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EIRA holds regional final; Vegas next stop for some

The road to Las Vegas runs through the Brighton Reservation.

That’s the path about 20 members of the Eastern Indian Rodeo Association took to qualify for the 44th annual Indian National Finals Rodeo that will be held Oct. 22-26 at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas.

INFR bids were up for grabs at EIRA’s Region 13 rodeo July 26-27 at Fred Smith Rodeo Arena in Brighton. It was the season finale for EIRA, whose season began in February.

Justin Gopher knows he has to get this calf down quickly during the calf roping competition at the EIRA regional finals July 26 at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena in Brighton. He’ll be headed to the Indian National Finals Rodeo in team roping. (Beverly Bidney)
Mackenzie Bowers rushes her horse to get the best time after competing in the ladies barrels. (Beverly Bidney)

Here are the EIRA members who qualified for INFR:

Sudden death winners Blevyns Jumper – calf tie-down roping
Madisyn Osceola – ladies breakaway ropingConnor Osborn – team roping (header)
Josh Jumper – team roping (heeler)
Loretta Peterson – ladies barrel racing
Atley Driggers – INFR Jr. breakaway roping
Ed Harry – INFR Sr. breakaway roping
Jalee Wilcox – INFR Jr. barrel racing

Regional winners
Blevyns Jumper – steer wrestling
Dayne Johns – steer wrestling
Ivan Bruisedhead – calf tie-down roping
Shelby Osceola – ladies breakaway roping
Justin Gopher – team roping (header)
*Blaine Courson – team roping (heeler)
Megan McKerchie – ladies barrel racing
Jaylen Baker – bull riding
Jaytron Baker – INFR breakaway roping
Theresa Johns – INFR Sr. breakaway roping
Janae Bankston – INFR Jr. barrel racing
Norman Osceola – INRF Jr. bull riding

*Blaine Courson is unable to attend INFR, so Naha Jumper will be the heeler with Justin Gopher.

Myron Billie tests his meddle as he tries to stay on the bull for eight seconds. (Beverly Bidney)
Mackenzie Bowers rushes her horse to get the best time after competing in the ladies barrels. (Beverly Bidney)
Myron Billie tests his meddle as he tries to stay on the bull for eight seconds. (Beverly Bidney)
Norman Osceola is in control as he rides the bull at the EIRA regional finals. (Beverly Bidney)
Taylor Johns flies the American flag during the opening ceremony of the EIRA regional final. (Beverly Bidney)
Ashlynn Collins competes in ladies breakaway roping. (Beverly Bidney)
Cat Tommie and Cory Wilcox team up for a successful run. (Beverly Bidney)
Cyiah Alvia heads for the barrels as she competes at the EIRA regional finals. (Beverly Bidney)
Jalee Wilcox leads her horse quickly around the barrel. (Beverly Bidney)
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