John Scott is a third-generation rancher on a vast and famous property near the southern Alberta community of Longview.
His grandfather came from Scotland in 1900 and bought the land in 1904. Scott grew up ranching the land and learning to rodeo on it and it’s still his home today.
“Growing up here, it was always a great way of life, I was always surrounded with animals,” Scott said.
That love of animals earned Scott a job in Hollywood in the early 1970s, riding animals as a stuntman on western movie sets. When people in the movie industry first saw his Alberta ranch, they couldn’t believe their eyes.
“They were all raving about the scenery we had up here,” he said. “We didn’t have power lines, we didn’t have high-story buildings, clear vistas.
“They said, ‘This is where westerns will be made in the future’ and they were right.”
Scott held on for a wild half-century ride in the movie industry that included involvement in six Academy Award-winning movies.
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Scott built three separate western movie sets on his ranch. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood have graced his 5,000-acre property, including Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. Movies such as Unforgiven and Legends of the Fall have been staged or filmed on his land.
Scott has been nominated for a Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Award. The nomination goes way beyond Scott’s success in the movie industry.
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In the 1980s, Scott ran one of the first rodeo steer-riding schools, where future Calgary Stampede bronc, bareback and bull riders learned their craft. And for the past 40 years, he’s provided the Calgary Stampede Parade with many of their horses. Scott says the planning takes about a month.
“It takes a lot of organization, a lot of trucking, a lot of tack, a very busy day…We hire about 30 extra people for about a month to get that all put together.”
Scott has mentored a lot of cowboys, including outrider and stunt performer Chad Cosgrave, who says his contributions are legendary in the rodeo community.
“Look what he’s done for Alberta alone, bringing in the movies he’s brought in, the help he’s done out at the Calgary Stampede, feeding the parade every year.”
Scott is nominated, along with Peter Spear and Joyce Pallister-Bronsch, in the “Sustained Contribution” category.
Winners will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 15 at an event hosted by Global’s Linda Olsen.
Click here for more information on the awards