Let’er Buck! It’s time for the 113th annual Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon.
The first ever Pendleton Round-Up took place on September 29, 1910. The founding members decided a later roundup would be ideal because it allowed grain farmers to finish their harvest and then compete. The livestock also had a chance to get a check-up which was very good!
This iconic rodeo was created by a non-profit called the “Northwestern Frontier Exhibition Association.” The first president of the organization was Roy Raley. The second president, Til Taylor took over in 1912.
Over 7,000 people showed up to watch the action at the first Round-Up in 1910. All of the stores even closed for the occasion in Pendleton. The first event was considered a success and word spread throughout the region. The Pendleton Round-Up was soon added to several cowboy’s and cowgirl’s rodeo schedules.
Within the decade, 50,000 people were coming to watch the Pendleton Round-Up each year.
The who’s who of rodeo have competed here throughout the years with the Pendleton Round-Up title being coveted by many rodeo athletes.
We look forward to seeing how the tradition of this rodeo continues on in the future! But first, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at some photos from the Dickinson Research Center and items on display in the American Rodeo Gallery at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Photos from the Dickinson Research Center & Items in the American Rodeo Gallery
Pendleton Round-Up Aerial View (1948)
The Pendleton Round-Up is a popular rodeo that draws thousands of people each year. This photo was taken in 1948 and you can see people surrounding the arena to watch all of the action.
C.E. Runyan (1914)
C.E. Runyan is shown on “Goodnight” at the 1914 Pendleton Round-Up. According to the East Oregonian, Runyan also competed in the Bulldogging event with a time of 1:25.5 seconds. (East Oregonian, September 25, 1914)
Bertha Blancett (1915)
Bertha Kaepernik Blancett was known as “the most famous woman rider in rodeo.” She helped pioneer women’s competitions in rodeo, but also wasn’t afraid to compete against the men in the arena. Her arena career began in 1904 at Cheyenne where she competed as a bronc rider and Roman racer. She married rodeo bulldogger, Dell Blancett in 1909 and often served as his “hazer” in the arena.
In the photo below, Blancett is shown successfully riding Eagle at the 1915 Pendleton Round-Up. According to the contemporary newspapers she successfully rode Gray Eagle, Eagle and Dempsey to win the 1915 Cowgirl Bucking Contest in front of a crowd of 16,000 people. She won $125 and an $18 pair of boots presented by Alexander’s. She successfully defended her title! (East Oregonian, September 25, 1915) Bertha and Dell both competed at the 1915 Pendleton Round-Up, see the photo below from the East Oregonian.
Bertha Blancett would compete and/or perform in Wild West shows for nearly four decades. Upon retiring from competition in 1919, she occasionally rode as a pickup rider in California rodeos. Sadly, Dell was killed while fighting in World War I leaving Bertha a widow for the remainder of her life.
Pendleton Round-Up Cowboys (1915)
The photo on the left contains two unidentified cowboys posing in the style of the day. The cowboy on the right in this picture is wearing a knit shirt which was popular between 1900-1920. (Rattenbury, 266)
“Champions of the World” (1916)
“Champions of the World” at the Pendleton, Oregon Round-Up in 1916: Jackson Sundown 1st, Bob Hall 2nd and Rufus Rollins 3rd.
The National Cowoy & Western Heritage Museum’s logo includes an outline of Jackson Sundown (Left). To learn more about his story read, “Breaking Trail: The Real Story of Jackson Sundown, the Cowboy in the Museum Logo.”
Stagecoach Race (L: 1918) & (R:1937)
H.W. Collins (c. 1924)
H.W. Collins was the President of the Pendleton Round-Up from 1921-1932. Collins was a prominent Oregonian businessman in the grain industry.
In 1906, he began working for the Balfour-Guthrie & Co. He built the Collins Flour Mill in 1919 and kept it until 1937. In 1930, he was named the West Coast Vice President for the Farmers National Grain Co. Additionally, he was also named to the government-owned Grain Stabilization Corp. In 1934, he joined the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company as the West Coast Manager. He eventually was promoted to Vice President and then Director. He also served as the Chairman for the Oregon State Racing Commission from 1937-1947.
Girls Relay Race (1925)
During the first golden age of rodeo many women competed in various events. This photo shows a group of women competing in the Girl’s Relay Race.
Queen of the Pendleton Round-Up, Miss Mildred Rogers (1925)
The Pendleton Round-Up began using rodeo queens as a promotional tool from the beginning. Miss Mildred Rogers was named the Queen in 1925 and her court included Miss Agnes McMurray (Portland), Miss Doris Churchill (Queen of the 1925 Ellensburg Rodeo), Miss Mary Clarke (Pendelton) and Miss Catherine McNary (Pendleton). These five women rodeo together in the parades. (Morning Register, September 11, 1925)
Mildred Rogers was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.L. Rogers of Umatilla County. Mildred graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in the spring of 1925 and had a reputation of being an accomplished horsewoman. (The News-Review, August 14, 1925)
Mildred Rogers began the longstanding tradition of being a rodeo queen for her family. Joe Ann Barnett Rugg was the next member of the family to win in 1949. Her daughter, Julie Rugg was the 1976 Queen. Julie’s daughter, Cheyenne Williams Bailey was the 2008 Princess and 2010 Queen of the Pendleton Round-Up. Watch Wrangler Network’s video, “History of the Pendleton Round-Up Queen and Court” to see these women talk about their history.
Trick Riding (1927)
6-year-old Bunch Banks is shown trick riding at the 1927 Pendleton Round-Up.
Bob Crosby (1928)
Bob Crosby was a prolific rodeo athlete in the early-twentieth century. In the photos below, Crosby is shown Steer Roping. He was named the 1928 Steer Roping Champion at this rodeo. It was at this rodeo that he also permanently retired the Roosevelt Trophy – a HUGE feat. He had captured the “All-Around” titles at Pendleton and Cheyenne in 1925, 1927 and 1928. Once a cowboy won three times, the Roosevelt Trophy was retired. Basically, this was the equivalent of winning three world championships.
Many people on the rodeo circuit called him, “Wild Horse Bob” because he was an aggressive competitor. Life magazine called him “The King of The Cowboys.”
Bob Crosby won many trophy buckles as well and you can see two examples below.
Crosby was named the 1927 “Champion Cowboy” at the Pendelton Round-Up. The Police Gazette sponsored the silver buckle and tooled belt. (Left buckle)
In 1934, he was named the “World’s Champion Steer Roper” at the Pendleton Round-Up. The Plymouth Cordage Company sponsored the gold and silver buckle on the tooled belt.
Pat Owens (1928)
Pat Owens is shown riding Overall Bill at the 1928 Pendleton Round-Up!
Everett Bowman’s Trophy Buckle (1935)
Everrett Bowman was named the “Champion All-Around Cowboy” at the 1935 Pendleton Round-Up. This buckle was sponsored by the Hamley Saddlery Company and is made of gold and silver.
Jodo the Placid Ox & Marjorie Foster (1938)
Young Marjorie Foster is shown sitting on top of Jodo the Placid Ox with a rope in her left hand and a waving hat in her right. She has a huge smile on her face!
Jodo was a 1,600 pound ox who appeared at the 1938 Pendleton Round-Up. He wore a yoke “patterned exactly after the one in the Smithsonian Institute” from 1938. “Exact dimensions of the yoke” were sent to Pendleton by the Smithsonian. (The Washington Times, March 15, 1938)
Native Americans at the Pendleton Round-Up (L:1929) & (R:1954)
Delegations from several tribes attend the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon each year. According to the Happy Canyon website, members from the Yakima, Colville, Spokane, Nez Perce, Coeur d’Alene, Shoshone, Bannock, Warm Springs, Paiute, and Rock Creek tribes participate throughout the week.
Rodeo Program (1966)
This rodeo program from the 1966 Pendleton Round-Up is currently on display in the American Rodeo Gallery at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Thanks for reading today’s post about the Pendleton Round-Up! I enjoyed seeing all of the pictures from the Dickinson Research Center and awards on display in the American Rodeo Gallery. I didn’t show you everything on display in the American Rodeo Gallery so come take a stroll and see if you can spot the other Pendleton Round-Up awards! Happy hunting 🙂
I can’t wait to see you next time as we continue “Breaking Trail” and learning new stories from the collections at The Cowboy!
Interested in more information on the history of rodeo? Check out these books from Persimmon Hill!
Richard Rattenbury, “Arena Legacy: The Heritage of American Rodeo” (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010).
Pete & Jeanne Pedersen, “The Common Touch: Story of Henry W. Collins.”
“Tommy Grimes Close to Record in Steer Roping This Morning,” East Oregonian (Pendleton, Oregon), September 25, 1914.
“Bertha Blancett Wins Championship in the Bucking Contest; 16,000 People See Events at Last Day of the Round-Up,” East Oregonian (Pendleton, Oregon), September 25, 1915.
“Dell and Bertha Blancett,” East Oregonian (Pendleton, Oregon), September 24, 1915.
“1,600-Pound Ox,” The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.), March 15, 1938.
“Briefs of Oregon Life,” Morning Register (Eugene, Oregon), September 11, 1925. [Page 4]
“Court Appointment Made,” Morning Register (Eugene, Oregon), September 11, 1925. [Page 7]
“Pendleton Names Round-Up Queens and Attendants,” The News-Review (Roseburg, Oregon), August 14, 1925.
Items from the American Rodeo Gallery
The Roosevelt “Year” Trophy. Lambert Brother’s Jewelers, 1927. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. R.214.40.
The Permanent Roosevelt Trophy. Lambert Brother’s Jewelers, 1928. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. R.214.41.
Trophy Belt and Plate. Makers Unknown, 1927. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. R.214.30.
Trophy Belt Plate. John McCabe Silversmiths, 1935. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. R.221.5.
Rodeo Program. Pendleton Rodeo Board, 1966. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. 98.63.2.
Trophy Belt and Plate. Hamley & Co. (John McCabe Silversmiths), 1934. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. R.214.29 A&B.
Pendleton Round-Up Cowboys, 1915, Photographic Study Collection, Dickinson Research Center, 2005.240.
Bob Crosby winning Steer roping and Roosevelt Trophy, Pendleton Roundup, 1928, Ralph R. Doubleday Rodeo Photographs, Dickinson Research Center, 79.026.2406.
Bob Crosby on “Nickle” winner of Steer roping and Roosevelt Trophy Pendleton Roundup 1928, Ralph R. Doubleday Rodeo Photographs, Dickinson Research Center, 79.026.2407.
Pendleton Round-Up 1948, Smoky Snyder Collection, Dickinson Research Center, R.257.04.
Indian Girls Pendleton Round-up 1928 (18), 1928, Photographic Study Collection, Dickinson Research Center, RC2008.129.
H. W. Collins, President Pendleton Round-Up, ca. 1924, Bruce McCarroll Collection of the Bonnie & Frank McCarroll Rodeo Archives, Dickinson Research Center, RC2006.076.223.
Round up time – Pendleton Round-Up, Oregon, ca. 1954, Photographic Study Collection, Dickinson Research Center, RC2007.125.
Bertha Blancett on Eagle, Pendleton Round-Up, ca. 1915, Photographic Study Collection, Dickinson Research Center, RC2006.130.
Pendleton Round-Up 1937, stagecoach races, Smoky Snyder Collection, Dickinson Research Center, R.257.07.
Pat Owens Riding Overall Bill 1928 The Pendleton Round-Up, 1928, Bruce McCarroll Collection of the Bonnie & Frank McCarroll Rodeo Archives, Dickinson Research Center, RC2006.076.529.
Pendleton Round-Up 1938, Jodo the placid ox, seven-year old Marjorie Foster, Smoky Snyder Collection, Dickinson Research Center, R.257.05.
Girls Relay Race, Pendleton Round-Up, 1925, Photographic Study Collection, Dickinson Research Center, 2004.333.
Bunch Banks 6 Years Old Trick Riding, Pendleton Round-Up 1927, Photographic Study Collection, Dickinson Research Center, 2005.081.2.
Sundown 1st, Hall 2nd, Rollins 3rd “Champions of the World” Pendleton Oregon Round-Up – 1916, Bruce McCarroll Collection of the Bonnie & Frank McCarroll Rodeo Archives, Dickinson Research Center, RC2006.076.360.
C.E. Runyan on “Goodnight” Round-Up Pendleton OR. No. 35.A, ca. 1914, Photographic Study Collection, Dickinson Research Center, RC2008.103.
Miss Mildred Rogers Queen of the Round Up Pendleton Ore. 1925, Photographic Study Collection, Dickinson Research Center, RC2009.054.
Stagecoach Race, Pendleton Round-Up, 1918 Photographic Study Collection, Dickinson Research Center, 2003.245.