1999 Inductee Contestant John Dodds.jpg

John Dodds - Contestant
Inducted - September 18, 1999

John Dodds

John Dodds was born April 17, 1948 at Ponoka, AB. He was the third of five children born to Jim and Helen Dodds, and he grew up on the family farm south of Ponoka where his father trained and traded horses.

John began his rodeo career at the age of nine, entering the boys steer riding at the High River Little Britches Rodeo. As a child, John recalls watching the Pendleton Roundup Rodeo on television, and telling his brothers that he would one day ride there – and ride there he did, winning the bull riding at this prestigious rodeo twice.

John became a member of the Cowboys’ Protective Association (now the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association) in 1965, and competed in the Bull Riding and Bareback riding events. During his career, John won four Canadian Bull Riding titles: 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1977. He qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo six times in the Bull Riding and once in bareback riding.  The years were 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980 and 1982. John also qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1971, 1972 and 1977 in Bull Riding.

On November 24, 1969, John married Lana Purcel and together they raised four children: Justin, Jamie, Jon and Bobby-Jo. Although recently returning to reside at Ponoka, John and Lana lived for many years in Morningside, AB.

John was always ready to help young cowboys, and could usually be found at the bucking chutes during the boys steer riding, giving advice, pulling ropes and often taking a beating by a chute-fighting steer. He is considered the epitome of a real cowboy, and was honored as Cowboy of the Year for the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association in 1984.

John retired from active competition after competing in the 1982 Canadian Finals Rodeo, in Bull Riding. He went on to become involved in the movie industry.  Sadly John passed away in April of 2005.

1999 Inductee Animal American Express.jpg

American Express -Animal
Inducted - September 18, 1999

American Express

American Express was raised at DeWinton, AB, by David Stevenson with the hopes of the sorrel gelding becoming a pleasure horse. He never took to the saddle, but he caught the eye of Doug Vold, as a bareback riding prospect.

In 1971, American Express made his first infield appearance at the Ponoka Stampede. Coming out of the chute with few jumps, and then falling to his knees, he showed no future as a bucking horse in the Vold string. Wayne denied him of a second chance, and decided to sell him, but due to a lack of time, and the shortfall of one amateur saddle bronc at the Benalto rodeo, the six-year-old horse lucked out. Wayne gambled and sent #50 American Express to Benalto. There, the stock contractor witnessed a new horse that was a definite saddle bronc prospect. American Express immediately became one of the regular stock on the circuit, and quickly proved his exceptional abilities.

His powerful jump and kick action in the arena prevailed through the 1971 season, and American Express was voted best saddle bronc of the Calgary Stampede, received honorable mention as bucking horse of the year for the world, and was named top saddle bronc of Canada that same year. He was also selected to perform at the 1971 National Finals Rodeo.

This was a rank bronc the cowboys loved. The 1050-pound athlete jumped and kicked clear over his head on every jump, was strong right out of the chute and consistently honest. #50 was a constant campaigner, one the cowboys could count on for a challenge each and every trip.

American Express bucked at the Canadian and National Finals Rodeo on a regular basis for many years. He was chosen a second-best bronc at the 1973 NFR, and earned the Canadian Saddle Bronc of the Year award two more times, in 1979 and 1980. American Express performed for over a decade before being retired due to old age in 1983.

1999 Inductee Contestant Malcolm Jones.jpg

Malcolm Jones - Contestant
Inducted - September 18, 1999

Malcolm Jones

Malcolm Jones was always active in sports, playing hockey and basketball. Being influenced by professional cowboys such as Harold Mandeville and Bud VanCleave, he became interested in rodeo, and began riding cows and steers on farms around Taber.

By grade 11, Malcolm’s school principal told him he would have to choose between school and rodeo. He chose rodeo and thus began a career spanning 15 years. He entered his first rodeo at Bassano, AB, in 1957 in bareback riding, and by 1961, he was competing full-time in rodeos in the United States and Canada, taking out professional memberships in both countries.

While bareback riding was Malcolm’s main event, he also competed in Steer Wrestling and Saddle Bronc riding. He finished in the runner-up position for Bareback riding in 1961 and 1962, and won the Canadian championship in 1963, 1964, 1966 and 1967. In those years and 1968, Malcolm was among the top five in Canada for the High Point Award. In 1969 and 1970 he placed second and third respectively for the All-Around Championship of Canada.

In 1963, Malcolm became the first Canadian to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in the bareback competition.  He carried on, also qualifying in 1964, 1966 and 1967.

Malcolm served as president of the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys’ Association in 1971 and 1972. During his term he was instrumental in starting the Cowboys’ Disability Fund and in laying the groundwork for the first Canadian Finals Rodeo, which was first held in Edmonton in 1974. Malcolm encouraged C.N. (Chunky) Woodward to begin the “Cowboy of the Year” award in 1970, and it has continued to be one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association each year.

In 1972, Malcolm, Ted Vayro and C.N. Woodward purchased the Perry and Hook Rodeo Company in Kamloops, BC. Their new venture was called Grasslands Rodeo Company, and it supplied stock to rodeos throughout BC. Malcolm remained an active partner until 1975

1999 Inductee Contestant Rocky Rockabar.jpg

Rocky Rockabar - Contestant
Inducted - September 18, 1999

Rocky Rockabar

Rocky Rockabar came from the Great Sand Hills of Saskatchewan, where his parents and grandparents settled in the early 1900’s. Rocky moved to Alberta in 1948 and worked as a ranch hand at several ranches in the Medicine Hat area.

Rocky had his first taste of competition in 1950 at Graburn Gap, SK, where he placed second in the saddle bronc riding. Rocky competed mostly in the United States Amateur Circuit until 1958, before joining the professional ranks in 1959, participating in saddle bronc, bull riding and steer wrestling.

Rocky qualified for the National Finals Rodeo for bull riding in 1962, the same year he won his first of three Canadian High Point championships, an honour he earned again in 1964 and 1966. Rocky also captured the Canadian title, Southern Circuit and Saskatchewan-Manitoba Circuit for saddle bronc riding in 1964. He won the Southern Circuit saddle bronc title again in 1971.

The Canadian bull riding championship eluded him, but he finished the season in second place four times, in 1962, 1965, 1966 and 1971. However, Rocky did take top honours in the bull riding for the Southern Circuit in 1964, and the Central Circuit in 1972 and 1973. Also during the mid 1960’s, he won “The Big Four Award” which included wins at Walla Walla and Ellensberg, WA, Lewiston, ID, and Pendleton, OR.

One of Rocky’s most memorable competitions was when he rode Harry Knights bull, Wildman, for 84 points to win the go-round and average at San Antonio, TX, in 1962 and earn $1,500. On June 7, 1974, at the age of 40, Rocky scored 89 points at Killam, AB, on Harvey Northcott’s #4 Stubby to set a Canadian high-point record at that time.

As a successful rodeo cowboy, Rocky chose to pass on his knowledge by instructing several bull riding schools. Rocky also served on the board of Directors of the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys’ Association from 1965 to 1971.

1999 Inductee Builder Peter Welsh.jpg

Peter Welsh - Builder
Inducted - September 18, 1999

Peter Welsh

As a young man in 1910, Peter Welsh moved from Scotland to settle on Tudesco Farms, a former Canadian Pacific Railway property near Irricana, AB. He operated the Calgary Sale Repository, one of the first livery stables in Calgary which also served as a sale ring for horses, and was a contract buyer for the CPR when horses were required for new farm settlers. Peter also owned a stable of jumping horses, and his six children were excellent riders.

One of their horses, Barra Lad, entered the show jumping record books on September 12, 1925 when he jumped over eight feet one-and-a-half inches. Tragically, 24 hours later the horse died, and Peter and his family’s career focus made an abrupt change in direction – the rodeo production business.

In less than three years, they became the biggest producers in North America. He formed the Alberta Stampede Company after borrowing $10,000 to get the business started in a big way. Midnight, considered by many to be the greatest bucking horse of all time, was the first acquisition for an astronomical price of $500. The following day he bought Tumbleweed and Bassano. With the purchase of five more head, including Dynamite and Gravedigger, the Alberta Stampede Company owned eight of the top bucking horses in the country. Later, The Gold Dust Twins and Five Minutes to Midnight were added to the string.

On the basis of this top string of stock, Peter acquired some lucrative rodeo contracts in Edmonton, New Westminster, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Columbus, OH, and Detroit, MI. He developed a travelling competitive rodeo venture with first-class equipment, professional judges and a group of Alberta cowboys. Among those Peter took with him were Pete and Harry Knight, Slim and Leo Watrin, Sykes Robinson, Jackie Cooper, Frank Sharp, Joe Fisher, Norman Edge, Dick Cosgrove and Pete Vandermeer.

After several successful years, the Alberta Stampede Company’s demise came due to financial difficulties following a disagreement between Peter and his partners. Peter Welsh died at the age of 55 undergoing an appendectomy in a Toronto hospital on July 11, 1936.