Rafter Six® News & Events & Press Releases


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~ July 6th, 2015 ~


Congratulations to David Cowley ~ The  2015 Cowboy Up Challenge Reserve Champion at The Calgary Stampede ~ The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth!


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CALGARY STAMPEDE COWBOY UP CHALLENGE


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Reserve Champion – David Cowley, Exshaw Alberta (Tucker)

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Photos by Lynn Burkholder © 2015





. ~ For Immediate Release ~

Calgary – Extreme cowboy racing has a full list of tough comptetitors including sibling rivals David Cowley and his sister Kateri Cowley the 2014 Cowboy Up Challenge Champion.

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David Cowley's smooth ride Monday on his 6 year old palomino gelding "Tucker" earned him the nickname "Mr. Silk" from Craig Cameron the founder and host of the Extreme Cowboy Associations sanctioned event at the Calgary Stampede's Cowboy Up Challenge, made it evident that David is a top challenger for this fastest growing sport when he won the Reserve Champion Title in the Cowboy Up Challenge over a field of top riding talent including Runt Rageth, Lee Hart, Jim Anderson and the ever graceful Kateri Cowley.


David came to win a buckle and the money prize and did that, just as he had done at the World Finals in Hamilton, Texas last October where he also won a buckle for the "Go Round 1 & 2 Pro", proving he was a serious contender and challenger to the defending title holders.

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~ July 7th, 2014 ~


Congratulations to Kateri Cowley ~ The  2014 Cowboy Up Challenge Champion at The Calgary Stampede ~ The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth!


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COWGIRL LOSES HAT, WINS COWBOY UP CHALLENGE

CALGARY STAMPEDE COWBOY UP CHALLENGE

Champion – Kateri Cowley, Exshaw, Alberta (Kokanee)

Reserve Champion – Lee Hart, Topeka, Kan. (Buster)

Calgary – Extreme cowboy racing isn’t just for boys. That was a point that Kateri Cowley, a former Stampede Princess, made very clear on Monday afternoon when she won the Cowboy Up Challenge over a field of top riding talent.


“This is literally a dream come true,” said Kateri, who has ridden in every Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge, a competition that began in 2010. “The top hands in the world come here and I’m so honoured to be among them – let alone be the champion!” Typically for an extreme cowboy racing competitor, she refused to take full credit for the result. “My horse is unbelievable. I’m so proud of him,” Kateri enthused.

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. ~ For Immediate Release ~


Extreme Cowboy Racing challenges riders and their mounts with a course complicated by a bewildering number of ingenious obstacles. It isn’t just a question of overcoming barriers, speed jumps, narrow bridges and water hazards – although this year’s course included
all of the above. The horses were required to gallop at top speed and then stop and stay steady enough for the rider to stand up in the saddle. Scoring well isn’t just a question of elapsed time. Penalties are assessed for mismanaged hazards and points are awarded for extra flourishes and showmanship. One highly-regarded rider actually had to stop and get his bearings, a delay that
cost him in the final standings.

“It was very tricky from start to finish,” said Cowley. “It was fast. It was hard. There was lots of memorizing, lots of going across and back and you had to add some style and flair in your own way.” After finishing first on Saturday evening and second on Sunday evening, Kateri was first in aggregate points. Monday’s final was sudden death, with no carryover of points, but her performance on the first two nights meant Cowley would ride last.

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“One of the challenging things is getting straight in your head,” she said. “If you see somebody make a mistake, maybe you take that on yourself.” There can be advantages, too, she noted. The toughest obstacle on the course was a combination narrow bridge, teeter-totter and water hazard. Kateri noticed that everyone else approached it the same way and it didn’t work out. She went at it differently from everyone else, and her horse Kokanee negotiated it much more easily. “This sport makes you have to think,” she commented.

A momentary distraction came when one of the obstacles knocked off her hat. “I never lose my hat,” she laughed. “It’s a very cowgirl thing – you do not lose
your hat. We used to say that if your hat hit the ground, your head had better be in it. It really did throw me off for a moment. I’m never seen without my hat.”

“It was so much fun,” Kateri said. “I’m still in shock. I wasn’t sure how it was going to play out – but I took the buckle!”

source: Calgary Stampede
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~ July 4th, 2014 ~


The Cowley's are pleased to announce their entry into the 2014 Calgary Stampede Parade resulted in two Winning Ribbons ~ "Best Horse Entry" & 2nd Place Overall !!


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Rafter Six's Historical Concord Stagecoach with with two Clydesdales highlighted the twelves horseback riders led by Rafter Six® owner and President Stan Cowley, his wife Gloria Cowley , sons David Cowley & Thomas Cowley, daughters and former 2009 Calgary Stampede Princess Kateri Cowley and Daisy Rae Cowley as well as Wranglers, Musicians & Friends.

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Gloria Cowley holding the reins of the historic 1800's Rafter Six Concord Stagecoach while her son David Cowley holds the 2014 Calgary Stampede "Best Horse Entry" Award.
. ~ For Immediate Release ~


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2009 Calgary Stampede Princess Kateri Cowley sits atop her Canadian Mustang Horse "Kokanee".

Spry 78 year old Stan Cowley marked a milestone by participating in his 75th consecutive Calgary Stampede Parade horseback riding his horse Cruise, a feat even Hollywood star William Shatner didn't do whom rode in a classic 1950's automobile as the official parade Marshall of the 2014 Calgary Stampede Parade!

Longtime Calgary musician Gordie West paid tribute to Stan Cowley and Gloria Cowley of Rafter Six with an eloquent introduction followed up with a fabulous cover version of Gene Autry's song "Back In The Saddle Again" at the annual Stampede Breakfast held at Fort Calgary for parade participants!

The honoured and humbled Stan Cowley accepted the gracious words and passed praise on to his lovely wife Gloria and his family, David, Thomas, Kateri & Daisy Rae for their hard work and acknowledgement by the Stampede for these awards and achievements!


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~ May 16, 2014 ~

Cowboy Logic: "When you get bucked off, you learn how to get up, dust yerself off and get back in the saddle!"

After a long and challenging winter, the Cowley's faith, hospitality & heritage are intact and "Back In The Saddle Again!"

The Cowley Family are pleased to announce that Rafter Six® is once again "Open" for Horseback Riding & Wilderness Camping in the Canadian Rockies!

The "New" Rafter Six® Horse Activities Center & Wilderness Camping will be located adjacent to the original location.

The Cowley's World Famous Horseback Riding will resume with all of the variety of horses & horseback rides you have come to know, love and appreciate over the past 38 years!

The Horse Program will be much more "intimate and interactive" than ever before, including rides and equestrian training sessions by 2009 Calgary Stampede Princess alumni Kateri Cowley!

Horseback Rides ranging from pony rides for children, 1 hour rides, 1 ½ hour rides, 2 hour rides, ½ Day Rides, All Day Rides, Custom Rides, Supper Rides, Carriage and Hay Wagon Rides are all available by reservation.
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~ For Immediate Release ~

Wilderness camping in the Canadian Rockies is also available for those with self-contained units, like RV's, travel trailers as there are no hookups for electricity or water.

Bordering Bow Valley Provincial Park, the campground will be random as there are no permanent camping sites giving it a feel of camping in the wilderness! A group fire pit is available for all to enjoy. Portable firepits and firewood are also available for campers.

Rafter Six® is an Alberta family run business, and the Cowley's have dedicated their entire lives, home, sweat and tears to the sharing and preserving Canada’s historical “Cowboy Western Lifestyle” with the world."

The Cowley’s have sincerely done their best to be good stewards while providing a unique, quality service with genuine hospitality to the world for the past 38 years..

Please continue to support the Cowley family by visiting the "New" Rafter Six® Horse Activties Center and Wilderness Camping in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

God Bless and Happy Trails… Until we meet again.....

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2014 Chinese Year of The Horse!
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Rafter Six Press Release ~ Nov. 30, 2013

Cowley’s “Passing of the Legends” will become part of its name as of January 1st, 2014. It is with sincere sadness that Cowley’s Rafter Six Ranch Resort as we know it, will be closing.

38 years ago, Stan Cowley - a visionary and entrepreneur, came across the ranch in the Canadian Rockies and realized there was something very special about this ranch and decided it was too nice not to share. Rafter Six is an Alberta family run business, and they have dedicated their entire lives, home, sweat and tears to the sharing and preserving Canada’s historical “cowboy western lifestyle” with the world.

As you may, or may not be aware, Stan and Gloria entered into an agreement with a Calgary resort developer in 2008 to expand Rafter Six Ranch Resort. The resort land and buildings were put into the agreement and the joint venture partner would provide the development expertise and funding. Unfortunately, it was at the beginning of the recession and our joint venture partner went into a form of receivership which left us on our own to swim in the sea of debt that was amassed during the initial stages of the agreement. We have now become a casualty of this event.

Sadly, after being on the losing end of this long struggle, the Ranch will be closing in January and the Cowley’s will be uprooted from their business, home and livelihood shortly after Christmas. This tragic event will leave the Cowley family with just the memories.
…and they say cowboys don't cry.

The Cowley’s have sincerely done their best to provide a unique, quality service with genuine hospitality to the world for the past 38 years.

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Thank you all for being a part of this history. Your respect of their family, ideals, vision and hope for the future will be cherished as they move through this transition.

Millions of people have come to Rafter Six Ranch Resort and stayed, played, married, worked, prayed, made friendships, conquered fears, fallen in love, and made memories of a lifetime…If Rafter Six Ranch Resort has touched your lives, please touch the lives of the ones who have had stewardship over the past four decades.

If we aim high enough, we can continue the legacy and with your help and contributions , the Cowley’s will be able to get back on their feet to start a new life. You can help by donating to help ease legal, moving & storage costs, horse hay, time, kind words… it all helps.

To everyone that has been touched by Rafter Six Ranch and/or the Cowley family, please share your story to be placed on our “Wall of Legends ” and showcased for the world to see how we have contributed to your life in some way. We hope the love and passion we have put into Rafter Six Ranch over the years have left a legacy in your heart.

Please share your stories, memories, photographs and prayers and raise awareness on Facebook and other social media. Share this link and lets help the west stay alive!

Email your stories to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

God Bless and Happy Trails… Until we meet again...

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Thank you for visiting our website and whether you would like to visit for the day, night or week, we look forward to sharing our western hospitality with you!

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Phone: 1-403-673-3622
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