BY LANA MICHELIN
Several long-time Central Alberta rodeo families will soon be Las-Vegas bound.
The Daines clan of Innisfail, and Volds and Butterfields of Ponoka are among 60 families being honoured at a Gold Card Reunion event that runs during the National Finals Rodeo in Nevada.
The rodeo history revival on Dec. 9 celebrates the golden age of bull riding, bronc busting and cattle roping. It’s being held for the fourth time and is expected to attract 800 people from across North America.
Being recognized as one of the foundation families of pro rodeo is a great honour, said Ivan Daines. He’s one of several family members noted for significant rodeo contributions: Jack Daines and Duane Daines are inductees in the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame.
From 1968 to 1980, Ivan Daines’ name appeared five times in the World Standings Top 15 Bronc Riders, and in 1976 he won the average at the National Finals Rodeo. The rodeo community “has been my whole life… every time we get together it’s ‘How’ve you been? ’ and ‘What are you up to?’” he said.
Ivan, who plans to go down for the rodeo finals and reunion with his children, said “People ask me what’s the biggest thing I ever won, and I says it’s the friends I’ve come to know.”
The reunion also acknowledges other rodeo families from Alberta (the Bruces of Forestburg, Robinsons of Millet and Keslers of Rosemary) and the U.S. It’s being organized by Larry Jordan of Montana, who helped develop the rodeo competition circuit system in the 1970s.
Jordan said this event is a way of keeping rodeo history alive. This year’s honoured families will get plaques and the chance to tell old rodeo stories from over the past 75 years. “Everybody gets together… While the average age is 65 to 75, the older people will be able to talk to younger NFR competitors about the old days.”