TOM BUTTERFIELD CREATING COWBOYS SCHOLARSHIP
Tom Butterfield, a legendary Ponoka cowboy who stands for toughness, honesty, integrity and a sense of fair play.
Tom, the oldest of the Butterfield brothers was born on January 27th, 1928. Tom Butterfield and the Butterfield family were raised on a mixed farm west of Ponoka, Alberta, and as teenagers, had ample opportunity to ride a few old cows and yearlings, thereby acquiring the skills and desire to compete. At the age of 16, Tom decided to enter boys steer riding at the Asker rodeo in 1944. He drew a good animal and won third. He was hooked on the sport and decided to compete in the bareback riding and cow riding at many of the local rodeos.
In 1956, Tom joined the Cowboys Protective Association and turned his interests to steer wrestling and decorating, traveling with his brothers Brian and Bud. His determination, skill and love for rodeo made him one of the top steer wrestlers in Canada during the late 1950's and 60's.
Tom was the steer-wrestling Director for the Cowboys Protective Association in 1960 and 1961 and was elected President for the next four years 1962-1965. During 1978-79, the CRCA experienced financial difficulties; Tom Butterfield along with Colin Forbes of Edmonton Northlands restructured the Board of Directors. The new structure would consist of two Elected Cowboys, two Elected Rodeo Committee Members and two Elected Stock Contractors and a President at large, additionally the duo introduced the "approval fee" where rodeos would pay a percentage of their rodeo prize money to the CRCA. Tom Butterfield was again elected to the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Board in 1981 and 1982.
He was inducted as a builder into the Canadian Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1996. From 1968 to 2000 Tom Butterfield was a Director on the Board of the Ponoka Stampede Association, serving as the President in 1978 and 1979. Tom Butterfield was a Ponoka County Councilor and a candidate for the Western Canada Concept in the 1982 Provincial election.
Thomas Warren Butterfield passed away on September 16th, 2009 at the age of 81. He was a rodeo legend, independent politician and doting grandfather. Tom wore many hats throughout his lifetime and will be remembered for being larger than life.
In memory of Tom Butterfield, in 2010 the Ponoka Stampede created the Tom Butterfield Creating Cowboys Scholarship. The Tom Butterfield Creating Cowboys Scholarship is awarded to one boy and one girl ($500 each) annually, based on academic standing and their plans to pursue a career in Rodeo.