Earl W. Bascom (1906-1995) - Earl Bascom was born in 1906 in Vernal, Utah and raised in Canada. Coming to Alberta in 1914, he lived in Raymond, Welling Station, New Dayton, Lethbridge and Stirling. Known as the “Father of Modern Rodeo” for his many rodeo equipment inventions and innovations which helped rodeo become a professional sport, Earl Bascom has been inducted into the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Hall of Fame , the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. He was named one of the 150 greatest sportsmen of Canada's history. A rodeo pioneer, Earl Bascom was a three event rough stock rodeo contestant from 1916 to 1940, a timed event contestant in the steer wrestling and steer decorating events, and was also a rodeo trick rider in the 1930's. Earl Bascom and his brother Weldon Bascom learned trick riding from fellow Canadian and trick riding champion Ted Elder in 1936. Earl Bascom performed trick riding in Mississippi, Utah, Idaho and Alberta until retiring in 1940. He later worked as a cowboy actor in Hollywood and became an internationally known western artist and sculptor. Earl Bascom was one of the early legends and performers of Canadian trick riding. ( 1940 Raymond Stampede trick riding - Recorder, July 5, 1940, Page 1, Item Ar00107 (ualberta.ca) )
Weldon Bascom (1912-1992) – Weldon Bascom was born in 1912 in Naples, Utah and raised in Canada. Coming to Alberta in 1914, he lived in Raymond, Welling Station, New Dayton, Lethbridge and Stirling. Weldon Bascom and his brother Earl Bascom have been called the “Fathers of Mississippi Rodeo” for producing the first rodeos in Mississippi, which included trick riding. Weldon Bascom was a three event rough stock rodeo contestant from 1922 to 1945, who started trick riding in 1936 having been taught by World Champion Trick Rider Ted Elder. Weldon Bascom performed trick riding in Mississippi, Utah, Idaho and Alberta until he retired from rodeo in 1945. He later worked as a stuntman and cowboy actor in Hollywood westerns. Weldon and his brother Earl have been inducted into the Mississippi Rodeo Hall of Fame, the Utah Rodeo Hall of Fame, the Idaho Rodeo Hall of Fame, the Raymond (Alberta) Sports Hall of Fame, the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame, and given the ProRodeo Cowboys Hall of Fame “Pioneer Award.” Weldon Bascom was one of the early legends and performers of Canadian trick riding. ( 1940 Raymond Stampede trick riding - Recorder, July 5, 1940, Page 1, Item Ar00107 (ualberta.ca) and Recorder, July 16, 1937, Page 1, Item Ar00115 (ualberta.ca) )
Ted Elder (1897-1981) – Known professionally as “Suicide” Ted Elder, he has been called “the greatest trick rider in the history of Canada” having won seven World Championship Trick Riding Titles, seven years in a row. He was crowned “Champion Trick and Fancy Rider of the World” in 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931 and 1932, back in the era when trick riding was a competitive event at rodeos. He was born Leslie Clayborn Elder in 1897 but went by Ted Elder and was called “Suicide” Ted Elder by his cowboy friends because of his daredevil feats on horseback, including the one he invented and was named for him as the “Suicide Drag.” He was the first to put hand holds on the back of the trick saddle to do the Suicide Drag. Born in Hinckley, Utah, the Elder family moved to Rexburg, Idaho and then to Raymond, Alberta before homesteading a ranch in Barnwell, Alberta. Ted joined the North West Mounted Police force and served in a World War I cavalry unit. After the war, Ted worked on a ranch in 1920 near Pendleton, Oregon While at the annual Pendleton Roundup, he was intrigued by the trick riding contest and its hefty pay window. Working for a dollar and a half a day as a seasoned cowboy, Ted determined that trick riding prize money had a greater reward. He set his mind to become the best trick rider in the world. He won his first championship in Denver and then went on to compete at the Calgary Stampede in 1923. In 1924, he went to London, England to compete in the World Championship Rodeo, performing before the Queen of England and winning second place as Reserve Champion Trick Rider of the World. At the week long rodeo, he was just behind Vera McGinnis of Winnipeg, Manitoba who won first place. In 1925, Ted started working for the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus as a star of the show performing trick rides, In 1927, he started performing for the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show. He contested across the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, winning seven World Championships. In 1934, he again performed before the Queen of England at London's World Championship Rodeo. In 1936, he performed at the Columbia Rodeo in Mississippi where he taught Earl Bascom and Weldon Bascom, as well as Weldon's wife Rose to trick ride. Ted worked in Hollywood as a stunt man and movie extra, and as a horse trainer. He trained cowboy actor Gene Autry's horse Champion. He also invented the pivot sprinkler system used on alfalfa fields. No other trick rider has won more Trick Riding World Championships than Suicide Ted Elder. Ted Elder was one of the early legends and performers of Canadian trick riding, even the greatest in Canadian history. ( “Suicide” Ted Elder | Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine ) History of Mississippi rodeo shared | The Columbian-Progress (columbianprogress.com)
Vera McGinnis (1892-1990) – Born in Missouri in 1892, she was called “the most daring cowgirl who ever rode.” She entered her first rodeo in Salt Lake City in 1913 and became a champion relay racer, Roman racer, trick rider, saddle bronc rider and bull rider, rodeoing across North America, Europe, China and Indonesia. She moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada before gaining two World Championship Titles, the first as World Champion Trick Rider and the second as World Champion Relay Racer, both at Tex Austin's World Championship Rodeo in London, England in 1924. She was also a Hollywood stunt-woman and cowgirl actress. She was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Texas. Vera McGinnis was one of the early legends and performers of Canadian trick riding. ( Vera McGinnis: The Most Daring Cowgirl Who Ever Rode The West - COWGIRL Magazine )
Billy Bascom (1925-2018) – Born in Raymond, Alberta in 1925, Billy Bascom lived in Raymond, Stirling, Magrath, and Eastend, Saskatchewan before moving to California. He was a rodeo contestant in the saddle bronc and bareback events. He tried his hand as a rodeo clown and was a trick rider in Alberta, Saskachewan and California starting in 1940. Billy and his younger brother Wesley were taught by their two trick riding uncles, Earl and Weldon Bascom, how to trick ride using the trick riding saddle of Ted Elder. Billy performed trick riding into the 1970's, performing in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and California. He later managed Roy Rogers Riding Stables and worked as an actor in a Disney movie. He taught his children how to trick ride, and taught horsemanship including trick riding at the Victor Valley College in Victorville, California. The trick riding saddle that he used for so many years, which was given to him by his uncles and which was originally from Ted Elder, is now on exhibit at the Raymond Sports Hall of Fame museum in Raymond, Alberta. Billy Bascom was one of the early legends and performers of Canadian trick riding.
(1944 Raymond Stampede - Recorder, July 7, 1944, Page 1, Item Ar00109 (ualberta.ca) )
(1945 Raymond Stampede - Recorder, July 6, 1945, Page 1, Item Ar00106 (ualberta.ca) )
Wesley Bascom (1929-2018) - Born in Raymond, Alberta in 1929, Wesley Bascom lived in Raymond, Stirling, Magrath, Lethbridge, Mountain View and Eastend, Saskatchewan and also California. He was a rodeo contestant in the saddle bronc and bareback events, and performed as a trick rider in Alberta, Saskatchewan and California starting in 1940. He was taught to trick ride by his trick riding uncles, Earl and Weldon, using the trick riding saddle of World Champion Ted Elder which saddle had been given to his uncles by Ted Elder while performing in Mississippi. Wesley taught his sons to trick ride, as well. He was also a western artist. Wesley Bascom was one of the early legends and performers of Canadian trick riding.
(1945 Raymond Stampede - Recorder, July 6, 1945, Page 1, Item Ar00106 (ualberta.ca) )
Florence “Flores” LaDue (1883-1951) – Born Grace Maude Bensel in 1883 in Montevideo, Minnesota, she was a rodeo trick rider and fancy trick roper using the performance name of Miss LaDue. She joined a wild west show in 1905 where she met and then married a fellow performer, Guy Weadick. In 1910, they both were performing with the Will Rogers Wild West Show. In 1912, she helped her husband found the Calgary Stampede, where she won the title of World Champion Trick and Fancy Roper. She carried the honor as “First Lady of the Calgary Stampede” until retiring and moving to Phoenix, Arizona. Florence LaDue was one of the early legends and performers of Canadian trick riding.
Raymond Knight (1872-1947) – Born in Payson, Utah in 1872, Ray Knight came to southern Alberta in 1901 to oversee the Knight Ranches owned by his family. He coined the rodeo term “stampede” when he started Canada's first rodeo – the Raymond Stampede – in 1902 where he won the steer roping event. He is considered the “Father of Canadian Professional Rodeo” and called the “Father of the Stampedes.” The King of England called him the “Buffalo Bill of Canada.” He soon introduced the events of Roman racing and chariot racing to his rodeos He produced rodeos and furnished rodeo stock to stampedes in Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan. He helped found the Calgary Stampede in 1912, being the rodeo stock director for many years. He won the North American Calf Roping Championship at the Calgary Stampede in 1919, 1924 and 1926. Ray Knight had a town, a school, a college and a rodeo named after him. He was the world's richest rodeo champion, rodeo producer, rodeo stock contractor and promoter of the Roman standing race with almost a million acres of ranch land in Canada and the United States. In 1919, he shipped 48,000 head of cattle to the stockyards of Toronto and Chicago. He had 2,000 head of horses with several teams of Roman race horses. Knight promoted the Roman racing event. His most famous Roman racing team was a pair of golden palomino horses named Goldie and Bud In 1924, Goldie and Bud were rented by a Hollywood movie production company. The Hollywood cowboy star Hoot Gibson was filmed at the Calgary Stampede riding this team of palominos to the finish line as the fictional World Champion Roman Racer. The movie entitled “The Calgary Stampede” with its Roman riding race, was distributed world-wide and helped the Calgary Stampede and the Roman riding event gain world fame. Knight served as president of the Alberta Stampede Managers Association. Ray Knight, who has been inducted into the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame, the Raymond Sports Hall of Fame, the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, helped pioneer Roman racing in Canada as one of the early pioneers and promoters. ( 1982 — CanadianProRodeoHallOfFame.org ) ( Ray Knight1web – Elite Equestrian magazine ) ( Bascom & Knight - 2013 (albertasportshallmembers.ca) )
Raymond “Tommy” Bascom (1901-1943) – Born in Naples, Utah in 1901 and raised in Canada. He was the oldest brother of trick riders Earl Bascom and Weldon Basocm. Coming to Alberta in 1914, he lived in Raymond, Welling Station, New Dayton, Lethbridge, Stirling, and Eastend, Saskatchewan. He tried his hand as a bronc rider before becoming a champion Roman rider and chariot racer over a span of 20 years. He was usually riding Ray Knight's teams. He and his brothers helped care for and keep in training the championship Roman racing horse team, Goldie and Bud, owned by Ray Knight. Bascom was nicknamed “Tommy” by his cowboy buddies because he looked like the cowboy actor Tom Mix of the silent movie era. He also made a name for himself as a rodeo pickup man for 20 years in Alberta, Montana and Saskatchewan, and worked as a pickup man at the Calgary Stampede for 10 years. He also served on the rodeo committee of the Raymond Stampede for several years. He has been inducted into the Raymond Sports Hall of Fame and the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame. Raymond Bascom was one of the early pioneers and contestants of Canadian Roman riding. Recorder, October 1, 1943, Page 1, Item Ar00103 (ualberta.ca) ( Recorder, October 8, 1943, Page 1, Item Ar00111 (ualberta.ca) ) ( Recorder, March 3, 1939, Page 1, Item Ar00109 (ualberta.ca) ) ( Recorder, June 23, 1939, Page 1, Item Ar00107 (ualberta.ca) )