Driving legend joins dad in Alberta Hall of Fame
Chuckwagon: High Rivers Tom Glass to be inducted on May 24.
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 12:18 pm
A four-time Calgary Stampede chuckwagon champion who used to follow his father around the racetrack, is now following dad into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
Tom Glass, 64, was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Feb. 28, 13 years after his father Ron was elected to the hall in 2000.
“It is great,” Glass said while sitting on a horse in Phoenix, AZ on Monday. “The coolest thing for me is when you go in there and see all the people who are in there. Not just my dad, but the skiers, the football players, well, it’s pretty awesome.
“The nice thing is, I’m in there and I am still alive. Often those things happen after you are gone.”
The Glasses are the second father-and-son team in the hall of fame. Rodeo builder Jack Daines and his son, bronc rider Duane Daines are also honoured at the hall in Red Deer.
Tom inherited his horse sense from his dad and also his grandfather on his mother Iris’ side, Tom Lauder, who won the Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon title in 1923.
Tom Glass was a horse trainer, just like his dad.
“I think I bought one horse from another driver in my 30 some years of driving,” Tom said. “I was more of a breaker and seller like my dad. My dad could drive a horse twice and tell you whether he was wheeler, leader or whatever he was.”
Tom’s horse sense paid off. He won four Calgary Stampedes and three world championships. He won his first Calgary Stampede in 1983 when he outlasted his pal Dallas Dorchester.
“My best buddy Dallas Dorchester and I were head-to-head going down the track and I was kind of talking to him,” Tom said. “We got to the last corner, and I said: ‘See you, Dallas.’”
He would win Calgary again in 1987. Five years later, he would win the Stampede again with his son Jason as an outrider. Tom’s final Stampede victory was in 1994.
However, one of his proudest moments came in 1998 when he won the Richard Cosgrave Memorial Trophy as the aggregate winner in Calgary.
Richard Cosgrave, who was killed in a chuckwagon crash in 1993, was Tom’s brother-in-law.
“I was driving Richard’s lead team the year I won it and that was awesome,” Tom said. Richard’s son, Chad, was an outrider for Tom in 1998.
Tom would win three World Professional Chuckwagon Association titles, in 1980, 1981 and 1988 before letting go of the reins in 2000.
“I said I would retire when I was 50 and do other things in life,” Glass said. “I am still doing some moving work and I am team roping — I have a jackpot I am going to tomorrow.” Tom has done stunt work for more than 300 movies, including the 1993 Academy Award winner Unforgiven.
He also does play-by-play for the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby for CBC. Don’t be surprised if they have to squeeze in some more Glass at the hall of fame in the future.
Jason Glass, 42, is a four-time world champion — one more than Tom. Jason has also been knocking on the door for his first Calgary Stampede championship.
“Jason works really hard and I am so proud of him — hopefully, he will be in there (the hall of fame) some day.” Tom said. “Who knows maybe his boy (toddler Body) will be the next one.”
The induction ceremony is May 24. The other inductees are Chris Reitsma, baseball; Blythe Hartley, diving; Orest Korbutt, multisport builder; Dean Kozak, goalball; Dru Marshal, field hockey builder; Jim Whitelaw, football/basketball builder; Jeremy Wotherspoon, speedskating; Raymond Knight and Earl Bascom, rodeo Pioneer Award; and Bob Scammell, Bell Memorial Award.