- Ada, Oklahoma

Local News

June 1, 2014

Remembering a good ol' cowboy: Rodeo up next weekend

Ada — UNION VALLEY — The first time Stanley Foster saw the woman who was to become his wife for the next 37 years, they were in Ardmore.

  Foster took one look at the attractive young woman and asked her out right there on the spot.

 Donna said yes.

Stanley had been a bull rider as a young man and would later take on many leadership roles in professional rodeo.

 “He was handsome and helpful,”  Donna Foster remembers. “He had a gift of helps. He would do anything he could to help anybody.”

 Foster died in 2013, but he certainly hasn’t been forgotten. That’s why the Ken Lance Memorial PRCA Rodeo (presented by the Chickasaw Nation and Seth Wadley Auto Group) will memorialize this hard-headed, big-hearted cowboy Friday and Saturday (June 6-7).

  The PRCA rodeo, recognized as the Ada Pro Rodeo,  has long been held at the Ken Lance Arena in Union         Valley, southeast of Ada. It is always held the first weekend in June.

 “It was the premiere arena in Oklahoma for years,” said Randall Christy, one of the original founders.

 Other arenas have surpassed it in size and scope but it remains a popular venue for the Ken Lance Memorial  PRCA.

This year’s events will include traditional saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, team roping, steer wrestling, bullriding, tie-down roping and women’s WPRA barrel racing. Kids will compete in the annual mutton-busting and calf-scramble events.

  Mrs. Foster, her friends and a lot of rodeo folks who loved Stanley will also be in attendance to help honor the man credited with bringing rodeo back to Pontotoc County five years ago.

  A longtime resident of this area, Foster was an executive with the Chickasaw Nation and at one time was the PRCA organizer in Ardmore.

 He was well-known for his leadership in the development of the World Championship Bullfighters Competition. The event moved to Ardmore last year and remains in that community.

Foster also was a founding member of the 3Crosses Ken Lance Youth Camp.

  “We want to show how much we appreciate the outstanding contributions of Stanley and his wife, Donna, to this worthy endeavor,” said Christy, who is the current 3Crosses president.

   As soon as they married, the new Mrs. Foster found herself emersed in a culture of high-maintenance bulls, hard-scrabble cowboys and near and far rodeos.

 Like Stanley, his wife loved being around rodeo.

 She especially loved the fact her new husband had already shown the good sense to retire from bullriding long before introducing himself to her in the 1970s.

Foster started riding bulls at age 16. An untold number of bruises and bone-crushing rides later, he hung up his chaps at the age of 21.

 She knew she wouldn’t have the constant worry of patching him back together each year as they went through life.

 With mind and body intact, he was well-suited for the PRCA events he organized. And even though he didn’t compete, that didn’t keep the couple away from the rodeo circuit.

   “He and I had many friends and dignitaries (in PRCA rodeo circles),” his widow said. “Stanley was a great guy who would do anything he could to help anybody.”

 The highlight each year for the couple was the PRCA National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas.

 Foster and his wife were among the founding members of the Three Crosses/Ken Lance Arena & Youth Camp in Union Valley, along with Ruth Lance, founder-president, Randy Christy, Mike and Agness Lane and others.

Foster’s achievements:

 • 1986-1998: Organizer of the Ardmore Shrine Club PRCA Rodeo.

 •  1989: President of the Ardmore Shrine Club, PRCA Rodeo.

 • 1999-2013: Founder and President of the World Championship Rodeo Bullfights, “Revenge of the Bulls,” held in Ada until 2012, now held in Ardmore.

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