Past Wagon Masters

Eric & Laureta (Reta) Rycroft1987

Eric (Shorty) started to work for the stampede when it first started down on McKenzies in the early years when it was just a picnic. Him and George Hanson were the first clowns for the event.

When the rodeo moved to the stampede grounds and they had bucking stock, Eric was the pick-up man. He did this on his horse, Silver Streak, for many years. When there were breaks in the rodeo, he was often seen doing tricks with Silver Streak for the fans in the grandstands. Eric & Reta had 8 children – Phyllis, Geneva, Sam, Dennis, Lona, Tommy, Heather, Diean, & Patrick (Paddy).

When they first went to the rodeo Eric & Reta took a 2-tonne truck with a tarp on the back. When the kids got tired, they had a sleep in the box of the truck. Reta rode in the musical ride for many years and travelled around the Peace Country putting on shows. After Eric retired as pick-up man in the 60’s, his sons Dennis & Tommy took over.

The year Reta passed away, Eric was honored to be the first Wagonmaster for the Teepee Creek Stampede in 1987.

Don Brown1988

Don attended his first stampede (in his late teens) at the old McKensie yard - south of the Stampede grounds. He helped with the building of the new hall in 1941. Don always worked with the rodeo wherever needed. He was Stampede President in the 50's, then booth manager in the sixties. He was a good example of hard work and volunteerism for his kids and grandkids.

Bob & Hazel Morgan1989

Bob and Hazel, like so many other families in the community, loved the Teepee Creek Stampede. They began helping with the Stampede in 1959. Over the years Bob was a board member and sat on various committees. He was very active on the grounds working on the grandstands, building chutes and selling tickets at the front gates as a member of the Royal Canadian Legion. His most memorable times were rounding up the stampede bucking stock, sorting, treating and castrating the colts. He often told stories about the year Wilf Carter played at the stampede (1974) as he knew Wilf from his time on the thrashing crews in Southern Alberta.

Hazel volunteered with the Teepee Creek Ladies Club and the Home and School Booth cooking and making coffee. She always made sure to stock pile her eggs to donate to the stampede.

Bob and Hazel were very honored to be chosen as Wagon Masters at the 72nd annual Stampede. They received a plaque for 30 years of assistance to the Teepee Creek Stampede and many other community service organizations.

Donald & Margaret Fraser1989

Almost 100 years ago, 19197, the Teepee Creek Stampede began as a community picnic on an open strip of prairie sod surrounded by trees on NE17.

The first horse race was run in 1921 down this open stretch with 10 horses entered. Each rider paid a 50 cent entry fee. Rusty Hollingworth was the winner over Donald Fraser and all the other jockeys.

This must have been the beginning of Donald Fraser's love for the Stampede. He, and later in 1924, his wife Margaret could be found working for the Stampede every summer for the next 40 years; Donald working at the admission gate or closing the race track gates, or helping in the food booths. Margaret was helping in the coffee booth or Ladies Club or School Booth.

Donald helped preparing for and cleaning up after the Stampede and Maragret helped prepare the food for the work crew for many years. Donald & Margaret were honored to be Wagon Masters in 1989.

Alf Bisgrove/Oliver Talbot1990

Dick & Blanche Hoag1991

Dick & Blanche spent many years involved with the Teepee Creek Stampede. Dick was President of the Stampede for a number of years and President of the Hall. He called all the dances, old time waltz, square dances, etc. He also called up the contestants for the Red River jig done by the Native people. Dick was the race starter for all the races (wagon & flat races) - all done on foot. He also had a little sorrel mare Miss Orage who he raced at Teepee for a number of years. He later had Flying Jimmy, Lolita's Hope and Messenger when they first had starting gates.

Blanche was Secretary of the Stampede for 3 years and Secretary for the Hall for 10 years. Blanche worked in the home and school booth for many years. Back in the day they made all the hamburger patties by hand. They also cut all the onions by hand - many tears there!

Dick & Blanche really enjoyed the Indian wagon races where they had to hook up their horses before a race and at the end they had to start a fire and boil water for tea. Dick had to start this race and make sure it was fair to all. Quite a job!!

Roy & Rachel Tink1991

The Tink family were homesteaders in the Smokey Heights district northeast of Teepee Creek. Roy & Rachel were married in 1939 and left the farm in 1951 moving to Sexsmith. Roy worked at the grain elevator and with Ted Hagen at the the local livestock gathering yard. When Ted retired Roy purchased the business and so began his career as a livestock dealer. Their next move was to Clairmont where Roy was a grain elevator agent while continuing to operate the livestock buying station. Roy will be best known and remembered as the owner and founder of the Grande Prairie Auction Mart which opened in 1957 and was owned an operated by the Tink family until 1990 when the business sold. It continued to operate until 2014 when changing times caused the closure of the operation. It was sad to see the building demolished and the end of this era.

Throughout the years the Teepee Creek Stampede was always one of Roy and Rachel's main social events. While on the farm Roy was active as a contestant and worked many volunteer hours a the ground sand at the stampede, as did most area residents. The family often camped overnight, taking in all events including the rodeo dance complete with fisticuffs.

Roy, together with Leslie Hoag, Fred Nelson, and Stan Griffiths were in charge of the first "aid" tent for injured cowboys. If a cowboy was shook up he was escorted or loaded on a stretcher, taken to the first aid tent, an given a liberal dose of "medicine." Usually they recovered quickly but it wasn't long before most cowboys needed first aid. Dr. Seagram was busy ;)

Roy & Rachel were active supporters of the Stampede throughout their lives. They seldom missed a day of the Stampede and looked forward to it each year. They were very pleased to be named as Wagonmasters in 1991 and would be doubly pleased to see the show alive, growing, and prospering after 100 years.

Calvin & Hanna Hoag1992

Bill (William) Gacek1992

At left: Bill Gacek (William), his daughter Shirley Calvert, along with his Grandson John Viken

Bob & Margaret White / Bill & Norma White1993

Mark & Ruth Rycroft1994

Mark came with his parents and siblings to the Teepee Creek and Smoky Heights districts in 1927.

The Main event of the year was the Annual Teepee Creek Picnic and the Rycroft Boys were sure to attend. From then on he was hooked.

His first big win was in 1934. The picnic was being held at McKennzie's farm and Mark won the greasy pole contest. His prize, a pig, which he promptly sold for $ 10.00. ( big money in the 30s ) The greasy pole seemed to be his claim to fame as he won again in 1939.

Mark like all the events of the Teepee Creek Stampede but he seemed to gravitate to the arena events However it appears he would sooner talk about them than participate in them so it's no surprise that he ended up with a " Mic" in his hand.

QUOTE FROM TEEPEE CREEK TERROR BOOK
At first we had a PA System over the bucking chutes and we used the same machine for races and just kept moving it. Everything was " Add Lib" No programs.

Rusty Hollingworth had the Musical Ride going and no one was around to inform the crowd about what was going on. Someone said " somebody's got to use that thing" and that's how I started. Soon I found myself with a steady job. Johnny Stark was my side kick with the Mic in those days. I never used the " Horn" but I remember it. Part of the announcers job back then was to play Cowboy Music between rides, events, and during breaks. Johnny announced with me until he moved to Whitecourt and his brother Donny took his place. I announced from the mid 40's to the 70's when I handed the Mic to my Son Butch.

Ruth, like all the other Ladies of the area did her share. It was a big job prior to the Stampede preparing and cleaning out the booths for the big day. It was quite a job preparing enough food for the booths. Hamburger patties could be made in advance and frozen but other foods like cutting up onions and making potatoes salad had to be done that day. It was a busy time.

Mark and Ruth attended the Stampede every year. They would bring their camper and park down by the hall. They so enjoyed all the friends that would stop and visit with them. Their greatest thrill were the friends they made, the growth and changes made by the Stampede through the years but always keeping the traditional values.

Johnny Stark1994

Taken from the Teepee Creek Terror book, p.33-34

Johnny Stark recalled year he came out to Teepee with Joe Harrison of Twilight District (Bert Harrison’s father). I rode Moonray in one of the races against King Havoc of Ewart Ellis. Here I was, no saddle, just bareback, and here Ewart had a jockey saddle and the whole bit on his horse. But I managed to win anyway. We had a lot of fun in the old days. If Ewart came out here with a horse the jockey couldn’t handle, he put Ted Rycroft on it and Ted could handle it. He could handle they put on the track – track jumper or anything.

One time I got in a chariot race, and I was in the middle. I got squeezed out and upset my outfit and my team ran away and I was thrown 40 feet from the track. Not only that, my team ran away with their hooves in Bert Veldhuis’s back pocket and upset him too!” laughed Johnny.

Johnny helped Mark Rycroft as announcer for many years in the 50’s. His brother, Donnie, took over for him when he moved to Whitecourt in 1957. He was also seen many times riding a black bull backwards with Lawrence Henigar just to give the crowd a show. He did this at more than Teepee and one time at Bezanzon, he broke his leg so that was the end of that.

Norm & Alva Badger1995

Bud & Lucille Gaboury1995

Bud came to the Teepee Creek area with his parents and siblings in 1930. He always had an interest in horses, cattle and rodeo’s.

By the time he was 16 he was lending a hand at the Teepee Creek Stampede and was always a willing volunteer in any capacity.

Around 1953 Bud had his own team of horses. He named them Scout & Rasty and they were his pride and joy.

Bud went on to serve as president of the Stampede in 1972 and he served for 6 years in this capacity. Some important upgrades were completed in that era. A covered grandstand was built and new fencing was put in. Special effort was also put into maintaining the Teepee Creek Stampede bucking string that Teepee is renowned for.

Bud and his wife Lucille have always enjoyed rodeos and anything to do with horses. This was very evident in their home in Teepee Creek, all western décor!

Bud and Lucille were pleased and honored to be named as Wagonmasters in 1995.

Ivar & Gladys Bolin1996

Elmer & Pearl McLaughlin1996

Pearl’s first involvement with the Stampede, like most district women, was cooking for the food booths. They baked beans, made potato salad and baked pies, all for the supper plates. Even the hamburger patties were hand formed. Then of course she worked in the booth the days of the stampede. Coffee was made in big boilers.

In 1946, she joined her two sisters Eileen Hoag and Norma White in the musical ride. In 1968, Pearl took on the Secretary job when Norman Hollingworth was manager and Dick Hoag was the President. The stampede operated under the NRA rules at the time. She took rodeo entries at the office on the grounds 6 or 7 days before the first day. The flat races, and chuckwagon/chariot races were also entered and paid out through the office the last day of the stampede. The NRA secretary did help out but it was still a big job. There were books and meetings throughout the years. Pearl also met some really nice people during this time and of course some trying people and had some funny events. There was one time she asked a shy, small cowboy what Little Britches event he was entered in and he turned out to be the champion bull rider!

Elmer McLaughlin competed in the early stampedes riding steers and calf-roping. Later, when Pearl became secretary he took many great rodeo pictures.

Eileen Hoag1997

Norman & Shirley Hollingworth1997

The only Teepee Creek Stampede Norman Hollingworth ever missed in his life was in 1956, the year he made his sweetheart Shirley McQuaig his bride, and they were off on their honeymoon. “People teased me for a long time wondering how I got him away at Stampede time ,“ laughed Shirley. He never missed another stampede in his life-time, but that crazy little thing called love swept him happily away that July.

Normie was involved in the stampede his entire life. He first rode saddle bronc at TPC at the age of fifteen – before he even had cowboy boots. Pretty soon he was driving chariot teams, graduating from two- horse to four-horse chariots, and before long brought the very popular Roman-standing race to TPC.

He became Stampede Manager in 1957 and served in that capacity for twenty-one years, during which time he served on several related committees: such as the round-up committee, horse-buying committee (when TPC began to build-up their own bucking string). The Hollingworth family also supplied the cattle for twenty years for any events where they were required. During his time as manager, many improvements to the grounds, corrals, barns, and grandstands were completed.

Norman’s and Shirley’s family have also grown up to play large roles in the stampede: Doug, Don, Dean and David have all followed their parent’s lead, with daughter Anne still making visits home to bring her family to the stampede. Now the third generation is very involved.

A long time stampede participant described him this way, “Norman Hollingworth is one of the finest fellows we ever raced against and he is a gentleman. He was one of the fellows we all liked. He worked real hard to keep that stampede going and growing all those years.”

Cecil & Janet Weber1998

Ida Mae PealoWagon Master 1998
(January 24th, 1924 - March 30th, 2015)

Ida Mae Pealo was born on January 24, 1924 in Grande Prairie, Alberta and was a long time resident of Teepee Creek. She grew up on a farm 1 ½ miles east of the Teepee Creek stampede grounds. She raised her family two miles north and five miles east of Teepee Creek. She moved to Grande Prairie in 2005 at the age of 81. Ida, resident of Grande Prairie, passed away on Monday, March 30, 2015 at the age of 91.

She was the youngest of three girls. As a young girl she grew up with her sisters Ruth and Ruby and her beloved pets; her saddle horse, Pat and her dog, Tippy. Her father passed away at a young age from TB (tuberculosis) and her mother lived to be 93.

Ida was asked to be one of the “Honorary Wagon Masters” for the Teepee Creek Stampede on Sunday, July 19, 1998, and she was honored to have been chosen. I had the good fortune of helping her document her experiences for this occasion.

Her memory of the first stampede was 81 years ago in 1934 at the young age of 10. She remembered the stampede was like a three ring circus, with mud or dust everywhere depending on the year. Later in the day everyone would try to clean up for the dance which was in McKenzie’s barn.

The stampede was moved to the McKenzie farm so the organizers could use the corrals. Her father eventually built the chutes, since he was a carpenter by trade. He wasn’t well at the time, but he persisted because he wanted to volunteer his time to the stampede.

She remembered there use to be a variety of water sports in McKenzie’s dam south of the current stampede grounds. A couple of her favorites were swimming races and greasy pole walk. She also recalled greasy pig races and potato races with horses. She enjoyed the water sports most of all.

In the late 1930’s, Rusty Hollingsworth added a new dimension to the stampede, “The Musical Ride”. She rode in “The Musical Ride” the first year. The musical ride became a popular attraction and went to a number of local stampedes for the next three years. Much to her dismay her mother wouldn’t let her participate in the ride after the first year.

One year when the stampede organizers didn’t have enough entries, Sam Webber, Ida’s partner of 38 years was asked to bring his plow horses as a fill in. He won the race. His horses out ran the thoroughbreds. He was thrilled. It was a story his family heard many times over the years.

In the early 1940’s, Ida ventured out of the Teepee Creek area to Calgary, Chilliwack and Vernon only to return to the Teepee Creek area by 1944 to raise her family.

Ida raised a family of eleven children, 5 girls and 6 boys. For years our entire family put in many volunteer hours before, during and after the stampede. At one time the Teepee Creek Stampede was the only attraction and the best stampede in the area. People came from miles around to watch the two day show. We looked forward to this so called “three ring circus” every year. It was the Teepee Creek terror kick off to summer holidays.

Our family lived in a huge log house built by our grandparents, with no running water, no power or modern conveniences until it burnt down in 1970.

Ida was very talented. She was a great cook and baker. She could knit, crochet and sew.

In 1970 Ida was employed as a cook at the Grande Prairie Municipal and QEII Hospitals. In 1975 she received her Journeyman Cook Certificate. She retired in 1988 at the age of 64.

In summary Ida was feisty and fun. She was a straight shooter who could tell stories and get a whole room laughing. Like most women in her generation, she was hard working and modeled the adage that “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Ida probably never met a horse or a dog she didn’t like.

Marg Martel
On Behalf of the Pealo Family
In Memory of Ida Mae Pealo

Ted & Elsie McQuaig1999

Ted & Elsie with their family of seven never missed the Teepee Creek Stampede. They helped for quite a few years on volunteer days getting the grounds ready for the big days. That was always like a big picnic. Ted helped behind the bucking chutes with the saddling. Elsie worked in the booths.

Elsie remembers one year in particular when the girls in the office challenged the supper booth gals to go in the wild cow milking contest. So Shirley Hollingworth, Ida Pealo & Elsie McQuaig took on Kay McNally, Doreen Binks, and Norma White. The guys had the cows on a rope in the chutes all ready for us. They were using Hollingworth’s cows that year. What the office girls didn’t know was Shirley knew her old pet cow was one of the cows they were using, so we made sure we got that cow first. So it was duck soup for us to get milk in our bottle first. The supper booth gals, out there in their big white aprons outsmarted the office gals. Just as we finished, there was a loud clap of thunder and the rain came pouring down so there were a bunch of wet hens out there with the cows.

Haina Kirstein1999

Haina’s riding career began about 1949, when he chummed up with another fellow, Pud McCausland, and they competed at various stampedes around the Peace River Country circuit: such as Teepee Creek, Dawson Creek, Hill Top, Fairview (known as Waterhole), Peace River, Eureka River, Grande Prairie and Rio Grande. Pretty much anywhere cowboys got together to ride, Haina and Pud were there.

In the later years, somewhere around 1970, Tom Sorken, helped Haina get started driving pony chariots. Although he was very seldom in the winner’s circle, he persisted on for 15 – 20 years and he was always a big hit with the crowds, because in what seemed like every second race he would roll his cart going around the final barrel, yet never letting go of his horses. He would drag around behind them clinging to the reins for the entire race! He always earned a good skinning, and a lot of bruises and lumps, but he was always ready for the next race.

He had three teams hooked up and ready to go at all times. His sons, Joe and Don would each taxi a cart out to the track, with him in the third cart. He would run his first race in that third cart, trade carts and run his second race, trade carts again and wait his turn to run his third race. He had two teams of ponies and one team of donkeys, and was always known to put on a good show for the entire crowd. He was a real crowd pleaser because people would come from miles around just to see Haina in action once again. He was soon well known all over the entire Peace Country as one tough and determined old cowboy.

Then in 1999, Teepee Creek Stampede Association honored him with the title “Wagon Master of the Year. He was a very proud man that day and he was very honored by the tribute. He was getting older and his health was failing, and within a couple of years he was forced to retire from the sport he loved. Then in May of 2006, Haina Kirstien , locked in a battle that he couldn’t win, he succumbed to a massive heart attack and passed away. He will always be remembered by all as one of the “good old boys” who really enjoyed putting on a show. Haina left lots of good memories!!

Mabel Vickerson2000

Mable Vickerson was raised in Teepee Creek and a huge part of the community. Mable did many things for the Teepee Creek stampede, she started riding in the girls music ride when she was a young girl, travelling all over the Peace area. Later on Mable baked many pies for the home and school booth, and was always willing to help out where ever she was needed. Mable enjoyed going to the stampede to watch the local cowboys and spend time with family and friends. Mable and Nibs travelled all around to the local rodeo with her nephew Andy Johnson.

Mable lived on the farm in Teepee Creek area until she was 85 years old. Until she moved into town she never missed a chance to go to the Teepee Stampede to see all her great nieces and nephews participate in all the local events.

Helen Rehm2000

Don & Lona Stark2000

Taken from my grandson, Rylan Stark’s report he did in elementary school:

My grandpa started announcing when Mark Rycroft was the announcer and Grandpa was helping him when Mark’s brother was in an accident with a four-horse chariot. He handed the microphone to Grandpa and once he started he never quit for 50 years. My Grandpa is the only announcer I know. He has four children – Debbie, Dale, Kevin, and my dad, Patrick (Patty). In 2007, he announced the wagons for the first pro rodeo in Teepee Creek.

Donnie & Lona were both involved with the stampede since they were very young. Donnie helped to build the perimeter fence at the grounds. We had all the holes dug and then along came Norman Hollingworth and he said they were too crooked so we started all over again.

Donnie recalls a story from the 60’s when they were trying out horses the night before the rodeo to see if they would buck and one horse was named “Bad Girl of the Badheart.” When Sam Rycroft came out on the horse Donnie got in a bit of trouble when he announced “Sam Rycroft out on the bad girl of the Badheart.” Once again, Norman set him straight.

Lona helped around the grounds to get ready for the stampede each year. She rode in the ladies, half-mile, and walk-trot-run races. Lona also kept the results and times for the races for many years.

Donnie and Lona are proud to have kids, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren involved with the stampede. This makes them very proud since the five generations of Starks and Rycrofts help to keep a tradition alive that means so much to them. It was an honor to be named Wagonmaster since Lona’s dad, Eric was the first wagonmaster in 1987.

Bill Blaines2001

Agnes "Nan" Fraser2001

Like all of our neighbors in the country side, our traditional summer holiday was spent attending the Teepee Creek Stampede. My mother Nan Fraser would plan, prepare and cook food for days ahead of time, with my father George Fraser constantly urging her to “make sure there is enough food for all those hungry cowboys” and her own six kids. Nan was more than happy to feed everyone, as these men who rounded up and delivered the Frake's horses to the stampede were the same men who tended George’s cattle every summer at the Simonette. They were like part of the family, but she became quite excited when she discovered that the cowboys had stored their “liquid refreshment’ in the diaper bag and the RCMP were making their rounds! Nan was just positive that they were going to haul her away to jail at any moment, baby and all!

Another time Nan & George stayed for the dance and when they went out to the car to head for home, there was a strange woman sleeping in the back seat of the car. When Nan gently suggested to her that she was in the wrong car, the female intruder became very belligerent and insisted it was her husband’s car. Finally, they had to persuade the poor lady to let Nan assist her out of the car, sit her down and try to calm her, while George drove away. Then Nan had to run on those little short legs and leap into the car while it was still moving! She good naturedly laughed about that for years!

Anna Mackey2002

Anna Moen (Smichura)2002

Anna Moen (Smichura) came to this country as a nine year old from the Ukraine. She went to school and helped her family establish their farm in Teepee Creek. In 1938 she married Anton Moen and lived on their farm in the Bad Heart for over 70 years then moved into the Pioneer Lodge in Grande Prairie. She grew enough garden for her family and half the community. She was very artistic and did some painting and later decorated hundreds of wedding cakes and many people came and got peonies for weddings and such. She loved to cook and it was no problem for her to make 6 or 7 pies for the Home and School booth at the Teepee Creek Stampede. She always had a piece of pie or cake and a coffee for anyone who stopped in for a visit. Anna passed away in June 2015 at the age of 97 years.

Robin & Shirley McQuaig2003

Robin & I were raised in the Teepee Creek and Badheart area. The Stampede was always a big part of our lives growing up.

Robin was always interested in the rodeo events at the Stampede and rode a few years in the bareback event. He helped to round up the bucking horses from Kleskun Lake for the Stampede and helped around the chutes.

Robin was Stampede Manager when Orval Sorken was President (1978). In 1979 they helped put in the new steel chutes at the grounds.

I worked in the Teepee Creek home and school booth in the years our kids attended Teepee School. Robin played for the Stampede dances from 1955-1968 with the McQuaig Orchestra.

Robin & I were very honored to the Wagon Masters on July 19, 2003 and still enjoy the stampede today!

Sam & Bette Rycroft2003

Dorothy Rycroft2004

Dorothy Rycroft (Fraser) was a Teepee Creek Stampede supporter right from a young girl. Her parents Elizabeth and Colin Fraser were involved right from the beginning of the Stampede, living only 3 miles north of the stampede grounds. In Dorothy’s early teens she became involved in the girls musical ride which was organized by a neighbor Rusty Hollingworth.

When Dorothy married Gordon Rycroft, they made the home right across from the stampede grounds, so her involvement just grew. She was involved in the Teepee Creek Ladies Club which was involved in lots of Stampede activities. They made pies for days before the stampede to sell in their pie booth, and cooked for the men that were working preparing the grounds for the stampede. Finally when the stampede day arrived the worked continued on by starting the morning off cooking breakfast for workers and campers, moving into the day by helping run the pie and hamburger booth, even helping with first aid. The last few years she was involved she worked in the coffee booth. Yes there was always lots of work involved, but they always found time to catch part of the rodeo and had lots of fun and laughs.

Being so close to the grounds their yard was always used for camping by family and friends, and even a few they didn’t know. In the earlier years when people arrived in covered wagons and tents, and Mother Nature didn’t cooperate on the weather, their garage become a shelter out of the rain and unpleasant elements. There is still camping and parking going on in their yard today. Back in the days when no one had campers or trailers, and everybody had worked hard at the stampede all day, you would find a line up at her back door wanting to wash up before the dance, she would just smiled and welcome the family and friends in to clean up – her rain barrel was even used to cool off refreshment.

After leaving the farm and moving into Grande Prairie Dorothy loved to come back to the Stampede. While sitting on the grand stand with grandchildren and great grandchildren she told stories of the old days as she recalled. Nothing pleased her more than after a day at the stampede, going back over to her yard to hang out with the campers, family and friends.

Mary Rae (Sorken)2004

Born Edith Mary Smith on Feb. 1, 1920 in Gisburn England. Mary and her family immigrated to Canada in April 1926 and moved to the Morningview district. One of the highlights of that summer is going to the Teepee Creek picnic by wagon with a neighbour, Tom Hall - this was the first of 67 years going to the Teepee Creek Stampede. She married Adolph Sorken in 1938 and moved to Teepee Creek area. Here they raised 5 children and attended the Stampede yearly.

I recall the native people from Sturgeon Lake going by in their wagons 2 - 3 days before the stampede we knew then soon we would be going too. Dad would always say " the potatoes have to be hilled first" but most of the time I think Mom did most of it for us, but we got to go.

Mary helped in the booths over the years, serving pies hamburgers , and coffee etc. She was an avid follower of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren when any of them took part in the performances over the years, whether it be sheep riding, bronc riding, barrel racing, running for Stampede Queen, or chuck wagon racing. After Dad passed away, she married Gordon Rae. They moved to Edmonton but returned each year for the Stampede to watch whoever was riding or racing. Her children all participated in helping with the stampede in some way over the years and now many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren have helped out.

Mary passed away Feb. 7th, 2015. She had seen many changes within the Stampede, from a picnic with local people to a pro rodeo with people coming from different places in the world.

Barney & Kay McNally2005

Barney was born in Fitzsimmons a few miles south of here. He came to Teepee Creek as a jockey in the early fifties for Benny Lightfoot. He was introduced to one of the Teepee Creek fillies and has been here ever since. In the early sixties Barney started volunteering his help to the stampede association announcing for the rodeo and chuckwagon races. In the seventies he went driving pony carts and later pony chuckwagons. When Stampede time rolled around, they packed up the kids, the tents or trailer and arrived the day before so we wouldn’t miss any of the fun. Later on, Barney was happy to sit back and let the younger generation take over.

Kay's first memory of coming to Teepee Creek stampede was when she was five years old. Her mom had made her a cowgirl outfit, and from then on the Stampede was a special time for her. When the consolidated school opened there was a junior stampede association. There were dances held at the hall to raise money to buy trophies for the junior contestants.

The breakfast booth was always fun, cleaning toilets and picking rocks off the track were a little less glamorous. Helping to make up the daily program was usually a chore no one really liked. For awhile we typed them up at Aunty Pat's, then ran them into town to get printed and back again before show time.

Working with Butch and Orval in the announcer's stand and recording times was an education in itself. It was way more fun than work! She wouldn’t change any of those time for anything. As she remembers, it has always been “4 Days in the Wild!”

Lawrence & Margaret Hennigar2005

Lawrence Hennigar was involved in the wild horse race and tried to ride bulls. Lawrence recalls one time when he and Jimmy Rycroft tried to ride the bulls backwards. While riding in the wild horse race Lawrence caught himself a young filly, named Margaret. Lawrence and Margaret still make the stampede an annual event. They now reside in Sexsmith; they have five children, 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Fred Nelson2005

Tom & Eric Nelson were grandfathers of the stampede, they never missed one rodeo. The Nelson started attending the stampede when it was just a picnic. When it progressed into a rodeo, they helped out with the donations. Fred Nelson was the stampede clown for several years (is still one at times). He also rode bulls and played ball. Margaret was involved in the musical ride and played ball.

Leslie & Adele Fraser2006

LESLIE: My first experience at the Teepee Creek Stampede was selling admission tickets at the gate. Then, in the 50's I helped Donald McQuaig who was the booth manager in those years.

In the late 50's, I became Secretary Treasurer, a job I had until 1964. There was no office, an dI kept everything in the trunk of my car. This job may have saved my life, as the evening before the Stampede in 1062, Adele's Dad sat on the doorstep with the shotgun across his knees and waited for me to try to take his daughter to the pre-stampede dance. Lucky for me, we had an emergency Stampede meeting and I didn't "come-a-courting" until after midnight. Adele was waiting, but her dad got tired and went to bed.

About 1958 I started doing the electrical wiring on the Stampede grounds, and with the hlep of volunteers, I did that for 25 or 30 years. In the later years, I enjoyed working in the Home & School food booth until it quit. I was the "Old Grandpa" of the crew.

Now we are retired and "city slickers," but the Teepee Creek Stampede is still a highlight of the summer.

ADELE: After Adele & Leslie were married in 1963, she volunteered for many years in the Teepee Creek Ladies Club or Home & School food booths. She often traded children with other mothers in order that they could work both their shifts.

Dennis & Diane Rycroft2006

Donald & Patricia McQuaig (Hoag)2007

Donald and Patricia enjoy the Teepee Creek Stampede each year. It is one of the highlights of the summer! Donald worked in the the supply booth for eight years as Booth Manager. He ordered all the food, pop, and supplies for the booths on the Stampede Grounds (about 5 in total). The pop was brought in by CocaCola from Grande Prairie. The rest of the supplies he picked up at Horne & Pitfield Warehouse in Grande Prairie. Each booth picked up their supplies on a daily basis. Money at the end of the day was brought in and counted by Bubbles Steinke. Each booth got 40% of gross sales. 60% went to the Stampede Association. Donald had a very trustworthy helper, Robert Sallis. Donald also played in the family band on the drums at Stampede dances which quite often went into the wee hours of the night.

Patricia was a contestant in early years (1950-1961). During these years she rode race horses in the ladies race, mile race, 1/2 ile, and 1/4 mile stock horse races. Her passion was on the track. She won a trophy for all around sportsman (donated by Millan Fraser) and All Around Cowgirl silver belt buckle (donated by Campbell's General Store). She still has the first dollar Harvey Dorchee gave her for first place in the ladies race at Teepee Creek. It has a lot of sentimental value to her. Later years Patricia worked in the Teepee Creek home and school booth for 8 or 9 years. She always liked frying hamburgers, cooking wieners, and peeling onions. She didn't like the counter work since she says she was no good at it. She also enjoyed all the time spent with friends and neighbors.

Bob Wendt2007

Robert (Bob) Wendt was born in 1935 to Herman and Lottie(Ben) Wendt, the fifth of 11 children. He was raised in the Twilight District, NE of Grande Prairie, where he learned his hard work ethic on the family farm. Bob bought his own farm in the mid 1950’s, located just east of the elevation rock on Highway 43. He married Patricia Redmond and they lived on the farm where they raised their 4 children for several years. He farmed and ran a small trucking business hauling logs and gravel. In 1972 they sold the farm and moved to Grande Prairie. He later married Cathy Mclean and had 2 more children.

He had a passion for volunteering, especially with the local rodeos and community fairs. In the late 1950’s, early 1960’s he helped with the up keep and maintenance of the Bezanson rodeo grounds. In the same era, he was helping in the re-building of the Clairmont Fairgrounds, along with Ron Maine, Art Small, Max Sutherland and Dan Rotar to mention a few. Later in the 1960’s, he was part of the local group that built the starting gates for the parimutuel horse races held at the Grande Prairie Fairgrounds, and continued with the on going maintenance of the Fairgrounds.

In 1956, he officially began volunteering at the Teepee Creek Stampede, filling many positions over the years. He was named as the Wagon Master at Teepee Creek in 2007, in recognition of 50 years of service. Bob loved the rodeo and spent summers travelling throughout the Peace Country, taking in the events for many years. Teepee Creek was always his favourite. Bob passed away in March 2008 at the age of 72, after a short battle with cancer.

Grant Family2008

Edward James (Ed) Grant (1896 - 1960)

Ed’s love of horses dated back to his childhood when he was old enough to hold the reins.

Ed and his father attended the first Calgary Stampede.

Ed was a “Wagoneer” in the U.S. Army in WW1. After returning from WW1 he drove stage coach in the Caribou country of B.C. and later along with his father, John Henry Grant, operated a hotel & livery stable in Leader Saskatchewan.

Ed arrived in the Teepee Creek area circa 1924.

He purchased the home half section of the Kleskun Ranch (S ½ 30-73-3-W6) from the estate of the New York millionaire owner of the Kleskun Ranch Company. He shipped, via railroad, his belongings including a new threshing machine and string of horses. In 1928 he married Florence Wendt, his high school sweetheart, from Kalispell Montana. It was natural for him to have a love of rodeo and become a life long member of the Teepee Creek stampede association. He served as a horse judge, race horse announcer, president and at times a suppler of rodeo stock. Florence served as stampede secretary and along with other ladies of the community volunteered wherever she was needed. The grant family included E. James (Jim), John R., Kathleen and Dennis. John and Dennis along with Dennis’s son Darrin represented the family as Wagonmasters at the 2008 Teepee Creek Stampede.

Joe & Adele Mildenberger2008

Durocher Family2008

Tom & Carol Rycroft2009

Tom and Carol Rycroft were both born and raised in the Bad-Heart-Teepee Creek Area. They were both active in the Teepee Creek Stampede for many years. Weeks before the stampede, Tom and Carol were at the grounds volunteering in preparation for the event of the summer. It was a way of life in the Rycroft family - a tradition set down by both Tom and Carol’s parents.

Tom was a participant in the rodeo in events ranging from bareback riding to Wild horse racing. He was also a respected pick-up man in the arena. Tom was instrumental in the introduction of paramutual racing to the Stampede, while Carol spent countless hours working in the paramutual booth.

Tom and Carol had three boys, all race riding here at Teepee Creek. Many local jockeys started their riding careers on Tom’s horses under his guidance.

Carol volunteered for many years at the breakfast booth. She was a very busy rodeo mom, as the boys entered in various rodeo events.

Tom and Carol Rycroft continue their love for the sport of horse racing. They are currently training approximately 20 head at the Grande Prairie Race Meet. The love for the sport has extended to their entire family. As soon as their children and grandchildren were old enough to participate, they were signed up.

The couple still ranch in the Bad Heart area. Tom and Carol salute the Teepee Creek Stampede Association and are thrilled that this great tradition is being kept alive for all to enjoy!

Alvin & Alice Rode2009

Alvin and Alice were born and raised locally in the North Kleskun area. Rodeo has always been an integral part of their lives, even at a very early age when young and old gathered at the sports ground for a day of excitement, including a picnic with friends and of course the rodeo events.

As time went on, they donated countless hours of their time and labor to the Stampede wherever they were needed. Alvin served as Secretary/Treasurer for the Stampede Association and was instrumental in obtaining the financing to build the arena, which served as a dance hall and skating rink in the winter time. He also served as Secretary of the Recreation Board. Alice spent many hours in the home and school food booth preparing food and serving the rodeo goers. She also supported school track meets and many events for the students in the area. Both of them are also involved in and served on the boards of the North Kleskun Community Club, Sexsmith Seniors Centre, North Kleskun Athletic Club and Emma’s Lutheran Church. They have raised a family of 5, have 6 grandchildren, and are still involved in Rodeo through their family and grandchildren.

Alvin and Alice spent many hours over the years to improve the appearance and upkeep of the Stampede grounds. They say those years were a lot of fun and very gratifying now that they see young people and especially their family involved in the sport of rodeo. The Rode’s say “Be proud Teepee Creek Stampede Association, for you are a pride to the Community!”

Bryan & Donna Tink2010

Donna & I were very pleased to be honored as Wagonmasters at the 2010 Stampede. I was born in the Smokey Heights area and attended my first stampede before I was a year old. Donna was born in the Crystal Creek area and was in attendance at a young age. The Stampede was the social event of the year for my family. We often stayed overnight and it was an exciting time. The Indian wagons rolled in several days in advance and parked in the caragana hedge and in Gordon Rycroft's yard. Mark Rycroft, John Stark, and Don Stark were the announcers. Bob Frakes supplied the bucking horses, and Hollingworth's supplied the cattle.

My father started the Auction Mart in 1957 and in 1960 I began my career as an auctioneer. I soon started announcing rodeos, race meets, and chuckwagon races. For twenty-five years I was the announcer for parimutuel racing, WPCA chuckwagons, and NRA Rodeos in Grande Prairie. During this period I announced at many rodeos in northern Alberta and BC, but Teepee Creek was always special - this was my home.

Donna & I were married in 1961. We have one son Kevin who is still heavily involved in the auction business with Ritchie Bros. We have six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Donna clerked many Auctions, timed rodeos and races, worked as a recorder and attended countless rodeo and race meets. She also made time to run her own business - The Complete Reader Bookstore. Donna passed away in January of 2013 and in 2015 was named as one of the Grande Prairie's Hometown Heroes.

My parents, Roy & Rachel were honored by the Stampede Association in 1991 and we were proud to be honorees in 2010. The rejuvenation of the Stampede Association under the present board has been tremendous. Congratulations Teepee Creek for carrying on a proud tradition and doing it in style. Good luck for the next 100 years.

John Feeney2010

I became involved with the Teepee Creek Stampede in 1973 after being transferred to Sexsmith (1972). I was an Elks member at that time and we ran the midway. We had a ferris wheel, a merry-go-round and some games. The ferris wheel was quite old and had next to no brakes to stop it. Ivan Badger and myself were the only members in the last year of its operation that would run it. The next year we hired a full midway with me being the one to negotiate the deal with them, needless to say they tried to get away after the stampede without paying our share. A midway called Midwest shows then came for 4 years after that and things went well as these were good years for the stampede.

One job I had during these years was to take the gate money to town each night and look it up in the Bank vault. Gordon Rycroft and I would take a different route to town each night since some nights we had as much as $40 to $50,000 in cash. We thought we were quite clever with our strategy. After I moved to Teepee Creek area I became a pancake cooker for the annual breakfast. They were a great bunch of people to work with and after I retired they continued to send me pancakes in the mail. Sometimes they were quite green by the time I got to eat them - ha ha. I still owe the Historic Society one. I, for one, will have 35 years of terrific memories from my times at the stampede and I hope you have some fond ones also.

Lester Johnson2011

Lester (Swede) Johnson lived and farmed in the Teepee Creek area most of his life. Lester attended the Teepee Creek Sports days when they were held at the McKenzie place to the south of the present day facilities. Lester remembers placing 2nd in a diving competition when he was 12 years old. He enjoyed watching rodeo and being involved as much as possible. Swede hardly missed a day of the Teepee Creek Stampede and in earlier years he and Mark Rycroft had a chuckwagon outfit. It was at this time a loose horse ran away and as Swede was trying to capture the runaway the saddle turned on the horse he was riding, resulting in a broken leg and a trip to the Grande Prairie Hospital. As the Stampede grew the Teepee Creek Stampede Association bought their own herd of bucking horses. For several years the herd was split up in the fall and volunteers in the community wintered horses that they had feed for. Lester took his turn wintering a few until pasture was available in the spring.

Lester still has land in the Teepee Creek area but Lester and Ingrid reside in Grande Prairie. Whenever possible they enjoy a trip to the Teepee Creek Stampede and especially enjoy watching the youngsters in their various events. Almost every year lately there have been grandchildren or relatives competing.

Tom & Elva Sorken2011

Tom Sorken was born and raised in the Teepee Creek area and still resides just north of Teepee. As a young boy Tom loved the rodeo and always wanted to be a cowboy. You would often find Tom behind the chutes watching and learning the cowboy way. It wasn’t long before he was chasing bulls and bucking horses. He also helped to clean the grand stands and rodeo grounds. A lot of the pipe on the rodeo grounds was welded by Tom.

Tom not only helped out at the rodeo he was also a participant in many events. He took part in wild cow milking, wild horse races and flat races. He jockeyed for Ray Ogden and Lee Groves. In 1980 he finally won the wild cow milking. In 1973 Tom was given the opportunity to get his own thoroughbred chuckwagon team. He also drove pony chariots. In 1978 Tom sold his team as he was busy being a rodeo Dad. The first time he stood in the bucking shuts and put his son on a steer was one of his proudest moments. By 1982 all of his family was involved in rodeoing.

Tom was on the board of directors for the Stampede from ’87 - ’91, when the Teepee Creek Association had their own stock, which Tom showcased at many rodeos. Through the last 5 years Tom has been a chuckwagon judge for the WCA.

Elva became involved in the Teepee Stampede soon after marrying Tom. She has done bookkeeping for the association and helped where needed.

Rude Blanes2012

Rude Blanes has always been a part of the Teepee Creek Stampede. He attended the rodeos first at Burns Frasers place and then south on McKenzie’s land for rodeo and aquatic sports. Rude competed in steer riding as a young man.

In 1939 the Stampede bought land and put up chutes, arena, race track and a new hall. By then Rude lived in the Simonette River area. Rude’s friend & neighbor Bob Frakes had a string of bucking horses. Rude helped trail horses from there to Debolt, Bezanson, through Don & Pat Broums yard all the way to Teepee Creek, an amazing 3 day journey. He remembers seeing the horses swimming the Smokey River, with the saddle horses going over by ferry. Everyone was very happy to see the new bridge in 1949.

Rude Blanes has attended the Teepee Creek Stampede all his life, lending a hand wherever needed and enjoyed every minute of it.

Wayne & Linda Rehm2012

One of my early memories pertaining to the stampede was watching the bucking horses come. One day the family drove to the Smokey river when I was 5 or 6. We went to the river to watch Bob Frakes bring his bucking horses from his Simonette Rance to the Stampede. There was no bridge, the horses swam the river and the cowboys crossed on the ferry.

In them years the community people would go down to prepare booths ready for the stampede. About 3-4 days early the natives started arriving with teams and wagons with their families. They set up teepees or tents. By Stampede there was a small village set up south of the grand stands. They participated in the rodeo events and the Indian wagon races.

Many years were spent on work days at the grounds. One job was to bring in the bucking horses off of Kleskun Lake pasture. There were sixty to seventy head and 3 mules for a while. This was from one day to a week that depended on how lucky we were and how obliging the horses were. In 1979, the rodeo manager Robin McQuiag wanted to put in new chutes. One evening with his ideas and I with graph paper drew up ideas to scale. the girls wanted to play cards but they lost to the chutes and pens that stand there today. We were six weeks on that project. The ladies brought down coffee and lunch. As time got tight, meals were brought down too.

Over the years I spent time in the unsaddling chute. I competed in the relay race mostly partnered with Gary Wentland or Robin McQuiag. Competed in the walk trot and run with a horse I called Bud. There was a stake race for a few years, cowhide race, stock horse race and mens barrels for a couple of years. I worked hazing in the arena and enjoyed it all! A new generation running it all now and doing a great job. Enjoy yourself and have a great time.

Melvin Brown2013

Mel Brown started going to the Teepee Creek Stampede as an infant with his parents Pat and Don Brown. They day camped with the team and wagon. Then later on when they got a grain truck they would camp in the back of it.

He started as a little cowboy playing in the arena, little britches, then helped round up bucking horses in the community pasture at Kleskun Lake.

Mel always tried out young horses and new horses before the stampede. He was forever banged up and sore during the rodeo. Later years he hauled bucking stock for the Teepee Creek Stampede. Mel always enjoyed the Teepee Creek Stampede, maybe a little too much at times.

Patsy Rycroft-Brown2013

Pat was always around the Teepee Creek Stampede. Her parents and brothers were all involved. Pat helped in booths and wherever else she was needed.

Pat and Don’s boys were all involved. Working, race horse owners, bronc riders, wild horse race, wild cow milking and little britches. The girls worked booths, dance booth, breakfast booth, and junior stampede.

Pat always held down the fort while Don worked at Stampede, as president, then booth manager for years.

Grandkids and great grandkids have also been entering and helping.

Hans & Carol Ruch2013

Hans Ruch
I started working for Rusty Hollingworth when I was 16. Norman and I would go to the grounds to repair anything needing it weeks before stampede time. At the stampede I participated in steer riding. One year Leslie Hoag and I rode 15 steer each, because nothing was happening. We filled in to try to provide some entertainment. We were paid $1.00 per head if we brought the rope back. That wasn’t too bad for the day when the monthly pay was $60.00. That summer Rusty decided to start Roman Standing races. Norman and I, Ted Rycroft, Benny Lightfoot, Arnold Jensen were some of the first riders. That was quite a crowd pleaser. Ted Rycroft never rode with a centre strap. In one race the two of us were in, his horses got turned inside out and he rode the whole race with his lines twisted.

Carol Ruch
I began doing first aide for St. John’s Ambulance in the early 1960s. We worked out of a U Haul trailer for the first couple of years. Things were pretty crude then, a cot and our supplies in boxes. A few years later we got a proper trailer with windows and a built in cot and cupboards for our supplies. I had two small children who watched the show from the top of the trailer so I could keep track of them. We splinted broken arms, cleaned scrapes and bruises, and anything else that came our way. A lot of our work was binding cracked ribs and wrists so they could go back and ride again. Cowboys are pretty tough guys. They were always warned that we were not responsible for any further damage and they always replied “We’ll get it fixed after rodeo season”. There was some fun to it too. We had one cowboy who always bucked off then laid on the ground until we came out to look after him. But before we got there he would jump up and run away. We soon got tired of that so we tricked him. I got four guys to stay on the other side of the arena while I stayed in the trailer for him to see. They caught him, put him on a stretcher and hauled him in. I was waiting for him with a 6 inch needle filled with water. I shot a bit in the air and said “down with the britches. We’ll give you a shot of pain killer”. He shot out of there like a cannon, he hit the ground running after every buck off from then on. Hence the nickname “Long Gone Tomas”. I did first aide at Teepee Creek for 8 or 10 years and enjoyed every minute of it.

Butch Rycroft 2014

My first memories of the Teepee Creek Stampede as a young kid from the country were breathtaking. I had never seen so many people in one place in my life! I thought the whole world came to watch the Teepee Creek Stampede: there were tents, teepees, horse drawn wagons, trucks with tarps over them and everybody stayed for the duration.

As young kids we got involved very early in life with cleaning, painting, and anything we could do to help improve the grounds. As we got older, the more involved we became. When we were living in Smoky Heights, Benny and Wilard Simpkins, Dennis and Tommy Rycroft, Harry Rycroft, my brother Paul and myself would ride to Alfe Bisgroves, place round up the cattle and herd them down to the stampede grounds. They were used as bucking stock and other infield events. Early in the morning you might catch somebody even milking a cow for their kids morning breakfast. After the Stampede was over, we would drive them back home to Bisgroves.

In late 50s & early 60s Barney and Kay McNally, Bob and Doreen Binks, and myself strapped a loud speaker to Barneys 1953 chev and would drive to all the outlying towns and advertise the upcoming Teepee Creek Stampede.

My dad Mark Rycroft was the rodeo announcer for many years. I think it was 1964 and he just couldn’t seel to talk very good anymore (might have had something to do with the happy pops he had hidden in the announcers booth). He handed me the mic and said go for it. The man with the golden throat Donny Stark was the track announcer. He was the best track announcer I ever heard so I had good teachers. It became my job to be the rodeo announcer for many years.

I was involved when we for Wilf Cater, Gary Buck, Dallas Harms and the Family Brown in to entertain. This was a big step for the stampede association because the cost of this type of entertainment was very expensive. We always hoped for good weather and good crowds to pay bills.

In the 70s we had a band called Country Sunshine consisting of Merv Baumen, Bobby Rycroft Sr, Bobby Rycroft Jr and myself. We played for the stampede dances for many years so I didn’t get much sleep during stampede.

The memories that I have from the Teepee Creek Stampede will be with me for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t change them for the world.

The executive of the Stampede Association should be congratulated for their boldness and foresight they have. The Teepee Creek Stampede will go on forever because of the kind of people in that community. THEY CARE.

I am very proud and honored to put in a very unique group of past wagon masters.

Walter & Hazel Ward 2014

Firstly, thank you for bestowing us with this honour. Here are a few of Walter’s recollections of the Stampede:

As a child I used to go out to the Stampede with my family in the “ Model T”. Of course we had to work hard at home first to get the opportunity to go.

I used to occasionally play with the McQuaig family at the Stampede dances.

Later when an adult, I used to work with Sexsmith Elks at Bingo and Steak fry’s etc. Then there was stringing temporary power for the “in field shows”. I also helped set up timing devices for quarterhorse races.

One Saturday afternoon the electrical main breaker would not stay on and I put on a pair of sunglasses (before safety glasses existed) and Ivan Badger commented, “You getting old-eyes going?” I replied “ No, it’s for the BLAST protection”.

The last few years I have enjoyed upgrading the power in the “in field” including boring across the arena from the main power pole to the “in field announcers” booth and installing the large supply cable. Also upgrading the wiring and lighting in the Enframe building was a challenge – with my grandson Ryan (from the coast), doing the monkey work.

It’s always been a pleasure to work with the Teepee Creek Stampede Association. Anything that was needed to get the job done was always obtained with a smile

Hazel remembers cooking hamburgers all day for the Sexsmith Skating Club and helping out the bingos. The great camping get-togethers even back in the ‘70s in out quaint RV units. It was always a great family outing and we congratulate the recent younger generation who have done such a remarkable job of reawakening this great event. You are a wonderful community and a fine example to all Albertans.

Heather Dill (Rycroft) 2015

I was one of the younger kids of Eric & Reta Rycroft. My dad was the first Wagonmaster and I am proud to be one this year. Our family was involved with the original picnics almost a century ago. The stampede was a time when our entire family went and helped whoever needed it and lent a helping hand. One time I was asked to babysit some of the neighbor's kids who had camp set up in the back of a grain truck. It had a tarp on it and cots for beds. Every time I turned around, one of those boys were getting out of the box. I'm sure you know the names of the boys – Kurt, Kelly, & Murray...

My dad was a pick-up man and this role passed onto my brothers who did it for many years. I worked in the home-school booth while my children attended Teepee Creek School. Even though I rode horses all the time at home, I only went in one race at the stampede. It was a flat race and I rode for my brother-in-law. After the race he told me I would never make a jockey so I decided to stick to the home and school booth. I enjoyed helping with whatever odd jobs needed to be done.

I enjoyed taking my sons to the event when they were younger. The oldest, Shane, continues to be a part of the rodeo along with his wife, Mel and their kids. Tradition is very important to my family and I am proud to be part of a family that was and still is so involved with this incredible event. Thank you again for this opportunity – I am very honored.

 

Geneva Lizotte (Rycroft) 2015

Geneva Maud Rycroft ( Lizotte), or Billy, as a her dad and siblings would call her.

Born in 1934 in Grande Prairie Alberta and raised in the Badheart area as the oldest of 8 children. At only 3 months old, her mother (Reta) picked blueberries as baby Maud (Geneva) laid on a pillow between the saddle horn and her mom.

When she was old enough to walk, she was out doing chores with dad ( Eric) - Milking cows, feeding horses, pigs, chickens and goats. By age six, Geneva and brother Sam were roman-standing down the lane way on trusted steads Barney and Lady. Geneva broke her own saddle horses and by the age of 15 would compete in her first Ladies race. She rode for Don Roader on Donny Boy and Placed Second.

Later Geneva would marry a handsome French man who went by the name of Armond Lizotte and then would have 5 children of their own then followed by 11 grandchildren and 11 Great -grandchildren. Two of which continue the western way of life and compete in the junior rodeo at ages 2 and 5.

Lloyd & Pat Wendland 2015

When Lloyd was about 16, he rode Chub from Wanham to Teepee Creek. He had talked to Ted Rycroft at a dance about showing his trick horse at the stampede and he said "Sure, bring him over". He used Chub in the stakes race too. This started many years of competition at Teepee Creek.

In 1957, Lloyd and Del Bozarth hooked up a chuckwagon and drove to Teepee Creek. They raced there for 3 years. Lloyd also rode the relay race and stock horse race.

About 1965, we bought horses from Harvey Durocher, Lloyd then had his own chuckwagon outfit sponsored by the Grande Prairie Auction Market. Lloyd also ran a chariot and some flat horses. Pat rode in the ladies race and pony race. When Del quit wagon racing we bought some of his horses.

For several years Lloyd ran a chuckwagon and chariot at all the Peace country meets, also venturing as far as Meadow Lake, Lloydminster, Edson, and Prince George. In 1972, Lloyd sold his outfit to Allen Bensmiller. With an increasing cowherd it was too hard to keep everything going properly.

We continued to do some flat racing, sending some horses to Regina and Saskatoon with Allie and Bunny Noren. In early May, the whole family was involved with galloping, hot walking and cleaning stalls. What a fun time it was and such great memories.

Lloyd and Pat will be married 55 years this fall. Their son Daryll and wife Michelle live in the Teepee Creek area, son Brad and Deanne farm nearby, and daughter Tracy and Dale are in Kelowna. Grandchildren are Orry, Jessica, Ty; Kara; Jackson and Madison.

 

Bob & Doreen Binks 2015

Growing up in the Teepee Creek community was like living in a world with 3 seasons – Fall, Winter, and Stampede season. As soon as the last seed was sown in the spring, workbees started at the Stampede grounds.

As young "teenagers" we got involved early in the work bees helping to get the grounds ready for the most amazing days of the year. The grounds ahd to be cleaned and repairs and changes to be made to the grandstands, corrals, and chutes. That meant painting - even in the 50's the grandstands seemed huge and everything took gallons of painting.

Days just prior the event were spent preparing food for the booths. Hundreds of hamburger patties to be made and frozen. "Onions" – you haven't lived until you've peeled and cut up bushels of onions. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "crying your eyes out."

Because of our interest in the stampede are teacher and Principal, Mr. Bert Harrison, encouraged us to form our own organization, the Junior Stampede Association. This was a great move, not only did we learn organizational skills but also a lot about fundraising. With the funds we raised we added a new event – the Jr. All Around Cowboy.

Later during the NRA years, I helped a bit in the rodeo office, taking entries and recording results for the chuckwagon races and the ladies barrels.

Bob came on the scene in 1958. He found out if you're going to date a gal from Teepee Creek you're probably going to end up with a job. In addition to helping with workbees, one of his first jobs was unsaddling behind the chutes. After a few years served on the Board and a couple of committees – one of which was the dance committee as part of the security.

During the NRA years, timed events were added he found himself with a stopwatch in his hands earning himself the title of "Official Time." This was not only for the arena events, but also for the chuckwagon races.

We are both so proud to have fun and be a part of such a great show. Now it's time to sit back and enjoy and let the younger generation take over. What a great job they are doing and looking forward to the 100th year celebration