|August 22, 2013
INFR Rodeo returns to Polson
By Lailani Upham
POLSON Awarding professional rodeo action is in the air in Polson this week from Thursday to Saturday, August 22 24.
The Indian National Finals Rodeo awarded the Flathead River Rodeo as the INFR Tour Rodeo of the Year for 2012 and it was the first of its kind on the Flathead Reservation.
The three-day rodeo will be held at the Polson Fairgrounds with a daily 6:30 p.m. performance. Each day a raffle will be held for a chance to win $1000 and tickets will be available at the rodeo and is good for day of purchase only.
Over $55,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded with a$5,000 added in major events.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Best Western KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino sponsor the INFR entertainment.
Although last year brought in many contestants and spectators this year is expected to steeply climb, according to S and K Gaming Marketing Director Pete White.
One of the big hits last year was the big screen and it will be featured for added entertainment again this year says White.
The action will be aired on HRTV (Horse Racing Television network) in November for the first time White said.
As of July 25 the KwaTaqNuk resort was booked and Pete says he suspects other hotels were filled up fairly quickly as well.
The CSKT Transportation is teaming up to provide drivers and two buses to pick up rodeo-goers from the hotels every half hour prior to the showing.
According to S and K Gaming Director Sheila Matt, buses will begin at 5 pm and will make stops at The Flathead Lake Inn, Bayview Inn, Port Polson Inn, KwaTaqNuk Resort, and KOA campsite. Riders should wait for pick up in the foyer/lobbies of the hotels.
The INFR has been in existence since 1976. Since then it has become the premier arena where champion American Indian cowboy and cowgirls compete against each other in the sport of professional rodeo.
The association includes participants in the U.S. and Canada.
The INFR sanctions over 700 rodeos a year nationwide awarding over $1 million in prizes.
In 2008, the championship rodeo was moved to Las Vegas and resulted in and expansion of the number of contestants, a diversity of spectators in the stands.
Currently the INFR has 11 regions with members ranging from ten to 80 years old. Last year, 476 qualified contestants competed in eight major events at the South Point Hotel Equestrian Center.
There will be musical performances each night. Thursday will feature Kayla Adams Band; Friday, Sho Down; and Saturday will be The Cold Hard Cash Show.
Admission is $10 per adult; $5 youth (7 15); and six and under free.
Apparel is also available for sale. Jackets, $75; vests, $70; sweatshirts, $30; and t-shirts, $15.
For more information call the KwaTaqNuk at (406) 883-3636; or (800) 882-6363.