2017 Nicola Valley Heritage Honourees

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    Butch Sahara

    Butch (Robert) Sahara was born in Chilliwack and came to Merritt when two years old. His earliest exposure to cattle and horses was at Douglas Lake Ranch where his mother cooked. Butch had to be intercepted regularly when on his way to meet the teams of horses returning from their work.

    Butch says he has been “fooling with horses forever”. He started rodeoing in the ‘60s and filled his pro permit rodeoing in the US, later rodeoed in Alberta and points east, working both ends of the arena. But the travel got to be too much and the rest of his life took over.

    He and wife Gail operate the “Lazy L” Ranch where they raise cattle and quarter horses. Always an outstanding roper, Butch has taught many a beginner how to rope and has contributed mightily to Little Britches, High School, BC Rodeo Association and pro rodeos.

    He started with the Nicola Valley Rodeo Association in the 60s and is still an important contributor to the success of the annual pro rodeo--and continues to work the ranch and rope daily all winter in Arizona.

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    Jesse Jacob (Jake) Coutlee

    Jesse Jacob (Jake) Coutlee, born in Merritt, September 1942, raised at Douglas Lake where his father, Oscar, ran the farm crew. Jake's career began at Douglas Lake around 1955. He was fourteen when Mike Ferguson assigned him to roping calves for branding. He had been driving teams with the farm crew since he was nine but wasn't on the payroll until he started working for Mike, and stayed working at the Douglas Lake Ranch until his retirement in 2007.

    Over the 50 plus years Jake worked on the ranch he could tell the history and details of every cow horse on the ranch. He kept track of other things too, such as the fifty-two different cooks that worked at the ranch while he was there. He was a man to watch if you wanted to learn to do things right. He led by example and many cowboys, novice or experienced, learned from him. Jake was a top hand, legendary cow man and highly skilled with a rope.

    For a few years, Jake and his team roping partner Scotty Holmes were contenders in the local rodeo circuit but it was hard to travel too far afield working six days a week. It has been said about Jake, that any cowboys who rode with him over the years had 'something to brag about'.

    Courtesy of the B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society

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    Stephen "Hyde" Archachan

    Stephen Mark Archachan aka Steven aka Hyde was born May 5, 1934 at Quilchena Creek in a willow bush. He began his first job at age 16 in 1950 in the winter time where he worked for Guichon Ranch feeding cows and cowboying. Hyde also broke horses for his family, and for others for $10 a head. 
    In the 50's Hyde was one of the fastest calf ropers around, no matter what horse he was on. He has worked at Douglas Lake Ranch. Lauder Ranch, Blue Ridge Ranch in Lillooet, North Kamloops (Westsyde), and at Lake Jamison. 
    From 1964 -1968 Hyde took a break from the saddle, moved to Washington to do some logging, but went back to what he loved the most, cowboying in the Nicola Valley. 
    From 1993-2010 Hyde would hang his cowboy hat at the Nicola Ranch. Like a true cowboy he knows the cow inside and out, and has even been known to rope a bear from time to time. While in his 70s he has won 2 saddles. To this day Hyde is still active in team roping and still works for Judy Guichon and John Lauder.
    Courtesy of the B.C. Cowboy Heritage SocietyPhoto Credit to: Arnold Mosely