Jim Cant came to his first Elgin Stampede in 1968 where he was a rodeo contestant in bareback. He became a member after his marriage to Mary Hibberd in 1978. Mary's parents Dick and Laurose Hibberd were charter members of the Elgin Stampede.
It was only natural that he became involved in the maintenance and improvements to the grounds. In the summer of 1986, while co-president, they painted the entire rodeo stands. He went through over 180 gallons of white paint to complete that job. Volunteers have always kept the stampede going and he can remember putting hours into the grounds to make improvements.
Over the years you could see Jim’s excavating equipment on the Stampede grounds, providing support to the improvement projects planned or needed that year. He remembers helping tear down the old stands with his backhoe and trackhoe (the same ones that he helped paint years before) to make room for the grandstands you see today.
He was a sponsor to the Stampede in the early 1990s through the early 2010s. He fondly remembers the concerts that the stampeders hosted, specifically the Sweetheart of the Rodeo group.
Jim participated in the Suicide Race 3 times. In his first race in 1978 he rode a horse borrowed from Pat Hammond. In 1979 he rode to add participant numbers to the race. He ultimately won the race in 1980 on a horse called Babe. This was a mare Dave Shepherd left on the Hibberd Hornless Hereford ranch that he had to finish breaking from a colt. Horses are nearly as famous as their riders in the history of this race.
Jim has three children. JD Cant (wife Audrey, and children Jayda, Jeytt, Justis, and Joren), Jamie Jo Haddock (husband Tony, and children Olivia and Whitney), and Kristi Williamson (husband Chase, and children Kale and Kinley). During Stampede week, you will likely see his grandchildren participating in the rodeo, family night, or flipping burgers in the back shack.
Jim understands how much work the Stampeders put in over the year to hold this event for our community and wishes to extend his gratitude for this honor.