Rodeo families look to secure future of saddles on display at now-closed Ranchman’s in Calgary

(…) People familiar with the bar said cowboys and cowgirls would bring their championship saddles to Ranchman’s in exchange for a bar tab and VIP status.

The saddles were hung in the rafters or displayed along the walls of the bar, adding to the history and ambiance.

Zakary Gladstone said his father, Jim Gladstone, did exactly that back in the 1970s.

Jim was a three-time Canadian calf-roping champion and became the first Canadian to win a timed event on the world stage, taking home the National Finals Rodeo roping title in 1977.

Jim died in 2015 but his world championship saddle still sits in a display case on the upper floor of Ranchman’s.

Due to the seizure of the bar, Zakary isn’t able to retrieve his father’s saddles.

Zakary said he signed a deal with the owner of Ranchman’s that he could retrieve the saddles at any time — something he said many of the cowboys did when displaying their accomplishments at the bar.

“I entrusted [the saddles] to Ranchman’s and they were totally fine with it until everything closed down,” said Zakary. “And now it’s been nothing but a hassle trying to get them back.” (…)

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