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Blaine Pederson at his ranch near Amisk: you have to want to win. ©Provost News Photo.

A 40 year old world class cowboy who lives just north of Amisk will soon be inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

Blaine Pederson, who has a string of rodeo awards over his amateur and professional career was recently nominated by the Amisk Agricultural Society.

“I was kind of surprised but knew it was coming” Pederson told The News at his ranch just north of Amisk.

He said that a few years ago someone told him that he should be nominated and when John and Patti Hovde of Hughenden recently visited the hall of fame in Red Deer they realized that Pederson was not in there among other athletic greats. The Hovdes suggested to the Amisk Ag. Society that the cowboy be nominated. Kim Lawrence, who works in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum told The News in Red Deer that a banquet is being planned for Pederson and others. She points out that it’s not easy for winners to get into the hall.

In 1982 Pederson won the rookie of the year award and also his first steer wrestling title in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA). He competed at the Canadian Finals Rodeo 15 times and the National Finals Rodeo five times. He has won four Canadian Steer Wrestling Championships, two Canadian High Point Championships, the Calgary Stampede $50,000 title in 1988 and 1991, and was twice the NFR Steer Wrestling Average winner. The highlight of his career was in 1994 when he captured the World Championship Steer Wrestling title (see PN December 1994).

The cowboy, who was cited for his outstanding ability, sportsmanship, appearance, personality and contributions to the betterment of rodeo was also awarded the Calgary Stampede’s Guy Weadick Award in 1988—and then became the CPRA Cowboy of the Year in 1998.

Pederson has not competed for a couple of years due to knee surgery and “practicing too much.” But he still trains horses and holds clinics. Some people come to the Pederson ranch to practice and learn from him. He will be conducting a clinic in Winnipeg this spring in addition to one he recently did at Brooks, Alta where he taught a steer wrestling school.

He attributes his entry to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to “a lot of patience” and because he always set goals and then focuses on them. “I was lucky to achieve them.”

The first time he went to Las Vegas to compete his goal “was not to get skunked” then quickly realized that he was as good as any of the other cowboys there. One of his goals after that experience was to win the world championship — and after a few years of determination he did that in Las Vegas. He says that sometimes people try too hard, advising others to practice a lot, stay mentally focussed and then “let things take their course” when you’re out there competing. “You have to want to win.”

Provost News: What did your family say about this latest achievement?
Blaine Pederson: They all want tickets to go to the banquet on May 23 so that’s a good sign. I now realize it’s a big honour.
PN: Did you have a particular person you looked up to as a youngster, like former Czar resident and bull riding champion Leo Brown (who is also in the hall of fame)?
BP: Allan Currier who lives nine miles away was always in rodeo and encouraged me. My parents also supported me but were not rodeo people so did not know the sport well. Currier won the Canadian Wild Cow Milking championships seven times—and also roped. He’s still a great influence for kids who are interested in rodeo. Another hero was Wayne Gretzky (who’s featured in the hall of fame). By the way, I was wearing number 99 on my back when I won the world championship. I also hung around a lot with cowboys Darcy and Leon Laye of Cadogan and Mark Laye of Consort and they got me started in wrestling. I wound up marrying Yvonne Laye (who attended Provost High School) and comes from a rodeo family background, so that also influenced me.
PN: If you’re not doing rodeo, what else gets your attention?
BP: Golf. And I love watching hockey.

Pederson now mainly misses the atmosphere of the Edmonton CFR, the Las Vegas NFR as well as competing in the Calgary Stampede. But he’s philosophic about not being in the action anymore. He says that he knows some cowboys a lot older than himself who went through a career hoping for a big win and then talking about what they could have won. He used perseverance—set a goal and then achieved it, so he’s happy with the results. And to get inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame is now the icing on the cake.

He has sent the sports hall of fame one of his bronze world statues and saddle wins as well as other trophies that will be on display there for a while.

He and his wife have two girls, Candice in Grade 11 at Hughenden Public School and Jamie-Lee who lives and works at Sedgewick.

Pederson says that he appreciates the community of Amisk for their support and nomination. “I’m honoured the community would do that.” The community has already done some honouring by putting a large sign with his picture on the edge of Amisk that points to the cowboy’s world championship win for motorists to see along Highway 13 (also available for viewing at go to “Other communities” heading on the website and then click on Amisk). Click here for to see that picture.

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is located on the west outskirts of Red Deer along Highway 2. The hall of fame began honouring Alberta’s premier athletes and sport builders in 1957. Since then over 484 men and women have been recognized for their achievements or contributions to sport in Alberta through induction in the hall.

Pederson will join other great athletes including Gretzky, Leo Brown (who won five bull riding, two bareback and one saddle bronc CFR championships. In 1963 the former Czar man rode all eight of the rankest bulls in the world to a decisive World Championship and 31 years later this record still stands; he lives at Cochrane, Alta), Kurt Browning, Ron MacLean, The Edmonton Grads basketball teams of 1915 - 1940, and former Provost resident Norm Ullman who played in the NHL and World Hockey Association spanning 22 years.

Tickets for the banquet in Red Deer next month can be purchased at Red Deer or from members of the Amisk Ag. society. Usually over 600 people attend at the 7,000 square foot building where several interactive exhibits are available along with displays and exhibits including Albertans who have climbed Mount Everest.

Others named to the hall of fame for 2003 include: Ollie Currie (swimming), Duane Daines (rodeo), Glen Jevne (fastball), Lovell McDonnell (baseball), Sherrold Moore (multisport), Shona Schleppe (field hockey/soccer) John Hougan (ski jumping), Bob McGhee (multisport) and Joe Carbury (Calgary Stampede announcer).

A reception, dinner and live and silent auction will be held at the ceremonies.

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