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Dalemead steer wrestler pushing up the pro rodeo standings

Steer wrestler Denver Roy says growing up near Dalemead he was standing on the shoulders of local rodeo giants
Canadian Pro Rodeo steer wrestler Denver Roy credits his upbringing in Dalemead for his professional success.

Dalemead steer wrestler Denver Roy has been stacking up the points over the last two months, currently sitting 18th overall in the Canadian Pro Rodeo standings for his event.

Roy is hoping to make a strong push to finish off the season and qualify for the 2022 Canadian Finals Rodeo, to be held Nov. 2 to 6 at the Peavey Mart Centrium in Westerner Park in Red Deer.

“I’ve been picking away,” Roy told the Rocky View Weekly in a recent interview. “The first half of the year was pretty slow, but sometimes you can’t pick your steers that you run. When you get the good ones, you need to capitalize on them, and it seems I have been able to capitalize on them pretty good here the last month and a half.

“So (the season) has turned around pretty good and we are making a late push for the CFR (Canadian Finals Rodeo).”

Roy has been a full-time professional rodeo cowboy for the past six years. Growing up near Dalemead, Roy said he was always conscious that he was standing on the shoulders of some of the giants of steer wrestling, which ultimately inspired him to take up his own pro career. 

First and foremost among those local legends, in Roy’s mind, was his dad Mark, who won the Steer Wrestling World Championship back in 1992.

“I had him in my corner, and he rodeoed with me for quite a few years to start out with and get me trained up on how to enter rodeos, how to set up your weekends, and maintain a team of horses to make sure they are firing on all cylinders,” remembered Roy. “He’s been the sole reason where I am now. I watched him my whole childhood while he was finishing his career, and I was completely in love with everything he was doing (in rodeo). I wanted to rodeo like him, I wanted to walk like him, I wanted to steer wrestle like him, and talk like him. I idolized him.”

Another Dalemead legend any local rodeo cowboy worth his spurs knows about, and idolizes, is “Hambone” Dave MacDonald, according to Roy.

MacDonald is a Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame inductee who was considered one of the best all-around cowboys to ever compete in Canadian rodeo. In 1975, MacDonald qualified, in a then-unprecedented three Canadian Finals Rodeo events, competing in calf-roping, bareback riding and steer wrestling. In 1978, he was named best All Around Canadian Cowboy. He passed away in 2011.

“Dave MacDonald did a little bit of everything,” said Roy. “He was a steer wrestler and he dabbled at every end of the arena. He’s a legend around here (in Dalmead). His presence inspired a lot of younger guys to get into it.”

Roy said he was also fortunate to grow up around other local rodeo greats from just 18 minutes down the road in Carseland, Roy Groves and Lee Phillips.

“In a way, it puts on a bit of pressure to succeed at a competition level,” Roy admitted. “Those are big boots to fill.”

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