As any cowboy or cowgirl in Arizona who lives near WhiteRiver knows, each September brings with it one of the area’s greatest attractions in the White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair and Rodeo.
This year’s event, which was held on September 2nd, was very special as it celebrated 90 years of great tradition and competition. With media team coverage that included the Cowboy Lifestyle Network, Ak-Chin Indian Community, and the Earnhardt Auto Road Team, the event was truly a unique experience.
With one of the highlights of the event being the presence of Indian National Finals Rodeo announcer Ray Champ, both contestants and spectators were treated to plenty of thrills and spills.
The White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair and Rodeo, which began in 1925, has always held a special place in the hearts of those living in the WhiteRiver area. The tribe itself, with more than 12,000 members residing on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, is known for its strong beliefs and traditions, all of which have been evident throughout the event’s history. Viewed as a trailblazing event due to the showcase of athleticism and skills of Indian cowboys, it has been credited for helping the tribe grow and thrive over the many decades since it began.
As always, the competition in White River was tight and went down to the wire. Whether it was a cowboy or cowgirl, each event featured world-class skills that were described in their own unique ways by Ray Champ. Some of the most popular events featured during this year’s competition included:
- Bull Riding
- Steer Wrestling
- Saddle Bronc
- Team Roping
- Barrel Racing
With competitors fighting hard to win each event, Arizona was definitely the place to be for anyone and everyone who loves the traditions of the Old West. What has made this rodeo so special over the years has been the variety of competitions for all age levels. Whether it was the Junior, Masters, or Women’s competitions, all ages and skill levels were well-represented.
With Ray Champ offering his always entertaining descriptions of the day’s events, the White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair and Rodeo provided great Western entertainment that any cowboy or cowgirl would find exciting. With this year’s festivities now over and done with, there’s little doubt those who love their Indian heritage are already looking forward to next year’s event in WhiteRiver, Arizona. And judging by the crowds from this year, the 91st edition will be bigger and better than ever.