowboy poetry and music.
“That’s a really important part of the culture of the cowboy, the poetry and the music. It’s part of sitting around the campfire, telling about the day’s work,” Burnett added. “I think that’s something all people can relate to, because around here, everyone’s roots go back to the farm.”
Burnett remembers stories from his own father and grandfather about life on the farm, and hopes the event can help stir up memories like that for others, as well. Burnett recalls even though his grandfather, who was a shepherd in Scotland, didn’t raise sheep when he came to Saskatchewan, he kept up his skills as a shepherd working with his dog.
“My grandmother’s job was to raise the turkeys on the farm, which put turkey supper on the table for a lot of people in the community at Christmastime,” he explained. “My grandfather could get those turkeys anywhere in the yard that he wanted, with just his loyal dog and some hand signals and whistling. It’s such a neat story.”
Burnett noted his story is no different from the stories of many others within the southwest, and maintains that it’s important to reflect on the area’s unique culture and history.
“It really relates to the Culture Days celebration, because you can go back to your roots and look at these things that people used to do when they were homesteading, and they still do them today,” he said. “It’s a vital part of the ranching and farming community here, and of Western culture in general.”
Ranchman’s Ridin’ & Recitin’ has no admission fee and begins at Kinetic Park in Swift Current Sept. 29. For more information about this, and other Culture Days events, check out the facebook page at:

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