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Darrell Taypotat

Taypotat enjoying life of rodeo cowboy

By Paul Sinkewicz

Reprinted with permission from
Saskatchewan Sage - July 1999 - pg. 16

Darrell Taypotat with wife Christa Wilson
Broadview cowboy and movie wrangler
Darrell Taypotat with wife Christa Wilson.

Darrell Taypotat wants to spread the joy of what he likes doing most - competing in rodeos.

The Broadview cowboy is one of the top steer rodeo performers in Saskatchewan. He's been a runner-up for the World Indian National Finals in calf roping, was the 1992 champion steer wrestler in the Indian Rodeo Association and in 1988 was the Canadian Cowboys Association calf roping champion.

Taypotat recently instructed at a rodeo school in Duck Lake with his brothers Curtis, who calf ropes and is a bareback rider, and Sam who is a bull rider.

The school was for young people aged 14 to 20 who were interested in finding out about the activity that still has Taypotat passionate at the age of 37.

Approximately 100 young people came to the May rodeo school which was sponsored by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.

"We feel there should be more schools going on in the country to promote rodeo," Taypotat said. "That's where it starts, with the youth."

The participants were mostly from the northern part of the province and were mostly inexperienced in rodeo. Some had to be taken right from the first step of learning to ride.

"So we were pretty busy for four days there," Taypotat laughed. Despite the inexperience of the youths, Taypotat noticed several that took to the sport and look like they may stick with it.

"If the parents help and keep them encouraged, they have the potential to go a long way," he said. "This should have been started years ago for the youth."

The school looks like it will be an ongoing thing. Both the town of Punnichy and the Gordon First Nation have expressed interest in hosting another one in 1999.

Taypotat has been keeping himself very busy. He ranches near Broadview with his wife Christa and his two brothers, and is usually on the road from Friday to Sunday in the summer time, hitting as many rodeos as he can.

To top it all off he's taken on a new sideline. Taypotat is a special skills extra in the movie business. He began working in the movies during the filming of CBC's made-for-television movie Big Bear.

As a wrangler on the set he kept the animals in control and was there for a safety measure to make sure things go smoothly.

Taypotat said Big Bear was a great introduction into the movie industry.

"I met a lot of actors and a lot of new people, and that's something I like doing," he said.

Since Big Bear, Taypotat has formed Saskatchewan Stunts - Wranglers and Special Effects. The association has about 20 cowboys on its list who are available to work on movie sets.

Taypotat himself is currently working on Shanghai Noon, a Jackie Chan movie being filmed in Cochrane, Alta. He's also slated to begin work in July on Texas Rangers with Randy Travis and Dylan McDermott in the Brooks, Alta. area.

The association is working on getting more cowboys experience because Taypotat feels more movies will be coming to Saskatchewan in the future.

And the work seems to go hand-in-hand with the cowboy lifestyle.

"Its long hours, but it's something you love to do - which is working with animals," Taypotat said.

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Taypotat Enjoying Life of Rodeo Cowbow, Saskatchewan Sage, July 1999

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