“He worked on good ranches, broke a ‘jillion colts, rode broncs, and trained world-cailbre cutting horses. He was a ranch cowboy, rodeo cowboy, horseman and showman:  a combination unheard of in todays world of specialization. They don’t make ’em like Jimmy anymore – a cowboy in everyone’s eyes!” is what Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine said about Jimmy in its June 2000 issue. In 1933 he was breaking horses for Jack Dubois and over the years worked for many different ranches including Gang Ranch, BC Cattle Co., 105 Mile Ranch, Willow, Nicola, Guichon, Semlin and Douglas Lake. Jimmy passed away on March 19th, 2000, in his home in Armstrong, BC at the age of 86.

Dude Lavington was inducted into the BC Cowboy Hall Of Fame for artistic achievements in recognition of his two great books depicting his life; Nine Lives of a Cowboy, and Born to be Hung. Dude was also a working cowboy and cattle rancher. He and his brother, Art, carved a pioneer ranch out of the wilderness west of Quesnel. Raised on a ranch in Alberta, Dude and Art came to BC to pursue their dreams, build their ranch and raise their families in the Cariboo. Dude’s books captured a splendid and little known piece of our western heritage.

Few know cattle like Slim Dorin. Cowboy, rodeo competitor, and Cow Boss to Order Buyer. He was born in the Wetaskiwin area of Alberta in 1913. At the age of 14 he had his own bundle team on a threshing crew. The love of rodeo and the possibility of as much as $35 per month lured Slim to BC in the 1930’s. He competed in calf roping, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, and team roping before he took the job as Cow Boss at Douglas Lake Ranch. Slim did lots to help rodeos such as Merritt, Cloverdale, and Williams Lake. achieve their professional status. In 1952 Slim started as field man, lining up cattle to buy and sell, for the Cariboo Cattlemen in Williams Lake (the fore runner of BC Livestock). In 1959 Slim became head buyer in BC for Canada Packers, retiring in 1973. He has been honored several times for the contributions of his time and talent to rodeo, and in turn the cattle industry of BC. Slim passed away in May, 2001.

Roy Hines Born May 31, 1902 at Adel, Montana, Roy moved to Canada with his parents in 1905. At Rockyford, near Strathmore, Alberta they, with their 500 head of Herefords, purchased the “Dam Ranch” with 1000 cattle on it. After about 15 years they moved northeast to establish the “KM” near Morwayne, Alberta. It took 88 railcars to move the 1500 head of cattle, horses, cowboys, and family. During the latter part of the Great Depression, Roy, his wife and children moved to Pinantan Lake, BC and started raising sheep. Later when cattle prices started to look better, he went to calf crop sharing with the Frolek Ranch and for about 10 years looked after two to three hundred head. His wife Mary passed away in 1965 and Roy moved from Pinantan and started cowboying for other people. At nearly 70 he started punching cows for Charlie Frolek up Lac Du Boix way. He remarried and did some travelling but always returned to animals of some sort and finally hung up his saddle for good at the age of about 80.



At five foot one inch, Helen (Schneider) Kerr has been called “one of the best” by some of Canada’s finest cowboys! She can spot a good looking animal in any herd and she has the rare ability to detect the slightest sign of sickness when riding the range. She can also doctor the animals with a knowledge that comes from a lifetime of experience riding on the range! Helen was born on her parent’s ranch at Upper Hat Creek. She married Alvin Kerr in 1949. Helen is respected by all who have had the privilege of knowing her.

Mike Ferguson worked as the cowboss at Douglas Lake Ranch for 38 years! Born in Kamloops in 1918, Mike’s knowledge of cattle came naturally. His maternal Great Grandfather was Johnny Wilson, former cattle king of BC, who owned land from Savona to Westwold in the late 1800’s. Mike started working cattle at the age of nine when he worked summers for his Uncle Harry Ferguson. In 1949 he started as a cowboy for Douglas Lake for $90 a month. His first cowboss was Slim Doran (see 1998 Hall of Fame). In 1951 he started as cowboss. Mike was known as a leader, a keen judge of an animal’s health, weight and finish, and had an amazing ability to sort cattle with concise uniformity.

Born in Shelby Nebraska on Oct 30th 1899, Herb Matier was a hard man to beat in a saddle! He was also a hard man to get to know as he was loner. He began his rodeo career at the age of 13 and hit the height of his rodeo fame in the 1920’s. In 1925-26 he was the Cariboo saddle bronc champion, and in 1927 was the saddle bronc champion of BC! As well as being known in places like Cheyenne, Pendleton, Denver, and New York (some of the worlds best rodeos), he was also known as a top horse breaker and trainer. Herb rode for both Douglas Lake Ranch and the Gang Ranch and was known as “quite a horseman and a good cowboy”. He passed away in 1975.

With the help of her two sisters, took on the enormous task of compiling the history of the Chilcotin and putting it into a book – “Chilcotin: Preserving Pioneer Memories.” The book started in a small form called “History and Legends of the Chilcotin” in 1958 and was compiled by five Chilcotin communities but was out of print and needed to be expanded. Veera was inspired by the desire to record the history of her Grandfather, Tom Hance. He was the first permanent, independent fur trader to settle among the Chilcotin Indians.


Cecil Chase represents one of the finest examples of the living pioneer spirit in the province of BC. Born in Chase on April 1st, 1917, Cecil began developing a life long commitment to the pioneer and cowboy spirit. The village of Chase was named after his Grandfather, Whitfield, who purchased the land from the crown. In the 1960’s Cecil got a name as a tamer of wild horses. He was known to spend every weekend chasing these wild horses. He worked as a logger, mill worker, and cowboy all of his working life. During the 70’s and 80’s Cecil ran cattle on his leased property located on Neskonlith Lake, near Chase.


William Twan’s skill with horses and cattle was known throughout the Cariboo. One of 12 children, Bill was born at Alexandria on Dec 8th 1913. At the age of 13 Bill stopped school and went to work, spending most of his life at Alkali Lake ranch. He worked as both manager and cow boss and his ability to train horses was obvious in the cutting work shown by the horses that he rode day to day. A 1950’s CBC documentary called “The Lazy Cross” (named after the ranch brand) was mostly focused on Bill working cattle. He also raced horses and competed in roping, riding, Roman racing, and chariot racing. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s he always cleaned up in the Stake and Roman races. He always said “You are no kind of cowboy at all if you ever look after yourself before your horse at the end of the day.” Bill died Nov 8th 1988, a cowboy to the end.

Leonard Palmantier became known as one of the best bareback-bronc riders that ever climbed on a horse during the early years of the Williams Lake stampede. He won and re-won the title of bareback-bronc champion of the Cariboo. In the early 1920’s it is said that after winning a championship he made an exhibition ride on one of the meanest bucking horses at the Stampede. This ride was different – Leonard rode facing backwards! He spurred the whole time and stayed with her not only ’til the whistle blew but until she was too tired to buck any more! Leonard settled in the Cariboo in 1919. To raise some extra cash he would ride bucking horses to entertain the train passengers at Williams Lake – This was the beginning of the Williams Lake stampede! At nearly 75 he died Oct 24th, 1963.

Shirley Field decided at a young age that there would be no wasted time in becoming an “important cowgirl”! An exceptionally talented yodeller, Shirley has performed with the likes of Loretta Lynn, Marty Robbins, and Rex Allen. When she was nine she listened to Jimmy Rogers at the neighbours and said “I’m gonna be a yodeller!” Shirley hosted a live radio program called The Cowboy’s Sweetheart Show in 1948, 49, and 50. At a contest in Vancouver, judges Wilf Carter and Emmett Kelly awarded her Top Western Vocalist and Canadian Champion Yodeller at the PNE. 1962 saw Shirley in Nashville and Aug 4th 1962 she sang at the Grand Ol’Opry. Since 1991 Shirley has recorded eight tapes and three CD’s. Shirley never retired and has been at it for 55 years! “I don’t intend on quitting until I have to” she said. We are happy to have Shirley perform again this year (2001)

Frederick Nichol was born in 1907. At the age of 14 he left school to start ranching full time. From 1928 to 1935 Fred looked after cattle for the Hull Estate in the North Thompson Valley. He married Violet in 1935. A 35 year relationship with Bob Cahilty was started when Fred was asked if he would go to Monte Creek and break horses for the Bostock Ranch. In 1948 Fred began to show his own cattle and also started the Pinantan 4-H club. He spent many years as a 4-H leader. Fred retired in 1988 and died in 1997. He is remembered as “a man of great humour and a wonderful story-teller…a great humanitarian who will always be fondly remembered by all those who knew him.”


R.W. (Dick) Ardill was born Sept 3, 1926 in Pouce Coupe, BC. Dick and his brothers and sisters grew up on a family ranch west of Fort St. John where he and his wife Irene stayed and raised 4 children. At the age of 12 Dick was doing field work with 4 horse teams and at 13 he graduated to 6 horses (2 broke and 4 unbroke)! The ranch has now expanded to approx. 40 sections of land running 400 commercial Hereford cow/calf pairs and in June 2000 celebrated its 80th anniversary as a family ranch! Dick, with 2 friends, brought rodeo to Hudson Hope in 1958 where the Double H Saddle Club was developed (and still runs the rodeo). At the age of 74 he still works the chutes and flags at the rodeo. He still manages the ranch and cowboys! He was a director of the BC Cattlemen’s Assoc. for 25 years. He also continues to be active in the North Peace Cattlemen’s Assoc. where he served as president for 10 years. He always has and still is very community minded introducing and assisting anyone interested in ranch life and is a strong supporter of the BC High School Rodeo.

June Charlton “From cradle to cowboy to champion.” June was born in Walhachin, BC. on September 6, 1919 to Bud and Dora Walters. She is the youngest of 6 children. When she was a baby her Dad used to put her on a pillow in front of the saddle. She learned lots from her Dad who one time watched her get bucked off and told her to get back on and don’t dare grab the saddle horn this time. “If you hadn’t grabbed it you wouldn’t have fell off”. Sure enough the horse tryed to buck her off again but she stayed with him. Her Dad owned a ranch in Deadman Creek. She went to school in Savona until they built a school in Deadman. At the age of 8 she was driving their big Clyde mare pulling hay onto the stack. June and her sister Rita were the first two women in BC to hold a big game guide license. She rode with Herb Matier chasing wild horses on Tobacco Mountain. When her Dad sold his cattle June bought some of her own and registered her own brand. In 1946 she married Bill Charlton. They raised two boys. At the age of 50 she joined a riding club and started to get involved in Gymkana and showing the young girls how a cowgirl could ride.

Robert P (Bob) Jesson still training young horses at 86 years old (in photo). Born December 24, 1914 in Lougheed Alberta. Bob is a great natural athlete and excelled in boxing in his youth! He is respected as one of the best horsemen in BC. In 1932 he started cowboying for the Gang Ranch and by 1938 he had established a solid reputation as a horse trainer and broke many horses for the Gang Ranch as well as other ranches in the Cariboo and Chilcotin. From 1939-44 he cowboyed for Tranquille Stock Association. Bob was equally at home in a Western or English saddle and trained a long list of winning horses in many different fields of competition.

Over 60 years ago Bud McKague was born in Porcupine Plains, Sask, where he learned poetry from his parents who recited poetry as family entertainment. Throughout his life as a wild horse catcher, rough string rider (at Douglas Lake Ranch), rodeo cowboy (from Williams Lake to Florida), cattle rancher, Thoroughbred Horse racer, and more recently master poet, Bud’s passion for the rhymer’s art has never waivered. His ability to recall hours of classics as well as his own original poems has entertained and astounded countless audiences. Bud was the first BC Cowboy Poet to be invited to Elko, Nevada. His generosity in passing along poems in the truest sense of the oral traditions to the younger generations, further exemplifies his love of poetry. Bud has published a book, a tape and a CD. Bud was the real deal!! Bud passed away on June 16th, 2002.

Gus Gottfriedson was born August 21, 1913. At a young age he had the expertise of an exceptional horseman. His ‘horse sense’ was vast knowledge that brought him to the rodeo arenas where he excelled as a cowboy, stock contractor and rancher. His success in these areas brought him to many communities where he captured the heart of the rodeo world. At one time Gus owned as many as 480 horses! He supplied rodeo stock for every level of rodeo, from Little Britches to Professional! He was the Canadian Wild Horse Race Champion in 1945. During WWII he broke horses for the Canadian Army. Gus, with his father-in-law, owned a stock contracting company which Gus passed on to his son in 1979. He retired from bronc riding in 1957. Some of his horses were National Finalist horses and some were used in Walt Disney Film Productions. Its great to see some of his grandsons still carry on the rodeo tradition!

William H (Kinik) Reaugh was born November 3rd, 1920 in Cadillac, Sask. His family moved to BC while Kinik was still an infant and he spent the rest of his life here, mainly in the South Cariboo area. He worked for a lot of recognized ranchers over the years and finally bought his own place in 1971 and in 1972 he went to work as the Provincial Brand Inspector. He liked this job and stayed on untill 1987. He retired from his job but kept on riding for different ranches and for pleasure. He didn’t give up riding until 1995! During all his years as a cowboy he always seemed to have a guitar at hand and played in a band somewhere! He was well known for stories, his horsemanship, and his musical ability which was always in demand! Kinik passed away July 25th, 2000.

Eddie Bambrick was born at Big Creek on November 12th, 1901. He became cowboss at Alkali Lake Ranch at the age of 21! His next job was ranch foreman at the Gang Ranch where he supervised numerous cowboys and approximately 8000 head of cattle. In 1952 Eddie went to Chilco Ranch where he worked for 10 years and finally retired at the age of 60. Eddie also excelled in the rodeo world. He rode saddle bronc and took money and trophies, not only from his home town of Williams Lake but from numerous rodeos, from Prince Rupert to Vancouver. In 1925 he won the dangerous “Mountain Race” in 2 minutes and 27 seconds! Eddie died in Williams Lake, November 10th, 1967 at the age of 66.

Mike Isnardy was born at Chimney Creek in 1923. He was interested in horses from the time he was very young and was known as a horseman at an early age. He worked at a number of different ranches breaking horses. In 1954 he bought Springhouse Ranch and ran some 400 head of cattle and horses. In 1960 he started his own little rodeo which lead to contracting stock to other rodeos all over the Cariboo. In 1965 he was one of the founding fathers of the Interior Amature Rodeo Association. He rode pickup, hazed for bulldoggers, and supplied stock from 1963 to 1972. In 1972 he sold his stock to Gus Gottfriedson (see below). He rode pickup for Gus until 1975. It was that year that Mike was feeding from the back of a pickup truck when a bale string broke and Mike fell to the ground, breaking a vertebra and ending up in a wheel chair.

Kenny McLean entered his first rodeo in 1956 at the age of 17. In 1959 he joined the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association (now C.P.R.A.) and in his first year of pro rodeo won the first of his record three consecutive saddle bronc championships. In 1961 he was named Rookie of the Year in the US, and in 1962 he got the World Saddle Bronc Title! In 1968 and 1969 he won two more Canadian Bronc Riding Titles. During his bronc riding days he decided that he wanted to develop a couple of other rodeo skills – calf roping and steer wrestling. He became the Canadian Champion in both these events – one of only two cowboys to do so! Kenny was Canadian All Around Champion 1967 through 1969 and again in 1972. He also won the high point award in 1967 and 1968 and still holds the Canadian record for the most major championships – 14! Kenny still trained horses and competed in calf roping and team roping and always offered advice and encouragement to young competitors right up until he left us on July 13th, 2002.


Dick Threlkeld was born in Kamloops in 1923 and raised on the T– Ranch in Deadman Creek. He remembers riding his horse to school every day. At 13 he learned to shoe horses and at 16 he sent away for a Professor Berry Course on how to train horses. One of the highlights of Dick’s life were the Fall cattle drives to Savona. He would compete in the local rodeos – his favorite events being the calf roping and the wild cow milking. Dick went to work for the Basque Ranch after he left home, at age 27, stayed 2 1/2 years until it sold, then spent 10 years working for Kamloops Life Stock at the Duffy Lake Ranch in Cherry Creek (later called the 3– Cattle Company). He drove cattle along the highway to the George Field (now called Aberdeen) and down Columbia St. in Kamloops to the train. His next job was as foreman on the Walhachin Ranch where they used to drive 1000 head to summer range at X-J Cow Camp (a 4 day trip). Dick then took on the job as beef herdsman for the Government, at Tranquille Farm. After 14 years he and his wife, Eunice, retired to 108 Mile Ranch and took up team penning. You can hear Dick and his banjo at many of the Cowboy Concerts – including the Kamloops Cowboy Festival.

Born in 1886, Andy was raised around horses and rode from a very early age. His father was killed in a tumble while chasing horses. Andy was a top hand both on the range and in the arena. He competed in the very first Calgary Stampede, as well as other rodeos all over the west. Later in life Andy started raising horses for packing, and duding, as well as supplying rodeos with bucking stock. He would farm his ranch and his neighbour’s ranches using his own teams. He would drive all the bucking stock to the rodeos, some as far away as Vancouver. This was done over the original Coquihalla Trail. Some say it would take him 3 weeks to reach Vancouver but three months to return home. The first professional Falkland Stampede used the bucking horses that Andy drove from Kamloops through Chase and over to Falkland. Andy also cowboyed for many of the local ranches, including Harper Ranch, Seven O, and Lloyd Creek (Piva). There is even a lake, Andy Lake, behind Mount Lolo, that was named after him. Andy passed away in 1956.

Pike Anderson was born in Vernon in 1920. In his early years he trapped, hunted and ranched. His P & B Cattle Company was at one time one of the largest ranches in the Okanogan. He had a cow/calf operation and also ran some yearlings, at times running up to 700 head. He had an eye for cattle and knew the traits of every one he owned. He also did everything at the rodeos except ride bulls and saddle broncs. He also rode pickup for a stock contractor. Pike had an eye for horses and bought and sold an uncountable number. He also loved helping young people get started in rodeo and was the guy that everyone wanted when it came to problem solving. Pike was one of the first members of the CPRA and one of the first to get a gold card and a lifetime membership. He is honorary lifetime member of the BCTRA and has many other different awards. A few years ago he had an accident when his horse tumbled and rolled on him – that has slowed him down a little but he still remains the same old “Pike” – a real western character.

Thomas Alexander Bulman was a rancher and historian that was born in the Kamloops area in 1911. His book “Kamloops Cattlemen” was published in 1972. The book tells the story of Alex’s own family, as well as the contributions made to the growth and prosperity of the ranching industry by many other cattlemen, cowboys and ranch hands in the Kamloops area! Alex cowboyed for his Dad moving cattle from ranch to ranch from the time he was 10 years old. He married Nora Govett in 1932. Alex and his brother, Joe, inherited some large debts but after selling off some of their properties was still able to run around 1000 head. In 1946 the two brothers went their seperate ways. Alex kept the Willow Ranch. In 1947 he sold all but 5000 acres and downsized to 250 head. He semi-retired in 1953 and sold the ranch. The following year he took on the job as fieldman for the BC Livestock Coop. In 1956 Alex got back into ranching by purchasing 2160 acres next to his old ranch as well as buying back the Hudson Bay Meadow that he used to own. Eventually they retired to the Lower Mainland to be with their daughter and her family. After many trips back to the ranch Alex finally sold. Alex passed away in December, 2000.

Joe Elkins was born in Nemiah Valley in 1898 or ’99. Joe’s father left the family and Joe was adopted by Alex Humm and raised at Anaham Reserve. In 1916 he married Matilda Long Johnny and they raised a family of 15 children! They had a small house at Anaham Reserve and a small ranch at Halfway Meadow north east of Alexis Creek. He had a small herd of good cattle and numerous, quality horses. He put up 250 tons of hay and wintered stock for other ranches. For a few years in the 30’s he was Ranch Manager for the Anaham Reserve. He loved rodeo and entered most events whenever he could. He was a top bronc rider and also won the “Mountain Race” at the Williams Lake Stampede. He didn’t always make it to The Stampede because the trip would take 3 or 4 days by team and wagon but he did win the bronc riding in 1929 and again in 1949. He once rode a steer out of the shut backwards to show that he could do it and at age 60 his name went into the legend book for riding the meanest horse there at the Stampede. Whatever Joe did – he did well! He always managed to provide for his family, even in the toughest of times. Joe passed away in Quesnel in 1977.

Pat and Charlie Baker were married in 1950 and worked together to raise a family and build up a ranch! Pat helped riding and haying until the children were born then tended a garden, cooked for the ranch help and family, and taught their kids by correspondence. They were one of the first to bring Charlais Cattle to the area where they ran 750 cows and 500 yearlings. Charlie was born in Ashcroft in 1921 and lived at Loon Lake until 1993. He took over the ranch in 1936 when his father passed away. Pat Drew was born in a nursing home in Kamloops in 1926. Not only did she ranch along side of Charlie but also found time to paint and do some taxidermy work. In 1985 they sold the ranch but stayed on to run it for five more years. In 1993 they retired to a small place on the Mound Road. In 1994 they bought their first Paint Stallion and raised Paint Horses. They purchased an additional 325 acres close by for hay and pasture and ran a cow herd until Charlie’s death in May, 2003.


RM (Red) Allison has a deep rooted history of the pioneer cowboy and ranching industry. Red was born in Kamloops in 1926 and spent all of his childhood years around what is now known as Tranquille and North Kamloops. On leaving school Red worked for the Harper Ranch, 57 Mile Ranch, and spent a short stint in the army. He then worked for Henry Cornwall at Cherry Creek, then Alkali Lake, the Circle S, Gang Ranch, Tranquille Farm, Fintry Estate, and finally, in 1960, bought the Riske Creek Store. While there he worked on the Becher Prairie and Bald Mountain round ups, and oversaw the Gang Ranch steer range as well as sorting cattle for BC Livestock sales at Williams Lake and Quesnel with Mike Isnardy. In the 1970’s he managed the OK Cattle Co and since then, for the last 20 years, he has been a bonded livestock dealer. Red has always promoted the cowboy way of life and was instrumental in starting 4H in the Chilcotin area. He was a founding member of the Interior Rodeo Association, and would contract timed event stock for BCRA and jackpot rodeos in the Interior. You were almost always able to find him around the arena watching, helping, and giving tips to young up-and-coming cowboys. Red served as president of the Clinton Cattlemen’s and director to the BC Cattlemen’s for many years. Rodeo has always been a big part of Red’s life. He started as a young man entering events such as saddle bronc, bareback, team roping, calf roping, pony express, wild horse race and wild cow milking. If he wasn’t entered you could find him behind the chutes or in the arena picking up bronc riders. The name Red Allison is known and respected across the province of BC. He shares many stories of the old times with his family and friends. It always seems like he has a new one that we haven’t heard. Red is a man that requires only good food, a good horse, a good dog, and his family around him to shine. He is a true depiction of the words “working cowboy.”

Red passed away in 2019 at the age of 93.

George Haywood-Farmer was born on August 23, 1915 in New Westminster, BC. In September of the same year, his family traveled by train to Ashcroft, BC, and then by wagon to the North Bonaparte area. The family settled on a small parcel of land and began raising cattle. This was the beginning of George’s life as one of BC’s outstanding cowboys. From then on his upbringing, way of life, and his employment, all involved ranching and cowboying in BC. From here the family moved to Taylor Lake, BC, just north of Green Lake. In 1929 the family relocated to Kamloops and in 1932 they purchased the Indian Gardens Ranch, now primarily the area occupied by the Gardens Creek Ranch, approximately 10 miles south of Savona, BC. George worked on the ranch cowboying and haying while still in school and in 1935 ranching and cowboying at Indian Gardens Ranch became his full time lifes work. In 1932, at 17, George and Charlie Prest drove 50 head of cattle from Taylor Lake to the new ranch at Indian Gardens. It was -45F. He was also known for his ability to break and train horses. In 1942 George married Mary Margaret (Peggy) Higginson and raised six children. He was a leader of the Cherry Creek 4H Beef Club for 16 years, an active member of the BC Cattleman’s Association and a Director for many years, a horse judge at different fairs, and President of the Savona Community Association. George has been responsible for the early agricultural education of many of today’ s ranchers, teaching not only the basics of ranching and cowboying, but also the appreciation and protection of nature. This includes giving an educational speech to a group of UBC Students on Range Management. The fact that he instilled his love of ranching and cowboying to his family shows, as there are now fourth generation members of the family who continue to carry on his life’s work. To George, life was his horse, his dog, and himself riding alone out on the range. It is obvious George had a great admiration and pride for his chosen life’s work as a cowboy, rancher, father, teacher, trainer, and community worker. George passed away on October 8th, 2003.

Bud Sharpe was borne in 1927 near Battleford, Saskatchewan. From the age of 10 he owned his own horses and by 15 had nearly a dozen. His first rodeo he started with the cow riding and bareback riding and after quite a while he switched to saddle broncs. He traveled to rodeos all through the US and Canada. In 1950 – 51 he rode in Cody, Wyoming at the Buffalo Bill Show. “This was after Buffalo Bill ran out of buffalo.” says Bud. In 1958 he won the bronc riding in Coffeeville, Kansas and it paid $710. $700 of that money bought his five acres in Cawston, BC. He turned from bronc riding to judging the bucking horses as a PRCA judge. Bud worked as a cowboy in Alberta for a year when he was 17 or 18 and in 1953 he worked as a cowboy for the Douglas Lake Ranch. The ranch had a lot of young colts to ride and Bud was sent out to the Springfield corral to break them. These corrals were a long way out and there was no one around so Bud and his partner flanked these colts and bucked them out. He said “We needed the practice! I don’t think management ever did hear about it.” When he was a kid he would find old saddles and overhaul them, not really knowing what to do. He’d sent to Eaton’s for his leather. One year in the US, Bud ordered a tree because he needed a saddle for the next weekend. A friend owed him some money that bought him some leather and sheep skin – the saddle was ready in time! He has since sold it four times and bought it back four times. When he needed money to build his house he sold the saddle for $500 and bought it back a year later for $500. He then sold it for $750 and bought it back for $500. Sold it again for $950 and bought it back for $300. He sold that same saddle the last time for $1700 and bought it back for $400. One year he made $11,000 on the rodeo circuit using that same saddle, so that saddle has made him good money! Over the years Bud has made about 1200 saddles. One fellow in Pennsylvania ordered four saddles. Some of his saddles have been sent to Texas, Colorado, California, and as far away as Australia. Bud also makes a lot of chaps, panniers, saddle bags for horses and motorcycles, and rodeo gear, rigging, and spur straps – anything out of leather. Today rodeo is everywhere around Bud – in the saddle shop, in the horse corrals around the farm, and in their home. Rodeo photos from Madison Square Gardens, the Los Angeles Coliseum, and graceful bucking horses, highlight Bud’s impressive career as a rodeo contestant, judge, cowboy, and saddlemaker.

Delmer Jasper was born at Meldrum Creek in 1925. He was the youngest son of pioneers Wes and Mabel Jasper. Inheriting his love of ranching and rodeo from his father, who was one of the top ropers in the Williams Lake stampede, Delmer began riding with his Dad at the age of three. His first job was at Gang Ranch, where he helped train horses, at the age of 15. His rodeo career lasted almost 50 years, beginning when he won the saddle bronc and calf roping at Anahim Lake when he was 17. In the 1940s and 50s he competed at Anahim and Riske Creek, and before the war, at Williams Lake. After his marriage in 1948 he focused on team and calf roping – his speciality was team roping, and he was a top header. Delmer also competed in gymkhanas where his specialty was the potato race. If he wasn’t competing himself, he was somewhere behind the chutes helping to put on the show and after a full day of competing, or working, he carried on his volunteer work at the evening functions. He also played an important part in organizing stampedes including his annual hometown show at Riske Creek. He became a member of the Interior Rodeo Association in its early years and was a gold card holder in the IRA and the BCRA. Delmer was among those who established the Riske Creek Rodeo grounds in 1958. Delmer passed away in 1991 at the age of 65. The 1992 BCRA Indoor Rodeo in Williams Lake was dedicated to his memory and the Delmer Jasper Memorial Team Roping and Gymkhana has become a yearly event at Riske Creek. Delmer’s children, and grandchildren, continue the Jasper tradition in rodeo and ranching.

Gilbert (Gilly) Bowe was born in 1930 and raised at Springhouse, near Williams Lake, BC – one of eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Bowe. Gilbert Sr. was the son of Henry Bowe, and the grandson of Herman Bowe who founded the Alkali Lake Ranch in 1860. Gil began riding broncs as a youngster and began his rodeo career when he was in his early teens, riding steers and bareback. As an adult he competed in most events, from bronc riding to the infamous mountain race. He topped the steer decorating and won the saddle bronc at the 1957 Williams Lake Stampede. In Chelan, Washington, in 1960, Gil scored a 94 in saddle bronc – a score unchallenged anywhere in Canada or the US for many years. In 1961 he entered 6 main events at Burnaby Lake and won every one – plus the all-round buckle. He was ranked in the top three in all of Canada for all-round cowboy. For seven years he rode on the pro circuit in saddle bronc, calf roping, bare back, bull riding, and steer wrestling. Gil has always been more than willing to help out at the drop of a hat. He was one of the founding members of the Interior Rodeo Association, which later became the BCRA. Gil also opperates his own leather and saddle shop – the “Rodeo Shop” where he hand builds saddles, producing as many as 20 saddles a year. He has built many trophy saddles for the different rodeo associations of BC. Since Gil retired from rough stock he spends much of his time competing in team roping as a header or heeler and continues to host BCTRA events at his home arena in Red Rock. Gillie spent years on the amateur and professional rodeo circuit as a competitor and a judge.


Laverne was born March 14, 1924 in Kamloops and moved with his family to the farm in Westwold in December of 1933. Laverne was a rancher from his earliest years. The farm raised sheep, cattle and hay until 1967 when the sheep were sold. The cattle and hay are the mainstay today. As a young man his talents for breaking horses (riding and work) were much in demand throughout the valley. He learned the art of blacksmithing from local pioneer Alex Pringle and would often travel throughout the valley with Alex shoeing horses. In the fall Laverne would harvest Christmas trees and haul them to the coast to sell. On one such trip, through mutual friends, he met Peggy Mullin. Peggy was born September 13, 1923 in Saskatchewan and at a young age moved with her family to Abbotsford. Peggy earned her teacher certificate and was teaching physical education in Langley when she met Laverne. Laverne and Peggy were married in June 1952 and moved to the home on the farm in Westwold, where they still reside. Peggy adapted well to farm life, the large gardens, doing preserves for winter, and cooking for hired help. Together they raised three children and became actively involved in the community groups and events. As their children grew older Laverne and Peggy became involved in their activities, one being the BC High School Rodeo Association where they both were honoured for their contributions (see photo). To supplement the family income Peggy returned to teaching at Falkland and taught until retiring in 1984. Laverne continued to farm actively until the last few years when son Scott has taken over, although Laverne is still a very integral part of the day to day operations. In the true sense of the words, ranching and pioneers, Laverne and Peggy always have a hot cup of coffee and a warm bed for visitors.

Charlie Hance was born October 7, 1900 at Canoe Creek, BC and was raised at Big Bar. At the age of 12 he started to work at the Gang Ranch where he worked most of his life. He also worked for Pudge Moon (Hillcrest Ranch), Harry Durrell (Wineglass Ranch) and Phil McRae (River Ranch), but he always went back to the Gang. Although Charlie’s life was horses and cowboying, he lived in Williams Lake for three years working for All Fir and Lignum sawmills. City life didn’t appeal to Charlie so he returned to the Gang Ranch. He was given the job as head cowboy at Riske Creek, taking care of steers on the Riske Creek range with his home base at Harper Meadow. Charlie was an excellent horse breaker. He always rode a good cow horse. He took good care of his horses and expected no less from others. He was always on hand to teach and help the younger cowboys to be top hands. He was well liked and respected by his many friends and co-workers. In his prime he was a competitor in bronc riding, the famous mountain race in Williams Lake, and also did a good job as a pickup man. Charlie never learned to drive a car though it was known, that after a few drinks he gave it a fling, but when it came to driving a team there was none better. Charlie left us July 30, 1983. He is buried in the Toosey Cemetery, in the heart of the country he always called home. Charlie will always be remembered for the good cowboy he was; there’s few left like him.

Fredrick James Alexander (Fred) Long Whether it be brush-popping and choking dust on a cattle drive, climbing onto a colt in the breaking corral or driving a team in harness, Fred Long was equally at ease. He was a man with a lifelong passion for horses, cattle ranching and the western lifestyle, and he was proud to be a part of BC’s cowboy heritage. Fred was born on December 28, 1938 in Belfast, Ireland. During his teen years, he would steal horses from the gypsies and gallop wildly over the moors – returning his mounts before they were missed. Since this was not quite the cowboy life that he dreamed of, he immigrated to Canada in 1959. First Saskatchewan, then Alberta, then in 1960 Fred went to Vanderhoof, BC. Here he bought the first cows of his own. Next Fred hired on at Alkali Lake Ranch to break horses, and to cowboy. He chased wild horses south of Alexis Creek, catching nine, by roping them one at a time. From 1965 to 1969 he worked in the Quarter Horse barn at Douglas Lake Ranch. His next move was to Barriere where he set up his own training stable. In 1974, Fred went to England and joined the King’s Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery, but the lure of the Canadian west called him back again and he returned to the Kamloops area. He managed a stud farm in Barnhartvale, where he also trained racehorses. In 1978, Fred took a job as deputy brand inspector in Kamloops. He moved to Williams Lake in 1980 to a full-time inspector’s position until 1999. Fred bought the 147 Mile Ranch in 1984, then a ranch on Enterprise in 1995. Here they had a small bunch of cows, yearlings on grass, and of course, broke and trained horses – until recently when Fred’s health slowed him down. Over the years Fred has trained and successfully competed horses in western pleasure, reining, working cow horse, cutting, packing, jumping, racing, and driving! In his lifetime, Fred has ridden, driven or packed over 4,000 horses, 400 of which he broke himself. During the late nineties Fred worked in the movie industry in BC and Alberta. He immensely enjoyed reliving the horse and buggy days in western scenes created for the movies. Over the years he promoted BC’s cowboy and ranching heritage by helping out at community activities such as 4H, school education sessions, and cattlemen association meetings. Fred “left this outfit” on October 24th, 2003 for that “spread in the sky.” At his funeral in Williams Lake, his casket was carried in a horse drawn wagon to the cemetery. Local teamsters supplied five additional teams and wagons to transport guests to and from the gravesite. Fred shall be missed and remembered. His life has been a journey – from hanging on to the western culture of the working cowboy to embracing better horses and horsemanship through competition.


Gerry Bracewell was born at Halfway Lake, Alberta in 1922. She lived her early years on the bare back of a steer calf or horse. Her mother bought her a filly when she was eight, but she wasn’t allowed a saddle until she was 16. Gerry took a job at the Circle X Ranch in the Tatlayoko Valley of the West Chilcotin. Gerry’s life for 62 years has been in this valley, ranching and guiding. Gerry married the son of K.B. Moore, the owner of the Circle X Ranch, and had two sons. She ran the ranch with her Grand Dad Moore during her husband’s absence for the war, cowboying with her babies in front or behind of her – the packboxes carrying pillows, diapers and food. Grandpa kept the boys at the ranch while Gerry did the 165 mile cattle drive to the Williams Lake sale. She became a qualified guide/outfitter and for 50 years, guided and outfitted hunters for Grand Dad Moore. Gerry remarried, to Alf Bracewell, in 1954. When Grand Dad Moore passed away, Gerry and Alf took over the Circle X Ranch. They had two more sons, who helped to build the Bracewell’s Alpine Wilderness Adventures Lodge. The reins of the family business have been handed over to son Alex and his wife. Gerry has passed her guide/outfitter licence on to Alex as well. Gerry’s life has been one of community involvement; being postmistress, census taker, and she is presently the President of the West Chilcotin Historical Society. Gerry and Alf live on the ranch, putting up hay for the horses used at the lodge. Gerry busies herself with grandchildren, cowboy poetry writings, and is just this Fall hosting the CBC “On the Road Again” crew, as they pay tribute to her life

Joe Rosette was a cowboy. It is all he ever did and all he ever knew in his lifetime. He was one of the best, but you would never hear it from him. Unassuming and modest and one of the most likeable individuals that you’d ever meet, Joe was born January 3rd, 1934 at Williams Meadow, Gang Ranch, BC. He never strayed far from his birthplace. He was raised on the famous Gang Ranch & schooled at Dog Creek. Joe started work full time at the Gang Ranch as a 12-year-old, first on the hay crew for a short time before joining the cowboy crew. After a time, Joe rose to the cowboss position working under the management of the Sidwell family, then working for the next Gang manager, Wayne Robinson. He later moved his family to Empire Valley Ranch, where he spent 9 years as a foreman under the manager at that time, Floyd Fellhauer. Gang Ranch was Joe’s home and the pull of the place was strong enough for Joe to return there to work once again. Joe also worked for Mike Fairless – as cowboss and it was his last job on the Gang Ranch. After a brief stint in Walhachin working on a hay ranch that the Sidwells had purchased Joe returned yet again to Empire Valley to work for Tom Hook. At Walhachin Joe was farther away from home than he had ever been for work. In the spring of 1979 Joe moved across the river to the Alkali Lake Ranch to work under Bronc Twan, for the Mervyn family. This was the end of the cowboy road for Joe, he had unloaded his gear for the last time. He spent the next 17 years working under Bronc at Alkali. It was a very unusual thing to see this fine man in a “bad” mood; he always had a smile, a joke or a kind word. He liked children immensely and was always ready to teach an interested person a thing or two about his profession. Joe was also a rodeo cowboy, competing at local rodeos as a team roper. He had friends everywhere, and from every walk of life. There never was a cowboy with whom he worked, that did not respect his abilities. If you ask anyone whom ever knew and worked with this man, the respect and admiration for his ability was unwavering and unilateral. Joe’s lifetime was cut short when he passed away suddenly, August 31st, 1996, at the young age of 62, at home, at Alkali Lake Ranch – he was still cowboying daily.


Born in Sheridan, Wyoming in 1949 to a pioneer family and raised on a ranch on Powder River, Dan moved with his family to a ranch in Flathead Valley of Western Montana when he was 8 years old. His Uncle Loy Finley bought Mound Ranch at Clinton, BC in 1961. Dan spent a lot of time there before moving to Loon Lake Ranch in 1969 working with Charlie Baker breaking horses, working cattle, and rodeoing. Dan placed in the top ten for just about 30 years before an accident at the finals in Princeton 2000. He was a Canadian Team Roping Assn. director and helped organize many finals before it became CUSTRC. Dan placed at many finals, CTRA ropings and CUSTRA ropings. In Pro Rodeos he placed deep at both Kamloops Indoor and Williams Lake Stampede, winning 1st at Williams Lake one year. He placed in many Jackpot ropings as well as in Fraser’s Instant Rancher Roping and Spring Classic Claresholm, Alberta, Stockman’s Choice at High River, Alta where he won a stock trailer in 1991. He also received roping and penning overall High Point Bronze in 1993. In various Truck Ropings from FairView, Grand Prairie, to Claresholm he placed both heading and heeling. Between ranching at Sheridan Lake, breaking horses, trucking hay and livestock all over the province, shoeing a pile of horses (individual’s and guest ranches’) in 100 Mile House area, he raised four children to be good riders and ropers. They learned to appreciate the lifestyle of rodeo, the good horses you ride, and all the good friends you make along the way. Dan put on many a mile with partners, and later with kids, always optimistic and ready for a good contest. Most of all he loved competing against the big boys with his family. Being confined to a wheelchair since Sept 2000 hasn’t stopped Dan from cowboying. He is a certified cattle buyer and still runs over 100 head of cattle in the Sheridan Lake area with his wife Linda and his family. He can often be found miles from home on his ATV keeping an eye on his cattle. In 2002 Dan undertook the task of driving his son, pulling a stock trailer and two horses, to the National High School Rodeo Finals in New Mexico. He is still an active participant at rodeos as an organizer and volunteer.

A lifetime working in the cattle industry has earned Ernest Haughton a place in the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame. Ernie was born in Knutsford in 1911. He was raised with his siblings on the family’s Beresford homestead and spent all his life in the Kamloops area. The Haughton brothers bought up neighbouring homesteads which served as a base for their ranching operations. Ernie and his wife Lillian went on their own and started the Sunny Hills Ranch where they ran up to 350 head of cattle. Ernie had a reputation for picking great breeding bulls. He was always involved in the community, first as a 4-H member at age 17 in 1928, and later as a leader and livestock judge. He was dedicated to the advancement of the cattle industry and, while running his own operation, served on the Kamloops Exhibition Association, chaired the Provincial Winter Fair, was a Director of BC and Canadian Short Horn, Limousin and Angus Associations, a Director of Pacific National Exhibition Livestock Board, Ppresident of the Kamloops Stockmans, BC Cattlemens and BC Livestock Co-op and more. Ernest Haughton loved the ranch life and will be long remembered for his contributions. He passed away in 1986.

Antoine Allen was born in Oregon in 1853. He made his way to the Cariboo when he was just 9 years old and stayed to work for Jerome and Thaddeus Harper at their ranch on the Fraser River near Dog Creek. He drove cattle on some of the longest known trails from Washington and Oregon to the Cariboo. Antoine and Jerome Harper drove cattle to the Barkerville market at the height of the gold rush. In later years he went on beef drives with the Pat Burns Company. In 1871 at age 18, Antoine went to school in Cache Creek. Three years later he visited Oregon to reunite with his family. On his return to BC, Antoine worked at the Harper Ranch east of Kamloops. He had many wild adventures on the cattle drive trails but in time settled in the Kamloops area and married Sarah Ignace. The couple had four daughters. Antoine worked for Pat Burns on Newman Range and in later years spent his summers prospecting at the mouth of Jamison Creek on the North Thompson. Antoine Allen passed away in 1936. He was 83. Allen is buried on the Kamloops Indian Reserve.

Hugh Cornwall was born in 1912 on the family ranch near Ashcroft that was founded in 1862 by his grandfather Clement F Cornwall. He finished school and worked on the ranch for several years before starting a charter plane service using the ranch airstrip. During WWII, he served overseas with the Seaforth Highlanders and re-enlisted in the RCAF as a flying instructor. After the war, Hugh returned to the Cariboo and took the job of assistant fieldman for the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association and in 1946 became the district fieldman.

Sonia, daughter of Charles and Vivien Cowan, owners of the historic Onward Ranch, married Hugh in 1947. The couple managed the 150 Mile Ranch, which was owned by the Onward. When the 150 Ranch was sold, Hugh and Sonia ran the Onward until the main ranch was sold in 1965. They re-located at Jones Lake, land that was originally Onward hay meadows and pastures, where they ranched until Hugh’s death in 2001. Sonia still lives on the ranch. Hugh believed it was every cattleman’s duty to be involved in organizations that protected and benefited the industry. He served terms as President of the Cariboo Cattlemens and BC Cattlemens Associations. Hugh was a leader in expanding the boundaries of the cattlemens associations to represent the needs of the ranching industry throughout the whole province, as opposed to the traditional small geographic segments. Sonia has a passion for painting, and is a charter member of the Cariboo Arts Society, formed at the Onward by her mother Vivien Cowan, in 1945. A.Y. Jackson and other well-known artists were frequent visitors at the ranch. Sonia studied painting but had to put her art career on hold to help run the ranch after her father’s death. When she married Hugh Cornwall she worked along side him on the ranch. The couple raised two daughters. After Hugh and Sonia moved to the Jones Lake Ranch and the children were grown, she took up painting again. Despite the busy life on a ranch, she has turned out numerous paintings portraying the natural beauty of the ranching way of life. Her paintings are sought after worldwide.


Randolph Mulvahill rancher, bronc rider and rodeo stock provider was born in 1917 at Chezacut. He is the youngest son of ranchers Charlie and Martha. From an early age the Mulvahill boys worked with the livestock on the ranch and broke the colts. Every year the family took the four day trip on horseback to the Williams Lake Stampede. Randolph became a competitor in 1937 and dominated the saddle bronc event for several years (riders had to stay on for 10 seconds then). Knowing that a good bucking horse was essential for a high score, Randolph began bringing his own bucking stock to the Stampede in 1938. The Mulvahill stock was good and soon gained a reputation throughout the rodeo world. He also raised saddle horses and Hereford cattle on his ranch, which is part of his parent’s original place. He sold his bucking stock in the 1960s to different contractors. One load of 350 head, to Dale Miller of Kamloops, was the largest bunch of horses shipped from the Chilcotin at one time. Randolph retired in 1989 and lives with his wife Kathy on Spade Ranch at Alexis Creek.

Wendell Monical is well respected as a working cowboy and horseman. He has spent most of his life in the saddle. In fact, Wendell believes anything that can’t be done ‘a-horseback’ isn’t worth his time and effort. Monical came to BC in 1962 and co-owned and managed a 700 head cow/calf operation on the 105 Mile Ranch. By establishing a Crown cow range where once only wild horses roamed, he increased the operation to 1200 head. Wendell’s far sightedness has made him an influential member of the cattle industry. The 105 Mile Ranch was sold in 1970 and Wendell tried ranching in several other locations around the province but always came back to the Cariboo, eventually buying back the old ranch. Wendell is still raising cattle on the 105 Mile Ranch and spends much of his time training cow ponies and cow dogs to help work their cattle. He has also been known to write a little cowboy poetry in his spare time.


Joe Coutlee, born Nov 24, 1867, spent his early days helping at his fathers hotel and ranch. At the age of 10, Joe was working cattle with a Mexican packer, Joseph Castillion, helping his father on cattle drives to Yale. At age 23, he started working at the Douglas Lake Ranch and 10 years later he was the cow boss. He had a talent for accurately calculating the number of cattle that could be held in a field, and for how long – the mark of a good range manager. He also had the uncanny ability to identify individual animals out of a herd of 13,000. At Douglas Lake, Joe developed his own band of horses and all wore the Joe Coutlee JK brand. The stories of Joe’s prowess as a cowboy, horseman, cattle and range manager are countless. Joe and his wife, Muggins, were together for 45 years and raised six children. He spent 55 years on the Douglas Lake Ranch, working every day until six months before his death from cancer in 1945. He is buried near his childhood home in Shulus, alongside his mother.


David James Perry was born in 1926 on the Bonaparte Reserve near Cache Creek, BC. He was a top contender in the rodeo circuit, specializing in bareback riding. He was a skilled calf roper. As one of BC’s top cowboys, Dave captured the all-around title at the Williams Lake Stampede in 1952, 1954, 1955 and 1957. With ten years on the rodeo circuit, Dave turned his interests to raising rodeo stock at his ranch in Cache Creek and later formed a partnership with Garry Hook. Their rough stock thrilled audiences from the Williams Lake Stampede to Calgary Stampede and the NFR in Oklahoma City. Dave was the first to start rodeo schools in BC. He helped establish and promote both indoor rodeo and professional rodeo in BC, and built and introduced portable chutes enabling the smaller centres to put on rodeos.


Joan Stewart was born in 1936 on the Upper Nicola Indian reserve. She spent her childhood helping on her uncle’s ranch. As a young girl, she entered gymkhanas on her big horse, King, winning many awards. Joan concentrated on barrel racing and has been at the top of her game since 1976 when she won the IRA barrel racing championship. She is a seven-time barrel racing champion from various rodeo associations, has numerous runner-up titles, and is a lifetime Gold Card Member of the BC Barrel Racers Association. Joan is active in organizing and teaching barrel racing and horse handling with her friend, Sandy Pasco. She is a long time director of the WIREA which promotes the family unit and ‘stick horse’ racing for tiny tots. Joan and Dave Perry met in 1956, were married soon after and had six children. Dave was taken away suddenly in 1970 at the age of 44. Joan and children carried on at the family ranch.


Bill and Pat Stewart’s contributions to the ranching industry include years of work with the Stockman and Cattlemen Associations as well as 4H. In addition, Bill was a cowboy poet and Pat is a writer and ranching historian, whose articles have appeared in numerous publications. Bill was born in 1906 on the North Thompson’s Glensullivan Ranch, established by his father, Frank. Pat’s family moved to the area in the early 1940s and the couple wed in 1944. They bought the ranch when the senior Stewarts retired in 1950. The first office of the BC Livestock Producers Co-Operative Association was opened in Kamloops in the late 1950s and Bill became barn supervisor, often sleeping in the office at night to deal with the cattle which came in at all hours. Pat spent 25 years volunteering at the stockyards. In the early 1970s, Bill went to work for the Ministry of Agriculture. In 1979, the Stewarts sold the ranch, but the family, which includes two daughters and a son, continued to live there. Bill passed away in June, 1984. The family established a scholarship in his memory at Cariboo College (now Two Rivers University) for students majoring in agriculture-related fields. Pat remained on the ranch until 1994 when she moved into Kamloops where she continues her keen interest in the ranching community and is a valuable resource for those seeking information on ranching.

Louie Bates, born in 1919, on the Sugar Cane Reservation near Williams Lake, was known throughout the ranching/rodeo world as an exceptional horseman. Louie was riding at an early age and had a special rapport with horses. Working for the Mayfields at 141 Mile House, no one could match his riding skills. Louie was a natural bronc rider. His cowboy life was interrupted by World War II. He returned a war hero, but as a First Nations veteran, lost his Indian status. He still had his ability to train horses and was in much demand. Louie was a legend on the rodeo circuit as a saddle bronc rider, staying on bucking horses no one else could ride. He rode with the best in BC, Alberta and the US. He was best All-Around Cowboy at the Williams Lake Stampede in 1949 and 1950. He competed in saddle bronc, bareback, steer riding, roping and the wild horse race. When his days of competing were over, Louie found work training horses at race courses in the southern US and was licensed to train on every track in North America. Louie married Doreen Sellers from Soda Creek after the war and they had one son, Marvin Bates. Louie Bates is buried at the Sugar Cane cemetery. His gravestone says it all – “Best All Round.”

The Twan family history in the Cariboo pre-dates the gold rush. Charles (Twan) Tuan came as a fur trader from Quebec in the early 1830s. He met and married Mary Cletsus at Fort Alexandria. Their eldest son, John Sanford Twan, was born in 1853, at Fort Alexandria. When the Hudson Bay Company closed the fort during the gold rush, John bought the property. He and his wife Rosalie had twelve children, eight of whom survived past childhood. Irvine, Dave, Bill, Clarence, Evelyn and Charlie and many of their descendants, over five generations, have spent, and still are spending, their lives in ranching and rodeo. They were involved in thoroughbred racing and rodeo competitions, and managed notable ranches, such as the Alkali Lake Ranch, Onward Ranch, Chilco Ranch and others in BC.

The Maurice Family has been intertwined with the Twan family since Hermie Maurice, born in 1916 in Calgary, came to BC in the 1930s finding a job at Chilco Ranch. In 1942, while competing at the Riske Creek Rodeo, Hermie met Evelyn Twan and left Chilco to work at the Alkali Lake Ranch with Evelyn’s brother, Bill. Hermie and Evelyn married in 1943 and had four children, Sharon, David, Lawrence and Rosalee. The Maurice’s stayed at Alkali for 16 years. Hermie was the St Joseph’s Mission ranch foreman, Evelyn was chief cook. They stayed there until the ranch sold in 1980. Hermie died in 1988, but his love of ranching and rodeo lives on in his children and grandchildren who have many accomplishments as cowboys and rodeo competitors.

The Palmantier Family Leonard Palmantier came to the Cariboo in 1914 as an adult, with a string of horses from Riverside, Washington. He married Josephine Grambush of the Chilcotin First Nations in 1935. Of their seven children, five have been involved in rodeo: Fred, George, Jack, Julie and Joan. They and their families, three generations, are all living in the Cariboo in the Riske Creek area. The family members were professional bull riders, bareback and saddle bronc riders, competed in barrel racing, raised rodeo stock, and judged rodeos. They have won titles such as the Interior Rodeo Association Overall, Wes DeRose Memorial Trophy for the most sportsman-like competitor, the North American Saddle Bronc Championship. The women are noted for being Canada’s Indian Princess, a BC Indian Princess, a Williams Lake Stampede Queen, and one of the first women to be certified as a rodeo judge.


Ray Thomson was born in Wyoming in 1928 and grew up in a cowboy tradition which we will see no more. When he was barely in his teens, Ray was starting colts. He spent his summer working for the great cowman Rex Wardell. The lessons he learned and skills he gained here stayed with him all his life. In 1953 the Thomson family purchased Hillcrest Ranch from Pudge Moon and moved to Riske Creek. For the next 25 years Ray worked on the ranch building up a herd of horned Hereford cattle. In the 1960s he brought some registered quarter horse mares and a Stormy Weather stallion up from Montana. From then until his death Ray raised and sold registered cow horses that packed his Bench H brand to rodeos and ropings around the country. They were intelligent and they were cowy. He said he would always have a good horse in the corral until the day he died and he did. He is remembered by his many good friends and loving family as a man who was generous in sharing his knowledge and experience, a good teacher, a great observer of nature, and a man with a sense of humour and fun. He is remembered for being a great horseman and for breeding some of the finest horses in the country.

Floyd Grinder was born on the family ranch near Clinton in 1942. His family were pioneer ranchers in the area since the 1800’s and Floyd learned all the ranching skills at a young age. As a youngster he helped his father to bring cattle from the Gang Ranch to the railhead at Ashcroft. He used to tell stories about running wild horses off Big Bar Mountain with his Dad and brothers. Rodeo was one of Floyd’s great loves. He competed in rodeos all over western North America and won many championships and all-round titles over the years. Floyd once represented BC at the Calgary Stampede as part of the BC Rodeo Team. He was also awarded the BC Rodeo Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991. When Floyd wasn’t riding in a rodeo, he could usually be seen helping with the stock, pulling gates and helping other riders. Floyd ran a successful logging operation for 23 years, and was a licensed big game guide and outfitter, and a licensed trapper. He initiated the very successful Clinton “Old Timers Rodeo” held annually for 9 years. In every path Floyd chose throughout his life, he was always a gentleman of the highest magnitude. He was loved and well respected by all who came into his life.

Harry Marriott Rancher and pioneer Harry Marriott was born in 1891 and came to the British Columbia Interior in 1912. He got off the train at Ashcroft and traveled by horse drawn wagon to the Gang Ranch where he worked as a cowhand and managed the Crow’s Bar. Harry joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1916 and served for three years in World War I. Shortly after returning from the war, he filed a homestead claim on Big Bar Lake flat, where he started his own cattle ranch. 1920 Harry married Peg Price and they had one son, Ronnie. The Marriotts acquired smaller surrounding ranches, which Harry consolidated into the O.K. Ranching Company. By the 1930s, cattle prices were down and Peg decided to open a fishing and holiday camp on Big Bar Lake to supplement the ranch income. She operated the guest ranch for 43 years. Harry is the author of the book “Cariboo Cowboy” which describes ranch life as he lived it and the early ranching families in the Gang Ranch, Big Bar, Clinton area of the Cariboo. Harry died in 1969 in his 79th year.

The Hook Family Reg Hook, a working cowboy and teamster was born in Saskatchewan in 1909. In 1938, Reg, his wife Bertha and three children, Jim, Garry and Connie moved to Pinantan Lake and built a log lodge with their uncle and aunt, Roy and Mary Hines. Soon, five more children were added to the family, Mae, Ardyce, Roger, Rick and Harley. Reg rode broncs as a young man in the 1920s. He and his brother owned a dairy farm from 1938 to 1994. In 1944 Reg started Hooks Ranches Ltd. To start the herd, Hook drove cattle from Duffy Ranch at Cherry Creek through Kamloops to the lease on Westsyde Road. The Hook ranch boasted 500 head of breeding cows and 100 head of yearlings by 1959. Reg was the first rancher in the area to try to breed buffalo with cattle and had the first buffalo calf born in captivity. He was the first rancher to bring Charolois cattle to BC. Reg also raised and broke horses on his ranch that were later used as rope horses in rodeo competitions. He ran a herd of 25 brood mares and sold many to rodeo stock provider Joe Kelsey. He was instrumental in getting the Charter of, and starting, the Kamloops Exhibition Association. Hook was active in all aspects of ranch life and was also a well-respected cattle buyer for Canada Packers from 1945 until his death in 1959. He was known as one of the best cattlemen in the area. Reg’s eight children, and his grandchildren, were born to the ranch life. Many have excelled in local and national rodeo, and raised some of the world’s top rodeo stock. The family has been instrumental in introducing indoor rodeo to BC, and members of the family have held positions on the boards of Canadian Rodeo Association, BC Cutting Horse Association, the Canadian Cutting Horse Breeders Association, Kamloops Pro Rodeo Committee, and the Canadian Rodeo Board of Directors.

Alex and Ann Paxton were both descendants of some of the first families to come to the Cariboo/Chilcotin. Both were born, raised and spent their whole lives in the area cowboying on ranches and competing in rodeos. Alex Paxton, a third generation Paxton, was born at the Onward Ranch in 1903. His parents were Tom and Agnes Paxton. Alex learned about ranching early in his life and his talent with horses soon became evident. He began breaking horses when he was 16 and entered the bronc riding event at the Williams Lake Stampede in 1923. He competed in Calgary, Winnipeg, and the U.S. He rode with the best of them including Pete Knight. In the mid 1940s, Alex married Ann, daughter of Hortense and Frank English, born 1913 at 4 Mile Creek. Ann was a capable cowgirl and hard worker. She competed many years in the Williams Lake Stampede riding race horses. In 1933 she won the Silver Cup in the Pony Express race. They bought Spain Lake Ranch in 1949 and stayed there until 1970. Ann and Alex competed together and won in team roping for many years. Ann died in 1986 and Alex in 1999, both cowboys to the end.

Frances Patricia (Paddy) Cripps was the daughter of Alkali Lake Ranch owners Charles and Mary Wynn Johnson. She was born in 1907 and spent her formative years at Alkali. Paddy spent as much time as possible astride a horse or at the barns. Paddy remembered going to Williams Lake, to see the first stampede. Leonard Palmantier, who was breaking horses at the Alkali Lake ranch, was riding in the rodeo. Branding was done in early July and Paddy was there for every minute of it helping to round up seven or eight hundred cows and calves. In 1929 Paddy married Pack Harris. They had two children. With a nanny to care for Jim and Cherie, Paddy continued her cowgirl life at Alkali until the ranch was sold in 1939. They purchased the Big Lake Ranch and Paddy ran the ranch and worked part time at the local stockyards after Pack passed away. She was a dedicated rancher and active in community affairs. In 1941, Paddy married Harold Cripps. Three children, Julie, Wade and Clint were born. They sold the ranch in 1956 and purchased Chilako Ranch near Prince George and ranched there until 1970. Paddy was a working cowgirl to the end and proved equal to the best of her peers. She passed away in 1983.


Alan Fry was born on the family ranch near Lac La Hache in 1931. His roots are ingrained in art and ranching. His grandfather, Roger Fry was a well known artist and art critic in England and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Alan’s father, Julian, studied agriculture in England and from the time he first arrived in Canada in 1923, was committed to cattle ranching and to the development of cattlemen’s associations. In the summer of 1943, Alan was twelve years old and went out to work on nearby ranches. He had to become a man and under the watchful eye of the master, Gussy Haller, learned ranching skills. By the time he was sixteen he had cowboyed on various ranches in the Kamloops area to earn his keep. He left ranching for a year to attend University of BC and then joined the Canadian Army Active Force. He returned to ranching in 1952 and later joined the Department of Indian Affairs where he spent twenty years. In 1974, Alan left Indian Affairs and settled in the Yukon where he lives today with wife Eileen. In 1962 his book The Ranch on the Cariboo was first published. Since then he has had four more books published.

Jesse Jacob (Jake) Coutlee, born in Merritt, September 1942, raised at Douglas Lake where his father, Oscar, ran the farm crew. Jake’s career began at Douglas Lake around 1955. He was fourteen when Mike Ferguson assigned him to roping calves for branding. He had been driving teams with the farm crew since he was nine but wasn’t on the payroll until he started working for Mike, and stayed working at the Douglas Lake Ranch until his retirement in 2007. Over the 50 plus years Jake worked on the ranch he could tell the history and details of every cow horse on the ranch. He kept track of other things too, such as the fifty-two different cooks that worked at the ranch while he was there. He was a man to watch if you wanted to learn to do things right. He led by example and many cowboys, novice or experienced, learned from him. Jake was a top hand, legendary cow man and highly skilled with a rope. For a few years, Jake and his team roping partner Scotty Holmes were contenders in the local rodeo circuit but it was hard to travel too far afield working six days a week. It has been said about Jake, that any cowboys who rode with him over the years had ‘something to brag about’.

Percy Minnabarriet was raised at 89 Mile near Spences Bridge. His first job was cowboying at the Ashcroft Ranch. He began rodeoing when he was sixteen. He won his first steer-riding competition and that was the start of his career. Percy married Marie and they had six sons and three daughters. With a family that size, juggling a job, getting to rodeos, and finding money for entry fees was not easy. The family always traveled with him in his 1948 Ford with the youngest in a banana box. In the off season Percy worked at area ranches. He received his Gold Card Life Membership from Pro Rodeo Canada in 1979, honouring his twenty-five years as a professional rodeo cowboy. In 1971 he was BC’s champion calf roper and won All Around cowboy on other occasions. His rodeo career came to an end when he lost his pride and joy, Ben, his roping horse. The gate to the field where Ben was grazing, was left open and he got out and was hit and killed on the highway. Percy didn’t have the heart to start over again with another horse. Percy died in May 2001 and is buried in the family cemetery at 89 Mile.

Maiden Creek Ranch In 1862, Edward and Elizabeth Dougherty established a farm and popular roadhouse on Maiden Creek. Today the fourth generation of Doughertys operate the ranch and the fifth generation of children is being brought up there. A crabapple tree, planted in 1887 to mark the birth of youngest son Charles, still watches over the family. Edward Sr. died in 1897 and oldest son Edward III managed the ranch until he married in 1902 and moved to a homestead in the Bonaparte Valley. His brother Thomas ran the ranch until WW1 when he enlisted. Edward’s son Charlie married Mary Jane Pollard in 1912 and managed the ranch, raising nine daughters and one son, Charles II. He was born in 1929 and stayed on the ranch continuing to operate it after Charlie died in 1968. Charles II married Helene Charryon in 1956 and ran the ranch untill his death in 1973, after which Helene managed the business and the two oldest sons, Chuck and Ray, did the outside ranch work. The ranch is a traditional cow/calf operation. The Doughertys recently built an indoor arena where ropers, cattle penners, and barrel races compete and practice in the winter months. Fourth generation Dougherty, Raymond, and his wife Jody now manage the Maiden Creek Ranch for Helene and the brothers and sisters. It is thought to be the oldest century ranch in British Columbia.

Floyd Phillips, known as Panhandle or Pan for short was born 1910 in Illinois and came to the Cariboo in 1933 with his friend Rich Hobson looking to start a cattle ranch. The partners went to Anahim Lake and found natural meadows north east over the Itcha Mountains at the headwaters of the Blackwater River. They established the Home Ranch there. Phillips ran the isolated Home Ranch bringing in supplies twice a year by horse and wagon. Every fall he drove cattle 100 miles through the Cariboo range country and forest to Nazko, or 60 miles beyond to Quesnel. The rugged drive took 21 long, cold days. Home Ranch remained almost completely cut off from the outside, accessible only by horse and in later years by light plane. Pan became a director of the Quesnel Cattlemen’s Association and a stockholder in the BC Cattleman’s Association. When the ranch was sold in 1969, the Frontier Cattle Company had over 2,000 head of cattle ranging over 1,000 deeded acres and 20,000 acres of leased land. That’s when Phillips ended his career as a rancher and opened Pan Phillips hunting and fishing lodge at Tsetzi Lake. Phillips died May 28, 1983 at age 73. He is immortalized in the Rich Hobson stories Grass Beyond the Mountains, the Rancher Takes a Wife, and Nothing Too Good For a Cowboy.

Rosalie and John Siebert John Siebert, raised in Chilliwack BC, came to the Cariboo when he was nineteen to work for Ike Kerrs of Clinton where he learned the cattle business. The Kerrs used horses for all ranch work so John became expert at training, driving, riding and maintaining horses under the guidance of Ike Kerrs. Later he was head rider for Gang Ranch and eventually ended up working on Dick Church’s ranch in the Chilcotin area. The Church family ranch in Big Creek was started in 1902 when Herbert Church pre-empted the land. There, he met and married Rosalie, daughter of Dick and Rona Church. Rosalie Siebert started her career as a cowgirl in early life. When only three years old she was riding on a regular basis with her dad. She learned the art of tracking and handling cattle, running horses and survival in the rugged Chilcotin country. At age five, Rosalie accompanied her dad to trail two train loads of horses from Ashcroft to Big Creek. She continued working on the ranch all of her growing-up years. After John and Rosalie were married they worked as a team cowboying, both capable of riding the range, gathering horses and trailing them through the jackpine forests. They are both experts with cattle as well. John and Rosalie are now retired and live just outside of Williams Lake.

Mulvahill Family Charlie Mulvahill came to BC from the US in 1908 to freight on the Cariboo Wagon Road between Ashcroft and Barkerville. He pre-empted land at Chezacut Lake in 1909. He and Martha Copeland married in 1912 and started a ranch on the pre-empted property in 1914. The Mulvahills had three children, Eleanor, Bill and Randolph. Along with Hereford cattle, the Mulvahills raised horses. The two boys became proficient at breaking and training horses for work and riding. To amuse themselves, the brothers rode unbroken horses and inevitably they entered stampede competitions. Bill earned the nickname “Wild Bill” because of his daredevil approach to rodeoing and his willingness to try foolhardy stunts, even saddling and riding a moose. He won the bull riding contest at his first rodeo in 1936 and continued to compete for several years. Bill began building his share of the famous “Broncs of Mulvahills” after the war. The stock earned a reputation for being a tough ride. Roy Mulvahill, oldest son of Bill and Violet, started his own successful cattle and horse ranch at Chezacut, following in his Father’s footsteps, supplying bucking stock for rodeos in the true Mulvahill tradition. Roy was born and raised in Chezacut. He is well known for his horse breaking techniques and specializes in draft horse sales. He inherited his grandfather’s skill as a teamster and has trained many teams to drive. For a few years in the 1990s, Roy offered old time wagon train trips from Chezacut to the Williams Lake Stampede.