Four Colors Memorial Bull Ride done but means much to family


Havre Daily News/File photo

Ashton Sahli of Red Deer, Alberta, competes in the third annual Cody Four Colors Memorial Bull Riding at the 2019 Great Northern Fair. The Four Colors family has announced that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are canceling this year's bull riding, which was to be the fourth and final event of the series.

After three years of competition, the fourth and final Cody Four Colors Memorial Bull Riding will not be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cody's brother Justin Four Colors said he will miss the crowds and having a good time.

"I will probably miss seeing all the comaraderie, all the bull riding and all the other things," he said.

He said he enjoyed being able to put something on in memory of his brother.

"For me, as his mother, I was really hurt at first, because the loss was too great for me and I didn't want to do anything, but because the kids wanted to honor their brother and his life, and they come in and talked to us," Cody's mother, Luanne Four Colors said. "I said OK, I'm good with that, I'm all right with that, and the way they talked about 'We want to honor our brother's life and the life he lived as a bull rider, we want to honor his success.'"

And the event was a great success from the start. The inaugural memorial was named Bull Rider's Canada Event of the Year for 2017.

Four Colors said the event was a proper tribute to her son, who she said, was the first member in their tribe to make it in bull riding to the Indian National Finals Rodeo.

"He made a name for himself," she said. "Along with that, he made a name for our family."

She said she will miss meeting people and the people who knew her son.

It helped her deal with the loss, she said, hearing all the kind things people said about her son.

In their culture, the Chippewa Cree Tribe, she said, the way she was raised, they do one-year of mourning time when someone dies.

She picked for the event to be held in July because Cody's birthday is July 24, she added, which, coincidentally, is when the Great Northern Fair takes place.

"We don't call it death, we call it changing of the world. You don't die, you go from this place to the next place wherever that is," Luanne said. "Our culture doesn't say they died or they're dead, we don't say goodbye either. We don't have that word in our language, goodbye, there's no word for that in our language." 

Cody's father, Gerald Four Colors, said the word for goodbye is "see you later."

"I'd like to thank the communities of Rocky Boy and Havre for all of their help and support, and also to Clint Solomon and his wife, and the whole rodeo committee," he said. "... We just would like to say thank you to the people and also to the Canadian Bull Riding Association up there."

He said it was a pretty successful event.

Luanne Four Colors said that when her son died in 2015 he was a prominent person in the Indian rodeo circuit.

She said he started bull riding when he was about 14 or 15 years old.

He became well-known, she said, and later joined the Elite Professional Bull Riders, which consists of bull riders from Idaho, Washington and Montana.

She added that he also was part of the Montana State University-Northern's rodeo team during his year of college.

"Once he passed away, he knew all of these people, all these professional people, contractors, other rodeo people, bull riders," Luanne said. "... When he passed away we had people messaging his sister, our daughter Lauren and our son Justin and our other daughter Chamayne and they kept asking them, 'Are you guys going to have a memorial bull riding?'"

She said that, at that time, she wasn't ready to, but people kept asking and their kids asked them if they could do it.

About seven or eight months after he died, she said, they agreed to do a memorial bull ride.


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