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 four 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 94 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, fed, tack, staff, and food. The club supplies the camp, entertainment, Emcees, and of course, the riders.
The volunteer board consists of:
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, manages an investment company and lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with his three children.
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.
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 and offers help where she can to keeping the club going.
Allan experienced his first ride in 2015 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!
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 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, Dennis Orr and Rick Godderis.