The Daines family of Innisfail and area are no longer just individual rodeo legends.
The rodeo world has recognized the entire family with the prestigious honour as being a member of the Pro Rodeo Foundation Families (PRFF), an honour that puts them with the best of the best in the history of the sport.
Last December during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas the Daines family of Innisfail was recognized as a foundation family alongside 66 other North American rodeo clans who have made a significant lifetime contribution to the sport over the past 75 years. On the Canadian side, the Daineses were joined by Veteran’s Garstad family, the Bruces of Forestburg, Millet’s Robinson family, the Butterfields of Ponoka, and the Kesler family from Rosemary.
“You know they (Daineses) have been a very dynamic family in promoting rodeo, contesting in rodeo – all aspects of this sport,” said PRFF organizer Larry Jordan, 72, a native of Montana, former national saddle bronc finalist and current board member of the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall & Wall of Fame. “They are in the rodeo business, livestock and auction, and western store businesses. If you say Canada you say Daines when it comes to rodeo.”
Ivan Daines, a past Canadian saddle bronc riding champion, went to the Las Vegas awards ceremony with several family members. He said he was honoured to bring it home to his famous family, which includes his late parents, Snowden and Ethel, and brothers Jim, Jack, Norman, Glen, Franklin and Danny. Glen passed away last year.
“It meant a great deal to me because all of my heroes and friends across Canada and the United States were in the rodeo business and the names you see listed, I know most of them, the American and Canadian families,” said Ivan, noting his parents, who raised horses and farmed, always supported the siblings’ passion for rodeo. “He (Snowden) was very proud of us all. Just get the work done though. If you wanted your rodeo on the weekend, the work got done during the week. Everybody worked hard and everybody was proud to go rodeoing.”
Brother Jack was the first of the seven boys to pursue a passion for rodeo, winning his first steer riding trophy in 1949 at the age of 12 after hitchhiking his way to a competition in Olds. A decade after that award-winning steer ride, Jack had an inspiration while combining a field of grain on the family farm.
“I said that would be a good place to build a rodeo grounds for me to practise,” said Jack, who soon went to work to create a practice place. But that would soon change to something far bigger, something that would ultimately be a sacred place for Canadian rodeo and the Innisfail and area community. “Different people said I had such a beautiful rodeo grounds and people can sit on the side hill, why don’t you put on a rodeo?”
Jack did put on his first rodeo at the Daines Ranch in 1961 and the annual event has grown to be one of the most treasured rodeos in Canada.
“It has been a tremendous amount of work but I love it, and my family, even if they are not competing in it, are proud to wear a cowboy hat and be cowboys,” said Jack, adding that while the PRFF award is an honour there’s much more for the Daines family outside the rodeo arena.
“Rodeo is a family thing. It is a way of life,” said Jack. “There are many things that are big in your life. I am a partner with my brothers in an auction market.
“Rodeo isn’t everything,” he added. “Family is Number 1.”