Okay … so for central Alberta … where do you want to ride?

It seems that the most popular place for riding in southern Alberta is Cypress Hills. I think I’ll be able to organize that. I’ll get back to you as soon as I know.

Next up: central Alberta. Once again, I can’t guarantee that I can do what you request, but I can sure give it a shot!

As before, I’m giving you four options, but you can choose “Other” and make suggestions under “Comments”.

Here we go:

Quick Trip Down Memory Lane

I love Donalda! It was one of the highlights of our tour. The layout of the town. The badlands. The great horse camping facility. The *fab* food done by the caterer — and the way it was done, right out there on Main Street.

And Bruce Gartside. Can’t ever forget Bruce. He was the driving force behind our visit there.

This is the view when you slip out of town on your horse.

donalda-al-2016-wpy

Did I mention that we loved the people of Donalda?donalda-hand-prints

This is their phenomenal lantern. You should see it lit up at night. It’s incredibly beautiful.donalda-lantern

Oh, yes! There were a few of us in Donalda that day!donalda-lots-of-horses

Seeing the riders coming down Main Street was a real treat! I wish every day could have had this many riders! We’d be over the million dollar mark in our fundraising if we had.donalda-riding-main-street

One last, parting shot of the badlands. Riders loved this ride.donalds-badlands-1

Let’s make southern Alberta our first ride of the year — but where?

I don’t know which of these options I might be able to arrange, but if I can do it, which one of these (or another) would you like to ride in the spring?

I’m choosing southern Alberta as our first ride so that we can do it before the heat is so intense. Last August we rode Sandstone Ranch and Knight Ranch and everybody loved it, but it sure was hot! Too hot to ride for more than 2-3 hours. So I’m thinking that in May or June, it might be just about perfect.

So here are some options I’ve come up with. If you have others, please choose the “Other” option and put your suggestion in “Comments”.

Where do we go from here?

As you all know, the Wild Pink Yonder Longrides are a matter of history now. They are just too hard for one person to pull together … and I’m tired. Dog tired.

But when we had Wingding at the end of this year, our riders all agreed that it would be a shame to let Wild Pink Yonder just die. We have over 3,500 people (riders and others) who follow us on Facebook. They are all concerned with finding a cure for breast cancer, and that war ain’t over … so we’ve decided that Wild Pink Yonder’s not going to quit! It’s going to be legendary … again!

But how?

The consensus at Wingding was that riders would rather have trail rides than clinics or competitions. We talked about having three rides a year: one in the far south, one in central Alberta and one up north. Maybe you agree with this idea. Maybe you don’t. Either way, we’re hoping you’ll contribute to the poll below (and do it soon) because I have got to get hoppin’ if this is going to come together for the summer of 2017!

Woot! Woot! Wingding is just over a week away. Sign up now!

We’re meeting at the Neighbourhood Pub in the Chipman Hotel …  6:00pmSaturday, January 21st.  (Tickets by E-transfer: $10/person to Jane@WildPinkYonder.com.)

Your first drink is covered, then build a burger at the burger bar, eat the Best in the West fries and dip into a salad or two. All this for just $10.

Every Pinkster in the land is invited to come share “war stories” from the Pink Trail and to help present our donation for breast cancer research to the co-chairs of CRINA.

You don’t have to have ridden this year. You’re welcome if you rode any year … or if you never rode but had always intended to … or if you didn’t ride but you pledged to one of our intrepid riders.

Once we’ve presented our cheque to CRINA, we’ll talk horse. We’ll snag some deals on silent auction items. And if we’re feeling particularly feisty, we’ll sing karaoke!

And we’ll talk about where Wild Pink Yonder goes from here.

As you know, there will be no more Longrides. The 23-day 500-km format was famous for being the only one of its kind in the entire world … and its Longriders are recognized for being truly tough. But now the organizer is tired. So tired.

But the thing is: we have so many riders united to help defeat breast cancer, it would be a shame to just close the doors and call it a day, so I want to talk to you about where we should go next. Nothing formal. Just bring your thoughts and throw them out at some appropriate moment.

Wingding is a chance to bask in the glow of the power of our team (the money we’ve raised and the awareness we’ve spread) … but mostly, we’re Wingdingin’ it to have fun, so come on out!

Are you wondering who the top fundraising riders are for 2016?

Each year I go find prizes at Peavey Mart to use as incentive to get riders to raise more money than they are required to do. It’s been a wonderful motivator over the years … and this year’s riders didn’t disappoint.

I only intended to have gifts for the top five riders/teams this year, but then there were two who really needed honouring, and they came in at #6 and #10, so I am digging deep to find prizes worthy of the top ten.

Why did I want to include Roberta Dersche and Donna Buckland in the winners’ list? Because neither of them had to raise a cent. They both won their riding time on a free draw at The Mane Event … and yet they chose to help the cause anyway. Roberta did it because that’s the way Roberta rolls. Donna did it partly because that’s how she rolls, but also because she has a very close relationship with breast cancer. I love these two women’s passion and I appreciate their caring souls.

And speaking of passion and a caring soul, note who #4 is. Yep, our own Hughie. Ever since he saw our ad in the Edson newspaper in the spring of 2014, Hugh has had a passion for Wild Pink Yonder. In 2014 he was 76 years old. He was a Longrider in 2014 and 2015 and intended to longride in 2016 as well. He has always been in the top five for fundraising. This year he is #4 in fundraising and yet, due to poor health, he couldn’t ride with us for even a day. We did, however, enjoy having him in Big Valley when his wife and son brought him to visit. We rode around town in style in a gorgeous vis-a-vis pulled by his son’s big, beautiful Percherons. We salute you, Hughie.

On that note, this year’s top fundraisers are:

Ranking including the 3 teams:  Total: Rank
Sue Meier  $7,526 1
Barb and Mark Pennie  $5,240 2
Amanda and Julia McPhail  $2,385 3
Hugh Ashwell  $2,189 4
Debra “Stewie” Stewart  $1,730 5
Roberta and Harvey Dersch  $1,500 6
Lara Matechuk  $1,451 7
Kim Pielak  $1,183 8
Sherry Hanson  $1,081 9
Donna Buckland  $725 10

Now that we know who the winners are, we have to figure out how/where/when to give away the goodies.

I’m open to suggestion. Do we want another Wingding (when and where)? Or do we just give prizes away on-line and have folks pick them up in the Edmonton area?

Send me a message if you have an opinion. (Ha hahaha! Like horse people don’t always have an opinion! *grin*)

Judging of the Pinkest Little Town in the West

When I first came up with the idea of Pinkest Little Town in the West, I was really excited. I fully admit that it was somewhat of a take-off from Kraft’s “Hockeyville” (though I didn’t realize it at the time). I thought it was unique and I was pretty sure it would be a winner. I approached UFA to sponsor it in 2010, and the following year, Big Valley Jamboree. After I laid out the concept to them, much to my surprise, they both declined … and then within a year each came up with their own version of it! (“Small Town Heroes” for UFA and “Small Town Saturday Night” for BVJ, though neither has a charitable component to them.) If that saying, “imitation is the highest form of flattery” is true, then Kraft Canada should be flattered by us … and we are flattered by UFA and BVJ!

I wanted the Pinkest Little Town in the West to be fun; but it also had to raise money for breast cancer research. Otherwise, what would be the point? I settled on a combination point system: 50% points for pinkness and 50% points for money raised. Fun — and charitable. I soon realized that the contest was skewed toward smaller towns because it’s easier for them to “pinkify”. Also, the bigger the population, the more difficult it is to have a high per capita dollar amount. On the other hand, the larger towns have the potential for raising more money (though it has never worked out that way).

And so, towns are judged like this:

  • 50% of their total is for pinkification. (A “perfectly pink” town would score 30.)
  • 30% is for their dollar/capita.
  • 20% is for their overall monies raised.

I turned the concept over to another of my very clever stepsons. This one has a degree in business and another in law so I figured it would be easy-peasy for him. “I need a formula, Michael.” His first response? “Jane, you can’t average apples and oranges!” but as he worked away at it, eventually he came up with a means to “weight” these different entities and it’s a formula we’ve used for years now.

So, these are the numbers for the top four in each category.

Pinkification                            Per Capita                               Total Raised

Carmangay 27                            Innisfree $44.65                      Innisfree $9,823

Stirling 25                                    Carmangay $32.95                  Carmangay $8,632

Innisfree 24                                Arrowwood $25.68                 Stirling $6,000

Arrowwood 21                            Donalda $13.21                        Arrowwood $4,827

Then you apply Michael’s magic formula and the top four towns are:

  1. Innisfree – total score 1.63065
  2. Carmangay – total score 1.462215
  3. Arrowwood – total score 1.130417
  4. Stirling – total score 0.806931

Congratulations, Innisfree. You are the Pinkest Little Town in the West 2016. Well played!

I’ve mentioned it before. Though Arrowwood, Donalda, Stirling and Carmangay didn’t win the contest, in the long run, we all win because CRINA will use our “pink money” to find new ways to attack breast cancer.

The next you’ll be hearing from me on this topic will be to advise when Innisfree will have its concert. I hope to see many of you there.