The first ever Indian National Finals Rodeo was held in 1976, the brainchild of five people who wished to unite several regional Indian Rodeo Associations from the U.S. and Canada. And that’s how the first ever INFR took place at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT, with champion Indian cowboys and cowgirls competing against each other.
Today, the INFR sanctions almost 700 rodeos across the nation, and offers more than a million dollars in prize money, making it the largest organization of its kind in the whole world. Competitions are held throughout the year, culminating in the Indian National Finals with more than 350 contestants competing against each other in eight events.
Currently operating in eleven regions in the US and Canada, the age of its members ranges from 8 to 80! The 2018 inductees include Wright Bruised Head, Yvette Vega, Ed Hall, Jack Foreman and Leonard Williams Sr. This year, 75 tribes have been represented at the event. Most INFR members also belong to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
The INFR Commission works alongside a number of youth rodeo associations as well the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and National High School Rodeo Association. In doing so, it helps athletes progress from youth rodeo to professional rodeo. Additionally, it raises awareness and conservation of the INFR for Professional Indian Cowboys and Cowgirls. It also runs an INFR Scholarship Program that has provided more than $50,000 in scholarship assistance since 2005 to the members of the organization.
This year, INFR will be held across October 23 to 27 at the South Point Equestrian Centre in Las Vegas. Tickets are available for sale at the Information Booth there. You can also reserve a room online at the South Point website at www.southpointcasino.com.