A cool moment took place during the Sunday performance at this year’s Innisfail Pro Rodeo. Jack Daines called retired saddle bronc rider, Glen O’Neill, to the announcer’s stand, ostensibly to ‘open the bronc riding’. The former Canadian and World Saddle Bronc Riding Champion obliged, spoke to the crowd and turned to leave. That’s when Jack, the master sorcerer, said, “Before you leave, Glen, we’ve got something for you.” Jack revealed a Ross Contway bronc riding bronze and presented it to a surprised O’Neill. The bronze was a replacement for one the Australian-born, Didsbury resident won at the Calgary Stampede 21 years before but had lost in a fire.
O’Neill had ordered it a while back but the sculptor misplaced his contact information and hadn’t, at that point, got the bronze to him. Enter Jack Daines. While ordering bronzes for the Innisfail Rodeo, Jack learned of the replacement bronze and figured it would be a great idea to present it at Innisfail. He made the arrangements, did the presentation and the crowd loved it.
It wasn’t the first great moment the likable O’Neill has enjoyed in the Daines arena. Twenty years earlier he rode the great Air Wolf to 95 points, a score that shares the honour of being the highest marked ride in Canadian bronc riding history.
“I don’t know how you pulled this off, Jack,” O’Neill shook his head as he took possession of the bronze, and then added, “You got me, that’s for sure. But it’s cool to finally get this bronze and have it delivered here in Innisfail.”
The Sculptor – Ross Contway
A native of Fairfield, Montana, Ross Contway has a long history with Canadian rodeo. To date, he has created 56 trophies for the Calgary Stampede from 1988 to 2002. The sculptor has also created numerous trophies for the Canadian Finals Rodeo and the Alberta Championship series.
For more on Ross Contway’s bronzes, including his wildlife series, visit contwaybronze.com