Ray Knight (rodeo organizer)

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For other people of the same name, see Raymond Knight (disambiguation).

Oscar Raymond ("Ray") Knight (8 April 1872 – 7 February 1947) was a prominent Latter-day Saint settler of what is today Southern Alberta. Knight instituted the Raymond Stampede, the oldest and longest-running rodeo in Canada and is considered the first rodeo stock contractor.

The son of mining magnate Jesse Knight and his wife Amanda, Knight was born in Payson, Utah Territory. After filling a full-time proselytizing mission in England for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Knight took an active part with his father in his various business undertakings. Notably, Knight was closely involved in the establishment and settlement of Raymond, Alberta, a town named in his honour by his father.

While living in Raymond, Knight managed his father's ranch, which consisted of approximately 400,000 acres (1,600 km2) of land stocked with over 15,000 head of cattle and 40,000 head of sheep. Knight held many honours and trophies for his skill in calf and steer roping. In 1902, Knight organized the first Raymond Stampede, the first organized rodeo to be held in Canada. At the inaugural event, Knight himself took first prize in the steer roping competition.

Knight was married to Isabelle Smith in 1894 and had three children from this marriage: Uarda, Raymond, and Kenneth. Knight had five other children from his second marriage to Charlotte Maud Heninger: Owen, Wayne, Jesse, Charlotte, and Mary.

Knight has been inducted into the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame, the Raymond Sports Hall of Fame, the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Knight has been called the "Father of Canadian Professional Rodeo" and the "Father of Canadian Calf Roping."

References[edit]

  • Turner, Lawrence, ed. (1993). Raymond Remembered: Settlers, Sugars and Stampedes: A History of the Town and People of Raymond. Town of Raymond. ISBN 0-9697655-0-9. 
  • History of Raymond, Alberta from Town of Raymond website