These people were from the first generation and were the inspiration.
By Craig Black
At Joan Ionson’s funeral, Bruce Ionson gave me a big collection of old pictures from Roy and Joan’s place. Most were rodeo pictures but as well, there were some old pictures from the WHA. Amongst them was LeRoy Kufske’s personal album which I was so proud and happy to get. I felt some of these pictures needed to be shared. These people were from the first generation and were the inspiration and the mentors of my generation. I think it is so important to pass these to the younger generation to know and remember where it all started. I picked a few pictures from LeRoy’s album to remember:
1. A real dynamic duo - Jake Robson dogging and John McKenzie hazing. These two cowboys were also two of the best and fastest calf ropers ever in Ontario. LeRoy was also a steer wrestler and calf roper and when I found this photo in his personal album, all I could think of was the great admiration and respect he had for these two cowboys.
2. Three of the best cowboys who ever lived in Ontario - Ralph Smith, Doug Doner, LeRoy Kufske These three were a big inspiration to everyone involved in rodeo and to everyone who wanted to be involved in rodeo.
3. One of my heroes - Doug Doner Doug was a top hand with any kind of horse but he loved his mules. This picture was taken in a 1953 Santa Claus Parade.
4. Guess Who? This picture was on LeRoy’s desk forever. He bought this horse and sold him to Johnny Royale. He was one of the best and most famous speed event horses ever in Ontario. Yes, this is Squeaky Brown. (Hey Greg, this one's for you and your daughters and of course, Norma!)