Doug Nelson, Charmayne James and Blaine Pederson Honored With The Calgary Stampede Pioneers Of Rodeo

Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Committee Chairman Paul Kavanagh (R) Present A
Calgary Stampede Pioneers of Rodeo Award To 2019 Recipient Doug Nelson (L)

Photo By Ed Wittchen

The Calgary Stampede handed out it's prestigious Pioneer's of Rodeo Awards July 8, 2019 at the Rotary House on Stampede Park. the class of 2019 included former Chuckwagon Competitor/Author/Historian Doug Nelson, Barrel Racer Charmayne James, and Steer Wrestler Blaine Pederson.

Doug Nelson made his competitive debut as an outrider in the Rangeland Derby. By 1970 Doug had moved up into the wagon box and made his first appearance as a chuckwagon driver at the Calgary Stampede. He returned in 1975 with one of the most impressive performances by a driver in the history of the Rangeland Derby. For 10 consecutive nights Doug Nelson dominated his heat by crossing the finish line in first place every time. He continued to drive chuckwagons over the next few years, making his last appearance at the Calgary Stampede in 1978.

In the early 1990’s Doug was recruited by Lynn Contway at the Museum of the Highwood about exhibiting the history of chuckwagon racing, and the research for the museum exhibit corresponded with Doug’s book “Hotcakes to High Stakes: The Chuckwagon Story” which was published in 1993.

The success of the book “Hotcakes to High Stakes: The Chuckwagon Story” not only contributed to a rise in the popularity of chuckwagon racing, it also led to a documentary film of the same name which won Doug an IRIS Award for Best Director in 1995. Doug was also involved in producing a short documentary film on the Bar U Ranch which was founded by two of the founders of the Calgary Stampede - George Lane and Senator Patrick Burns. The documentary won an award for the Best Industrial Promotion/Best Videography film in Canada in 1996.

Doug continued to stay involved in chuckwagon racing as a fan and promotor for many years, and in 2010 he was asked to join the judging team for the Rangeland Derby and continued until 2016. 2014 Doug was asked to join the Calgary Stampede Historical committee which he has been a part of ever since.

Charmayne James was an 11 time World Champion Barrel Racer including ten consecutive championship titles from 1984 to 1993. Charmayne won the Calgary Stampede in 1992 and 2003 and won the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas seven times. She was inducted into the National Cowgirls Hall of Fame in 1992, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2017.

Blaine Pederson won four Canadian Steer Wrestling Championships, two Canadian High Point Championships, two Calgary Stampede Steer Wrestling Championships in 1988 and 1991, and twice was the NFR Steer Wrestling Average Winner. The highlight of his career came in 1994 when he captured the World Championship Steer Wrestling Title.

Known for his outstanding ability, sportsmanship, personality, and contributions to the betterment of rodeo, in 1988, Blaine Pederson was awarded the Calgary Stampede's prestigious Guy Weadick Award. In 1988, he was awarded the prestigious C.P.R.A. Cowboy of the Year Award.

Billy Melville