CANADA PAINTED SMILE
PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN
The phenomenal bucking mare, Painted Smile, with Dustin Flundra at the 2002 Calgary Stampede, page 38
MARTY YATES TIE-DOWN ROPER
DON’T FOLLOW. ®
C I N C H J E A N S . C O M
2016 Canadian Professional Rodeo Schedule Dates are subject to change. Please visit rodeocanada.com for up-to-date information.
AUGUST Strathmore, Alta. ���������������������� July 29 - August 1 High Prairie, Alta. ����������������������������������� August 2-3 Cochrane, Alta. ������������������������������������������� August 6 Grimshaw, Alta. ������������������������������������� August 6-7
CANADIAN FINALS RODEO BOUND
S THE 2016 CANADIAN PROFESSIONAL RODEO
ASSOCIATION SEASON SLOWLY WINDS TO A CLOSE, MANY COMPETITORS ARE BITING THEIR NAILS WAITING TO SEE WHO WILL QUALIFY FOR ONE OF THE COVETED SPOTS AT THE
PHOTO COURTESY MIKE COPEMAN
CANADIAN FINALS RODEO. With three sons competing professionally, CPRA President, Murry Milan knows all too well what a long haul it is for contestants to qualify for the marquee event, and he enjoys cheering on competitors in their pursuit of one of the top 12 spots. “The CFR is something contestants look forward to each year and there are just a few rodeos left to qualify. This time of year is very exciting for us at the CPRA and we wish every
member the best of luck in qualifying for the 43rd annual CFR and look forward to seeing who those top 12 contestants may be,” said Milan. Milan and others at the CPRA have been working closely with the team at Northlands to prepare for the Finals, and excitement is building among organizers as well. “Northlands is proud to have been home to the CFR for the past 42 years,” commented Tim Reid President & CEO of Northlands. “Combined with Farmfair International, it’s one of the greatest events in the city of Edmonton. We look forward to seeing everyone this fall as we celebrate the best rodeo has to offer and the athletes who come to compete.”
La Crete, Alta. ��������������������������������������� August 9-10 Dawson Creek, B.C. �������������������������� August 12-14 Jasper, Alta. ���������������������������������������� August 17-20 Pincher Creek, Alta. �������������������������� August 19-21 Cranbrook, B.C. ����������������������������������� August 19-21 Okotoks, Alta. ����������������������������������� August 26-28 Armstrong, B.C. �������� August 31 - September 3
SEPTEMBER Merritt, B.C. ����������������������������������� September 3-4 Armstrong, B.C. ��������������������������������� September 4 Wrangler Tour Final Medicine Lodge, Alta. ������������������ September 10 Brooks, Alta. ����������������������������� September 23-24 Hanna, Alta. ������������������������������ September 23-25 Calgary, Alta. ������������ September 30 - October 1 Pro Rodeo Canada Series Final
NOVEMBER Edmonton, Alta. ��������������������������� November 9-13 Canadian Finals Rodeo XLII
DECEMBER Las Vegas, Nev. ����������������������������� December 1-10 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
To check up-to-the-minute rodeo results and draws visit rodeocanada.com
By Katy Lucas, Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations, Canadian Professional Rodeo Association
Pro Rodeo Canada Insider
The Short Round
By BARB POULSEN and DAVE POULSEN
Big smiles from Hoover and his family after he was announced as the 2013 Douglas Lake Ranch Cowboy of the Year — presenter Taylor-Jane Gardner at far left
HOOVER — A HALL OF FAME LEGEND Gerald ‘Hoover’ Hays was known to folks from Texas to Alberta. Hoover earned his nickname early in life for his ability to consume large amounts of food at a rapid rate. Hoover’s passion was the sport of steer wrestling. He qualified for the CFR in 1991, enjoyed appearances at the Calgary Stampede and held the fast time in bull dogging at Cheyenne Frontier Days for many years. The veteran competitor won the Guy Weadick Award at the 2000 Calgary Stampede and was crowned Douglas Lake Ranch Cowboy of the Year at the 2013 CFR. His ability as a steer wrestling hazer was also widely recognized. But Hoover was most proud of helping his two sons, J. D. and Rowdy, and numerous other bull doggers achieve success in the rodeo arena. Sadly, Hoover’s life was cut short in February of 2015, but he is remembered as an individual who lived for rodeo and gave a great deal back to the sport. — B.P.
The legendary Jack Daines celebrated his 80th birthday May 18 at the Innisfail, Alta., Legion. Family, friends, colleagues and customers enjoyed an Alberta beef supper, social and dance with the Allen Christie band supplying live music. Jack’s wife, Audrey, his daughters, Brenda (Fader) and Joanne (Wallace) and his son, Duane, were in attendance as were several grand-children and brothers. As Jack noted, it was a great opportunity to see a lot of old friends, and a lot of good friends. Auctioneer, rodeo producer, former saddle bronc rider and family man, Daines has been a promoter of western heritage all his life. From a family of seven brothers, Jack continues to be involved in the Alberta beef industry through his family business, the Innisfail Auction Market. For over fifty years, the energetic businessman orchestrated the popular Daines Ranch Innisfail Pro Rodeo — held in mid-June each year northwest of Innisfail. While his roles have lessened, Daines remains involved in both the Auction Market and the rodeo. “I might be 80 on paper, but I’m still thinking 50!” Happy Birthday Audrey and Jack Daines share a dance Mr. Daines! —B.P. at Jack’s birthday celebration
Canadian Cowboy Country August/September 2016
PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN; YVONNE BLAIR
80 YEARS AND COUNTING
PHOTO COURTESY MCKIE FAMILY; CROSINA FAMILY
FAREWELL TO A WONDERFUL LADY Saskatchewan-born Lorraine (Anderson) McKie spent most of her life in Alberta where she raised a family and enjoyed 25 years with the Alberta Treasury Branch. Lorraine met Mac McKie in the ’80s, the couple eventually married and Lorraine left banking for ranching. “I was away pipelining in the winters,” Mac explained. “Lorraine went from being a bank manager to feeding cows. But she put on her lipstick before heading outside. She always had to look good.” Lorraine became involved in rodeo as both a timer and competitor — earning a trip to the Senior Pro Finals in Reno, Nevada in the ribbon roping event. In recent years, Mac and Lorraine have enjoyed winters in Arizona. “We spent over 20 years together and we had a lot of fun,” Mac commented. Lorraine will be missed by her husband, Mac, her family and many friends — both in and out of the rodeo arena. —B.P.
It was the mid-70s when Willie Crosina sat and their one-eyed replacement ran over the down over coffee with two brothers who bucking horse and me. Then as I was walkran a travel business in Williams Lake, B.C.`s ing back to the chutes the judge said, ‘And Boitanio Mall where Willie was managing the you missed him out.’ I said, ‘That’s okay, I just Riley & McCormick Western Store. retired.” “I’d been thinking I’d like to get my wife Two years later Willie returned to the Terry and me to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. arena in the tie-down roping and won day A couple of days later one of the brothers money. “Today’s guys could tie four calves in told me that if I could get twelve people the time it took me to get that one tied,” Willie together, Terry and I could go along free as laughs. the tour guides.” Willie was the clown/bullfighter for the Willie was able to get a group of 14 first-ever Williams Lake High School rodeo in together. They drove to Kamloops and flew to 1972 and has been involved in some capacEdmonton and thus began a tradition that The Cariboo Country delegation getting ready to head over to remains strong four Rexall for another CFR performance decades later. The next year the group was large enough to be able to contract a bus for the trip and while there have always been a few who will drive or fly to Edmonton, coach travel remains the preferred mode for the majority. The packity with the event every year but one since age includes travel, hotel, seats at the rodeo that time, most recently as rodeo announcer. and shuttle service between the hotel and And when Willie sold his own Western Northlands Park. store — Willie’s Western Wear — in 2002, Fred When this year’s tour takes over their Thomas was quick to recruit the versatile Mr. customary spot (section 120) in Edmonton’s Crosina to the Williams Lake Stampede comRexall Place for the Finals, it will mark forty mittee. This year the Stampede celebrates an years and during that time, the group numanniversary of its own; the 90th edition of bers have averaged 60 to 70 people — even the event takes place over the traditional July soaring to 92 a couple of times, neces1st weekend. sitating two buses. (This year’s group will And while Willie and wife Terry (who number 73). timed at the Stampede for a number of years) Willie has been involved in rodeo since might be moving just a little slower, they’ll 1947 when he climbed on a bareback horse at be in Edmonton this November cheering the Williams Lake Stampede. loud and having fun with a bunch of Cariboo “I didn’t get bucked off,” Willie recalls, Country friends — just like they have for the “but the pickup men had gone for a drink last forty years. —D.P. 2016 will mark forty years that Willie Crosina has led a raucous group of B.C. rodeo fans to Edmonton for the CFR
Pro Rodeo Canada Insider THE SHORT ROUND
O’NEILL’S BRONZE — FINALLY
Jack Daines surprises 2002 World Champion Saddle Bronc rider, Glen O’Neill, with a replica of the bronze first won by O’Neill at the 1995 Calgary Stampede
A cool moment took place during the Sunday performance at this year’s Innisfail Pro Rodeo. Jack Daines called retired saddle bronc rider, Glen O’Neill, to the announcer’s stand, ostensibly to ‘open the bronc riding’. The former Canadian and World Saddle Bronc Riding Champion obliged, spoke to the crowd and turned to leave. That’s when Jack, the master sorcerer, said, “Before you leave, Glen, we’ve got something for you.” Jack revealed a Jay Contway bronc riding bronze and presented it to a surprised O’Neill. The bronze was a replacement for one the Australianborn, Didsbury resident won at the Calgary Stampede 21 years before but had lost in a fire. O’Neill had ordered it a while back but the sculptor misplaced his contact information and hadn’t, at that point,
got the bronze to him. Enter Jack Daines. While ordering bronzes for the Innisfail Rodeo, Jack learned of the replacement bronze and figured it would be a great idea to present it at Innisfail. He made the arrangements, did the presentation and the crowd loved it. It wasn’t the first great moment the likable O’Neill has enjoyed in the Daines arena. Twenty years earlier he rode the great Air Wolf to 95 points, a score that shares the honour of being the highest marked ride in Canadian bronc riding history. “I don’t know how you pulled this off, Jack,” O’Neill shook his head as he took possession of the bronze, and then added, “You got me, that’s for sure. But it’s cool to finally get this bronze and have it delivered here in Innisfail.” —D.P.
The Butterfield name has long been synonymous with the sport of rodeo. Recently the name resonated with a larger sport audience when three Bud, Brian and Tom Butterfield brothers, Tom, Vernon (better known Butterfield; Ponoka as Bud) and Brian were inducted into the Alberta Stampede, 1994 Sports Hall of Fame in the “Pioneer Award — Rodeo” category. (Blake Butterfield accepted the award on behalf of his Dad, Tom, who passed away in 2000.) Cowboys’ Protective Association (forerunner to the CPRA) in 1956 Raised on a mixed farm west of Ponoka, the Butterfield boys and Brian served as CPRA president from 1958–1959. began competing in rodeos in the 40s. All three brothers were top In 2010, the Ponoka Stampede created the Tom Butterfield competitors with numerous Steer Decorating and Steer Wrestling, Creating Cowboys Scholarship–awarded to one boy and one girl All-Around, and Calgary Stampede titles to their credit. annually. Tom, Bud and Brian Butterfield were inducted into In addition to their successes in the arena, the trio made tremen- the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1996, were honoured as dous contributions to the sport and their community. Tom served Legends and Pioneers at the 75th Diamond Jubilee of the Ponoka as a 30-year Ponoka Stampede director, and as President for a term Stampede and received the Calgary Stampede Pioneers of Rodeo in addition to his time as a CPRA Board member. Bud joined the Award in 2012. — B.P.
Canadian Cowboy Country August/September 2016
PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN; KEN MARCINKOWSKI
BUTTERFIELD BROTHERS INDUCTED INTO ALBERTA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
A proud sponsor of the great sport of Rodeo since 1954
BRENDAN LAYE By DIANNE FINSTAD
RENDAN LAYE IS A STEER WRESTLER WHOSE TIME HAS COME. THE CONSORT COWBOY IS PUTTING
EVERYTHING TOGETHER AS HE PURSUES HIS RODEO AMBITIONS, LIKE SO MANY OTHERS IN HIS FAMILY AND IN HIS COMMUNITY.
The 25-year-old is a third-generation cowboy, following in the tradition of his father Mark, and his grandfather Alex, a member of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, and the 1964 Canadian Steer Wrestling Champion.
partners, resources and advice for honing those skills. “It’s awesome,” said Laye. “There are so many guys to practice with. Our family, Guenthners, Zieffles and Lawes — there’s lots of good guys to learn from. I’ve been really lucky having all of them helping me out coming up, for practicing, and riding horses. It’s a good place to learn.” It also means there are plenty of bulldoggers to jump in the truck with when it comes to the rodeo road. This year’s combination has been Laye, Jesse and Casey Lawes of Provost, and Layne Delemont of Chauvin. With a strong spring start, including a win with a 3.6 second run at Stavely, and placings at places like Falkland and Lea Park, Laye lodged himself in Canada’s Top Ten standings of steer wrestling. He’s in the hunt for a rookie title as well. “I had some decent luck early on. I was drawing good steers and trying to use them. I’m enjoying going, and trying to do the best I can everywhere I go. Brendan Laye steer wrestling at 2016 Lea Park “I’m maybe a little more focused. Rodeo in June where he I’ve stepped my game up a bit, and tied for fourth place with just having a good year (helps), a 4.1 second run drawing steers you’ve got a chance on and just kind of feeling good Brendan came up through the ranks of about it and enjoying it. I’m trying to stay the sport, starting as a steer rider and then more relaxed when I get to a rodeo.” graduating to both saddle bronc riding Laye has been able to draw on plenty of and bulldogging. He won the steer wreshorse power in the neighbourhood talent tling title at the 2012 Canadian College pool, climbing on Scott Guenthner’s 2014 Finals Rodeo, the same year he was Horse of the Year Itzy, or Jessy and Casey both the All Around and Steer Wrestling Lawes’ MoJo, or Delemont’s Roscoe. Champion for the Foothills Cowboys Switching mounts can add another chalAssociation. lenge to a steer wrestler’s game, but Laye Laye tested the pro waters for a bit, but feels he’s lucky to have so many horses to decided he needed to do some more work choose from. before running with the big dogs. Last year, “I get advice from the guy who owns he collected his second FCA steer wrestling him, and try to ride them the right way.” title, and then decided it was time to try the With his cousins Clint (BB) and Derric pro ranks again. (SW) also active in rodeo, Brendan is com“I wanted to practice lots and try to get fortable now being part of the Laye family better before I came back and went to these rodeo legacy. He’s got his eyes on the purrodeos again,” admitted Laye. suit of his own championship at the CFR When it comes to ‘seasoning’ a steer this fall. wrestling career, there’s no better place to be “That’s everybody’s goal. It’s already than east-central Alberta, home to numerbeen a better year than I’ve had before, so I ous Canadian champions. Within a stone’s want to just keep making it better.” c throw of Laye’s ranch are plenty of practice
Canadian Cowboy Country August/September 2016
PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN
Pro Rodeo Canada Insider
Reached # 1 in CPRA standings (June 22) Kirsty White, Big Valley, Alta. By DIANNE FINSTAD
K Four-time Canadian Champion Dusty LaValley matches up with Call Me Kindra for 87 points at 2015 CFR
X07 Call Me Kindra 87 points – Dusty LaValley, 2015 Canadian Finals Rodeo 2015 Bareback Horse of the Calgary Stampede Big Stone Rodeo Inc., Cessford, Alta.
PHOTOS BY MIKE COPEMAN
By DIANNE FINSTAD all Me Kindra, a six-yearold packed by Big Stone Rodeo Inc., is quickly building her reputation in pro rodeo. The 1,250-pound bay mare was raised by Ward Macza at his High River ranch. Big Stone’s Bruce Sunstrum likes how she fits into his outfit’s A-string already. “They don’t ride those kind very often,” says Sunstrum. “There are eliminators and there are buckers. She’s a bucker, and gives it all she’s got every time. When they nod, they’d better be ready.” “She’s a handful,” agrees Macza. “We started bucking her as a three-year-old with a dummy. Last year was her first year in the pros, and she’s never had a bad trip.” Call Me Kindra had an impressive rookie season, earning her first CFR selection. In Edmonton, four-time Canadian
Champion Dusty LaValley racked up 87 points on her. She was also named the top horse of the Calgary Stampede. “She was the highest marked bareback horse there. She only had one trip, and to get Horse of the Stampede on just one trip is unheard of. She bucked so good they noticed her,” added Macza. The mare’s breeding goes back to Bonnie Vold’s stud Major League on both sides, which explains her thick bone structure. But she’s also athletic. Macza and Sunstrum agree that Call Me Kindra is a nice horse to be around, until the chute gate opens. “Jake Vold says she’s for the ‘advanced rider’,” Macza chuckles. “She’s rank, and the guys need to work with her, or she’ll buck them off. One of these days they’ll ride her and be 90. But they haven’t found the technology yet!”
irsty White is getting pretty good at negotiating. “It’s like a contract,” laughs White when asked about getting along with her 10-year-old, feisty mare named Racey. “You get from her what you negotiate.” Now in their fifth season together on the Pro Rodeo Canada trail, the partnership is paying big dividends. Back in mid-June, White was sitting in the number one position in the Canadian barrel racing standings with close to $8,000 in earnings. “She feels everything from me,” contends White, who has qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo in two of the last three years and missed the cut by a mere $19 in another. “As soon as you rush her, she tries to rush even faster. I try to get her to take a deep breath. “I need to ride her hard during the week before I get to a rodeo to get the ‘edge’ off. She
can’t be too fresh. But I think it’s better to have to bring a horse down than try to ramp them up.” While White, who finished fourth in the 2015 CPRA regular season standings, uses words like quirky, odd, funky and thinskinned to describe the horse, her admiration for Racey doesn’t go unnoticed. “She is exceptionally gifted and so electric,” says the 2012 Canadian Cowgirl of the Year. “She feels like a Ferrari. If you let her, she’d snap a wheel off because she just tries too hard. That’s a big heart that’s in that little body, not many horses have that. “She’s taught me to be more easy going, to take things in stride. I’m constantly reminding myself to be understanding. I’ve had a lot people wanting to buy her but I don’t know who would get along with her. They’d be phoning me for a manual.”
Two-time CFR qualifier Kirsty White and her athletic mare Racey — money making run at 2015 CFR
Pro Rodeo Canada Insider
Two Hall of Famers— Kesler’s legendary Three Bars and 2016 inductee, Bob Hartell, at the 1975 CFR
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES A TIP OF THE HAT By DAVE POULSEN
BOB HARTELL CONTESTANT
And going in at the same time as Dave makes it extra special.” Both cowboys will be inducted at this year’s edition of the Strathmore Stampede.
DAN LOWRY CONTESTANT
o’s es Kesler Rode Dan Lowry rid ine Hat ic ed M 88 19 s, Prince Charle Spring Rodeo
They called him Sloughwater. He was known as one of the best bull riders Canada ever produced. Dan Lowry was one of four brothers who rodeoed — alongside older brother Bill, a bronc rider and younger brothers, Jim who also rode broncs and Ben, another bull rider. The journey to the rodeo arena began on the family farm at Holden, Alta., riding milk cows and steers. Dan climbed on his first bull at Colville, Wash., just over the border from the then family home at Grand Forks, B.C. Success came quickly once he turned pro in 1975, getting his PRCA card, then his Canadian card. His first CFR appearance came in 1978, one of seven trips Lowry would make to Edmonton.
Three times he was season leader and in 1988 Lowry was Canadian Champion. He made three trips to the National Finals Rodeo, the first in 1980 in Oklahoma City when the PRCA staged the Wrangler Bullfight at the Finals and the 16th through 20th ranked bullriders competed as part of the bullfight. “I won that one which was cool even if it wasn’t the same as the other two times I went.” Those NFR trips came in 1983, again at Oklahoma City and in 1992 in Las Vegas. At the end of the ’92 season, Lowry hung up his bull rope, choosing to go out on top as he was season leader once again in Canada and qualified for both the CFR and the NFR.
Canadian Cowboy Country August/September 2016
PHOTOS COURTESY KEN MARCINKOSKI; CPRA
One of three kids raised on the family farm/ ranch five miles out of Strathmore, Bob Hartell made good use of the rodeo arena his dad, Jack and mom, Mag, had on the place. Bob rigged up a chute so that he could run in a steer, get on, pull his own rope and open the gate — a totally one man… make that one boy — operation. After an amateur career (FCA and Chinook Associations) that saw him win bareback, bull riding and all-around titles, the move to pro was a smooth one. In his rookie year, he won three year-end saddles in the Southern Circuit, in bareback, bull riding and all-around. In 1974, Hartell qualified for the CFR in bull riding and returned in 1975, this time in two events, bull riding and bareback riding, en route to the Canadian All Around title. “I was able to beat out my cousin, Dave MacDonald, even though he was in three events. That felt pretty good.” Hartell qualified for the CFR again in 1976, but, after breaking his arm during the season, was unable to compete, something he still regrets. “I would have liked to be there one more time.” As Bob Hartell looks back, he’s very clear about the highlights of his career. “Winning the All-Around in 1975 and now being inducted into the Hall of Fame — those are huge. This is like an Academy Award. I was very surprised and honoured.
Three-event cowboy, Dave MacDonald, goes to wo rk at the 1978 Bruce Stamp ede
But for all his success in the arena, Dave MacDonald is probably best remembered for his positive, upbeat personality and his willingness to help young, up and coming cowboys learn the craft. Sadly, rodeo lost the ever-present MacDonald smile all too soon, when Dave passed away in 2000. Dave MacDonald loved being a cowboy and he was darn good at it.
VIC STUCKEY SR. BUILDER
PHOTO BY KEN MARCINKOWSKI; COURTESY CANADIAN PROFESSIONAL RODEO HALL OF FAME
Vic Stuckey Sr. at the 1939 Benalto Rodeo
“There’s no doubt that winning Canada and going to the NFR those three times and now being inducted into the Hall of Fame are the highlights of my career.”
DAVE MACDONALD CONTESTANT
Only one man in the history of Canadian rodeo has ever qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo in three events in one year… that man was Dave MacDonald.
The versatile cowboy started his career in rodeo in the junior events at 11 years old. Then came a tremendously successful amateur career that spanned a decade and saw the Dalemead, Alta. cowboy win 19 FCA championships and three more in the Chinook Association to go with six Manitoba (Centennial Rifle) rodeo awards. Included in his championship total were no fewer than 11 All Around titles. And in 1961, he teamed with Roy Groves and Bob Busslinger to win the Wild Horse Race at the Calgary Stampede. Dave was even known to jump into the arena and fight bulls when needed. It was in 1975 that Dave Macdonald wrote his name in professional rodeo’s record book, qualifying for the CFR in three events — bareback riding, calf roping and steer wrestling. Ironically, MacDonald would not win the Canadian All-Around title that year. That honour went to his cousin, Bob Hartell, and it’s fitting that the two men are both being inducted into the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame at the same time and at the same rodeo — the 2016 Strathmore Stampede. In 1978 Dave did win the Canadian AllAround title.
Vic Stuckey was a prominent saddle bronc rider who competed in the 1930s before the Canadian Protective Association — the forerunner to the CPRA — was formed. With travelling partners that included Pete Knight, Herman Linder, Hughie Long and Sykes Robinson, young Stuckey appeared at rodeos in Canada and the U.S. Highlights included placing at the Calgary Stampede (where a third place finish paid $11) and winning Ponoka in 1938. Health challenges eventually forced Stuckey to leave the rodeo arena for a different career choice. Around 1940, he took a watchmaker course, which led the young man to the Stettler area where he started a jewelry store, V.E. Stuckey Jewelry. Stuckey’s interest in rodeo remained. He was a founding member of the CPA and vice-president of the Canadian Stampede Managers Association. Also a founding president of the Central Alberta Stampede Association, he held the position of Stettler Stampede Manager for a number of years. Vic Stuckey was a key individual in the establishment of a number of early rodeos, the Stettler Stampede among them. Many of the rodeos Stuckey helped initiate are ongoing today. With serious injury a facet of rodeo competition — even back before the CPA existed — Stuckey was also instrumental in raising funds for those struggling to survive lifetime rodeo injury. His personal popularity and reputation as a solid businessman were factors in his success. Unfortunately, Stuckey’s health issues resulted in his early death in 1953 at 38 years of age. While his time on earth was short, Vic Stuckey made the most of his life, as a bronc rider, rodeo builder, family man and businessman.
Pro Rodeo Canada Insider Foaled in 1993, the mare was one of the dominant horses of her era. Three times in succession (2000– 2002), she was the Canadian Champion Saddle Bronc; she added three Best of CFR awards (1999–2001) and was voted World Champion saddle Bronc three consecutive times as well (2001–2003). In 2000 she was voted NFR Champion and twice she was named Champion Saddle Bronc of the Calgary Stampede (2000 and 2002). Painted Smile was voted to both the CFR and WNFR every year from 1999 to 2006.
Left: Six time World Champion Dan Mortensen winning the round with a 92-point score on Kesler Rodeo’s Painted Smile, 2002 National Finals Rodeo Right: Cody Snyder and Confusion combine for 95 points at the 1983 CFR, a score that would put both athletes in the record book
KESLER RODEO CO. She was imposing to look at… a 1,300 pound paint mare with a style that gave bronc riders fits. She was Keslers’ 367 Painted Smile. “She did something that most horses can’t do,” recalls Duane Kesler. “She didn’t have to wait for her downward momentum to kick out over her head. She could kick while she was in the upward part of her jump and that was what made her so difficult. When I was picking up and she was still bucking, I couldn’t reach in and get the flank. I had to wait until she was back down to reach that flank.” It was that unique style that had so many cowboys hitting the ground, often after the first jump. But for the guy who did make the horn, a first place cheque was often the reward, as it was for Dan Mortensen after his 92 score on Painted Smile at the National Finals Rodeo. Away from the arena Painted Smile was quiet and easy to work with. She was a leader and always the first one on the trailer — she loved to rodeo.
As long as there are rodeos and people who climb on animals that buck, there will be arguments about the toughest animals there ever were. And you can bet that when that argument gets around to the best, rankest and toughest bulls of all time, #96 Confusion will be part of that discussion. Born in 1977, at a time when the Northcott outfit was producing and acquiring a long line of great bulls, it was Confusion that the late Harvey Northcott dubbed “the best I’ve ever owned.” No surprise as the bull was ridden only six times in more than 150 trips. During a career that spanned almost a decade, Confusion made several trips to both the Canadian and National Finals Rodeos. But it was in 1983, that the spectacular bull etched his name in the record book along with that of Cody Snyder. It was at that year’s CFR that Cody rode Confusion to 95 points, a mark that still stands 33 years later as the highest marked ride in Canadian bull riding history. Ace Northcott remembered the time Jack Daines noted on the radio that a young hotshot California bull rider named Ted Nuce, who was #1 in the world at the time, had drawn Confusion. Jack was predicting Nuce would ride the great bull. When Ace asked his dad what he thought, Harvey replied, “I don’t know who Ted Nuce is but I’m betting he pulls his pants on one leg at a time like everybody else.” The future world champion became one more of Confusion’s conquests. c
Canadian Cowboy Country August/September 2016
PHOTO COURTESY PRCA BY MIKE COPEMAN; PAT PRICE
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ROAD TO THE CFR
Dustin Flundra scored 85 points on Outlaw Buckers’ Quittin Time to win the round; 2014 Canadian Finals Rodeo
DUSTIN FLUNDRA READY TO WIN By TIM ELLIS
USTIN FLUNDRA HAS BEEN AT THE CANADIAN FINALS RODEO FOR 16 STRAIGHT YEARS. BUT, WHILE HE WAS IN EDMONTON LAST FALL, FOR THE
FIRST TIME IN HIS CAREER, THE PINCHER CREEK, ALTA., COWBOY WASN’T IN THE BUCKING CHUTES COMPETING FOR A CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP.
“I played with the boys all week and watched from a different spot than usual,” begins the three-time Canadian bronc riding champion. “And to be honest, I did not really enjoy it. “I had to go back there (Rexall Place) each night because my wife (Niki) and family were involved with the production crew. I found out I’m not ready to watch from that side of the fence yet.” Flundra’s 2015 season began to unravel in Sisters, Oregon, in midJune when his horse side-stepped into a pick-up man causing the three-time Canadian champ to fall underneath his mount.
“The horse stepped on my shoulder and finished me off with a love tap to my head,” recalls Flundra, who was on his third horse of the night. “At the time I was more worried about the blood leaking from my head than the dislocated shoulder. “I probably should have known something was going to go wrong. I had drawn Kool Toddy and the flank fell off the first time. They were kind enough to run it back in for me and that time, it posted me on the gate. Before the third ride, I’m thinking ‘you’ve gotten two re-rides on one of the best horses in the world over the last five years, maybe you should pack up and go home’ but I didn’t.” After returning home to heal up, the 35 year-old put forth his best effort to continue his season. His first rodeo back was the Calgary Stampede, where he rode as the defending $100,000 saddle bronc champion. “Sometimes you can convince yourself that maybe it’s not quite as sore as it is,” contends Flundra, who won the 1999 Calgary Stampede novice saddle bronc championship. “I went with a brace and with the help of (the Canadian Pro Rodeo) Sport Medicine (Team), I got by. But it was by no means comfortable. “I went to Morris and Strathmore but it still wasn’t right. By that time, I was far enough out in the (Pro Rodeo Canada) standings, that to make it to the CFR, all the stars in the world would have to line up. I made the decision it was better to get it right and come back healthy and strong. So I went home to rehab to get back to the level I needed to be at to be competitive.” Flundra, who hadn’t missed qualifying for the Canadian Finals Rodeo since his rookie season in 2001, feels he’s now back to that level. “It was fuel and motivation to get back,” confirms the two-time CFR average winner. “I’m excited and I’m confident I’m ready and that my body is ready, too, and won’t let me down. I’m ready to win.” c
Canadian Cowboy Country August/September 2016
PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN
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