Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies

Board of Directors

“We do this because it’s fun…”

The T.R.C.R. is a not-for-profit society, registered as such, since 1962 with the Provincial Government of Alberta. Although technically a private club, we are open to having new people join us each summer who then become official members of our historic society upon completion of their first ride. The club operates with one part time paid employee who is our secretary-treasurer, and at the moment with only five other board members. They meet monthly from September to June, making plans to host our regular club members and new comers on these incredible adventure tours. They do this simply because they love trail riding, and have a desire to preserve this historic operation that began 95 years ago.

The T.R.C.R. has been an important part of the development of backcountry travel in Alberta’s famous mountain national parks. We, the board and our club members, wish to see that continue. Even more so, our board and club members enjoy sharing this amazing life changing experience with our fellow Canadians and especially international guests. The board members receive no remuneration and work long hours to keep the organization operational.

The T.R.C.R. does not own horses, and therefore each autumn, signs a contact with an outfitter who provides the club with: horses, feed, tack, staff, and food. The club supplies the camp, entertainment, Emcees, and of course, the riders.

The volunteer board consists of:

Stuart Watkins

Stuart Watkins

President

Stuart started trail riding with his dad in 1968 and rode with the club for ten years followed by a three-year stint as a cowboy with the outfitter, before taking a “sabbatical” and then returning as a board member in 2012. Assuming the role of President in 2013, Stuart presides over the monthly meetings, manages the marketing and is publisher of the spring T.R.C.R. Bulletin. In the summer, you can find Stuart “keeping an eye on things” and he may play a few tunes on his accordion. Stuart is now a semi-retired entrepreneur offering consulting help to charities and non-for-profit organizations and lives in southern Alberta with his three adult children.

Gary Sandbeck

Gary Sandbeck

Vice-President

Gary has been with the T.R.C.R. for six years and rides his horse throughout the winter. He has extensive backcountry experience and is responsible for all of our equipment and the setting up and tearing down of our camp. Gary’s expertise is invaluable to the club. During the year Gary is a contactor and builds high-end luxury homes in the Calgary area.

Jim Bradbury

Jim Bradbury

Board Member

Jim always wanted to be a cowboy, but it never happened, and life moved on. In July 2017 Jim and his wife Melissa arrived in Calgary for trail ride number two, for what would be “the best vacation of their life.” As we do with every new guest, we encourage people to “submerge themselves” in the T.R.C.R.’s Western cowboy culture. Jim and Melissa did; “hook line and sinker!” They listened to cowboy poetry, joined in our campfire sing songs, and square danced until they couldn’t stand up! As Jim said to us, “the TRCR changed my life;” so much so that Jim joined our board in the fall of 2017 (via Skype). He works in the computer industry with Fortune 500 companies as a consultant and he and Melissa live in Florida. Jim has already made a positive contribution to our club and we are delighted to have him “on board.”

Judy Fleetham

Judy Fleetham

Board Member

Jude joined us for her first ride in 2103 and enjoyed it so much that she joined the board! Jude works in the health care industry and is an avid photographer. She is the chairman of the Townsend Trophy Photography competition which the T.R.C.R. hosts each year and is the club’s official photographer supplying the club with many of our website pictures. Jude is a big help to our club President and aids him with keeping the rides running smoothly.

Allan Achtymichuck

Allan Achtymichuck

Board Member

Allan experienced his first ride in 2105 and jumped in right away lending a hand with camp maintenance. Al works in the construction industry and is a dedicated and enthusiastic board member. He joins our work crew for camp set-up and tear down, and helps Gary with the camp equipment. Al’s enthusiasm and commitment to our club has been a breath of fresh air!

Robert Vanderzweerde

Robert Vanderzweerde

Staff

Our part-time paid staff member is Robert Vanderzweerde. A computer specialist and accountant by trade (fortunately for us), Robert is our Secretary-Treasurer and keeps the volunteer board “in-line”! We simply could not operate without his support, diligence and hard work. Robert is an avid hiker and is the President of our sister club, The Skyline Hikers of the Canadian Rockies. Contact him for any and all questions or concerns. We do strive to respond within 24 hours. Thank-you Robert!

“We just completed a terrific week with the TRCR. We would never have been able to access this fantastic country if it were not for this organization. One of our best vacations ever!”

JanLondon, Ontario

“What an amazing week! Horses were great – energetic, confident and sure-footed. Guides were amazing, generously sharing their vast knowledge of the Rockies, the prairies and trail riding. All around an 11/10!”

BethVancouver, B.C.

“This trip was a dream come true. My friend and I spent a lot of time planning and preparing for this adventure, and we’re so happy that we finally did it. If there’s a little cowgirl/boy deep inside of you, I highly recommend that you give them life before the chance gets away from you. Highly recommended!”

AJ Italian Alps, Italy

“The whole experience far surpassed my expectations: the scenery was spectacular; the horses were steadfast and well cared for; the other riders were lots of fun and full of enthusiasm; the Emcee, trail leaders, and guest speakers were very knowledgeable; the food was great; the list could go on. I will definitely return next year!”

wils0n17Oshawa, Canada

“So many good people are involved to make this a truly wonderful memory… but for me I was not disappointed with anything the rustic accommodation the food the horses the people the scenery all of it just the best time. Recommend highly.”

moonsyBrisbane, Australia

“5 days of riding wonderfully trained horses, Sleeping on cots in a teepee, scrumptious food, fantastic evening entertainment couldn’t ask for a more awesome adventure. Leave the city and stress behind, come on a ride with this great club!”

T3505NWpatrickmSan Jose, California

“My experience with the TRCR is one that I will never forget. I was given a special gift to go horseback riding, and I could not refuse. I would recommend this wonderful riding vacation to everyone!”

fi0nagtBeaconsfield, Canada

Challenging, rustic, and rewarding!

Just as our photographs couldn’t capture the majesty of the mountains through which we rode, it’s impossible to adequately describe the TRCR experience in a “snapshot” review. In July of 2017, after much anticipation, I rode with my two sisters on a six-day adventure. The trip exceeded my expectations in every way. Once my initial anxiety over riding again was quelled, I was free to enjoy vistas only accessible by hiking or on horseback: wildflower-rich prairies, breathtaking peaks, glacial tarns, ever-present wildlife, and awe-inspiring vantage points. The company was congenial, the food hearty and delicious, the cultural and historical lessons amazing, the fun contagious, and the experience…absolutely memorable. I recommend it unreservedly.

Joan V

“I was so excited to complete a bucket list item the first time, had a lifelong experience the second time and can’t wait for the third time in 2018!! I might add that I have not laughed this hard in years!! New friends for life!”

June J

“If you are looking for a fantastic outdoor adventure, this is it.
If you are looking to do and see things that love never dreamed of, this is it.
If you are looking to be around some amazing people and be cared for like family, this is it.

Thanks for making our family vacation a memorable one.”

David T

“You don’t have to be an expert rider to be awe-inspired by the great horses and scenery you will enjoy each day. As one of our ride companions said, you get to feel a teensy bit like a cowboy, and who doesn’t want that??”

250waaNanaimo, Canada

“If you are looking for something different with some challenge and the most breathtaking vistas you will ever see then do this trip. The TRCR staff is fantastic, the food is delicious and plentiful and the experience will absolutely change your life. We will be returning next year and many more.”

JimandMelissaBMiddletown, Connecticut, USA

“We enjoyed our annual horseback rides in the Canadian Rockies for thirteen years. Each year we did not think it could get better, but it usually did. If you enjoy an outback adventure to see breathtaking panoramic vistas from the back of a horse and meeting new people from around the world, you will LOVE riding with TRCR. Food and accommodations were amazing in the wilderness!!!”

Jean203Goode, Virgina

“This ENTIRE adventure was more than we ever expected. More than a dream but a life long satisfaction. WE WILL BE BACK!!”

June and ScottOrlando, Florida
Additional Volunteers

Additional Volunteers

Group

We have a group of volunteers and are truly grateful for their help each year with setting up and taking down the camp and giving advice when the board needs it. Special thanks to: Ted Watchuk, Joel Lipkind, Rick Godderis and Dennis Orr. Several club members have helped us in the areas of marketing and we appreciate their support; Jeanne Barsanti, Renee Delorme and Donna Fellers.