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From the Vault: Pete Knight

by Matt Naber | Oct 31, 2018

Pete Knight was a four-time world champion saddle bronc rider (1932, 1933, 1935, 1936) who likely would’ve won more had he not died in 1937 from an injury suffered in the arena at Haywood, Calif. 

Knight was born May 5, 1903, in Philadelphia, Pa., but grew up near Stroud, Okla., and Crossfield, Alberta. He entered his first rodeo at 16 and was a four-time Canadian champion. For the next 12 years he either won the championship or ranked near the top. 

Famously, Knight was the first to ride Five Minutes of Midnight, considered the greatest bucking horse of its time. Knight rode him in 1926 in Montreal, and they were linked again 56 years later when Knight was the first cowboy and Midnight the first horse inducted into the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame. The pair were also among the inaugural class of inductees to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979. 

Knight’s final ride was at the Rowell Ranch Rodeo aboard a bronc named Duster, who bucked him off and stepped on him. Knight walked away but died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, his liver impaled on a broken rib. Knight’s death on May 23, 1937, came six weeks after the birth of his daughter, Dianna.  

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