In Loving Memory
Bruce Martin (a.k.a.”Rancher”)
October 30, 1958 – December 23, 2014
Like few, that dream became a reality, and that boy was Bruce.
He made me a stronger, better person because he was a part of my life and I will be forever grateful for that. He was fearless, even when faced with Mrs. Grizzly on a pack trip. Cutting his tethered horse free with a jackknife, to sacrifice himself. That is how he lived life – brave to the bone and tough till the end. Fighting a good fight.
Bruce was a mountain man, who loved packing in the mountains and hunting and fishing. He had a knack for getting everyone lost. Only to have us ride to the top of the tallest mountain he could find to learn the “lay of the land” and to get his his bearings straight. A pack trip with Bruce remains a lifetime treasure for many of us.
Videos are Worth a Million Words
Just Like Me
See You Again
Drink a Beer
Rest High by Vince Gill
You Should Be Here
He was right. He took a gamble, left his 6 figure job and pension after 25 years to pursue a career full-time ranching, where he would say, “I’ve never earned so little, but felt so rich”
Bruce was a rare, first generation rancher. He never inherited land, livestock or equipment. He made due with what he had, always paid cash for his equipment and could make the most stubborn, antique farm equipment, purr like a kitten to sow the land.
Bruce built Painted River Ranch out of an abandoned gravel pit in Alberta. When pushed out by industry, we moved the ranch to Edam, Sask where we would have room to grow. Here we continued to expand our herd of horses and commercial cattle and were embraced by a caring and close knit community that we had lost in Alberta. We felt like we never left.
He always encouraged me to strive to do my best and persevere, no matter how defeating, daunting or difficult the task. So, I continue to persevere and live a life he would be proud of. He inspires me everyday to do the best I can and NEVER GIVE UP. The past year has been a particularly challenging one.. but his sentiments ring loud and clear everyday, which motivates me to carry on and to live a rich, full life – as he did.
I figure, the Lord must’ve needed a cowboy and Bruce’s work on earth was done. I am grateful that Bruce left me with me skills, strength and confidence to continue. A person is only as strong as those that pick you up. I am blessed with some incredibly strong friends and neighbors here that help me carry on his legacy, Painted River Ranch.
He will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by anyone who ever knew him. He left the world a better place, because he was here.
Bruce’s Graveside at Evergreen Memorial Gardens,
We all had a toast (or 2) of his favorite drink…Crown Royal, and permanently fixed it next to his plaque.
This year, I was honored to have the club name the event in Bruce’s memory, “Ranchers Outdoor Trail Challenge,” as he was one of the motivators of organizing the event.
The Alberta Paint Horse Club hosted a “Ranchers” Pleasure Stake Class at their show in Chlaresholm, Alberta. July 2015.
On a borrowed horse, I had only ridden a couple times before the class and Bruce’s hat and shirt …I won the class, with the help from my coach above. I just heard him saying as they asked for hand gallop….”pin er” as Brantley Gilbert sang ” One Hell of Amen” in the background.
All the entry fees from the class went to the cancer society, and I donated my winnings back to the show committee. It was quite a ride.
The buckle was fittingly awarded to our good friend, president of the Sask paint horse club and zone 10 event organizer – Ronnie Nordal. The buckle could not have found a better home, and I know Ronnie will wear it with pride.
Donations from Bruce’s memorials and honored events held throughout the summer, total over $7000.00 donated the Canadian Cancer Society and the Lady Minto Foundation (Local Hospital in Edam). Proceeds will help benefit individuals and their families that are currently struggling with and battling cancer. Hoping that new research will buy some quality time allowing those afflicted with the disease, the odd enjoyable day that Bruce got. Hats off my friend…it was indeed a good ride. Your life has and will touch many for years to come. It was not in vain.