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The Wild West Way

OPB | Sept. 9, 2010 8 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 4, 2013 10:05 a.m.

Pendleton Round-Up's Pat Owen, 1928

Pendleton Round-Up's Pat Owen, 1928

Oregon Historical Society

The Pendleton Round-Up will celebrate its centennial this Fall. Dedicated volunteers, tribal involvement and thrill-a-minute entertainment have made the Round-Up one of the oldest and most prestigious rodeos in the world. Oregon Experience looks back at the first hundred years of Round-Up! 

The Pendleton Round-Up is not the oldest rodeo in the country and not even close to the biggest.  But according to the cowboys who compete there, it’s one of the best.  And besides, the Round-Up is far more than just a rodeo.


An extraordinary number of local volunteers run the whole operation, making a year-round commitment to this week-long event.  The Round-Up, in turn, has become inextricably intertwined with the Pendleton community and the Umatilla reservation.   And the active Native American presence has kept the Round-Up distinctive throughout  these many years.

This anniversary presents an excellent opportunity to explore the Round-Up’s rich history, including:

World-champion cowboys and weekend wranglers; the Teepee Village; rodeo clowns and Indian princesses; enormous bucking bulls and brave bullfighters; and African-Americans, Native Americans and rodeo women - who defied the prejudices of the times to become crowd favorites.

This is the story of how, for the past 100 years, the people of small town Pendleton have combined history, tradition and thrill-a-minute modern entertainment to help their community thrive.

Resources

 

Books

Michael Bales & Ann Terry Hill, Pendleton Round-Up at 100

Charles Wellington Furlong, Let ‘Er Buck, A story of the Passing of the Old West

 

Web sites

The Oregon Historical Society

Umatilla County Historical Society

The Pendleton Round-Up

The Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

 

Broadcast Date: September 09, 2010

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OREGON EXPERIENCE is a co-production of Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Historical Society.