(From left) Red Deer’s Ron Maclean, a hockey commentator and Dianne Finstad, a 2018 Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum inductee. Photo supplied

Central Alberta resident pioneered in bringing rodeo to television on regular basis

Dianne Finstad was one of the pioneers in bringing rodeo to television on a regular basis across Canada.

The sports broadcaster got her start in Red Deer in 1981 as an agricultural, rodeo and a general news reporter and anchor for CKRD-TV.

Along the way, the now 56-year-old became part of a rodeo show aired throughout Canada.

“It was a ground breaking show called Makin’ 8 because a ride in rodeo industry is eight seconds long so we were playing off that,” she said.

The show was on air for seven years and the crew covered rodeos across Western Canada.

“We were almost a little bit ahead of time.”

She said back then it was unusual for women to be covering rodeo but her background helped her and she always felt accepted in the industry.

Earlier this week, Finstad along with basketball player Doan Reimer, a fellow Central Albertan, were announced as part of the new inductees in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. She will be officially inducted on June 1.

“Just to be included in that great company of real athletes is quite something,” she said, adding that it doesn’t feel real.

The old television station in Red Deer folded several years ago. Finstad continues to write about rodeo for publications in Alberta including the Advocate.

Looking back at her journey, Finstad said, she considers herself fortunate to cover rodeos.

Born and raised in Southern Alberta, Finstad has been watching rodeos since she was young.

She said although reporting and places where we deliver stories has changed, but rodeo is still an engaging sport and people get excited about it.

“That hasn’t changed.”


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