Lester Gurnett stands near display June 26 at the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame inductees displays unveiled

Ponoka-based hall showcases historical artifacts of 2017 inductees

In a week that is all about the rodeo in Ponoka, there was another small ceremony held to show off some of the sport’s historical records.

On June 26, the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame (CPRHF) — located in the Calnash Ag Event Centre — held an unveiling of the unique displays of all of the 2017 inductees. The displays include various personal items from the careers of the competitors and others while sculptures and photos of any rodeo stock are set in those displays.

For Rayle Little, who was inducted as a contestant, the four-time Canadian barrel racing champion and three time Ponoka Stampede champ is still struck about receiving such a prestigious honour.

“Having spent much of the last 30 years driving down the road to rodeos and all you’re focused on is trying to win, you don’t think about this kind of stuff at the end of your career,” Little stated, whose maiden name is Robinson and is originally from Alix.

“It’s very nice to have been honoured and have them say I’m now part of the rest of the people who have been inducted. As well, they’ve done a beautiful job in creating these displays and having all of this to show of all of the history of rodeo.”

Little, who lives near Thorsby with her husband Grant, has slowed down her barrel racing career considerably in the past decade, instead focuses much of her time and efforts on the couple’s business — training, breeding and selling barrel racing horses.

A few displays over is the one for the 2017 Ranchman’s Legendary Achievement Award recipient Lester Gurnett, whose career spanned several decades as a competitor, judge and rodeo executive.

Gurnett started off in rodeo riding broncs and bulls before working the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association (CPRA) circuits as a judge, including many times at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Later, he would get involved in the operational side of the CPRA, serving as vice-president and president.

“It’s a real honour to be put in to start with. I was president for several years when the Hall first moved to Ponoka, so I know what it took to get here,” he said.

“Now, it’s kind of the icing on the cake and it’s the last thing that I will ever accomplish in the rodeo world. It’s a comforting feeling and I’m in here with my buddies.”

While there are far too many of Gurnett’s friends, fellow competitors and those he looked up to as superstars when he was growing up, he noted this great honour is something that can’t be taken away.

Also having their displays revealed was Bashaw’s Billy Laye — who won both the Calgary Stampede and a Canadian title in the bareback in 1991 as well as setting a National Finals Rodeo record score of 90 in 1995, Mayerthorpe saddle bronc legend and three time Canadian champion Denny Hay, rodeo builder Bill Pimm and Vold Rodeo’s bull Little Six that was the Canadian bull of the year in 1977.

 

Rayel Little stands alongside the display of her career barrel racing during the ceremony June 26 at the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Just Posted

Naked man arrested for impaired driving

The man allegedly fled the scene of a collision wearing only a sheet. Plus other Ponoka RCMP briefs

Ponoka Legion commemorates 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Ponoka residents pack Legion hall during Remembrance Day

Ponoka Secondary Campus alumni provides example of how to remember those who were lost

School’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony focuses on 100th anniversary of WWI armistace

Students at St. Augustine honour fallen Ponoka soldiers

The school’s Remembrance Day ceremony recognized the sacrifices of past soldiers

No pumping into Gull Lake for 5 years due to carp concerns

Worries of carp in the Blindman River has put a hold on pumping water into Gull Lake

First Nation marks ‘milestone’ land deal at Alberta ceremony

Lubicon Lake First Nation Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan signed treaty last month

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

No G20 member has climate plan strong enough to meet Paris targets: report

Canada’s push to be a world leader in the fight against climate change may be hampered by its distinction for producing the most greenhouse gas emissions per person among the world’s 20 largest economies.

City of Wetaskiwin didn’t apply utility hikes to bills

Clerical financial error discovered by Wetaskiwin city council

Most Read