Empty Saddles: Jim Gladstone (1942–2015)

Photo courtesy of Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.

Jim Gladstone, the first Canadian to earn a World Championship in a timed event, and still the only Canadian to have won a tie-down roping gold buckle, died at his home on the Blood Reserve. He was 72.

Gladstone won the 1969, 1971 and 1973 Canadian tie-down roping championships and went on to win the World championship in 1977 at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. He roped 10 calves in 119.7 seconds, setting an NFR record. He qualified for the NFR four times (1972-73 and 1977-78).

Jim was among the top three in the nation’s professional rankings each year from 1962 through 1966, before capturing his first Canadian calf roping title in 1969.

He went on to win two more Canadian championships in 1971 and 1973 and was runner-up to the title in 1972, ’75, and ’76. Jim qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo seven times, from the first one held in 1974 through to 1980.

Gladstone, a retired defense attorney who successfully argued a case to the Supreme Court, is an inductee in both the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame.