Meet the Member Laura Lambert
story by Lindsay Humphrey By definition, Laura Lambert was born into rodeo. Both her parents competed professionally; her dad, Dale Motley, primarily in calf roping […]
story by Lindsay King
Chuck Melin is the first person to ever serve as both the Canadian Senior Professional Rodeo Association and the NSPRA president at the same time. September marks the first full year he will have lived in the United States. Chuck grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. “I grew up in a farming community and nobody rodeoed. I met a couple of guys that ended up being life-long friends that introduced me to rodeo.” Chuck’s friends also talked him into going to A.I. school in 1973. “I was selling nitrogen semen tanks for A.I. but then I sold one to the first dermatologist in town at the time. I went into strictly medical nitrogen sales after that.” After 43 years of owning a nitrogen tank business, Chuck is now semi-retired. “Bob Stoddard, NSPRA vice president, owns several ranches in Wyoming, he asked me to help with weaning and gathering right after I moved here and now I work for him. I do pretty much whatever needs to be done on the ranches.” He is in the middle of branding and moving cattle at the moment. Chuck has never ridden just for the fun of it, until now. “I have ridden more in the last year than I have in the previous 40 years combined. I used to just ride for rodeo but now I love it.”
A steer wrestler from the beginning, Chuck is in the middle of his 44th year of competing in the event. “I have never missed a year. My dad was dead against rodeo but I have done it ever since.” Chuck started to rodeo a lot when he was 21 years old in the Foot Hills Cowboy Association. “I have been to several schools for steer wrestling, calf roping and team roping. I hated practicing in the winter in Canada so I took the winter off and then went to a school in the spring every year to brush back up.” Everyone cites the adrenaline rush they get from their event as the reason why they do it. “Guys who ride bulls even say steer wrestling is the biggest adrenaline rush there is.” At 66 years old, Chuck has been lucky enough to avoid major injuries to his knees. “I don’t know many people my age that can throw down a steer in 3.8 seconds like I did at the Canadian finals last year.” CSPRA and NSPRA co-approve rodeos, allowing competitors to get points in both the U.S. and Canada for each association. “I rodeo at all of them on both sides of the border. It’s crazy, the miles I put on but it is a passion.” In the month of August alone, Chuck will spend 21 days at rodeoes all over the U.S. and Canada. “In the last ten years I have been going to anywhere from 40 to 70 rodeos a year.” Chuck also judges at some of the rodeos he attends. In 2005, Chuck met his wife, Ruth. “She is a nurse and I got hurt at the Douglas, Wyoming, rodeo. The rest is history really.” Once Ruth retires in a few years they want to move to Canyon City, Colorado, since the weather is less severe than Alberta. “Rodeo has taken me a lot of places. I have probably been to at least 40 states.”
“I have been a president of every rodeo association I have ever been in. I fully believe in contributing back to the associations.” Cowboy of the Year and champion year-end steer wrestler for both associations multiple years in a row, Chuck is dedicated to continuing to rodeo for as long as he can. “The NSPRA allows me to travel and I love that about it. I get to meet so many different people, make friends for life from all over the country and all walks of life.”
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