Greg Kesler: 1945-2016
Greg Kesler, March 7, 1945 – Feb. 1, 2016, a second-generation PRCA stock contractor who produced two Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year honorees during his distinguished career, died of an apparent heart attack Feb. 1 at his family’s ranch in McGrath, Alberta. He was 70.
The son of the late ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee Reg Kesler, Greg inherited his father’s passion for developing great bucking horses, working in the family business until he branched out on his own at age 29 to found Kesler Rodeo in 1974.
In 1994, Greg and his son, Duane Kesler, bought Reg’s card and continued running Kesler Championship Rodeo (founded by Reg in 1950) with Duane at the helm while Greg remained as the owner/operator of Kesler Rodeo.
In recent years, Kesler Rodeo has had 375 head of horses, 125 bulls and a large beef herd on six sections of land 14 miles south of Lethbridge, Alberta. Kesler’s family-operated company produced about 15 rodeos a year and regularly contributed top stock to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
This past December, Kesler Rodeo sent four bareback horses, one saddle bronc horse and one bull to the Wrangler NFR presented by Polaris RANGER in Las Vegas.
Kesler Rodeo’s Alley Cat was the 1988 PRCA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year and Painted Smile won that award three consecutive years (2001-03). Country Cat was voted the top saddle bronc horse at the 2006 WNFR.
Dan Erickson’s 92-point ride on Painted Smile in 2001 is still the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo record.
Funeral arrangements are pending. Details will be posted on http://www.prorodeo.com as they become available.
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