Written by Mark Nugent, Professional Rodeo Athlete
Created in 1989, The Edmonton Rodeo Cowboy’s Benevolent Foundation assists athletes in times of financial hardship due to rodeo-related injuries. To date, over 200 athletes have received more than $1.4 million in support. To support the foundation, Northlands raises funds through the CFR 50/50, Black Tie Bingo, the CPRA Ladies and Luncheon Fashion Show, and Bling N’ Boots.
My name is Mark Nugent and I am a professional rodeo athlete. Rodeo is a sport I truly love and is big part of my families life. My wife Randa has been a professional Barrel Racer since 1991, and her mother, father and brother have all qualified for the pinnacle event in our sport, the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR).
In 1981 I had the honour of becoming a member of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA). I was crowned the Canadian Champion Steer Rider at the CFR at Northlands my first year. And in 1987, my rookie year as a Tie Down Roper, I was named the Canadian Champion and rookie of the year.
Early in 2012 I suffered an injury to my hip that forced me to have hip replacement surgery. The injury also caused a herniated disc in my back that forced me out of rodeo competition. As a professional horse trainer, this meant that I would lose my main source an income. Being sidelined with an injury from the rodeo season was tough enough, but being forced to shutdown my main source of income that helped support my wife Randa, daughter Ryatt and son Court was devastating.
I am so thankful that the Edmonton Rodeo Cowboy’s Benevolent Foundation (ERCBF) gave me the ability to support my family until I was able to work again. Without the assistance of the foundation I would not have been able to take the time off to have the surgery. The ERCBF has helped so many families and individuals in the rodeo community, and we are all truly grateful for its support.
I hope to return to the sport I love in the near future, and once again, compete with the very best at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton.