Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Announces Latest Inductees

Hello folks,

Well to say that this newsletter is late is an understatement, sorry about that. Trying to find enough time to get this done has been a challenge, my apologies to our membership.


Dr. Gary Harbin, DVM (in memoriam), inducted as a Builder.

Dr. Harbin has been associated with the Ponoka Stampede since 1974 in various roles, Director, President, founder and President of the Ponoka Stampede Youth Foundation, volunteer, and even a competitor in both saddle bronc and wild cow milking. He was instrumental in the development of the animal welfare protocols, the Ponoka grandstands, expansion of the chuckwagon track, and was always involved in looking after the rodeo stock. Brenda was lucky enough to be able to contact Dr. Harbin shortly before his passing and inform him of his induction, of which he was most pleased. I hope the family will accept our deepest condolences for their loss.

We will be presenting a plaque to the family in Ponoka, Sunday June 30thduring the afternoon perf.

Mr. Rod Hay, inducted as a competitor.

I don’t think there will be anyone out there that doesn’t know the name and the accomplishments of Rod, even non-rodeo folks know the name and the talent. Rod was the CPRA novice saddle bronc Champion in 1988, Permit Award winner in 1989 and also PRCA saddle bronc rookie of the year in 1989. He went on to compete at both the NFR and the CFR 19 times, winning the Canadian Saddle Bronc Championship 8 times, a record that stands to this day. He has won everything from the Calgary Stampede, the Alberta and Saskatchewan circuits, and many, many rodeos around North America, even including the Wildwood Bronc Bustin in his own front yard. He has supported rodeo by attending charity events like the Black Tie Bingo, has helped numerous young talents coming up and is raising some rodeo stock now.

Rod will also be presented with his plaque in the dirt at Ponoka, Sunday June 30th.

 Mr. Leon Laye, inducted as a competitor.

Leon is definitely not the largest guy in the Steer Wrestling event, but he went on show everyone that a combination of technique, talent and drive can take you to the top. He won the Canadian Steer Wrestling Championship in 1998, 18 years after getting his pro card. He qualified for the CFR 16 times in his career (once in the Calf Roping), and along the way picked up Alberta and BC circuit Championships, and numerous rodeo and tour championships. He can still be found around the arenas doing some hazing when he can get some time away from ranching.

We will be presenting Leon his plaque in the dirt at Wainwright, Saturday June 22, in the afternoon at some point during the perf.

Mr. Bob Phipps, inducted as a competitor.

Bob first bought his pro card in 1973 and qualified for the first CFR in 1974, he was a consistent competitor through the 70’s and went on to win the Canadian Bull Riding Championship in 1979. He competed on both sides of the border and had success in many places over the years. Some of the comments about Bob relate to his excellent timing and balance on a bull, his toughness as both a competitor and in riding through the pain. He went on to be a CPRA professional judge, was selected to judge at 13 CFR’s, some years at both ends of the arena, and was noted for his judging consistency. He then worked at the CPRA office for over 10 years in numerous positions (some at the same time) from Rodeo Administrator, CRES manager and the judging co-ordinator.

We will be presenting to Bob in the dirt during the afternoon perf at Lea Park, Saturday June 8.

Blue Ridge, Bareback Horse, Franklin Rodeo

In the record books he’s known as 527 Skoal’s Blue Ridge and was bareback horse of the CPRA in both 1995 and 1999, also the bareback horse of the CFR in 1996.  The high spirited grey gave it everything he had every time, was good to get on and you knew that if you did your part a big cheque would be at the end of the 8 seconds. He definitely was the one that everyone wanted to get on.

We are presenting to Shane in Sundre, Saturday June 22, during the afternoon perf.


As you have read above, Doc Harbin passed away on March 9th, 2019. He fought a valiant 3-year battle with cancer, our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Bud Butterfield passed on January 18th, 2019. He was 88 at the time of his passing. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996 after winning 6 Steer Wrestling titles from 1956 to 1963 (I believe a record that stands to this day). Our deepest sympathy extends to all his family and friends.


As usual, I have to plug our memberships. It really does us good to keep adding to our membership base, to get the word out about the Hall, to draw upon for things like our Casino fundraiser and to be able to prove to those that ask whether or not it matters for the Hall and the Association to exist.   Thank you to all of you that are members!!! Please pass the word to all you can think of, buy one as a gift, donate one as a prize at your local rodeo or community fundraiser, whatever you can think of! They are still only $50 a year or $500 for a lifetime membership.


I hope that all of you know about and have been to our new website;   Please visit it when you get a chance to, tell others about it, and let us know if there is something to fix on it, or something you might enjoy seeing on it. Also join up with our other social media platforms; Twitter    @crhahof                                                 Facebook   you never know what will be on there, Karry posted some unique items into an on-line auction that ran in March, I thank her for taking the time to do it, and to all that donated items and bought the goods as well!!!


With both the nicer weather and the rodeo season approaching fast, we can let you know now that the Hall will be open, as it is usually, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am till 4pm. Starting Tuesday June 25thwe will be open 9am till 5pm every day of the Ponoka Stampede, and then Tuesdays to Sundays for the rest of the summer from 11am till 4pm.

Please note that we will be doing the unveiling of the memorabilia on loan from our 2108 inductees at the Hall on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 25th. Keep and eye on the website or social media for more updates as we get closer to the event. We have had some interesting items up for auction during the unveiling the last few years, so please make a point of getting to it, you never know what or WHO you might see!


We are always on the look out for new sponsors, and we do need someone or a business to step up and plant their name on our Legends category. It is a $4,000 cost, and includes a sponsors table at the banquet in October (Saturday, October 19th, 2019 in Calgary….might as well get a “save the date” notice in for that too…), mentions in the dirt during their plaque presentations (even the chance to present if you would like to). It will also be prominent on our website and on display in the Hall, please contact myself or any of the board members if you have some interest and/or questions about this, or any other sponsorship you would like to propose to us.


Mr. Dale Butterwick

Dale won the Permit Award in 1969 and had a long career in both the steer wrestling and the calf roping events. After his competitive career was over, he judged a while and was regarded as a fair and able man. He has helped out at numerous rodeo’s doing everything he can in the timed end, from pushing steers and calves, to loading, sorting and even running some of them. He is also a talented trainer of both competitors, the two legged and the four-legged variety. A badly broken leg has slowed him down a bit, but you can still catch him behind the scenes helping.

We will be presenting his plaque in Coronation on Saturday, July 6th, evening performance at 6:00 pm.

Mr. Jim Lawrence

A 12-year CPRA competitor that went to the CFR 6 times, Jim travelled all across North America and won numerous events, circuits and tours along the way. He was named the CPRA Cowboy of the Year in 1991, a feat that most agree places him at the top of the rodeo world. He also had the foresight to start a bucking horse and bull program that he has been able to evolve into a world class operation that can lay claim to ranch raised buckers like Mucho Denero (CPRA Bareback hose of the Year, now owned by Wayne Vold). His company Prime Time Rodeo is now over 10 years old and he continues to raise animals and produce events throughout the Western Provinces and States.

We will be presenting Jim’s plaque at Kennedy, SK, Saturday July 20th, afternoon performance at 2:00 pm.

Just in closing, we have a few more “new” things in the hopper and will be announcing them shortly. One of them is already out there on social media, a new recognition that we have placed under an old term brought back from our past, “Notables”. Look for more on this, and more, in the next newsletter, if not maybe leaked over the internet before you see this next time.

I thank all of you for your support for the Hall of Fame!!

Courtesy of the Canadian Rodeo Historical Association



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