The Calgary Stampede honoured a select few westerners for its prestigious Pioneers of Rodeo Awards. The class of 2018 included retired chuckwagon driver, Buddy Bensmiller, barrel racer, Marlene Eddleman- McRae, and active supporter, John Scott.
One of the greatest careers the sport of chuckwagon racing has ever seen, Buddy Bensmiller is a two-time World Champion Chuckwagon Driver, a three-time Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby Champion Driver and a three-time Calgary Stampede Aggregate Winner. He was honoured with the WPCA’s George Normand Lifetime Builder’s Award in 2011 and ran his last race at the 100th Calgary Stampede in 2012. Buddy received the WPCA’s prestigious Chuckwagon Person of the Year Award in 2000, the Calgary Stampede’s Guy Weadick Award in 1994 and was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2009.
Marlene Eddleman-McRae was the World Champion Barrel Racer in 1983 and won the Calgary Stampede five times between 1984 and 1990. She twice won the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in 1983 and again in 1988. She was inducted into the National Cowgirls Hall of Fame in 1995 and won two Gold Medals competing at the Olympic Rodeo during the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988.
A third-generation Alberta rancher, John Scott’s contributions to the Calgary Stampede span over 60 years. He has helped all of the equine committees, including the Horseshoe, Parade, Stampede Royalty and both the Rodeo and the Chuckwagon committees. He has supplied as many as 200 horses, teams, wagons and equipment to the Calgary Stampede at any given time. Many of the Calgary Stampede special guests and dignitaries have ridden John’s trustworthy stock — not to mention he has contributed to seven Academy Award-winning movies — four of which were shot in Alberta.