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Harvey Northcott, Canadian stock contractor, loses battle with cancer

Harvey Northcott, one of Canada’s most respected stock contractors, died Sept. 15 in Red Deer (Alberta) Regional Hospital after a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 73.

“Harvey was an icon in the rodeo business in Canada for many years, a man of his word, very honest and fair; he’ll be missed, no question about it,” said Keith Marrington, the Calgary Stampede’s senior rodeo manager.

Northcott ran his outfit of 160 horses and 70 bulls on 1,600 acres of land four miles north of Caroline, Alberta, and supplied stock to about 15 rodeos a year.

During a span of a dozen years beginning in the mid-1980s, he assembled one of the strongest pens of bucking bulls ever put together.

Six of them won Canadian championships – Panda in 1985, Copenhagen Payment in 1988 and 1989, Redip in 1992, Trick or Treat in 1994 and 1995, Kodiak in 1996 and Short Fuse in 1997.

Another, Convoy, won the title in 1979, and Funky Chicken captured the award in 2002.

But, the cornerstone of his bucking herd was the stallion Wyatt Earp, the Canadian and National Finals Rodeo champion in 1997 and 1998 and the National Finals Rodeo Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year in 1996 and 1997. His bloodlines are highly prominent through many of today’s bucking horse herds.

He was the sire of the Stampede’s six-time world and Canadian champion Grated Coconut and will be inducted into Canada’s Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame next month.

There was a proposal this summer to add Northcott himself to the list of inductees, but he and the family, aware of his poor health, refused to accept the honor.

But, there will be a time in the not-too-distant future when the Hall will remember him and fellow stock contractors Stan Weatherly, who died earlier this summer, and the late Verne Franklin.

All three took bucking stock to the first Canadian Finals Rodeo at Edmonton in 1974. Larry Jordan, then a representative of the National Finals Rodeo in the U.S., attended that CFR looking to bolster the stock lineup for the NFR.

He convinced Northcott, Weatherly and Franklin to bring their horses and bulls to the world championships, then at Oklahoma City, the following year.

Northcott, who rode bareback horses and bulls and bulldogged steers in the 1950s and 1960s, winning championships in the Foothills Cowboys’ Association, was known as a cowboy’s cowboy.

“Not all stock contractors were competing cowboys, and that’s not the end of the world by any means,” said High River horseman Wayne Vold. “But those who were could talk the cowboy language a little better.”

The superstar of Northcott’s herd now is the bay gelding Get Smart whom Vold describes as “arguably one of the best horses on the planet.”

The 8-year-old son of Wyatt Earp was named the top saddle bronc at last year’s CFR and this summer’s Calgary Stampede and is in the running for bronc of the year.

Northcott is survived by his wife, Eileen; daughter, Cindy (Tyler) Helmig; sons, Del (Debbie), Ty (Gail) and Ace, and six grandchildren.

A social gathering was held at 3 p.m. (MT) Sept. 22 at the Kurt Browning Complex in Caroline. “He wanted people to drink some beer and have some lunch,” said wife Eileen Northcott. “He did not want a service.”

Harvey Northcott, one of Canada’s most respected stock contractors, died Sept. 15 in Red Deer (Alberta) Regional Hospital after a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 73.

“Harvey was an icon in the rodeo business in Canada for many years, a man of his word, very honest and fair; he’ll be missed, no question about it,” said Keith Marrington, the Calgary Stampede’s senior rodeo manager.

Northcott ran his outfit of 160 horses and 70 bulls on 1,600 acres of land four miles north of Caroline, Alberta, and supplied stock to about 15 rodeos a year.

During a span of a dozen years beginning in the mid-1980s, he assembled one of the strongest pens of bucking bulls ever put together.

Six of them won Canadian championships – Panda in 1985, Copenhagen Payment in 1988 and 1989, Redip in 1992, Trick or Treat in 1994 and 1995, Kodiak in 1996 and Short Fuse in 1997.

Another, Convoy, won the title in 1979, and Funky Chicken captured the award in 2002.

But, the cornerstone of his bucking herd was the stallion Wyatt Earp, the Canadian and National Finals Rodeo champion in 1997 and 1998 and the National Finals Rodeo Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year in 1996 and 1997. His bloodlines are highly prominent through many of today’s bucking horse herds.

He was the sire of the Stampede’s six-time world and Canadian champion Grated Coconut and will be inducted into Canada’s Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame next month.

There was a proposal this summer to add Northcott himself to the list of inductees, but he and the family, aware of his poor health, refused to accept the honor.

But, there will be a time in the not-too-distant future when the Hall will remember him and fellow stock contractors Stan Weatherly, who died earlier this summer, and the late Verne Franklin.

All three took bucking stock to the first Canadian Finals Rodeo at Edmonton in 1974. Larry Jordan, then a representative of the National Finals Rodeo in the U.S., attended that CFR looking to bolster the stock lineup for the NFR.

He convinced Northcott, Weatherly and Franklin to bring their horses and bulls to the world championships, then at Oklahoma City, the following year.

Northcott, who rode bareback horses and bulls and bulldogged steers in the 1950s and 1960s, winning championships in the Foothills Cowboys’ Association, was known as a cowboy’s cowboy.

“Not all stock contractors were competing cowboys, and that’s not the end of the world by any means,” said High River horseman Wayne Vold. “But those who were could talk the cowboy language a little better.”

The superstar of Northcott’s herd now is the bay gelding Get Smart whom Vold describes as “arguably one of the best horses on the planet.”

The 8-year-old son of Wyatt Earp was named the top saddle bronc at last year’s CFR and this summer’s Calgary Stampede and is in the running for bronc of the year.

Northcott is survived by his wife, Eileen; daughter, Cindy (Tyler) Helmig; sons, Del (Debbie), Ty (Gail) and Ace, and six grandchildren.

A social gathering was held at 3 p.m. (MT) Sept. 22 at the Kurt Browning Complex in Caroline. “He wanted people to drink some beer and have some lunch,” said wife Eileen Northcott. “He did not want a service.”


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