“Calf Roper” a bronze by Canadian artist Cornelius “Corne” Martens  in 1971.  Martens was born in 1918 in the Ukraine and immigrated with his family to Canada in 1925.  In 1971, Martens quit his job as a set director and started working full time creating bronze sculptures at his home in Coaldale, Canada.  Martens passed away in 2009 at the age of 91.  Many of Martens sculptures can be found around the City of Lethbridge.  One copy of the Calf Roper can be found displayed at the Alberta Foundation of the Arts Museum.

 

Martens bronze Calf Roper was selected to be one of the awards at the 1973 Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo held each July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  The first rodeo at the Calgary Stampede was held in 1912, known as the Stampede it has grown into one of the world’s richest rodeos.

 

Calf Roper, 5 of 6 created in 1972, was awarded to 9 Time PRCA World Champion Tom Ferguson for winning the calf roping (tie down roping) at the 1973 Calgary Stampede.  This was also the year Tom Ferguson turned pro by joining the Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA), now the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA).  Ferguson finished his first professional year Reserve All Around Champion, an honor that goes to the PRCA cowboy that wins the most prize money in a year by competing in two events.  Tom Ferguson’s specialties were calf roping (now called tie down roping) and steer wrestling but he also competed in steer roping and team roping.  Tom Ferguson was known for riding great hoses.  To win the calf roping at the Calgary Stampede 1973 Ferguson rode Junior, the horse awarded Calgary’s Best Rope Horse that year.  Owned by JW “Bearman” Campbell, Junior was inducted into the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2015.