news archive (2016-2017)


Calgary Stampede Poster

2018 Calgary Stampede poster, Shannon Lawlor & team – revealed December 2017! Congrats to Shannon Lawlor; so cool to see John & Tyree featured on the 2018 Calgary Stampede Poster! Such an incredible idea stunningly depicted by Shannon – awesome job!



2017 Idaho

Open Two Rein Champions SLR Won Smart Wolf, owed by Keri Hudson-Reykdal… marking 150 down the fence! Congrats! Congrats also to Jerry & Nicole Myer on Reserve Championship in the Open Two Rein on their mare Metallic Cat Rose!

Money earners in the Non Pro Futurity were Keri Hudson-Reykdal and Smart Little Booncat; who were 4th place marking 141 herd, 141 rein & 145 fence.

Melody Andrews showed Cats Time To Shine for Lazy TD & Davis Bro's for Reserve Champion in the Level 1 Limited Open Derby.

Bart Holowath piloted Smart Lookin Nurse to Reserve Champion in the Non Pro Derby AND the Intermediate Non Pro Derby.


2017 NRCHA SBF & Hackamore Classic

Off to Fort Worth, Texas once again… snaffle bitters and hackamore horses and non pro bridle horses. Cats Picasso brought home some money yet again; he finished 3rd in the Open Hackamore Classic winning $8214.20 and another $5278 for 3rd in the Open Hackamore class. Congrats to owner Robbie McKay.

SLR Won Smart Wolf carried John to a 5th place finish in the Open Two Rein and owner, Keri Hudson-Reykdal, to a 4th place finish in the Non Pro Two Rein class.

Dr. Suzon Schaal increased Genuine Brown Gal's earnings with a 3rd place finish in the Non Pro Bridle class, and Bart Holowath showed Smart Lookin Nurse to an 8th place finish in the Non Pro Hackamore – congrats all!



Many exciting classes at our local futurity here in Alberta!


  • Metal Hickory 014 (owners Nicole & Jerry Myer) & John – 3rd Open Futurity
  • Dr. Suzon Schaal & PeppermintReycious – Non Pro Futurity, Intermediate AND Novice Non Pro Futurity Champions
  • Keri Hudson-Reykdal & Smart Little Booncat – Non Pro Futurity 3rd place
  • Cats Picasso (owner Robbie McKay) & John – Open Derby Champions! They scored a 148 in the herd, 145.5 in the reining and a 143.5 down the fence!
  • Metallic Mollie (owned by Cheryl Crealock) & Melody Andrews – Open Novice Horse Reserve Champions
  • Bart Holowath & Smart Lookin Nurse – Non Pro Derby AND Intermediate Non Pro Derby Champions! Herd 148, Reining 143.5 and Fence 145!
Spectacular, Bridle and Hackamore Classes:
  • Dr. Suzon Schaal & Genuine Brown Gal – Open Bridle Spectacular Reserve Champions * Dr. Suzon Schaal & Chics Ruffled Up – Non Pro Bridle Spectacular Champions AND Non Pro Bridle Reserve Champions
  • Terri Holowath & Red Hot Jade – Non Pro Bridle Spectacular Reserve Champions AND Non Pro Bridle Champions
  • Robbie McKay & Big Time In Cowtown – Non Pro Two Rein Spectacular Reserve Champions AND Non Pro Two Rein 3rd place
  • Steve Hoar & All Reddy Sweeter – Non Pro Two Rein Spectacular 3rd place
  • CD Shiner (owner Colleen Penner) & John – Open Bridle 3rd place
  • Laurel Scharien & Doc O Nitro – Novice Non Pro Bridle 3rd place
  • Helga Roh & Freckles Golden Sun – Novice Non Pro Bridle 4th place
  • Robbie McKay & Baraka Lights – Non Pro Hackamore Champions
  • Metallic Cat Rose (owners Jerry & Nicole Myer) & John – Open Two Rein Reserve Champions
  • Tyree Swales & Hot Lil Surprise (owner Melody Andrews) – Youth Limited AND Youth Limited 13 & under Champions! Reining 139 & boxing 146! It was a tight competition between Tyree and his buddy Wyatt Patton all year long!
Canada's Greatest Horseman:
  • Freckles Golden Sun, owned by Helga Roh, with John in the saddle captured the Reserve Championship title! Finals scores were: Herd 144, Reining 148, Steer Stopping 147 and Fence 148! Congrats Helga!


2017 Silver Slate Western Event Series

Open Futurity champion – Metallic Ink Tatto, ridden by John Swales for owner Robbie McKay.


2017 CowUp on the Coast

Off to the first pre-futurity – Abbotsford, BC. The futurity classes were valuable for the young ones to experience the show pen prior to the big lights in Fort Worth, Texas in October. The Non Pro classes shone this weekend:

  • Terri Holowath & Red Hot Jade – Non Pro Bridle Spectacular Reserve Champions
  • Helga Roh & Freckles Golden Sun – Non Pro Bridle Spectacular 3rd place, AND Champions in both the Non Pro Bridle and Novice Non Pro Bridle classes!!
  • Keri Hudson-Reykdal & SLR Won Smart Wolf – Non Pro Two Rein Spectacular Champions, AND Champions in the Non Pro Two Rein class!
The Open classes brought home some money too:
  • Metallic Cat Rose & John (owners Jerry & Nicole Myer) – Open Two Rein Champions
  • Metallic Mollie & Melody Andrews (owner Cheryle Dafoe) – Level 1 Open Derby Reserve Champions


2017 Calgary Stampede

Open Hackamore Champions – Cats Picasso & John Swales (owner Robbie McKay), amazing score of 301!!

Non Pro Bridle Champions – Dr. Suzon Schaal and Chics Ruffled Up

Open Bridle Champions – Dr. Suzon Schaal and Genuine Brown Gal

What a show Suzon!!


2017 Calgary Stampede

For the second year in a row, Cats Picasso's talent earned him a spot in the NRCHA Open Derby Finals in California! Luckily this year, they didn't have any falls and finished up 4th place adding to this stallions' respectable life-time earnings. The finals were tough as usual; Cats Picasso was consistent as ever scoring a 222 in the herd work, 218.5 in the reining and a 222 down the fence! Congrats to owner Robbie McKay!

John also showed Metallic Cat Rose (owned by Nicole & Jerry Myer) and SLR Won Smart Wolf (owned by Keri Hudson-Reykdal) in the Open Two Rein Spectacular; and the teams TIED for 3rd place! Metallic Cat Rose placed 6th in the Open Two Rein class, and SLR Won Smart Wolf finished 2nd in the same class. Melody Andrews showed Smart Sonita Nic for David Bergendahl to win the Limited Open Bridle class!

SLR Won Smart Wolf was a busy boy this week as he also showed in the Non Pro Two Rein Spectacular with owner, Keri, in the saddle! The duo were on their game finishing reserve champions in the spectacular and 3rd in the Non Pro Two Rein class. Terri Holowath also brought her two rein horse, Red Hot Jade; these two were competitive also finishing 3rd in both the Spectacular and the Non Pro Two Rein class – nice work!

More success was had by Helga Roh on her stallion Freckles Golden Sun who showed in the Novice Non-Pro Bridle class, and finished in 4th place!!


2017 Cowtown Derby

The Open Derby was extra exciting for us this year as our own Feather In Your Cap rose to the occasion and he and John came out champions! This sweet gelding can really shine under John's guidance. They marked a 147.5 in the herd work, a 146 in the reining and a huge 151 down the fence! John also showed Cats Time To Shine for the Davis Bro's, finishing 4th. In the Open Bridle class John brought CD Shiner, owned by Colleen Penner, and CD Shiner brought a lot of cow earning the class championship! Congrats!

The Non Pro classes were competitive as always…

  • Smart Lookin Nurse & Bart Holowath – Reserve Champions Non Pro Derby
  • Baraka Lights & Robbie McKay – 3rd place Non Pro Derby, and 2nd Novice Non Pro Derby
  • Chics Made Me Do It & Laura MacMillan – Amateur Derby Champions
  • Chics Ruffled Up & Dr. Suzon Schaal – Non Pro Bridle Spectacular AND Non Pro Bridle Champions
  • Freckles Golden Sun & Helga Roh – Novice Non Pro Bridle Spectacular Reserve Champions
  • SLR Won Smart Wolf & Keri Hudson-Reykdal – Non Pro Two Rein Spectacular Champions, and Non Pro Two Rein Reserve Champions
  • Doc O Nitro & Laurel Scharien – Novice Non Pro Bridle Reserve Champions
  • Hot Lil Surprise & Tyree Swales – Youth Limited Champions


2017 NRCHA Stallion Stakes

Cats Picasso, owned by Robbie McKay, was shown by John in the Open Stallion Stakes Derby; the pair made a splash in the preliminaries having a stellar run with the high fence score of 228! The 5th place finish in the preliminaries advanced them to the Open Finals where they finished in 11th place, again adding to Cats Picasso's life-time earnings. VIDEO WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

Keri Hudson-Reykdal and SLR Won Smart Wolf, along with Robbie McKay and Big Time In Cowtown also journeyed to Las Vegas; both showing in the Non Pro Two Rein Spectacular. Just missing the money, the teams were able to enjoy competition in three events; the herd work, reining and fence work.


2017 Celebration of Champions and the first-ever Canadian being crowned 2017 NRCHA WORLDS GREATEST HORSEMAN!

Not sure where to start… such an over-whelming experience! Unforgettable, thankful, give God all the glory, impressed, what a horse, what a trainer, great owners, 7P Ranch, what a team… Go Canada Go! Even now, 2 ? years later (yes, I REALLY fell behind!) it seems surreal… Heza Diamond Spark and John Swales – WORLDS GREATEST HORSEMAN!!!! All I can say is God is truly in control of life; John and “Sting” were sitting really good in the preliminaries going into the fence work, all they needed was a clean run. Sting somehow misplaced his feet slipping, John was encouraging him with all his being to get up, and miraculously he did, he knew he needed to be with that cow and he got to it, but the slip cost the team and the score was a mere 202. Their preliminary runs: Herd 216, Rein 222, Steer stopping 221, Fence 202… 10th spot into the clean-slate top-10 finals!

The finals were edge of seat watching also, John and Sting were first in the herd work and marked a less than ideal 207; they had to climb with each of their next events. Was there any hope of winning? Well, Sting slide a mile and spun so quickly, his beautiful presence and extreme talent gathered them a 222.5 in the reining. Steer stopping was next, he is very consistent here. His owner, Jesse Thomson had roped on him a ton, and he scored a solid 218. We all know it comes down to the fence work ALWAYS! Their first cow, although quick footed, shut down as it left the corner and the judges whistled them a new cow. Their second cow was fast and challenging! Sting & John were never out of position and handled this VERY tough cow at a VERY high rate of speed. Our boys often recite the announcers words of excitement during that run: “talk about PUSHY PUSHY” as the cow was pushing on Sting in his first open field turn! They were sitting 4th prior to the fence work and their incredible run pushed them way out in the lead! A 226.5 down the fence; what a run! What a title! What a God we serve! Thank you to owners Jesse & Elyse Thomson for the opportunity to show your awesome stallion. VIDEO Finals reinVIDEO Finals cowVIDEO Finals herdVIDEO Finals steer stopping.

Smart Marina and John were on their game as well! This great mare made the top 10 Open Bridle finals and finished in 4th place marking the high fence score of 223.5! This pushed the duo to the top of the list for the NRCHA year-end standings in the Open Bridle! Another accolade for owner Jim Baird!!



Open Derby Championship was proudly captured by Cats Picasso & John Swales, owned by Robbie Mckay. Non-Pro Derby Champions were Bart Holowath and SDP Blu Rey. Open Futurity Reserve Champion was Tha Big Smoke, owed by Robbie McKay, and ridden by John Swales. John also showed Chics Made Me Do It in the Open Futurity and ended up taking home some earnings for owner Keri Hudson-Reykdal with their 5th place finish. Lindsey Koster and her gelding Sugars Magic Memory placed 4th in the Non-Pro Futurity; congrats to all!

Canada's Greatest Horseman competition was super exciting with $10,000 up for the champion, sponsored by Zylkene / Equistro! Maximum Echo was feeling good and up for the challenge, bringing the money home!! He was amazing as we know he is; he scored 143 in the herd work, 148 in the reining, 150 on the fence work and a 149 in the steer stopping! Congrats to Flo Houlton, Maximum Echo's long-time owner. Smart Marina also shone in this bridle-horse competition and took 3rd place for proud owner Jim Baird!


Cow-Up On the Coast Open Futurity, July 2016

Our first futurity of the year involved a beautiful drive through the rocky mountains to Abbotsfort, B.C., thanks to the Canadian Coast Reined Cow Horse Association. Congrats to Cats Time To Shine, owned by Davis Bro's, and John on Reserve Champion in the Open Futurity! The Non-Pro Derby was won by Bart Holowath and SDP Blu Rey, and reserve spot went to Mark Parsons & Colourful Illusions – congrats!


Calgary Stampede Cow Horse Classic, 2016

Open Hackamore Champion – Big Time In Cowtown, owned by Robbie McKay

Open Hackamore Reserve Champion – SLR Won Smart Wolf, owned by Keri Hudson-Reykdal

Open Bridle Champion – Smart Marina, owned by Jim Baird


NRCHA Derby, Paso Robles, California, June 2016

Well the California sun was hot, and so were the Canadian runs! Open Derby Finalists – Metallic Cat Rose, owned by Jerry & Nicole Myer, and Cats Picasso, owned by Robbie McKay. These two went into finals in 3rd and 6th place respectively (658 & 656) in preliminaries. The clean-slate finals came with a tumble for Cats Picasso in his first fence turn, but he scrambled up and went with the cow (wow!). Rose finished 12th and Tonto 17th in the finals – congrats owners!

Congrats to Keri Hudson-Reykdal and SLR Won Smart Wolf - Novice Non Pro Derby Champions AND Intermediate Non Pro Derby Champions! Wahoo! Great job Bart Holowath and SDP Blu Rey on their 7th place money earning finish in the Intermediate Non Pro Derby and Mark Parsons and Colourful Illusion on their 4th place finish in the same class!


2016 NRCHA Cowtown Derby, Claresholm, AB

Cowtown Derby brought a new level of nerves this year, as I had been riding our gelding Feather In Your Cap in preparation to show him at the Derby. I have to admit this was a struggle; finding riding time between a busy barn and “priority non-pro's” (i.e. not me, lol!), 3 young kids, my Physiotherapy work schedule and running the administrational components of our business! I see other Mom's and wife's showing and I have to say I admire their dedication!

The Open Derby was a glaring success and we couldn't be more happy with the results! Huge congrats to John on showing his four derby entries to their potentials. The championship was won by Metallic Cat Rose (owners Jerry & Nicole Myer), reserve champs were Cats Picasso (owned by Robbie McKay), 3rd place went to Big Time In Cowtown (owner Robbie McKay), and 4th place was captured by SLR Won Smart Wolf (owned by Keri Hudson-Reykdal)! I was one proud wife!

The Non-Pro's did not disappoint either. Winning the Non Pro Derby was Bart Holowath and SDP Blu Rey, second was Keri Hudson-Reykdal and SLR Won Smart Wolf, 3rd place was Bill Patton and Smart Dual Nic, and 4th place was Suzon Schaal and Smart Nic Knack!

The kids all showed in the future stars and wowed the crowds as usual (one of my favourite classes for sure!). And even I survived and finished up reserve in the Non-Pro Limited Derby; thanks to John for all his patience and to Trona (Feather In Your Cap) for taking care of me!