Wild Horse Race Team Meanus from Celilo Village, Ore. competing during the opening ceremony.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
IDAHO FALLS — The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes put on the opening performance of the War Bonnet Round Up August 1-3 with dancing, singing and horse and riders.
A welcome was played on the big screen featuring Fort Hall Business Council Sergeant at Arms Lee Juan Tyler.
He said since 1912 the Sho-Ban people participated in the round up. He talked about how the war bonnet is significant to Native American people and how the feathers are sacred and carry prayers. He explained the war bonnets are earned through good deeds throughout a young man’s lifetime. He said it’s an honor the War Bonnet Rodeo is named after this.
“On behalf of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes we wish all the competitors and everyone here safety and the animals as well. You all enjoy yourselves, oose,” he said
Fancy dancer performers Wrendon and Hunter Osborne in front of the crowd.
The Spring Creek drum group began singing as an array of dancers entered the grandstand floor, each demonstrating their own unique style of dance. In the arena, riders on horseback amped up the crowd as they rode back and forth.
The War Bonnet Round Up announcer said, “Ladies and gentleman your War Bonnet starts now!”
The crowd cheered as fireworks were fired off and the World’s Richest Wild Horse Race began.
Jason Smith is from Warm Springs, Ore., he’s been the president of the Professional Wild Horse Racers Association (PWHRA) for the last six years, but has been in the business for the last 37 years.
He said they got a call from War Bonnet Round Up four years ago about wanting to put on a wild horse race to liven the show up. He said it was an amazing community because they actually want an old fashion wild horse race. He said the event has the most prize money out of any event nationwide. He said they come to the War Bonnet Round Up in Idaho Falls to expose their organization.
There are18 teams are entered in this year’s event. Six teams competed each day and the top two teams from each go around will compete in the championship on Saturday.
Smith said what makes a good wild horse race is an awesome community like the one in Idaho Falls, good wild horses and a number of teams from all over the country.
Another highlight of the night for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes was recognition of tribal member Leo Teton. He was the recipient of the 2019 Legend of the War Bonnet, which honored him for his years of service as the official War Bonnet Horse Rider. He passed on the legacy to his son Talon Teton.
The theme of Thursday night’s event was Tough Enough To Wear Pink to support the fight against breast cancer.
Shoshone-Bannock singers and dancers with War Bonnet Round Up organizers.