Calgary Stampede: The New Bronze Age

The Calgary Stampede Rodeo is one of the only rodeos in the world to award bronze trophies to contestants. The next best thing to winning one, might be winning the right to make one.

“It’s an honour. This is the greatest rodeo in the world right here.”

That’s how artist Con Williams feels about creating the art that is turned into the trophy bronzes for the Calgary Stampede. He’s had many of his pieces selected over the years, and was once again chosen to create some of the awards that will be used for the next five years.

The Stampede began the tradition of awarding trophy bronzes to Rodeo Champions in 1940 as a way of presenting a permanent and unique prize to the winners of the rodeo and chuckwagon events. Since 1972, a competition has been held every five years to select the art for the trophy bronzes that will be given out as awards.

Con William’s winning entry for the Saddlebronc Champion

This year marks the beginning of a new five-year bronze age for the 2018-2022 Calgary Stampede Champion Trophy Bronzes. Nearly 200 phenomenal western sculptures and bronzes we submitted for judging, making for an enjoyably tough task for the panel of judges.These sensational sculptures were submitted by 27 superb artists from all across North America.

Chris Navarro’s winning Bull Riding submission

Integral to these amazing pieces of art is authenticity, accuracy and realistically conveying the qualities of both animals and riders. Artist Shay Keller is also a team roper, and says his personal experience with rodeo animals plays an important role when he sculpts.  Keller is a winner for the first time this year, with two pieces selected.  He works hard to recreate what he sees in the rodeo arena.

“If somebody that has lots of experience with horses says that my piece is accurate…I would take great pride in that.”

That feeling is echoed by the artists chosen to produce Bareback and Bull Riding Trophy Bronzes, Chris Navarro. He feels knowing and working with the animals “makes you a little more accurate.” Thanks to an earlier career in bull riding Chris notes, “I can see another sculpture by an artist and I can tell if he has been a bull rider.”

These beautiful and unique works of art will be awarded to the winners of the Rodeo and Chuckwagon events during Stampede time over the next five years. Congratulations to the exceptionally talented artists who competed in this five year cycle!

A clay submission for the Champion Bull


RODEO TROPHY BRONZES – 2018 – 2022 Series

Event Award Winner Title
Saddle Bronc Riding Con Williams Class Act
Bareback Riding Chris Navarro Kicking it at Calgary
Bull Riding Chris Navarro Double Rank
Tie-Down Roping Shay Keller All in the Reflexes
Steer Wrestling Shay Keller Sliding into Position
Ladies Barrel Racing Donna Wilson Off the Top
Novice Saddle Bronc Riding Con Williams Great Expectations
Novice Bareback Riding Con Williams Glory Seeker
Junior Steer Riding Tier 2 Ken Frederickson On a Roll
Junior Steer Riding Tier 1 Tobin Capp A Champion is Born
Champion Saddle Bronc Horse Crystal Mossing Rodeo Bronc
Champion Bareback Horse Ken Mayernik Top of the Line
Champion Bull Brad Nordahl Victory Lap
Guy Weadick Con Williams Unsung Hero
Rodeo Daily Awards Bruce Strand Bronc Halter


Event Award Winner Title
Safety Award Crystal Mossing Thank You my Friend
Chuckwagon Championship Jay Contway Champion Wagon
Chuckwagon Aggregate Don Toney One for the Money & Four to Go 
Chuckwagon Advertiser Len Monical Images of Victory
Chuckwagon Outriders Jay Contway Champion Outrider
Chuckwagon Daily Awards Don Toney Ready to Run


Event Award Winner Title
Novice Saddle Bronc Riding Crystal Mossing Roughstock Ready
Novice Bareback Riding Crystal Mossing Roughstock Ready
Junior Steer Riding Crystal Mossing Roughstock Ready


Find out more about the Calgary Stampede Bronze Competition!