Usually, you can find Jason Churchill behind the scenes of a big rodeo.
The rodeo manager for the last 15 years at the Falkland Stampede, Churchill found himself front and centre in front of 16,000 people at Edmonton’s Northlands Coliseum in November during the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association’s week-long Canadian Finals Rodeo event.
At the year-end awards ceremony, Churchill was named the CPRA’s Committee Person of the Year, presented in memory of a man named Jim Brown to the person judged to have made the most dedicated efforts to his/her rodeo and/or the sport of rodeo.
The Falkland Stampede is gearing up for its special 100th anniversary this May long weekend.
“It was pretty special,” said Churchill, 43, finalizing all the details for the milestone stampede which kicks off Saturday. “Both of my sisters and my mom and dad were there for the presentation.”
Churchill was given the Becker gold and silver trophy buckle for being named Committee Person of the Year, donated by Bar C5 Rodeo Co., and an honourary gold card, donated by the CPRA.
Making the award even more special? Churchill’s father, Mervin, won the same award in 1982.
“That’s pretty cool,” said Churchill, a maintenance coordinator for a pipeline company, whose first rodeo memory comes from the same year, 1982.
“We had a rodeo in Falkland to raise money for Terry Fox,” he said. “My dad was in charge and he was able to bring in the top cowboys. They raised a lot of money. It was a huge event. I remember it clearly, it was a one-day rodeo.”
In fact, on a sheet of plywood behind the grandstands, as he was helping clean up recently, Churchill found a poster advertising that 1982 event.
The 100th Falkland Stampede will be Churchill’s last as rodeo manager. He’ll be stepping down from the position.
“My goal was to make it to the 100th,” he said.