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Roping on the river

Flathead River Tour Rodeo draws crowds

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POLSON — The Polson fairgrounds blossomed with huge horse trailers, big pickups and horses tied to trailers, grazing in panels or being ridden down to the Flathead River as nearly 800 contestants and their families came to town for the Flathead River Tour Rodeo Aug. 20-22.

The rodeo paid $55,000 in cash and prizes. Rodeo announcer Ray Champ, Cut Bank, called the rodeo. 

“Rodeo cowboys don’t change their pants; they change towns,” Champ said. 

He talked about his 7-year-old son’s bucking horse, Dry Meat, and said the boy gives him a play-by-play report of his bucking horse’s performance.  

Many of the Indian cowgirls and cowboys entered in the Flathead River Rodeo are now sitting high in the standings, with the top 10 in timed events and the top 11 in rough stock events headed to the Indian National Finals Rodeo held at the Fivepoints Casino Nov. 3-7.

Examples are bareback riders Cam Bruised Head and Buck Lunak, saddle bronc riders Tate LongBrake and Marty Hebb and barrel racers Genevieve Tsouhlarkis and Nyis Colliflower.

There were lots of added attractions this year including mini chuckwagon races on Friday night, a Ring of Fire on Saturday night as well as live music after the rodeo each evening. 

On Thursday, Shodown played followed by the Crawford Brothers on Friday and Indian cowboy Armond Duck Chief on Saturday evening. 

Several ladies near the Short-Go Saloon said it was a dancing crowd. 

Even a cold and rainy Friday evening, complete with lightning, couldn’t keep the crowds away. 

There’s a reason this rodeo’s been voted the best Indian National Finals tour rodeo three years in a row.


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