Indian Rodeo Association Stages Major Event In Payson

Clay Gernimo won a belt buckle in the bareback competition during the first-ever 2012 Kenny Davis Southwest Indian Rodeo Association Regional Finals held Saturday in Payson. See rodeo results on page 2A.

Clay Gernimo won a belt buckle in the bareback competition during the first-ever 2012 Kenny Davis Southwest Indian Rodeo Association Regional Finals held Saturday in Payson. See rodeo results on page 2A. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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This weekend’s 2012 Kenny Davis Southwest Indian Rodeo Association Regional Finals brought a big group of contestants to the Payson Event Center arena for a first-ever event town officials hope will become a regular fixture of summer.

The scores in the rodeo that drew Native American contestants from all over the country will determine who will participate in the 37th Annual Indian Finals Rodeo this November in Las Vegas.

Winners in Payson this weekend divided about $14,000 in prize money. Performances took place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25.

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Skye Joaquin is moving onto the national finals after tying with Frank Walker in Junior Steer Riding.

The Mazatzal Hotel and Casino of Payson sponsored the event.

The Indian Rodeo Association was founded just seven years ago, but draws on a long, proud tradition. Many tribes have long hosted informal community rodeos, often in a windswept expanse of desert where expert riders compete in a great variety of events. Tribes like the Navajo and the Apache have long treasured horses and riding. The community rodeos often inspired days of betting, socializing and connecting with friends and family. The tradition has produced some of the top rodeo competitors in the country.

The Saturday event here included both “Sudden Death” winners who earned belt buckles and the “Year End” winners, who will move onto the national finals.

Comments

lwhite 2 years, 1 month ago

We wondered what was happening at the rodeo grounds last weekend, sure would have been nice if it was advertised. We asked around and no one knew what was happening.

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Pat Randall 2 years, 1 month ago

When I was young there was an all Indian rodeo, carnival, jewlery and rug sales in Flagstaff at the fairgrounds there. It was an all Indian Pow Wow and great entertainment. Indian Dancing at night. It was wonderful.

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