Rocky Boy Rodeo ramping up

 

August 2, 2018

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch

Shay Tatsey ropes a calf during the ladies breakaway event during the Rocky Boy Rodeo at Sibyl Sangrey-Colliflower Memorial Arena Wednesday.

Rocky Boy's 54th Annual Celebration kicks off Friday but related events have already begun this week with a Youth Rodeo Monday and the Rocky Boy Rodeo starting Tuesday.

The Rocky Boy Rodeo is a United Indian Rodeo Association-sanctioned event and a qualifying round in the Indian National Finals Rodeo, with the winners having a chance to go to Las Vegas to compete.

The event was sponsored by Jitterbugs in Box Elder and Yeti Coolers LLC. In addition to prize money, winners of the competitions were given their own Yeti Coolers as a prize.

The rodeo saw 171 competitors, with many of them coming from across the country and Canada. The competitors included seven world champions.

Shay Tatsey of Bridge Creek said this was the first time in five years she had competed in the ladies breakaway competition, adding that it felt good to be back out in the rodeo.

Tatsey said she comes from a line of rodeo competitors. Five generations of her family, including her son, Thunder Moore, 3, who competed Monday in the youth rodeo, have competed in rodeos. Her grandfather Peter was the first to compete in rodeos, she said, but even before that her grandfather John was steeped in horse culture, racing and training. She added that her grandfather Rusty was the one who had taught her everything she knows about the rodeo, with her waking up early in the mornings as a child to train with him and work on building her skills.


Tatsey said she remembers this time fondly.

She added that he was not able to attend the events but is still very supportive and interested in hearing every detail about her rodeos.

"My grandpa Rusty is why I do this," she said.

Tatsey said she is now a school teacher in Browning and taught in Havre schools previously.

She said she had decided to get back into rodeoing because she loves it, adding that once she was there she felt this unexplained energy, excitement, adrenaline - something that couldn't be put into words.

It was good to see all the other competitors, she said, adding that she has known many of them for years. Many competitors know each other from when they were doing youth rodeos, Tatsey said.

She said to prepare for her event it is important to check the draws, so the she knows what cattle she will be roping, and figure out what kind of rope she will want to use. She prefers a softer rope and runs the rope with baby powder, she said, like many other competitors do. She added that she was using her cousin Neil Tatsey's horse.


She said she will be competing next year and that she is training a young horse for future competitions.

Wednesday, Tatsey had grabbed a calf with a neck-catch and had a time of 5.47 seconds, a few seconds behind Jimi Champ, the winner of the competition.

The Havre Daily News is still waiting for the official results for the rodeo.

The events at Tuesday and Wednesday's rodeo also included bareback riding, steer wrestling, junior breakaway, senior breakaway, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, junior bull riding, team roping, senior team roping, ladies barrel racing and junior barrel racing.

The celebration continues through the weekend, with the grand entry for the youth powwow at 7 tonight. Registration for that event is from 3 to 6 p.m. at the powwow grounds on Laredo Road.

Friday starts with the annual sobriety walk at 9 a.m. starting at the former Stone Child College building at the Rocky Boy Agency, then the grand entry for the powwow is at 7 p.m. at the powwow grounds.

Saturday, grand entries will be at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the powwow.

Sunday, grand entry will be at 1 p.m. at the powwow grounds.

Admission to all events is free.

 

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