Norman Edge - Contestant
Inducted - November 9, 1983
Norman Frank Edge
Norman Frank Edge was born in 1904. His parents were among the earliest ranching families in the Brushy Ridge district south of Cochrane, Alberta. Norman and his five brothers developed an interest in rodeo at an early age, and started riding the pigs and calves, then graduated to the steers and even the milk cows. When he was in his teens, a neighboring rancher, Dave Lawson of the XC Ranch, built a shot gun chute and encouraged all the local boys to come and practice, they rode bucking horses and steers and started roping. Norman and his brother Wilber first entered competition in 1921.
At the 1925 Calgary Stampede, Norman entered the Saddle Bronc Riding, the Brahma Steer Riding, and the Bareback riding, he won both the steer riding and the bareback riding and was presented with his first trophy saddle. During the winter months, for several years to come, Norman broke polo ponies and remounts for the RCMP at the Mount Royal and Virginia Ranches at Cochrane.
Peter Welsh and the Alberta Stampede Co. kept Norman traveling all over Canada and the Eastern U.S. for the next two years. Norman returned to Calgary and won the Brahma Steer riding for the second time in 1927, his second Bareback Championship in 1928 and the Wild Horse Race with partners Ollie Edge and Johnny Munro in 1929.
In May of 1934, a group of Canadian cowboys including Herman Linder, Jac Streeter, Pat Burton, Jackie Cooper, Clark Lund, Frank Sharp, George McIntosh, Harry Knight, Pete Knight and Norman were chosen to travel to London to a rodeo sponsored by Tex Austin.
He retired from rodeo competition in 1937 to look after his ranching interests at Cochrane and Bassano.
Norman has been honored several times; in 1974 by the Calgary Stampede as a ”Pioneer of Rodeo,” in 1975 by the Red Deer Exhibition and in 1983 by the Cochrane Old Timers Rodeo Association
Warren Cooper - Builder
Inducted - July 11, 1983
Warren Cooper, better known as "Coop" is the personality whose voice has projected across many rodeo infields making him the "Canadian Dean of Rodeo Announcing" for 61 years.
Coop was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1902, but was raised on a ranch just outside of Nanton, Alberta. As a boy he was enthralled with the cowboys who stayed aboard a bronc and was regularly chased away from behind the chutes at local rodeos. At 15 he was handed a megaphone and given a chance to announce his first rodeo. Coop chuckled as he recalled the first job offer which was phrased along the lines: "Get the heck out of the road and go tell the people what's happening."
Announcing was a lot different back in 1917. Instead of sitting in a booth, Coop was out on horseback putting the program together as the show went along. "I would have to ride over to the chute," he explained, "and ask a rider his name and where he was from." Coop came up the ladder the hard way, hanging around the rodeo chutes until the arena director would give him something to do. His chores included clerking and timing events, then announcing at some of the smaller rodeos.
In 1939, he became the rodeo announcer for the Calgary Stampede and remained the mainstay of the Stampede's microphone until the mid 1970's. He retired from announcing in 1981.
He has been honored by the Fort Macleod Rodeo for his 32 years of service, by Medicine Hat Rodeo for more than 20 years of service and for his involvement with the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede for over 50 years.
Coop enjoyed each and every rodeo that he announced. He was especially pleased, along with all that participated, in representing the Canadian West, by announcing the rodeo held in Montreal, Quebec at Expo 67.
Coop has shared himself and his talents with the cowboys and audiences of several generations.
Clarence Gingrich - Builder
Inducted – November 9, 1983
Clarence Gingrich was born in Olds, Alberta in 1905 and was brought up in High River, Alberta with close association to the Streeter family.
He began contesting in rodeos in 1922 and was a chuck wagon outrider from 1924 to 1936. It was that last year that he helped the Goettler outfit from Sheep Creek win the World Championship. He was a chuck wagon judge for the Calgary Stampede for twenty years.
Clarence saw the need for good stock and the opportunity to work in his beloved sport so he started in 1936 to gather a herd of bucking horses. From 1937 to 1951 he supplied a superb string of saddle and bareback horses including such well-remembered mounts as Coal Creek, Lookout, Old Frosty, Contortionist, Presley Black, Broken Trail, Tack Hammer and especially Sarcee Special. This horse was Clarence's first star and never ridden in two years of performances in Alberta. After five featured matches at U.S. rodeos, Casey Tibbs finally stayed aboard Sarcee Special and pocketed $5,000.
Besides supplying stock, Gingrich became an acknowledged expert in the tough, exacting and essential part of rodeo - the pick-up man. The combination of these talents made "Hammerhead," a name given him by Dick Cosgrave after losing a bet, a much respected and sought after member of the rodeo scene in Canada for over thirty years.
He first picked up in Calgary in 1931 and suffered many broken bones and other injuries in his long career. Hammerhead's decision to retire from all this abuse in 1953 prompted a group of professional cowboys to present him with a ruby-studded gold and silver belt buckle. The bribe worked and Gingrich continued working at major rodeos until 1965. When not involved in rodeos, Clarence worked as a Brand Inspector for the Alberta Government from 1951 to 1970. As a fitting climax to a long and illustrious career, Clarence Gingrich was honored by the Calgary Stampede by being elected to that elite group of cowboys, “The Pioneers of Rodeo.”
Frank Sharp - Contestant
Inducted - November 9, 1983
Frank Sharp was born in Atwood, Kansas on January 26, 1900. His family moved to a homestead northwest of Ponoka, Alberta in 1903 but later moved to the North Battleford, Saskatchewan area. As Frank grew up he traveled around the U.S. and Canada working in the fruit fields and driving a mule team. He and his cousin turned quite a profit by buying horses in Alberta and trailing them back to Saskatchewan where horses were scarce.
In the small northern Saskatchewan town of St. Margaret, Frank won his first trophy saddle in 1918. Two other fellows, Montana Bill and Bobby Hill, helped Frank produce four Saskatchewan rodeos that year. They were at Alsask, Richard, Midnight Lake and Battleford. At Richard, the crowd was large and the cowboys few. Frank refused to disappoint the public, so he rode 16 head of stock that one afternoon.
He traveled all over the U.S. and Canada in the late thirties, competing in the Saddle Bronc and Bareback Bronc, Steer and Brahma Bull Riding events.
The cumulative score from Canadian rodeos in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, and the U.S. rodeos at Columbus, Buffalo, Detroit and Omaha won Frank the World Championship Bareback title in 1926. He won the Canadian Champion Brahma Steer riding at Calgary in 1929 and 1933 and the Canadian All Around in 1929 and 1930. He was also among the group of Canadian cowboys who traveled to London, England to compete in a rodeo in 1934.
Frank started judging rodeos in 1941. He judged both the rodeo and the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede for 29 years. He was honored by the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede in 1978 as a "Pioneer of Rodeo".
Tom Three Persons - Contestant
Inducted - July 11, 1983.
Tom Three Persons
Tom Three Persons was born in 1886 at Standoff, Alberta. He was a Blood Indian and was an active saddle bronc rider in his younger days, winning his first saddle bronc championship at Lethbridge, Alberta in 1908.
Although he competed for several years, his most memorable ride was on the legendary black bronc by the name of Cyclone. This ride made Tom the saddle bronc champion of the 1912 Calgary Stampede.
Tom's ride was described in the Canadian Rodeo Book and the Calgary Daily Herald:
"Tom Three Persons was a Blood Indian from Macleod, Alberta. The only Canadian in the finals of the saddle bronc competition and the last rider, he was the crowd's hometown favorite. But he drew Cyclone for his final ride, and against a horse like that, what chance did he have?."In 1912 there was no such thing as an eight-second or a ten-second time limit. The ride ended when either the horse or the cowboy gave up.
A 1912 Calgary Daily Herald reporter describes Tom Three Persons' ride:"The horse thrown to the ground, Tom jumped across him, placed his feet in the stirrups, and with a wild 'whoop' the black demon was up and away with the Indian rider. Bucking, twisting, swapping ends and resorting to every artifice of the outlaw, Cyclone swept across the field. The proud Native was jarred from one side of the saddle to the other, but as the crowds cheered themselves hoarse he settled every time into the saddle and waited for the next lurch or twist."His bucking unable to dislodge the man, Cyclone stood at rest and reared straight up. Once it looked as though Tom was to follow the fate of his predecessors. He recovered rapidly and from that time forward, Cyclone bucked till he was tired. Tom Three Persons had mastered him."
Tom Three Persons became a hero that day in 1912 and he remained a hero, even after his death in 1949. His photograph still hangs in a place of honor in the Blood Reserve's community hall at Standoff, Alberta.
Tom later became a wealthy rancher on the Blood Reserve raising Hereford cattle, thoroughbred horses and supplying bucking stock to Southern Alberta rodeos. He passed away in Calgary on August 13, 1949