Nicole and Kelly are two of the luckiest little girls around. Their Grammie, Vicki Cantlon, is not only the owner of the 2008 National Reined Cowhorse Association Open Hackamore Champion, a former rodeo Queen, and a native Idahoan, but she is hands down, the Super-Grammie of the Maple Grove/Victory area. She rides horses, drives a big red truck and has a wit about her that comes from making a living as a young woman on the rodeo circuit in the 1970’s. Vicki is very humble about her accomplishments and when asked about her farm she says “I have a 40 acre gentle Grammas farm with cows, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, grandkids and of course my champion performance horses.” For seventeen years those 40 acres in South East Boise “have been just enough to break your back but not enough to make a living.”
She loves this area of Maple Grove and Victory, and has since she was in grade school when she rode her horses here and had dreams of owning land in the area. She started riding horses at age four, and competed in the Little Britches Rodeo at age seven with “the worst horse ever.” But, she fared well and if it had something to do with horses and rodeoing, Vicki has done it. Scurry Race, Barrels, Poles and even multiple Rodeo Queen titles, Vicki is what you would call a true Idaho Cowgirl.
Growing up, she moved around due to her Father’s job as an Idaho State Highway Engineer but had no problem adjusting and recalls many happy memories spent at her Grandfather’s sheep farm in the Rupert area. Her older brother, twelve years her senior, packed Vicki around the country with him during her pre-teen years while he was competing as a bare, bull, and bronc rider and was lovingly known as his wing-man. While competing and making a living on her own in the Rodeo Cowboys Association (RCA) in the 1970’s, Vicki had a ball traveling all over the country and was happy to sleep in the back of a horse trailer. Renting a hotel room once a week for ten people was common so they could all get showers to start the next week off with a bang.
Calling it “settling down” would not be an appropriate set of words to describe Vicki’s post-rodeo life because she is still competing and training horses to this day. With forty acres and a small farm to manage, her two adoring Granddaughter’s love that their Grammie has horses. At a young age, Vicki’s youngest granddaughter, Kelly, said “Gammie, I wanna wide” while her oldest granddaughter, Nicole, was very adamant when she saw the plethora of rodeo buckle’s and stated, “I want one of those.” Vicki couldn’t be happier being Grammie. Exposing her grandchildren to horses, goats, chickens and the farm life in general, is very special since the girls live in a traditional subdivision in Eagle, Idaho.
Due to the EHV-1 horse virus that broke out this year, Vicki hasn’t shown or competed with her horses but did win the opportunity to train with fellow horseman, Jake Tellford. She was one of five winners from D&B and Nutrena Horse Feed to win a Day With Jake which took place this past July at Jake’s ranch. It was more than just a day of learning from a friend, but a nice dinner and education to boot.
Roger, Vicki’s husband of 26 years (a Caldwell native & Oregon State University football star) is not as an accomplished rider as she is, but he does ride. “He rides a little. Not because he likes it a little, but because he loves me a lot.” They have traveled all over the country together with their seventy foot motor home and a large horse trailer, but after a successful construction and management business, Vicki and Roger are ready to travel abroad, play with the grandkids and either do an extreme downgrade to a more manageable five acres or kick it up a notch to 300 acres. The house and acreage are not on the market yet, but it is in the works.
This Idaho Cowgirl doesn’t have the word retirement in her vocabulary. She still wants to show horses, raise fainting goats and be the best Super-Grammie around. Nicole and Kelly couldn’t agree more.
You can see these pictures and more at the D&B Flickr site.