Bob Carry - Builder
Inducted July 12, 1994
Bob Carry was born at Morden, MB, in 1894 and came to Alberta in 1903, and settled in the Turner Valley area in 1912.
The fall of 1915 saw Bob enlist in the 89th Battalion in Calgary. He spent that winter training before going overseas in May 1916. Just prior to his departure, Bob won first money in the bronc riding event at the "Veteran's Stampede" held in Calgary in 1916.
Soon after arriving in France, Carry took part in the battle of the Somme and was seriously wounded, losing his left leg. After convalescing in England, Bob returned home in 1917. His sheer determination saw him atop his favorite horse the day after he returned. Bob was a horse lover and a real horseman, and always had a great mount under him.
In 1919 Bob began riding for the Sheep Creek Stock Association looking after the cattle on the forest reserve. He continued this for 30 years while working a horse and cattle operation of his own.
Pat Nichols and Bob formed a partnership in 1926 to run the Black Diamond Stampede. This event carried on for some 20 years. In 1926 and 1927, Carry judged for the Alberta Stampede Company. He started judging rough stock events at the Calgary Stampede in 1929 and continued judging these events and chuckwagon races for nearly 20 years.
On October 3, 1940, Bob married Eileen Thom. They had two daughters, Barbara and Roberta.
Bill Collins - Contestant
Inducted - November 14, 1994
Four-time Canadian calf roping champion and Gold Card holder in the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association (now Canadian Professional Rodeo Association), Bill Collins of Calgary, AB, is a top rated horseman.
Bill's first rodeo was in 1945, as a chuckwagon racing outrider for Orville Strandquist. In 1946, he joined the Cowboys' Protective Association, was an outrider for Ron Glass and also drove wagons for Cliff Claggett.
He entered the calf roping at Calgary in 1946 which was dally roping and won the Canadian calf roping championships in 1951, '52, '56 and '57, with second place finishes in 1954, '58 and '59. He also won the wild cow milking championship in 1954.
Retiring from the rodeo arena in the late 1960's, Collins continued to pursue his interest in horses and became one of Canada's highly respected cutting horse trainers. He has won 12 open cutting horse championships, and remains a top competitor in his 70's.
In 1958 Bill established Leecoll Stables in Edmonton with his partner Leo Lemieux and a few years later took over sole ownership of the stable. Under Bill's stewardship, Leecoll Stables became the focal point of cutting and training of cutting horses and riding in Western Canada. In 1962, at Douglas Lake, BC, he instructed His Royal Highness Prince Philip on "how to cut a cow." This led to the famed Royal Tour of the Cutting Horse in England.
He sold the Leecoll Stable in 1974, moved to the Bearspaw area and started running horsemanship clinics for the University of Calgary. By 1980 he had clinics across Canada and in 1984 was presented with the Alberta Achievement Award (Cutting Horse Competition).
Bill served as President of the Canadian Cutting Horse Association in 1979 to 1981.
Bill was inducted into the Canadian Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame September 15, 1987 and was inducted into the Calgary Stampede's Pioneers of Rodeo in 1990. In 1994, he was inducted into the Canadian Rodeo Historical Association Hall of Fame. He has managed the Windy Ridge Stable at Cochrane since October 1993, until his passing.
Gordon Earl - Contestant
Inducted - August 14, 1994
Gordon Earl was one of the most outstanding cowboys that ever contested in professional rodeo. He began his rodeo career in 1946, and competed in all Five Major Events.
In 1953 he won the Canadian bull riding championship and was second in the bareback riding. The next year he captured three Canadian championships: the All Around, bareback and bull riding. In 1953 and '54 he won the bull riding at the Calgary Stampede as well as the All Around. He retired from full time competition while still a champion in the late 1950's, but the cowboy lifestyle remained his way of life. He performed at the Royal Winter Stampede in 1951 at Calgary, AB, for Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh and competed occasionally until 1967.
In 1983, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede honored Gordon with the “Pioneer of Rodeo” award.
He served as the BC Representative for the Cowboy's Protective Association for several years.
For 40 years Gordon was an active volunteer in 4H, local sports activities in the Newgate district, and later the Cranbrook Professional Rodeo committee. He also served as a Director and was a member of the BC Beef Growers as well as the Farmers Institute. In 1975 he was named Rancher of the Year by the East Kootenay Livestock Association and was a life member of the Charolais, Maine Anjou, Limousin and Simmental cattle associations of Canada.
In addition to ranching, Gordon and his wife Lorna, also raised llamas and operated a Christmas tree farm.
Gordon Earl died in the Fernie, BC, hospital June 1, 1992 at the age of 66 following a logging accident.
Wilf Girletz – Contestant
Inducted - November 12, 1994
Wilf Girletz is a three-time Canadian All-Around champion, and five-time bull riding champion, and still shares the record for most Canadian titles in this event. More recently a stock contractor specializing in bucking bulls, Wilf's bull #013 Blaster was named the bull-of-the-year in Canada for 1990, and in 1991 #00 Double Ott was voted No. 1 by the bull riders.
Raised on a farm north of Calgary, Girletz first entered the professional rodeo arena in 1946 and pocketed day money in the novice saddle bronc at High River, AB.
From there he competed steadily in rodeos across Canada and the United States winning money, trophies and recognition in the bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback, steer wrestling and calf roping. He was the Canadian bull riding champion in 1948, '50, '51 ' 52 and '55, and also captured the All-Around title in 1950, '55 and '57. He was among the top five competitors in the Canadian standings for over a decade from 1948 to 1960.
In 1957, Girletz bought a ranch north of Youngstown, AB, and together with his wife Maxine, raised a family of four. When his three sons became interested in riding, Girletz started to keep a few bulls. It was the beginning of Girletz Rodeo Stock, one of the major players in the rodeo game today.
Along with competing in the five major events, Wilf also competed in the wild horse racing and wild cow milking events. He won the Canadian wild cow milking championship in 1965 and '66.
Wilf resided in Hanna, AB, raising prize rodeo bulls, until his passing on May 17, 1995.
SPUD - Animal
Inducted into The Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame November 12, 1994
"Spud" was a steer wrestling horse that belonged to the Butterfield brothers - Brian, Bud and Tom - in the late 1950's and early '60's. He is the eighth animal to be inducted into the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame.
Bud, holder of a record six Canadian steer wrestling championships, recalls that they had to scratch to come up with the $1.000 when they bought the horse from Bill Collins. That was quite a sum of money in those days.
Spud came straight off the race track in Washington, and it was his speed that finalized the decision to make the purchase. Bud recounts that at Grand Prairie, they got a horse race going between Bill Collins on Spud and the Butterfield's Hard Twist. The race ran at about seven o'clock in the morning, and they had more people watching it than the rodeo.
There was quite a bit of money bet on the Butterfield's horse, and Spud outran him. They realized he could run, so they bought him in the spring of 1959. From then until they retired him in 1965, they rode him to six Canadian championships in Steer Wrestling. The Ponoka rancher claims that Spud was probably the best horse to ever go down the road in Canada. Butterfield recounts that the horse could be backed into the box with just a halter on. The horse's temperament was exceptional. He never got excited.
The Butterfields retired Spud from competition at the same time they left rodeo in 1965 to go into the feedlot business. When Spud passed away at the age of 28, they buried him in their practice arena.
Marty Wood - Contestant
Inducted - July 11, 1994
Marty Wood, born June 4, 1933 in Bowness, AB, the son of Harry and Dorothy Wood, was one of the most consistent saddle bronc riders ever.
Marty's kinship with horses began at an early age. His father had a pony for him when he was three years old, and Harry later operated a riding academy and traded horses where Marty schooled colts and green jumpers for his dad who recalls, "Even at 12 he was a natural.” It was only a matter of time for the teenager, with the uncanny knack of riding, to turn toward rodeo. The legendary Pete Knight, a friend of his father's was no doubt an inspiration to Marty.
In 1951, Marty rode his first contest horse at Olds, AB, and two years later took out his pro card. Occasionally riding bareback horses and bulls, Marty soon dropped these events and specialized in saddle bronc riding. His first venture across the line was Omaha, Nebraska, in 1953 when the 20-year-old unknown made six near-perfect rides and left with all the prize money.
Having made some of the sport's most sensational rides on the rankest horses, coupled with consistency, earned Marty three world championships in 1958, '64 and '66. In 1963 he was $244 short of repeating the feat. From 1958 to 1967 Marty was never less than fifth in the World standings. He won the Canadian saddle bronc championships in 1954, '55 and '63 and the Calgary Stampede championship in 1954, '57, '61 and '64.
For more than two decades Marty dominated the saddle bronc event and had won almost every major rodeo in North America. He qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in the United States from 1959 to 1974, with the exception of 1971.
Marty was honored by the Calgary Stampede as a Pioneer of Rodeo in 1988 and inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in the spring of 1994.
Marty's flashy style and tremendous ability to ride made him one of the most outstanding saddle bronc riders that has ever contested in the sport of rodeo.