Three former world champions highlight this year’s 13th Annual Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame Scholarship Fundraising banquet and gathering.

The event is Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center. It is the annual fundraiser for its scholarship program for high school seniors.

The featured guests are seven-time world champion Dan Mortensen of Billings, three-time saddle bronc world champion Monty “Hawkeye” Henson and 10-time world champion roper Roy Cooper.

Mortensen won six saddle bronc world titles and an all-around world championship. He is a graduate of Billings Senior High School and Montana State University. Cooper won eight tie-down roping world titles, one in steer roping and one all-around during his career.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. with a saddle bronc and tie-down roping school in the Radisson Atrium conducted by the world champions.

Categories being honored include: Lady of the West, Great Montana College, Great Montana Western Store, Great Montana Rodeo Families, Great Montana Pro Rodeo, Great Montana Ranches, 2017 Western Heritage Awards, 2017 Legends Induction.

Being inducted in the Legends category are Marvin Joyce, Bud Pauley, Rooster Reynolds and Gary Rempel. Joyce (1972) and Pauley (1985) won the saddle bronc average at the National Finals Rodeo, while Reynolds did the same in steer wrestling in 1995. Rempel is a many-time selection as a pickup man for the NFR and Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Western Heritage Award winners are Marge Taylor, Clyde McFarland and Butch Bratsky, while Shirley Clark was chosen the Lady of the West.

The Great Montana Pro Rodeo is the Fallon County Fair and Rodeo, which has become one the highest-paying PRCA rodeos in the state of Montana. It was selected the Big Rodeo of the Year by the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association for 2017.

The 2017 scholarship recipients are: Houston Brown, Miles City; Colten Fisher, Shepherd; Brityn Garrett, Butte; Dillon Hahnkamp, Melrose; Tara Hansen, Manhattan; Caydee Johnson, Manhattan; Danni Lynn Nardinger, Joliet; Shawn Perkins, Roberts; Bailee Stenger, Worden; Faith Tarter, Ashland; Hannah Vogel, Billings; Garrett Welch, Silesia; Sarai McCollaum, Darby; Sierra Belvin, Reed Point.

CFR moving

It will be a slightly shorter drive for rodeo contestants from the United States who qualify for the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

The CFR is moving to Red Deer, Alberta after spending the previous 44 years in Edmonton.

Red Deer, a community of 100,000, is between Calgary and Edmonton.

Canadian Pro Rodeo Association officials announced the move on Tuesday, saying both sides agreed to a 10-year deal.

The 2018 CFR will be Oct. 30-Nov. 4 in the ENMAX Centrium, a hockey arena that holds 6,600 but can expand to seat 8,000.

The CFR was looking for a new home when Edmonton official announced it was closing the Northlands Coliseum after 2017, which held the CFR since 1974. The Oilers Entertainment Group, which owns the Rogers Palace in Edmonton, declined to submit a bid for the CFR.

PRCA hires CEO

George Taylor has been hired as the new Chief Executive Officer of the PRCA.

PRCA officials changed the title from commissioner to CEO.

Taylor is a former executive with Caterpillar, where he was most recently a company officer and vice president with responsibility for the marketing and digital division.

Taylor, 56, takes over for Karl Stressman who retired as PRCA Commissioner after nine years at the job.

Taylor will begin his job as the PRCA’s CEO on Jan. 22.

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