Locals make impact at
Local bullfighter Zack Lytle puts himself at risk to make sure rodeo
bull riders remain safe in their dangerous sport during the Indian
National Finals Rodeo event in Las Vegas this month. (courtesy photo)
LAS VEGAS, NV — With a little
determination and a proposed idea pitched to the Indian National Finals
Rodeo Association, the INFR commission agreed to round up all Indian
stock contractors to provide for this year's 2009 INFR in Las Vegas,
according to Chancy Kittson, INFR Stock Supervisor.
It is the first time in the 34 years that the INFR
used all Indian Stock contractors.
"Chancy did a very good job getting the
association going on this," said INFR Headquarters General Manager,
The Indian National Finals Rodeo Inc. (INFR)
developed over 30 years ago to unite Indian Rodeo associations from the
United States and Canada as an arena for champion Indian cowboy and
cowgirls to compete against each other in the sport of professional
The INFR Commission's mission is to increase
awareness and preservation of the INFR for the Professional Indian
Cowboys and Cowgirls, which includes providing scholarships for Indian
This recent step is said to have increased fan
attendance, according to Kittson.
"We got feedback and people are saying this was
one of the best (rodeos) and that the stock was the best," Kittson
Pete White, Ronan cowboy and tribal member participated in the 2009
Indian National Finals Rodeo in Vegas this month as a “pick-up man” in
the four-day event. White helped brother Elmo McDonald haul down eight
head of stock for their family operation, The Pistol Creek Rodeo
Company, as one of the 29 Indian stock owners to provide for this years
event. (Lailani Upham photo)
Pistol Creek Rodeo stock out of Ronan was one of
the 29 Indian contractors to load up their animals and hit the road
south bound for the 34th annual INFR action.
Pistol Creek Rodeo have been providing stock for
nearly 20 years for western Montana rodeos and in the last ten years,
brothers Galen "Elmo" McDonald and Pete White have been operating the
"It is one big step for the INFR," said White. "It
gives us an opportunity to compete with professional guys and make it
entertaining," he added.
The Pistol Creek bucking bull stock are bred
mainly in the valley, according to White. "The bloodlines run deep and
we try to keep our stock where they come from," he said.
It definitely increased a boost of travelers from
the Mission Valley to hit the road south.
Local cowboy and co-owner of Pistol Creek, Pete
White took the opportunity as a pick-up man for the four-day event.
Another local cowboy, Zack Lytle out of Ronan was
one of four bullfighters for the INFR, according to Kittson.
Lytle got his start as a bullfighter working and
traveling with the Pistol Creek Rodeo Company for the last ten years.
Like many bull fighters Lytle started out bull riding prior to taking
on the role as a fighter. Lytle began riding at age 12.
at the Indian National Finals Rodeo: Tiffany Sinclair and Lauren Arnoux
are neighbors at the Salish Kootenai College campus housing. Sinclair
is the 2010 INFR “Miss Indian Rodeo” and Arnoux winner of the 2009 INFR
Chevy Truck give-away. (Lailani Upham photo)
Salish Kootenai College students Tiffany Sinclair
and Lauren Arnoux, both from Browning, traveled together to take part
and returned together as winners at the INFR.
Her first year as a contestant at the INFR Miss
Indian Rodeo, Sinclair won the crown for the 2010 INFR Rodeo Queen.
Sinclair began pageants very young and at age 17
she won the Miss Big Sky crown in 2007.
Transferring to SKC from MSU Billings, Sinclair
plans to go on to a university to complete a degree in Sports Medicine.
Arnoux, a nursing student at SKC, won the INFR
truck raffle after purchasing a whole raffle book. Arnoux said she and
her boyfriend could not sell the tickets so they ended up buying the
book at $125 and winning the truck.
The INFR currently has 10 Regions within the
United States and Canada with members ranging from 8 years of age to
80. Sanctioning nearly 700 rodeos nationwide and offering annual prize
money exceeding over a million dollars the INFR is, by far, the largest
and the oldest Indian Rodeo organization in the world.
The 2009 INFR stock contractors were: Real Bird
Bucking Horses, Mike Not Afraid, Kittson Rodeo, McNeely Rodeo, Dutch
Lunak (Lunak/Bird Rodeo, Pistol Creek, David Fox, Chancy Wilson Rodeo
Company, Waters Rodeo Company, Dean Yellowhawk (Hawk Rodeo), Pete
Standing Alone, 3-Mile Bucking Bulls, Barry Shade, Calvin McDonald
(McDonald Ranch), 5-Star Rodeo, Tim McDonald, Farrell Hoosava (AZ3
Bucking Bulls), Duane Bull (Incredi-Bull Rodeo Company, Whitford Rodeo
Company, Young Bucking Bulls, John Begay (4B Bucking Bulls), David
McDonald (MX Bar Ranch), Jeff Waln, Spear W Bucking Bulls, JC's Bucking
Bulls, Pat Triplett, Sam Duboise (Tri-Angle Rodeo) and Rod Conat(C-G
According to Kittson, this year has been a trial
run for the all-Indian stock but he feels it has set a bar in INFR to
"Were proud we can say the bloodline comes from
the rez," White said.