2001

 

2001 Inductee Contestant Mel Coleman.jpg

Mel Coleman - Contestant
Inducted - September 15, 2001

Mel Coleman

Mel Coleman started going to rodeos before he could walk. His dad was a pick-up man for Verne Franklin, and his mom was a barrel racer and timed a lot of rodeos. The rodeo life was always around them and it was all he knew, so it just seemed natural that he would end up pursuing the lifestyle himself.

His first event was the Boys Steer Riding, in Meadow Lake, SK, in 1957. It was onwards and upwards from there. He broke many Canadian records, many of which still stand.

He qualified for the CFR 20 times in Saddle Bronc, from 1974 to 1992, and again in 1995. Those 19 consecutive years of qualification are a record, and so are the 20 years total. He's been to the NFR 16 times, which is yet another record.

He was the Canadian Saddle Bronc champion seven times: in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1986, and 1989. He was the All-Around champion five times. In 1978, Mel set an arena record by scoring 91 on Kesler Rodeo's Knott Inn.

"You don't set out to break records," he said in 1989, during the peak of his rodeo career: "You set out to make a living. "

And he's not even close to being done yet. Mel currently lives down in Phoenix, AZ, and is still competing in the Team Roping with the PRCA.


2001 Inductee Contestant Steve Dunham.jpg

Steve Dunham - Contestant
Inducted - September 15, 2001

Steve Dunham

At the age of nine, Steve was showing Quarter Horses at shows all around Alberta. During this time, he was also riding in the Little Britches Rodeos, competing in the Calf Roping and Steer Riding, then later in the Bareback and Saddle Bronc. At the age of 15 he entered in his first Bareback event and won.  His rodeo career had begun.

He started attending rodeo schools in Bareback, Saddle Bronc, Bull Riding and Calf Roping before choosing Bareback as his main event. He competed in High School Rodeo, then the Foothills Cowboy Association and in 1976 he took out his pro card.

He won the Calgary Stampede $50,000 in 1982 and in 1986 split the $50,000 with Robin Burwash after an exhausting four-bronc ride-off.

He went to the CFR eighteen times and was Canadian Bareback champion five times. He won the Canadian All-Around title twice and in 1990 was a Triple Crown winner; winning the Bareback, All-Around and High Point titles. That distinction has yet to be achieved by another cowboy. Steve was equally impressive south of the border. He qualified for the National Finals nine times. In 1985, he went into the National Finals in second spot, and finished fifth in the world.

In 1982 he was awarded the Guy Weadick Memorial Trophy and was chosen as CPRA Cowboy of the Year in 1985.

Steve now ranches at his home in Turner Valley and is part owner and trainer of Dunham Stables. Turner Valley mayor and council honoured Steve by naming the street near his home “Dunham Lane”.


2001 Inductee Contestant Robin Burwash.jpg

Robin Burwash - Contestant
Inducted - September 15, 2001

Robin Burwash

At a very early age, Robin wasn't exactly sure what he wanted to do. He would get on his stick horse and fold the kitchen cupboard doors around to make a chute. Then he would rodeo for hours at a time. He was the announcer, bucking horse rider, and judge. But when they tried to get him to ride the calves around home, Robin just wasn't ready.

He eventually got on his first bareback horse at the age of 13 years, made the whistle, but failed to mark the horse out. That didn't matter to Robin though, he was hooked.

In 1981 Robin made his first of 14 CFR appearances, and went on to score on every horse in those 14 years. In 1983 he won his first Canadian title, and followed that up with more wins in 1984, 1987 and 1989. 1983 also marked the first of 11 trips to the NFR.

1988 was the most memorable for Robin, when he won Canada's only individual gold medal in rodeo at the Olympics against the U.S.

1989 was a banner year for Robin. He won the Calgary Stampede $50,000, he was season leader in Canada, and finished second in the world at the NFR.

The awards Robin won outside the arena are some of his most cherished. He won the Guy Weadick award in 1987, Cowboy of the Year in 1988, and was Fan Favourite and the NFR in 1990. 


2001 Inductee Builder Bill Kehler.jpg

Bill Kehler
Inducted - September 15, 2001

Bill Kehler

The Rodeo Voice of the Calgary Stampede, Bill Kehler came to each performance with firsthand knowledge of the sport. And he'd be the first to tell you he's “living a dream”.

"Early on I announced to my parents that I was going to be a cowboy," he said. "But at the age of eight I changed my mind and decided I was going to be a radio announcer. "

Kehler spent over 37 years in the broadcast industry, eventually announcing special events full time.

"I have been interested in rodeo and other horse related events all my life. I was announcing many events during weekends, not enjoying any time off. I decided it was one or the other, and this is the one I chose."

Bill's love of the sport was always obvious through his enthusiastic interpretation of the events in the arena. Since he traveled extensively on the rodeo trail, he knew and is known and respected by practically all of the cowboys.

2001 marked Bill’s 26th year at the Calgary Stampede, and his 15th at the CFR. His duties as a 'special events announcer' have taken him across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Bill  hosted many prestigious events, such as the duMaurier International at Spruce Meadows near Calgary, the World Cup Finals in Del Mar, CA, and the Horse of the Year Show in London, England.

Bill made his home in CaIgary, but always added, with a wry smile: "I have an address in Calgary, but I live wherever there's a rodeo."   Rodeo lost a great voice and ambassador when Bill passed away June 16, 2003. 


2001 Inductee Animal Lonesome Me.jpg

Lonesome Me - Animal
Inducted - September 15, 2001

Lonesome Me

Lonesome Me was just a foal when Rex Logan found him in a mud hole, so that's what he was named - Mud Hole. In 1984 Rex Logan consigned him at a bucking horse sale in Hobemma, the Calgary Stampede bought him, renamed him Lonesome Me, and started bucking him.

Bill Boyd was at that same bucking horse sale. 'Rex told him there was a horse he wanted Bill to get on. and Bill recognized the horse right away. It was one Rex told him two weeks earlier he wouldn't be able to ride. Well, Rex was right -- Lonesome Me bucked and Bill was on the ground.

Lonesome Me was a CFR and NFR selection from 1984 right up to 1997. In that time, he won numerous other distinctions. He was Canadian and world champion four times, CFR champion four times, and NFR champion once.

He started out as a bareback horse and ended his career as a saddle bronc horse. One event was not necessarily better than the other for the bay gelding, though; his four world championships were split between the two events.

"That's the fourth world buckle for him,” Calgary Stampede manager Winston Bruce said back in 1994. "He's won two as a saddle bronc and now two as a bareback horse. I have to think that record will stand for a long, long time.

Lonesome Me made a career bucking for 16 years, and was retired in 2000. 


2001 Inductee Contestant Dick Nash.jpg

Dick Nash
Inducted - September 15, 2001

Dick Nash

While growing up in Saskatchewan, Dick had many jobs, many of which were of the agricultural nature. One of these jobs was as pasture manager for Fritz Paton, the man who raised many of the countries premiere bucking horses of his era. This is where Dick developed his interest in rodeo.

Dick left home at 16 years old and started rodeo as a bareback rider.
He rode in all the major events until he broke his tailbone, then he had to give up bareback riding. He turned pro in the early 1950s, and competed in four major events:
Saddle Bronc, Bull Riding, Steer Wrestling and occasionally Calf Roping.

In 1956 he became the first Saskatchewan born cowboy to win the Canadian Bull Riding and All-Around championships. That same year he was runner-up in the Saddle Bronc and he won the Calgary Stampede. In 1960, Dick broke his back and was sidelined from competition for the rest of the year. It was then he decided to judge rodeos, so he could remain involved in the sport.

Dick was married to Joanne Powellin 1956 and they took up residence in Turner Valley, AB. Together they had five children, three of which continued on with the rodeo and western lifestyle. Dick was killed in a rodeo accident on June 10, 1961. He was kicked and stepped on by a bronc named Wagon Wheel, breaking his ribs, and severing an artery. He left behind a legacy that has been followed by his family and accomplishments that rodeo followers are proud of.


2001 Inductee Animal Wilfred.jpg

Wilfred
Inducted - September 15, 2001

Wilfred

When Verne Franklin was driving to a bucking horse sale at Innisfail, he already had his mind made up that he was going to buy a certain little black angus bull. Wilfred, who was about four years old at the time, was being sold by Dale Rose, and didn't buck at first. All of a sudden he started turning back, and word was out that he was a rank bull.

Shane Franklin said Wilfred didn't look like he could amount to much at first, but that's just what he did. When he matured, that little black angus reached between 1,600 - 1,700 lbs.

Wilfred had a bit of a reputation for being one ornery bull in the chutes. He would turn back right in the gate, and turn right as sharp and as tight as he could. Every ride was a replicate of the last time he bucked. It was like watching an instant replay every time, but he was one tough bull to stay on.

He was bucked a lot, but when he wasn't being bucked he was quiet. Shane said the secret to Wilfred's success was that he didn't care who or what was around him. He was just as content as an animal could be, laying in his pen and minding his own business, so he never got tired.

Wilfred was bucked for twelve years, which is phenomenal for a bull, The average career for a good bull is about seven years. Wilfred was eventual1y retired in 1983.