Clem Gardner - Contestant
Inducted - July 8, 1985
Clem Gardner, a leathery individual, who ranched west of Calgary in the Primez Creek area, and enjoyed many years of active rodeo involvement. Being ranch raised, riding broncs and roping steers was a part of his everyday life. Competing in local contests, preceding the 1912 Calgary Stampede, Gardner was well prepared to participate at Calgary's 1912 Extravaganza where he walked away with the Canadian All Around Championship and was presented with a trophy saddle.
He continued to compete in rough stock, calf and steer roping events until 1923, when at the age of 37, Clem chose to retire from the riding events but still entered the calf and steer roping events
In 1923 he also entered his VU Ranch chuck wagon outfit in the Rangeland Derby for the first time and continued to race it until 1946. His wagon was wrecked on three separate occasions. In 1931, he won the Chuck wagon Championship and for many years his penalty free 1:14 was the track record.
Clem Gardner's greatest thrill came in the summer of 1952 when he was presented with an illuminated scroll which was inscribed: "Presented on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede to Clem Gardner of Primez Creek, judged by the Calgary Stampede Committee, to be the 1912 contestant who has in the years from 1912 to 1952 contributed most to the growth and success of the Stampede."
In later years, Clem's love of horse flesh drew him to participate more in Canadian horse show events. He also owned and operated a small racing stable where he raised thoroughbreds. He was a member of the judge's panel of the Canadian Horse Show Association. Served as President of the Alberta Thoroughbred Association, the Alberta Horse Breeders Association and was a long time member of the Alberta Light Horse Association. Clem also played polo and competed in this international sport.
At 70 years of age this lean and muscular man still managed his twenty-four hundred head cattle ranch. A boy scout camp named "Camp Gardner" located in the Primez Creek area is an ongoing memorial honouring the charitable activities of this respected man. There was no room in his life for the rocking chair and he passed away at his home in 1963, at the age of 77.
Fred Kennedy - Builder
Inducted - July 8, 1985
This feisty "I write as I please," Calgarian, made his name as a journalist through the years 1919 to 1957. For 30 of those years he covered rodeo results and through his effects, The Calgary Herald became totally engulfed in rodeo for one week each July.
Fred Kennedy, who was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1900, came to Canada in 1912 and started as a police reporter for the Morning Albertan when he was 19.
In 1925 Fred took a brief leave of absence from journalism, to travel with Peter Welsh's Alberta Stampede Company staging competitive rodeos across Canada and the United States. Among his duties were Promotion Manager and Arena Director.
When he returned to Calgary in 1928, he accepted the post of Sports Editor for the Calgary Herald. His ability to cover ranching, rodeos, horse shows, racing, reporting, publishing and countless other fields, led him to assignments covering Alberta Legislation and the fast growing Social Credit movement in 1934. As a result of this, he was assigned to the Alberta Legislation Press Gallery in Edmonton in 1935 and was honored by this association, electing him with a life membership in 1970.
The ever growing Calgary Exhibition and Stampede found the need for a Publicity Manager in 1957 and offered Fred this new post. He took the challenge and devoted the next eight years to making the Calgary Stampede a household word throughout the country.
Though his eyesight was failing badly, Fred wrote the finale of his journalistic career, the 215,000 word book "Alberta Was My Beat" in 1975. This has become a collector's item.
Harry Knight - Contestant & Builder
Inducted - November 19, 1985
This colorful cowboy has built his life around rodeo. He was born in Quebec, September 19, 1907 and as a youngster moved to Banff, Alberta with his family where his father ran a lake resort hotel. Working with the Brewsters, Harry spent many years breaking horses for their dude ranch and pack string. With this introduction into bronc riding, it wasn't long before Harry entered his first rodeo in Sundre, Alberta in 1925.
By 1926 he’d won the Canadian Saddle Bronc and Bareback Riding Championship at the Calgary Stampede. He was considered one of the toughest day-money riders in the business. Harry excelled in Saddle Bronc event, although he also entered Bareback, Steer Decorating, Calf Roping and Steer Riding.
A severe injury at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 nearly ended his riding career, however this dedicated cowboy recovered to compete for the next eight years.
In 1937 Harry turned to stock contracting, and upon the death of Leo Cramer in 1954, he and Gene Autry bought his business, expanding their operation.
By 1959 they had consolidated with the "Flying A" on Evertt Colborn's retirement. "Knight's Flying A" Rodeo Ranch one time housed over 600 head of rodeo stock.
He was the first rodeo stock contractor to ever be put on the board of the R.C.A. representing the stock contractors.
He is a board member of the Board of Trustee's, for the "Hall of Champions," located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
He is currently living in Fowler, Colorado, in good health, still riding horses and ranching with his son.
Tom Lauder - Contestant
Inducted - June 30, 1985
When it comes to chuckwagon racing, the name "Lauder" will go down in history. A decision between Tom and a friend, Ray Bailey, to outfit a wagon and enter the Rangeland Derby in Calgary in 1924, brought Tom his first World Chuckwagon driving championship. His first outriders were his son Bob, Ray's son Bill, Jonsey and a man from Cochrane.
Born in Calgary, Alberta in 1888, Tom traveled by buckboard with his parents and sister to Innisfail, Alberta where his father had set up a practice in veterinary medicine.
Tom learned to ride and care for horses at a very early age and when he was but nine-years-old he was riding race horses in the area. At 11 he got his first real life cowboy job. Tom learned many of the veterinary procedures from his father and through the years he excelled at handling horses and doctoring them.
He married in 1913 and he and his wife Goldie raised eight children, most of whom became outriders and rodeo contestants. Their daughter, Iris, married Ron Glass, who is also a champion chuckwagon driver.
Tom was a contestant in the first Calgary Stampede in 1912 and in 1923 he entered the cart races. This preceded his chuckwagon career which won him additional titles in 1927 and 1928. He retired from driving in 1933 because of injuries during a race. However, his sons and grandsons have continued to build their dynasty in chuckwagon racing.
Tom unfortunately lost many of this trophies when a fire destroyed their home in 1937. He retired to the Elnora, Alberta area and passed away in 1974.
Tom's fearless and fiery approach to chuckwagon racing has brought excitement to thousands of spectators.
Bill Mounkes - Contestant
Inducted - July 8, 1985
Bill Mounkes was born on February 22, 1909 on a ranch near Okotoks, Alberta where his parents had settled in 1897. Being ranch raised, the opportunity to rope was always at hand and Bill spent many hours roping anything that moved.
When he was 17, he entered his first rodeo in Calgary, competing in the Calf Roping and Steer Riding as well as outriding for the Sonny Rowles chuckwagon. In one performance, he borrowed a friend's horse and won the roping. This was enough to get rodeo in his blood and he went on to compete in Stampedes throughout Alberta for several years in both the roping and Wild Cow Milking. In 1941 he won the Canadian Calf Roping Championship and placed in the top four North American at the Calgary Stampede. In Calgary, the roping was a little different in those days. There were two Championships; the Canadian and the North American, which was dally roping, eight calves to rope with four in each event.
Bill became an excellent calf roper and wild cow milker and through the years won several of the smaller rodeos throughout the province.
In October 1951, Bill was one of seven calf ropers chosen to demonstrate this event before Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh during the one day show of champions. At the reception following, he was chosen to be seated next to the Princess, representing his peers.
Bill was bald quite young and became the brunt of some of Warren Cooper's humor. Warren would announce, "Now our next calf roper is the curly-headed kid from Okotoks, Bill Mounkes." When his hat blew off, it always brought a laugh.
Bill hung up his rope in the late 1950's and now lives on the place where he grew up. This quiet gentleman was admired by his peers and was considered a credit to the sport of rodeo.
Ken Thomson - Builder/Contestant
Inducted - November 16, 1985
In 1945, through the persistent efforts of Ken Thomson, the Cowboys' Protective Association was formed, and rodeo cowboys would begin to gain their rightful athletic recognition.
Ken Thomson was born September 13, 1914 and was raised in the Black Diamond, Alberta area on his father's ranch. He was one of eleven children, six of whom became heavily involved in rodeo. As a result of his background and his enthusiasm toward the sport of rodeo, Ken became the first president of the Cowboys' Protective Association, and held the position for nine consecutive years.
Along with his administrative duties he also found time to compete in several events.
In the late 1940's Ken began promoting and supplying stock for rodeos. In 1952 he retired from active competition but continued as a stock contractor with his partner Clarence Gingrich, developing one of the finest strings of bucking horses in western Canada.
When he was 40, Ken married Barbara Donaldson and they had three children, Kirk, Jordie and Lonnie, who also became active in the sport of rodeo.
It is interesting to note that in his early years, Ken was an avid boxer and boasts several championships. He also served his country by enlisting in the army in 1941.
Ken and his second wife Vi currently live in Sundre, where he enjoys semi-retirement. He never lost his love for rodeo and continues to attend as many as possible.
Through a progression of time and events the C.P.A. became the C.R.C.A. and ultimately the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.