Jim Clifford - Contestant
Inducted - 2009
Remembered as a colorful character both in and out of the arena, Jim tried his hand at nearly all the major rodeo events: bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding, wild cow milking and the wild horse race, an event at which he excelled and earned him the nickname “Wild Horse.” But it was bareback riding that ultimately proved the Ribstone, Alta.-native’s specialty.
Jim placed in the top four in the Canadian standings nine times between 1963 and 1975. In 1965, he won the Bareback championship title and was named High Point champion. 1965 was an exciting year for Jim, because he also won the Bareback Riding championship at the Calgary Stampede. In 1967, he represented Canadian cowboys for a season in Australia.
Jim even gave judging a go, when he was selected for the CFR in 1978.
Sadly, Jim has since passed away, but his legacy lives on through his years of spirited competition and support of his peers.
Don Dewar - Contestant
Inducted - 2009
From 1946 to 1954, Don Dewar competed in saddle bronc, steer decorating (known today as steer wrestling) and tie-down roping, so that he qualified for the All-Around title, and placed in the Canadian standings an impressive 13 times over nine consecutive years. He won the Canadian championship in the steer decorating in 1951, and placed second in the All-Around standings in 1948, 1949, 1951 and 1953.
Nearly every year from 1941 to 1945, Don was also a regular competitor competing at the Calgary Stampede in nearly every event. He placed first in round six of the Stampede’s Wild Horse Race in 1942, a feat that earned him 35 bucks.
His rodeo resume also includes a world champion title in steer wrestling from a 1950 Rodeo Association of America (RAA) event in Boston. Don resided in Ontario, until his death in November, 2017.
Claire and Lois Dewar - Builders
Inducted - 2009
Claire & Lois Dewar
The Dewar sisters grew up on a mixed ranch/farm operation in Hoosier, Sask. with their older brother – and fellow 2009 inductee – Don. Not long after the girls first learned to walk, they found themselves riding horses bareback around the homestead, and after they saw pictures of vaulting in the rodeo magazines brought home by their brother, the duo got a little more daring and started developing their own stunts.
In the early ’50s, they became the first female trick riders in Canada and performed their daring stunts at stampedes, parades and fairs across North America, working with rodeo promoters and stock contractors like Harry Vold, Reg Kesler and Jerry Myers, who the Dewars now follow into the Hall of Fame.
Lois moved to the States in 1958,but the pair continued to perform together and often competed in ladies barrel racing events. Claire was instrumental in forming the Saskatchewan Girls Barrel Racing Association, and Lois won that provincial title twice. Lois later started the Cutting Horse Futurity show in southern Alberta, now run by the Calgary Stampede. She remained on staff as barn manager until she retired. Claire helped organize the annual horse show in Fiske, Sask, not far from Rosetown, where the Dewar Sisters performed for their first paying audience. She now resides in Airdrie, Alta. They also shared their knowledge with enthusiastic trick riding students like Sandy and Leanne Short, who went on to become internationally renowned trick riders in their own right.
Jim “Wizard” Kelts - Contestant
Inducted - 2009
In 1971 Jim competed in his first rodeo as a teenager at Gooseberry Lake, near his birthplace Consort, Alta. The following year, he made his professional saddle bronc debut in Killam, Alta. as a permit holder, joining the CPRA in 1973, and at seasons end won the title: Canadian Novice Saddle Bronc Champion.
Over the course of his career, Jim was a Canadian Finals Rodeo finalist a total of fourteen times, 1973 through 1988 consecutively. A National Finals Rodeo (NFR) finalist five times competing in Oklahoma City in 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978 and again in 1984.
Jim placed fourth overall in the world standings in 1978, and ranked amongst the top four in Canada 12 times. In the 14 consecutive CFR’s he competed in, Jim finished second four times before finally winning the Canadian Saddle Bronc title in 1984. Jim competed alongside fellow contestants: Duane Daines, Clayton Hines, and Guy Shapka in the 1988 Olympics Rodeo, where he won the silver medal. A knee injury saw Jim retire in 1988 after competing in the CFR.
After retiring from active competition, Jim stayed involved in rodeo as a pickup man at many CPRA sanctioned rodeos, where he enjoys watching his son Sam compete. Jim most recently added the accomplishment of working alongside Gary Rempel, at the 2013 CFR as a pick-up man.
Jim has a daughter, Amanda who is married and lives stateside, while Jim calls Millarville, AB. home.
Ruth McDougall - Contestant
Inducted - 2009
Starting in 1983, the year ladies barrel racing joined the CPRA, Ruth placed in the top two at the CFR for eight consecutive years. Five of those years saw her win the championship title and an unprecedented three in a row from 1987 to 1989.
She was equally successful competing at the NFR in Las Vegas, Nev. She was the ladies barrel racing champion at the Calgary Stampede in 1986.
Ruther lived in Oklahoma until her passing on November 27, 2016.
Mark Wagner - Builder
Inducted - 2009
Mark Wagner has been involved in and sponsored many rodeos across western Canada. He was instrumental in helping the Luxton Pro Rodeo in British Columbia make the transition from amateur to professional. Mark helped contestants pay their entry fees, and even their way down the road if they needed help on occasion.
Additionally, Wagner owned and operated Gayland Shows (later named MF Wagner Shows), a carnival and midway business that provided entertainment in conjunction with many CPRA rodeos. Mark used some of the money earned from this venture to develop and enhance rodeo in Armstrong, B.C. MF Wagner Shows also provided financial awards to contestants through a series of rodeos that encouraged contestants to compete at rodeos they might not otherwise have entered.
Mark lost a battle with cancer in 2011 and the rodeo world lost a great supporter, but one that will always be remembered.
Wes Zieffle - Builder
Inducted - 2009
Wes was born in Medicine Hat in 1945 and worked his first rodeo when he was 14. As a contestant, he joined the CPRA in 1964 and was extremely successful competing in Steer Wrestling, Tie-Down Roping and Team Roping; however, it’s his non-competitive contributions to rodeo that have really made him a champion in the Canadian rodeo arena.
Mentor, instructor, father and friend, Wes has had many champions practice in his arena at Monitor, Alta. and never seems to tire of the action. The unselfish giving of his time, facilities and his horses has helped many young cowboys hone their skills.
Twist - Animal
Inducted - 2009
Twist started out as a rope horse until Wes Zieffle purchased him for $400 worth of oats. Trained by Zieffle as a steer wrestling horse, he was the first to receive the title of Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, an honour bestowed upon the steed in 1979, and a title he won four more times!
Twist carried many riders to the CFR, including Ben Hern, Ken Guenther and Blaine Pederson, and was featured on the CFR’s official 1982 poster.
Dave Shields Sr. - Legend
Inducted - 2009
Dave Shields Sr.
Sometimes an auctioneer, sometimes a rancher, sometimes a hunter, sometimes a pilot, sometimes an instructor, but always a cowboy and always promoting rodeo! Dave Shields Sr., like most cowboys, has never forgotten how or where he got his start. As a kid, he was a test pilot for the Calgary Stampede Ranch horses. He would get on the unridden horses to test their bucking abilities. He got 5 bucks a head! Today they use remote controlled dummies for that job! Dave went on to qualify for the CFR 11 times in the Bareback event, and turned in many a great ride. His riding skills were never in question, and although Dave never won a championship he was always in there as a contender for one all of his 17 years of competition. He even tried his hand at bull riding! Dave won the Wild Horse Championship five times at the Calgary Stampede and always had fun doing it. In 1983 at the Bruce Stampede, someone took his chaps off the fence, and he has not seen them since. Years later his son at age 4, wore his Dad’s FCA Champion buckle (one of 3 he won) to the Hand Hills Rodeo. Young Davey took the buckle off to play on the swings, and it disappeared and has not been seen since. Is there someone out there collecting Dave Shields memorabilia? Dave is not your normal cowboy. He has arrived at rodeos in a variety of ways: motorbikes, motorhomes, trucks, planes, hand gliders, and one day he plans to arrive at the Calgary Stampede in a motorboat down the Elbow River. Daredevil is a mild word when you are talking about Dave Shields. He once flew his plane 2 feet off the ground, and wouldn’t you know a cow hit the tail of the plane. Wrote off the plane - Dave was okay but the cow went to the BBQ pit. In 1987 Dave was voted the Cowboy of the Year. Sportsmanship and congeniality are necessary qualities for cowboys to exhibit in order to further the growth of rodeo. Qualities that Dave has ten fold. Dave Shields has helped many young cowboys over the years, with his knowledge and his gismos, like his bareback riding machine. Maybe its because Dave has never grown up himself that he gets along so great with the young people. He still remembers the fun that childhood brings. There is not a father around that is prouder of his son than Dave is of young Davey, and now it’s the grandkids turn to learn from Grandpa. Dave accepted his Ranchmans Silver Buckle from Keith Marrington in front of his hometown fans at Hand Hills. That same day his Mom & Dad were honored for their contributions to the Hand Hills rodeo and community, which pleased Dave so much that he gave his Legends Buckle to his Legend, his Dad to wear. Dave Shields Sr. the myth, the man, the cowboy – the Legend!
Allan Thorpe was always a threat to his competitors in the Bareback riding event. He joined the CRCA in 1962, took out his card in 1964 and entered his first pro rodeo at Lacombe. He drew Vold’s Little Beaver at that rodeo, and they had to roll him away from the gate to let the horse out, which, he laughs, should have given him a clue as to his rodeo career. But his career was no laughing matter. Allan finished in the top 5 of the Canadian Standings from 1968 to 1975. Allan served on the CRCA board as the bareback director in 1974-75, an indication of his willingness to contribute to the sport that had been good to him. In 1975 at CFR Allan was set to win the championship but the horse Creamo had other ideas. It was one more time that Allan finished in the second spot. In 1977, the quiet little cowboy with the infectious giggle won the prestigious Cowboy of the Year award. No one was more thrilled than his fellow cowboys; because they knew how hard he tried every horse and how many times he came up short for the title. Allan retired in 1978 with the comment that he couldn’t get past Trotter and when he did, Mel Hyland decided to ride bareback horses. Go figure! Allan judged a few rodeos and remembers when he judged in Montana and egged Bill Smith at the gate. Twenty years later, he attended NFR with Dale Trotter and met up with Bill. Bill told him that it sure took him a long time to get back on his feet after Allan got him at the gate in Big Timber. What a memory cowboys have! A sense of humor too! There is an old saying that bareback riders never die, they just become team ropers. Allan did a little team roping with whoever would have him as a partner - although he headed for Gerald Reber and Tom Bews. That’s not too shabby for partners. Allan passed on the Old-timers Rodeo Circuit when after attending one, a fellow competitor asked him to read the program for him. Allan figured he would stick to team roping cause his eyesight was still to good to be an old-timer! As Allan enjoys his daughters and his ranching life today he will always remember the good times of rodeo. A great life but a poor business for him, he said. Fans and competitors alike remember the talent of this likeable cowboy. Allan may have finished second in his event but he is first in the eyes of Rodeo as a Legendary Achievement recipient. He received his Ranchmans Silver Buckle from Ranchman’s Wendy Daniel at the Innisfail Rodeo.
Don Edge lived up to the myth of the western cowboy. He is the legacy of the old west of yesteryears cowboy, who with lasso and branding iron forged a future out of the raw land. Don was born in 1929 and during his lifetime was an active participant in many rodeo events including steer decorating, wild cow milking, wild horse race, and even occasionally as an outrider for chuckwagons. In 1964 Don started volunteering with the Calgary Stampede and became a shareholder of that association in 1970. He promoted rodeo anywhere he happened to be, whether he was playing & teaching polo in California, leading a trail ride through the Rocky Mountains, or in every day ranch life. Cowboy was an attitude and Don was a cowboy, one who was proud to say that he had never met a stranger. In 1947, Don was recruited to don a woman’s wig and get on a bareback horse - and buck off - all for a movie being filmed at the Calgary Stampede. “Never got paid to get bucked off before”, he would later chuckle. Don took great pride in not only being a cowboy and living like one, but in doing all he could to better his western community. Don passed away on April 2, 2007 at the age of 78. His wife Dorothy said that of all the awards Don received over his lifetime, The Legendary Achievement Award would have been his most cherished. Dorothy accepted the Ranchman’s Silver Buckle from then CRHA Vice-President Jim Dunn at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo.