Jack Dillon - Builder
Inducted - July 10, 1989
Jack Michael Dillon
John Michael Dillon was born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1883. At the age of three his parents moved to the U.S. and settled in Chicago. He got his first job on a horse ranch in the sand hills of Nebraska and later "punched cows" in the Dakotas. From there he moved to a livestock commission firm in Sioux City, Iowa. He then returned to Chicago for a holiday and married his childhood sweetheart, Jesse. The couple moved out west to Montana and settled on a ranch in the Ekalaka area.
During World War One he supervised the purchase and training of thousands of horses for the French army. Following the armistice, he moved to Alberta and managed the OH Ranch for Pat Burns. He then moved to Calgary and became manager of Burns Feed Lot and also became very active in the oil industry. Jack Dillon was best known through his association with the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede which lasted nearly 30 years.
When Guy Weadick retired as arena director in the early 1930's, Dillon was named to succeed him and held this position until his retirement in 1946. He then became a director of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.
Jack organized the Alberta Stampede Directors Association in 1933 and was a member of the International Rodeo Association. Among the honors he received during his active life, was Honorary Secretary of the Western Stock growers Association and Honorary President of the Cowboys' Protective Association.
He passed away on March 15, 1948 in Calgary.
Reg Kesler - Contestant/ Builder
Inducted - November 11, 1989
From the time Reg Kesler started his rodeo career at the age of 14 until he retired from competition in 1967 he was one of the few cowboys who competed in all five major events as well as the Wild Cow Milking, Wild Horse Race, and Outrider in the Chuckwagon Races. He was also an accomplished Pick-Up man. He entered his first rodeo at Raymond, competing in the Boys Steer Riding.
Reg was born in Lethbridge, Alberta on October 16, 1919 and was raised in the Raymond area, where as a teenager, he worked for the legendary Ray Knight. In 1943, Reg moved to Rosemary, Alberta where he took 36 cows on a share basis and began his own ranching operation.
Reg Kesler's name first appeared in the record books in 1948. He was the Canadian Champion All-Around, winning a total of $1,960 and the first trophy saddle awarded by the C.P.A. He won the coveted title twice more, in 1951 and 1953, he was also crowned the Canadian All-Around Champion at the Calgary Stampede in 1949 and 1950. Reg's name appears many times in the Canadian Standings from 1948 through 1955, in a number of different events.
While traveling the rodeo circuit, Reg realized there was a growing demand for good bucking horses. It didn't take long before he put together a good string of rough stock and became a Contractor and Rodeo Producer. Since the early 1950's he has supplied stock to Canadian rodeos from Vancouver to Winnipeg, including the 1967 Expo held in Montreal, as well as many rodeos in the U.S.A. In 1962, he leased the Miller Creek Ranch at Missoula, Montana, where he based his U.S. operation.
His source of pride is the high number of his stock that have been selected for the Canadian and National Finals Rodeos, and also the championships they have won in both Canada and the United States.
Reg passed away on May 16, 2001.
Three Bars - Animal
Inducted - November 11, 1989
In the spring of 1965 rodeo stock contractor Reg Kesler of Rosemary, Alberta purchased a 4 year old mare from Bill McBeth of Lethbridge, Alberta. Unknown to Kesler at the time, the acquisition of the bucking horse began a true professional rodeo legacy.
Kesler's famed bucking Three Bars became more than a champion in the rodeo arena. In fact Three Bars went on to be the backbone of one of the world's most successful bucking horse breeding programs. Three Bars was noted earlier in her career as being a standout among the many horses used in the rodeo arena.
In 1967 she was awarded her first title as the Best Bareback Horse at the National Finals Rodeo. She repeated the victory again in 1973 and 1980. She claimed a total of five runner up awards once in 1966, 1967, 1970, 1972 and 1977. She also added a third place finish to her credentials in 1974.
According to rodeo greats such as five time world champion bareback rider Joe Alexander of Cora, Wyoming, she is one of the rankest Bareback horses ever used in the history of the sport.
Over the years, while she was gaining recognition for herself as a top notch bucking horse, Kesler began using her in his breeding horse program for bucking horses. Among the 12 colts that she has produced are such famed horses as Three Chicks, Three Knotts, Three Jangles and probably the best known of all, Three Cheers. There also was a grandson, Three Frosts.
Three Bars was retired from rodeo competition in 1986. From her colts to her grandchildren the Three Bars tradition still carries on.