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  • Vermilion Voice

Buddy Bensmiller Honoured At Calgary Stampede

Pioneer of Rodeo Award winner, Buddy Bensmiller, at the Calgary Stampede on July 9.

Photo credit: Billy Melville

Rodeo elite gathered at Calgary Stampede to witness area resident, Buddy Bensmiller, receive one of the Pioneers of Rodeo Awards on July 9. Bensmiller was inducted for his long list of achievements as a former chuckwagon driver including being a three time Calgary Stampede Champion, a three-time Aggregate Champion, an eight-time Canadian Champion, and a two-time World Professional Champion. Bensmiller has also been inducted into the Cheyenne Hall of Fame as a nine-time Champion, won three Safe Driver awards, and was awarded the Bill Kehler Award at the Ponoka Stampede. The ceremony highlighted what Bensmiller has done for the sport, along with other inductees Marlene Eddleman McRae (barrel racer) and John Scott (active supporter of rodeo). Bensmiller spent 34 consecutive years driving chuckwagons at the Calgary Stampede and said that it was his family and the love of horses that kept him competing. He loved giving his horses another 10 – 20 years of life in a sport that they maybe weren’t made or bred for. ‘It was a great honour to be recognized. I am thankful that the committee in Calgary would think of me and those that were honoured alongside of me. When I retired, I thought we were going to stay home, but with everyone else on the road, and now working for the WPCA, I still get to be around the family,” said Bensmiller.

From left, 2018 Pioneers of Rodeo Award recipients Buddy Bensmiller, Marlene Eddleman McRae, John Scott, and Calgary Stampede first vice-chairman Dana Peers. Photo credit: Billy Melville

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