Young rodeo competitor will be missed

Young rodeo competitor will be missed

Funeral on Oct. 2

Central Alberta’s rodeo community is mourning the loss of a talented competitor and rancher Trey Purdie.

The electrician apprentice died after a fatal single-vehicle collision east of Red Deer on Hwy 595 at Range Road 260 at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

His great-uncle Tom Towers said the 20-year-old was a responsible, well-respected young man who was going to make sure he had job to fall back on when his rodeo days were over, and was always there to help if somebody needed a hand.

“He was only 20 years old but I tell you he knew cattle better than a lot of people who spent their life working them. He sure knew cattle, and knew horses,” Towers said.

“It’s just a real loss to the community. He was just one of those people who would have done a lot of good for the farming and ranching community.”

Purdie won several rodeo awards over the years. He was a steer wrestler, team roper and calf roper and was to compete in Foothills Cowboys Association finals in Red Deer at Thanksgiving.

“He did a lot of living in 20 years and accomplished a lot. If you could ask him, I don’t there’s probably very much he would have changed.”

Towers said Purdie was driving home after working a night shift on Tuesday when he fell asleep at the wheel.

“He just drifted off into the ditch. He was two and a half miles from home, that close.”

He said Purdie had plenty of opportunities to go to college in the United States on rodeo scholarships, but was taking a year or so off to earn money for college while working on his family’s ranch near Valley Centre Community east of Red Deer near Delburne.

“He’d just been working in Calgary at night and was coming home early in the morning. He would grab a few hours sleep then work around the ranch until he had to drive back to Calgary to do another shift. He just wore himself out.

“It wasn’t that he was driving recklessly or anything like that,” Towers said.

Craig Guthrie, District 2 adult president with Alberta High School Rodeo Association, said Purdie qualified to compete in the U.S. a number of times and was Canadian high school champion more than once.

“He really was that hardworking, diligent kid who had a really good heart and managed to balance that with a strong competitive side and sense of humour that we just loved,” Guthrie said.

Purdie was a rodeo mentor to many youngsters over the years, he said.

“He wanted people to cowboy up, as it were, and he lived that. He was a good worker and a fierce competitor and managed to balance that with being a good friend to many of these kids,” Guthrie said.

“He was definitely a cowboy to the core.”

A celebration of Purdie’s life will be held at CrossRoads Church at 2 p.m. on Oct. 2. A scholarship trust fund will be announced at that time. Condolences can be sent to

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