Laurence Bruce - Builder
Inducted - July 10, 1995
Laurence Bruce was only six years old when his parents decided to move the family, in a covered wagon, from Nebraska. The trek covered five states and two provinces and eventually ended in Donalda, Alberta where they settled. It was here where Laurence became interested in horses and rodeo.
In the 1920s he started to compete in the calf roping and saddle bronc events and occasionally in the wild horse race.
He supplied stock to the Battle River, Stettler, Ponoka, Bruce and other central Alberta rodeos from the 1920s to the 1950s. Some of his more notable rough stock included: Grizzly Sal, Brownie, Sonny Boy, Dynamite and Baby Doll. Amazingly, most of Laurence’s rough stock were broke to work and many were sold to other stock contractors in Canada and the United States.
In the early days, Laurence was considered the local veterinarian around Donalda and Forestburg, Alberta, organizing many local roping clubs in the early 1950s. He also started the Hastings Coulee 4H Club. He was one of the organizers of the Central Alberta Stampede Association. Laurence won the calf roping at Czar, Alberta in 1952 which was the last rodeo he competed in. Laurence had the ability and the pleasure of coaching such notable rodeo contestants as Jerry Ambler, Lyle Smith, Bob Robinson and his two sons, Winston and Duane. His coaching theory was balance instead of strength and learning how to fall is as essential as learning how to ride.
In 1957, Laurence moved to Calgary and became a Brand Inspector for the Calgary Stockyards.
Laurence was born June 11, 1896 in Chardron, Nebraska and was the father of Clayton, Winston and Duane. He passed away on August 18, 1962.
Winston Bruce - Contestant
Inducted - July 10, 1995
Calgary Stampede Rodeo Manager, Winston Bruce, was an outstanding professional rodeo athlete for 15 years.
The son of former stock contractor, and old time saddle bronc rider, Laurence Bruce, Winston was born October 27, 1937 in Settler, Alberta. He grew up around cowboys, bucking horses and rodeos.
Winston fulfilled all the predictions that he would become a champion saddle bronc rider by winning the Novice Bronc riding event in 1954 and '55, the Canadian Saddle Bronc championship in 1957 and '58 and the World title in 1961. He also won the bronc riding at both Calgary and Cheyenne in 1959. Bruce rode with an unbelievably smooth spurring action and had a near- perfect sense of balance on a bucking horse.
Bruce was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame at Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1989 as a saddle bronc rider and served on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Board of Directors for four years.
In 1968, he moved from one facet of rodeo: Contestant, to another: Assistant Arena Director of the Calgary Stampede. He became Division Manager for the Stampede, supervising the production of the rodeo and the rodeo stock breeding program.
Winston passed away on July 10, 2017 during the Calgary Stampede. One of rodeo’s greatest, Winston was honored the following day by the “Greatest Show on Earth”.
Lee Farris - Contestant
Inducted - August 2, 1995
Lee Farris was born at his grandmothers home in North Dakota, April 19, 1908. He immigrated, with his family, to Swan Valley, Alberta in 1913.
Lee became interested in riding at a very young age. He is remembered for trying out the horses the other children had ridden to school, during the noon hour, for their bucking abilities.
In 1924, Ernest Sloan, John (Lee's Step Father) and Lee went to the United States looking for work. In the fall the men returned home to their families, but Lee, now 16-years-old, stayed behind and began his rodeo career. At that time there were very few rodeo contestants from Canada who rode in the United States, so it wasn't long before Lee had earned the title "Canada Kid."
Two of Lee's good friends were Guy Weadick, originator of the Calgary Stampede, and Pete Knight, another great rodeo cowboy. Because there wasn't much prize money in rodeo at that time, Pete and Lee often decided before their rides to split any money won, therefore giving themselves a better chance of having money to continue on with.
During the Calgary Stampede of 1929, Lee was injured quite seriously. He was riding a long-horned steer when one of the horns hit him in the right eye. He somehow managed to finish his ride and won first money for the day. He never regained sight in his injured eye.
In 1930, he came back to Kinuso with a boxcar of wild horses and staged one of the first rodeos in the area.
Lee won many awards and trophies. Some of them were: the Canadian All Around Champion 1928 and 1929; Steer Riding Champion 1928 and the Bareback Riding Champion of 1930 and 1931 at the Calgary Stampede.
He died at the early age of 34 on January 18, 1943 and was laid to rest in Hayward, California.
Gid Garstad - Contestant
Inducted - September 2, 1995
Standing 6'2", Gid was one of the outstanding bull riders of his time. His rodeo career started in 1956 and from 1957 to 1968, Gid was never less than fifth in the Canadian standings. He won the Canadian championship in 1958, '59, '64, '65 and 1966 and also won the Canadian All Around championship at the Calgary Stampede. Gid won the bull riding event at the Calgary Stampede in 1958, '65 and '66. He qualified for and competed at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, OK, in 1966 where he finished tenth in the world standings.
Garstad, Leo Brown and Wilf Girletz share the record for the most Canadian titles in the bull riding, which is five. Along with Wilf, Gid also shares the record for three consecutive titles.
This versatile competitor also competed in the saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and the steer wrestling.
He was the first recipient of the CN Woodward “Cowboy of the Year” Award in 1970 and was presented with the Calgary Stampede's “Guy Weadick Memorial” Award well.
Gid, a former President of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association was also one of the first people to manage the Central Rodeo Entry System.
Gid was born September 11, 1936 and was raised in the Coronation and Veteran AB area.
On completing his rodeo career, Gid operated a trucking business, was a farrier and a horse trader in the Turner Valley and Okotoks area where his family settled until his death October 19, 1985 in Calgary.
Transport - Animal
Inducted into The Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame November 11,1995
Verne Franklin’s legendary horse. Transport, was long considered by cowboys to be one of the best draws at any rodeo.
Verne bought the horse from his cousin, Neil Franklin, in 1970 and the animal went to his first rodeo in Silver Lake, SK that same year.
The highest marked saddle bronc ride in CPRA and PRCA history was made by Doug Vold, 95 points at the Meadow Lake Stampede in 1979 on this famous horse. The second highest marked ride at the time was 92 points, also atop Transport, by Joe Marvel at the Calgary Stampede, in 1976.
Transport was at every Canadian Finals Rodeo from 1974 until his retirement in 1991. He was at the National Finals Rodeo 15 years and was named best bronc in 1973. Three times during his career, Transport was named best saddle bronc at the Calgary Stampede
After a bucking career that spanned 21 years, Transport's last rodeo was at the Canadian Finals in 1991 where he was officially retired. He was moved to a retirement facility near Rocky Mountain House, AB, and died in the spring of 1993 at the age of 32. While there have been a number of great Verne Franklin horses and bulls over the years, none epitomizes the excellence of the Franklin stock any better than Transport.
Dale “Trapper” Trottier - Contestant
Inducted into The Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame November 11, 1995
Dale Trottier or “Trapper” as he was more commonly known as, was a bareback phenomenon. Born on January 17, 1944 in Black Diamond, AB, Trapper began his rodeo career in 1963 at Teepee Creek, AB. Initially, Dale competed in Bareback, Novice Saddle Bronc and Wild Horse Racing, but it was in 1967 at Grimshaw, AB when he generated his first professional winnings in the Bareback riding.
For thirteen years, from 1968 to 1980, Trapper was never less than fourth in the Canadian standings. He holds the record for bareback championships in Canada: seven times, including most consecutive, from 1969 to 1974 and again in 1978.
He qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo eight times beginning in 1974 to 1981.
By 1968, he was in fierce competition with the best in the business at the National Finals Rodeo, then held in Oklahoma City, OK. Two years later, in 1970 Trapper was the only Canadian to compete at the NFR and qualified for the NFR again in 1972.
Dale was the CPRA bareback riding Director in 1972 and 1973 and in 1983 was awarded the coveted C.N. Woodward Cowboy of the Year award.
Before embarking on his rodeo career, Dale made his living with a registered trap line he bought when he was 15 years old near Valleyview, AB, hence his nickname "Trapper".
While Trapper went on to actively teach and coach young bareback riders, he also acquired a commercial flying license. Now retired from the rodeo circuit, he operates his own airplane service.