Dee Butterfield - Contestant
Dee Watt was raised on a working cattle ranch, just west of Williams Lake, BC, at a place called Big Creek. She started riding at age 3 and by age 4 she was wrangling on 30 mile cattle drives. At age 11 she learned about barrel racing from a book by Jane Mayo. She entered her first rodeo at age 12 and was a serious competitor at the age of 14. Able to ride and rope as well as any man, she earned the nickname of “Cowboy” from the local Native cowboys.
Dee also rode English until the age of 16, as her grandmother had the first English riding academy in Western Canada. She trained and raced her own horses, competing in the amateur circuits and the CGRA where she collected 15 championships.
When Dee was 18 she held her first barrel racing clinic and instantly had a passion for teaching.
Dee qualified for the first CFR, in 1974. The next year she moved to Alberta and qualified for the NFR. In the 80's, Dee married Craig Butterfield and Ponoka became her home. Craig and Dee soon started to focus on their horse breeding program, looking to produce great barrel horses.
In 1992 Dee Butterfield was crowned Canadian Champion Barrel Racer. 1994 would be Dee's 11th and final year as a CFR contestant. During those 11 finals, she had qualified on 5 different horses.
Dee has served as a director of the BC IRA board and the CGRA board. She was the first barrel racing director of the CPRA and was instrumental in barrel racing getting equal money as the major events.
In 1975, Dee was named Canadian Pro Rodeo Woman of the Year during International Women's Year celebrations. In 2006 she was the recipient of the Bill Kehler Award at the Ponoka Stampede.
Dee teaches clinics across Canada, the US and Australia. Her students have included World Champion Lindsay Sears, Calgary Stampede Champion Jill Besplug, and Canadian Champion Gaylene Buff. Her students have ranged in age from 4 years to 65 years.
Dee Butterfield is a remarkable horsewoman and a legend in the world of barrel racing.
Jim Freeman - Contestant
The first rodeo Jim Freeman entered was his hometown of Olds, as a local entry in the Bareback Riding. There he borrowed equipment from Jim Clifford who was the best in the business at the time.
Jim was born in Camrose, AB. The family later moved to Ft. St. John, BC and then to settled in the Olds/Torrington area of Alberta.
Jim rode steers and then wanted to be a bronc rider. He rode saddle bronc and bareback in the FCA and rode a few bulls too. Years later he would be instrumental in starting the rodeo program at Red Deer College and SAIT in Calgary.
Jim began his pro rodeo career as a Bull rider in 1973. That year he won the Permit Award in Canadian Professional Rodeo. At the very first CFR in 1974, Jim Freeman was declared the Canadian Champion Bull Rider.
Jim's ride on Weatherly's Homer scored 92 points, and was the first bull ride at the Calgary Stampede to be in the 90's. He rode Vold's -22 at the Bruce Stampede for 93 points. Jim could rope calves well and his name would appear in the All Around standings. He was the Bull Riding Champion of the Central Circuit in 1975, and the Southern Circuit in 1976. He won 2nd in the Canada vs US challenge.
In 1982 Jim was awarded the CN Woodward Cowboy of the Year honor. He served on the CPRA board from 1978 to 1982 and was the 1981-1982 Director of Marketing for the CPRA. Jim was a Wrangler Pro Official and judged the CFR in 1981, 1983 and 1986.
Jim Freeman was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the Canadian Government in 1988. This was for his contribution in making the '88 Calgary Olympic Rodeo a reality.
Always being a humanitarian and having close ties to the Sundre area, Jim coordinated the search and worked tirelessly when the plane carrying Gary Logan, Brian Claypool, Lee Coleman and Calvin Bunney went down in 1979. For this, the families, friends and rodeo community thank this talented and giving individual.
Junior - Animal
Owned by J.W. (Bearman) Campbell
In 1967, Jim “Bearman” Campbell bought a big, sorrel gelding from World Champion tie-down roper Junior Garrison for $2500. The horse was immediately named “Junior” and Jim knew right away that he had bought something special. He just didn't know how special that the horse would become.
Jim hauled Junior to rodeos in Canada and the US, mounting many of the top ropers from both countries. Phil Lyne, Jeff Copenhaver, Bob Ragsdale, Paul Tierney and Roy Cooper all paid mount money for the use of Junior over the years.
Kenny McLean rode Junior to win his 1972 Canadian championship as well as his 1972 title at the Calgary Stampede. In 1973, Tom Ferguson won the Calgary Stampede while riding Junior. Barry and Roy Burke, Lee Cochrell, Larry Ferguson and Bearman all rodeo Junior in Calgary that year and Junior earned the award of the Best Rope Horse.
In 1974, Kenny McLean, Bob Rusk and Bearman rode Junior at the CFR. Roy Groves and Junior seta Canadian record of 8.4, at the time, at Calgary's Rodeo Royal.
Kenny McLean, Lorne Wells, Gerald Reber and Jim Gladstone were all Canadian champions who rode this horse often and made money consistently. Junior liked his job and worked a rope extremely well.
For many years Jim drove a 1968 International truck and pulled an online single horse trailer. People often commented that it was a $500 truck hauling around a $2500 horse.
Jim retired Junior in 1980 and the gelding lived out the rest of his years on the family ranch west of Olds.
Junior died in 1996 and Jim buried him on a spot overlooking the Dog Pound Creek.
Greg Cassidy - Contestant
Raised on the family farm a few miles southeast of Donalda, AB, Greg Cassidy's main influence was his father Charles “Spitz” Cassidy. Greg started out riding steers and in 1976 he began entering the timed events. He bought his pro card in 1978 and never looked back.
Greg qualified for the CFR 10 times in the Tie-Down Roping and 13 times in the Steer Wrestling. Over the years he won 6 Canadian championships. These included the Steer Wrestling titles in 1985, 1987, 1988 and 2000. He won the Hi Point title in 1987 and 1988.
At the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics he won a silver medal in the Tie-Down Roping and a bronze medal in the Steer Wrestling. He was the only contestants there in two events.
Greg Cassidy won the $50,000 bonus in the Calgary Stampede Tie-Down Roping in 1984. He twice won the $50,000 bonus in the Steer Wrestling there, those years being 1990 and 2001. He is the only contestant, to date, to have won the bonus there in two different events.
Greg was named Cowboy of the Year in 1992. He spent 7 years as the Tie-Down Roping director and 6 years as president of the CPRA.
Greg had the unique experience of twice competing at the CFR against both of his sons, Curtis and Cody.
Harris Dvorkin - Builder
Harris Dvorkin grew up dividing his time between South Calgary and the family farm near Rumsey, AB. He was adopted and raised by his grandparents. His stepfather, Dan Rosenthal, also played an important role in his life. Dan introduced Harris to people like Hank Willard of the chuckwagon world. At an early age, Harris developed a passion for the cowboy way of life.
His city home was next to a livery stable and Harris rode Shetland ponies that his grandfather had bought. Harris graduated from Western Canada High School and then tried university where he studied pre-med for a short time. He soon realized that he was more inclined to find success in the restaurant business.
He worked as a Leasing Manager for United Property Management, later worked for Allarco Developments and as General Manager of the Beachcomber Restaurant in downtown Calgary. At the Beachcomber he started up Alberta's first real night club and he even hired Tiny Tim for the first act.
Harris continued to form friendships with prominent members of the rodeo world. These included Wayne Vold, Gid Garstad, Buddy Heaton, the Crowchilds and the Gladstones.
The Beachcomber burned down offering the opportunity to build a steakhouse on the south end of Macleod Trail. That steakhouse would be the Ranchman's and Kevin Baker would be Harris Dvorkin's business partner. The popularity of the establishment grew with it being the home of the Wayne Vold Show in the 1970's.1976 saw a need for expansion and the Saddle Room was opened. In 1995, a renovation brought the seating capacity up to 1050.
The Ranchman's has been Calgary's Country Music Assocations Club of the Year a total of 6 times. It has been named CCMA's Country Club of the Year 9 times. Many of country's biggest names have played there. It has also been the setting for many movies and has been host to the Ranchman's Renegades PBR Bullbustin' which takes place on the parking lot. This event has been a major fundraiser for the Project Warmth Society and the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Center.
Harris Dvorkin was co-founder of the CPRA's Cowboy Benefit Fund. He was instrumental in having the Boys Steer Riding be part of CFR and he helped to get Ladies Barrel Racing recognized as a major event, receiving equal prize money. For many year Harris sponsored the LBR bronze to the champion and breast collars to the contestants. Ranchmans has sponsored CPRA season leader saddles for bronc riders and bull rider as well as steer riding awards.
Harris Dvorkin was on the Calgary Stampede committee for 21 years and was also a member of the Alumni Committee. On March 21, 2017 Harris received the Calgary Stampede Life Member designation.
The Ranchmans has hosted several benefit events for cowboys and cowgirls faced with hard times. Harris estimates that over $2 million has been raised for contestants and for charity causes over the years.
Sadly, Harris lost his battle with cancer on April 10, 2017.
Pearl Mandeville - Builder
A beautiful city girl from Winnipeg, Pearl Mandeville met and married Hall of Fame cowboy Harold. Her passion for fashion helped to improve the image of rodeo in Canada. She regularly won best dressed awards, wearing outfits that she had designed and sewn.
Starting riding at the age of 27, Pearl began competing in 1957. She won the barrel racing title in Edmonton 3 times, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat once each. She won the Southern Alberta Riding and Roping Association title and served as their secretary for 2 years. She brought in world champion Ardith Bruce to hold a clinic for young cowgirls.
Three times Pearl won the Southern Alberta Cutting Horse Championship in the Ladies Division. Making herself available to committees and contractors, Pearl proudly claimed that she likely carried more flags for grand entries and parades than anyone in rodeo.
Pearl Mandeville timed nearly every rodeo in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as the Expo 67 rodeo in Montreal. She was one of the official timers at the first CFR in 1974.
Pearl often judged the Miss Rodeo Canada contest and served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the ladies fashion show held during CFR, while she supplied some of her own vintage rodeo clothing for the models to wear.
This busy lady organized and participated in many trips to various hospitals. She was also the promotional director for the first year that Alberta had a High School Rodeo Association.
Pearl did Sunday morning radio broadcasts for her hometown station, giving rodeo results. A picture of the Mandeville family was used as a GWG advertisement and appeared on the back cover of rodeo programs for several years.
In 1964 the top 4 eastern barrel racers competed against the top 4 from the west. This contest took place in Maple Leaf Gardens as part of the Toronto Rodeo. Pearl won 8 of the 9 rounds.
On the way home from Toronto, Pearl mentioned to Harold that everyone would likely be asking her about the rodeo. Harold asked her why she didn't make up a little newsletter. This conversation started in Manitoba and by the time the Mandeville's reached Regina, they were planning a newspaper which they would call the Canadian Rodeo News.
They had no formal training in printing a paper. They decided to have it printed in Taber, as they offered the best deadline. Harold and Pearl wanted the information to be as current as possible. They also got a paper postage rate by sending it from where it was printed. The paper was printed twice a month and there was also a yearly wrap-up Championship Edition book. The Mandeville's were doing this with no cell phone, no computers, not fax machines, no email, and no digital photos.
The family gathered the information, typed, proofed, folded and mailed the paper, all by hand. Once the papers were addressed, they were sorted for the different towns and cities. Pearl also sold advertising spots to help defer the costs. A copy of Canadian Rodeo News at that time sold for 25 cents!
As soon as one edition was done, it was time to start the next. Harold and Pearl eventually bought an electric typewriter which helped speed things up somewhat.
In 1968, Canadian Rodeo News was sold to the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association.
The paper provided standings, stories and information to contestants, committees, contractors and fans for decades and Pearl Mandeville was behind it all!
Charlie Chick - Legend, Inducted 2015
Charlie Chick was born on August 15, 1921 at Gadsby, Alberta. He was one of 7 children to grow up on the family farm which he eventually bought and raised his family on. As a young child he rode the arms off the rocking chairs and his parents had a blanket on the banister so he could use it as his horse. He watched his first rodeo when he was 11 and he was hooked! At about the age of 15 he left home and set out to seek his fortune in rodeo. His first win was in 1936 when he won the steer riding at Content Bridge. He won the Hand Hills Lake Stampede riding bulls and broncs and the bareback title of the Ponoka Stampede. His first big cheque was for $123 at the Kirkpatrick Lake Stampede in 1945. He won back to back outriding championships at the Calgary Stampede in 1946 and 1947, riding for Ronnie Glass and Johnnie
Phelan. In those days, he would compete in the afternoon rodeo and outride in the evenings. Between 1947 and 1951, Charlie Chick placed in the top 5 of the Canadian Bareback standings 4 times. In 1949 he was second by a heartbreaking $32. The 40's were very successful for Charlie, and he was also riding and winning south of the border. He won the Pendleton Roundup in 1948. In 1949 he competed at Madison Square Gardens. He also competed at the Boston Gardens. He even had a chuckwagon outfit in BC. At many rodeos, he and Art Shannon would race horses against mules. They sometimes let the mules win, which always was a crowd pleaser. Charlie was even a fashion model. When he was outriding for Orville Strandquist, they did an advertisement for GWG Jeans. Charlie Chick retired from competition after the 1952 season but he came back for one final ride at the Gadsby rodeo in 1971 when he was 49 years of age. This versatile cowboy was also a stunt double for a “lady cowgirl” in a movie. He tried judging rodeos for a while but that wasn't really for him. He wasn't really keen on the politics of it. He enjoyed serving on rodeo committees, promoting what he called, “the greatest physical sport of all” .... man against beast. He had respect and appreciation for the bucking stock, and was proud of how well they were cared for. He told the story that in 1939 Del Wing bucked him off at the old Britton Rodeo, north of Halkirk, Alberta. Then 10 years later, in 1949 Del Wing bucked him off at St. Paul, Minnesota! In the late 80's Charlie started buying more horses and the farm turned into a full-fledged quarter horse ranch. This new interest brought him years of pride and joy and in 1999 what was to be his dispersal sale should have been called his half dispersal as he still had roughly 30 horses at home. But he did sell his prize stud “The Hawkeye” as well as his other stud Hawkeye 5 along with 48 mares, fillies and geldings. Charlie Chick had several special qualities. He never forgot a name and he always said he had never met a stranger. He had a great respect and trust in people and had many lifelong friendships. Charlie Chick passed away in November of the year 2000, leaving behind a legacy of legendary achievements in the pioneering days of Canadian rodeo.
Kenton Randle - Legend Inducted 2015
Born in 1960, Kenton Randle, also known as Rugged, began his rodeo career at the age of 5, racing horses at the local rodeo. At age 10 he started entering the steer riding in the NRA and became known as the Pay Window Kid. Early in his career you would find Kenton entered in the 3 rough stock events in every amateur association across Alberta. In 1980, Kenton went further south and began competing in the IRCA and eventually bought his pro card. He did this with the support and encouragement of his future wife, Audrey. Kenton gave 100% at everything he did, whether it was rodeo, or hauling logs, horseback riding, or showing his 3 sons traditional hunting skills. Kenton organized schools to teach his own sons and other potential young cowboys. In 1986 he was asked to judge Manning and Rocky Lane rodeos. Kenton caught the rodeo bug again, went back to the IRCA and after a few month he decided it was time to go back to the CPRA as well, riding in both associations. Kenton qualified for his first CFR in 1993 and tried to ride while injured. He underwent surgery on his shoulder and slowed down. In 1996 he decided to only ride in the CPRA and focus on the CFR. Over the years Kenton won the IRCA 5 times, the NANCA Season Leader twice,I NFR 4 times and in 1996 was named IRCA's Cowboy of the Year. In 1999 he broke the Canadian record in Bareback, with a score of 91. In 1988 he won both the Dodge and Brahma Tours. In 2001 he won both Alberta and Saskatchewan Circuit titles and in 1998 and 2002 he won the BC Circuit. He was twice the runner up to the Canadian title and he was twice the season leader of the CPRA. He qualified for the CFR 7 times. He was proud to ride at the 2002 Olympic Rodeo in Salt Lake City. In 1998 Kenton was the PRCA Bareback Rookie of the Year at the age of 38!
In 2002, Kenton was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Going against the advice of his doctor, he still competed that year and qualified for the CFR. However, a surgery in late September and daily treatments forced him to withdraw from competition. He attended the CFR that year, helping and supporting his traveling partners. Sadly, Kenton Randle passed away on November 23, 2003. One year later, the CPRA came up with the Kenton Randle Bareback Series, in honor of Rugged's career and contributions. Kenton “Rugged” Randle was a true Lengend in Canadian Rodeo.