Well-known rodeo stock contractor Harvey Northcott has been named as a 2012 inductee into the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in the Builders category.
Northcott, who died in 2010, was known all over Alberta and British Columbia as a supplier of quality rodeo stock, but he was so much more than that, according to Judi Wilson, secretary-treasurer for the board of the Canadian Rodeo Historical Association (CRHA).
“(Harvey) was a unique individual, in that he was liked by people from every aspect of rodeo,” she said. “I don’t think anyone had a bad word to say about him. It’s still hard to think of him in the past tense. He is sorely missed by his rodeo family and it’s a big one.”
Wilson said Northcott, worked in rodeo for about 50 years and helped get several rodeo events started, including the Leduc Black Gold Rodeo in 1969. Harvey Northcott Rodeo Stock Contractors, in Caroline, has always been the stock supplier for the Leduc rodeo.
The Northcotts have such a connection with the Black Gold Rodeo that they asked to have the official announcement of Harvey’s induction take place in Leduc. A special presentation will be made during its June 2 rodeo performance.
Leduc Black Gold Rodeo Association president Dave Rock was friends with Northcott for many, many years. Dave remembers him as one of the greatest men he has ever known or worked with.
“There was no need for a contract with Harvey,” Rock said. “Just a Budweiser and a handshake and the deal was done. Thanks to the Northcotts, we never had a bad rodeo, it was always first class.”
Rock recalled how Northcott would try to calm him down when he was stressing about an upcoming rodeo, whether some small details might have been overlooked, etc. “But Harvey would always say, ‘Nobody will even notice, just carry on.’”
Asked how Northcott might have reacted to being inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame, Wilson figured he’d probably say he didn’t deserve it. His focus was always on his stock, she added.
“He loved his animals,” she said, noting that he was proud to see his horse, Wyatt Earp, inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2010 and his bull Stubby inducted in 2005. Thanks to a proven breeding program, Northcott Rodeo has produced plenty of champions over the years, including at least 10 bulls and Get Smart, the Canadian Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
Ace Northcott said his dad would have been proud of the induction and the family is thrilled with the honour. Harvey loved rodeo, the competitors, the livestock, just everything about it.
“Most of my memories are growing up rodeo,” Ace said. He describes his dad as an easy going guy and a people person with an amazing memory for faces.
Wilson said it’s fitting that Harvey Northcott will be inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2012, which is the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede and will also see the grand opening of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame building in Ponoka on June 30.
The Rodeo Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for 2012 will take place at the Coast Plaza Hotel in Calgary on Oct. 20. Every year the CRHA board chooses five contestants, one builder and one animal for induction into the Rodeo Hall of Fame. She said that a nominee must get at least 75 per cent approval from the board — Northcott got 100 per cent.
“Harvey is missed,” Dave said. “It was a sad day when I got the call that he had passed away, but he is in a better place. Harvey, hats off, rest in peace until we meet again and God bless.”
This year’s other inductees are contestants Roger Lacasse, Cliff Williamson, Rod Warren, Mark Roy and Elaine Watt, along with Grated Coconut, a six-time world champion bucking horse from the Calgary Stampede. Grated Coconut was sired by Northcott’s Wyatt Earp.
By Sharon Reichert