Article content continued
Ranchman’s was founded by Harris Dvorkin and Kevin Baker, but after Dvorkin died in 2017 it was sold to Doug Rasberry, who has owned and operated a number of bars in town. When the bar changed hands, realtor Rob Campbell says the saddles and other memorabilia were specifically excluded from the paperwork and were never included in the asset list.
Between Calgary’s economic downturn and the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, though, Ranchman’s ran into financial trouble and BMO has now begun the process of seizing assets. That includes, for now, memorabilia like Roy’s prized saddle.
Campbell says more than 140 people had their memorabilia on display at Ranchman’s and are hoping to get it back.
“What we’re waiting for now is for the bank to review the paperwork and hopefully come to the conclusion that we all know is the correct one, which is that these people should get their stuff back,” Campbell said. “That’s kind of where we’re at. It’s not my job to jump up and down on the bank. They’re doing what they do with every other situation they’re involved in and hopefully when they review the paperwork they’ll come to the same conclusion that we all have.
“BMO is one of the biggest sponsors of the Calgary Stampede. They understand Calgary, they understand Alberta, they understand the culture here. It just has to run its course.”
That means people like Roy just need to wait, for now. He’s got decades of fond memories from nights spent at Ranchman’s, where he got a free bar tab because he had his saddle on display.
Roy, who lives east of Calgary near Dalemead, says he would also like to get back a framed sign from the party that was thrown for him at Ranchman’s when he returned from winning the NFR with signatures from everyone who attended, and another saddle from the Canadian circuit.
It’s the NFR saddle he wants back most, though.
“You don’t win the world every day,” Roy said. “It’s like getting a Super Bowl ring. You don’t get many, but you cherish the ones you get.”