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Winston Bruce: Oct. 27, 1937 – July 10, 2017

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – ProRodeo Hall of Fame saddle bronc rider Winston Bruce passed away July 10. He was 79.

Bruce’s PRCA career was highlighted by him winning the 1961 world championship. He qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 10 consecutive times from 1959-68, and was the reserve world champion in 1959 and 1965.

Bruce was inducted in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1989, becoming the first Canadian competitor to receive that honor. He also was inducted in the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1995, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum in 1998.

“The world of rodeo is one of the greatest lives,” Bruce said in a 1988 article in the ProRodeo Sports News. “Doing what you like to do makes you good at what you’re doing.”

The native of Stettler, Alberta, developed a winning style through hours of practice, even in the snow. He summed up his formula for success as nerve, ability, coordination, balance and try.

Bruce also was the 1957-58 Canadian saddle bronc riding champion, and he won the saddle bronc riding title at Calgary (Alberta) and Cheyenne (Wyo.) in 1959.

Bruce, in rodeo circles, was sometimes referred to as “a homemade bronc rider.” This was in respectful reference to the fact he developed and perfected a wondrous and winning bronc riding style, under the direction of his father, Laurence, in home practice arenas.

The son of a stock contractor and bronc rider, Bruce grew up around cowboys and rodeos. In May 1965, he put on his first Winston Bruce Rodeo College, a roughstock riding school. In 1969, Bruce made the move from competing to working in rodeo. He was named assistant arena director of the Calgary Stampede, and in 1970, he became arena director.

From 1980 through 2002, he served as division manager for the rodeo, supervising the production of the Calgary Stampede and the rodeo stock breeding program.


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