|October 18, 2012
Polson Indian National Finals Rodeo rated as the best
Local contestant Zanen Pitts ties down a calf in 13 seconds at last summer's Indian National Finals Rodeo in Polson. (Lailani Upham photo)
By Lailani Upham
POLSON — The Indian National Finals Rodeo will officially award the Flathead River Rodeo as the INFR Tour Rodeo of the Year for 2012 at the finals held in Las Vegas, on November 9.
The INFR Flathead Rodeo was held in Polson on August 23 – 25.
The INFR Finals Rodeo will be from November 6 – 10, at the South Pont Casino and Equestrian Center.
“Being named INFR Tour rodeo of the year is a great accomplishment; this was especially a sweet accomplishment for S and K Gaming and staff because this was the first ever event of its kind hosted on our reservation,” stated Pete White, S and K Gaming official and Flathead River Rodeo organizer.
White added it is also a huge success for the people of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes as well due the KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino for producing and sponsoring a long-time rodeo event in Indian Country and achieving it top-notch.
The planning started in January and didn’t stop rolling until the day of the event, stated White. “S and K gaming staff pulled together to make such a large event possible.”
Prior to the rodeo White promised it would be the best rodeo ever. And that it was.
Donna Hoyt, INFR General Manager said, “This was the first time it was held there and they definitely did it up right.”
Hoyt added the rodeo event was one experience she had not seen in a long time. “The live entertainment after each show, and the lively crowd was great to see and experience,” she stated.
“I am looking forward to next year,” said Hoyt.
The Flathead River Rodeo was selected by a vote as the number one event by the top ten cowboy and cowgirls of the INFR Tour rodeo circuit this year, says White.
The Facebook page lit up with rave reviews that it was the best rodeo and the entertainment in a long time.
Over 375 contestants and 3,500 rodeo fans came out for the three-day event, according to White.
White included that local cowboy Zanen Pitts of Dixon has been qualified in the Tie-Down Roping and will be competing for the World Championship in Las Vegas.
Local stock contractors Pistol Creek Rodeo of Ronan will haul down six bucking bulls and were noted as the top buckers in Indian rodeo.
White adds he has been selected as a pick-up man for seven rounds at the INFR.
There are over 17 INFR Tour rodeos throughout the U.S. and Canada hosted in Florida; Oklahoma; New Mexico; Arizona; Washington; South Dakota; Montana; and Alberta, Canada.
“Planning for the upcoming 2013 Flathead River rodeo is well underway,” stated White. “S and K Gaming feels that this is a great success and wants to continue to showcase Indian rodeo and the excitement it brings to our community. We look forward to making this an annual event to bring excitement and entertainment to the people of the Flathead Nation.”
The award ceremony and the entire rodeo events will be webcasted live on the INFR website, www.infr.org.