Three Seminole Tribe of Florida cowboys shined on the final night of the Indian National Finals Rodeo.
Bareback rider Jacoby Johns and the brother team-roping duo of Josh Jumper (header) and Naha Jumper (heeler) departed Las Vegas as INFR short go round champions. Each took victory laps on their horses in front of thousands of spectators who packed South Point Arena on Nov. 11 for Indian Country’s biggest rodeo event.
Johns, of the Brighton Reservation, won the bareback short go with a score of 84, two points ahead of short go runner-up and INFR world champion Cody Parker. Johns finished sixth in the overall standings for the week.
The Jumpers, of the Big Cypress Reservation, edged INFR world champions Travis Thom and Tad Williams for the team-roping short go title. The Jumpers had the fastest time at 5.89 seconds in the finale. Thom and Williams finished second at 6.07. In the overall race for world champion, the Jumpers finished sixth.
The short go victory capped an impressive week for the Jumpers, who twice had scores in the five-second range, including the second fastest time in Round 2 (5.31).
Naha Jumper also competed in tie-down roping short go, where he finished 10th with a time of 18.08. He ended ninth in the overall standings.
Luck wasn’t on the side of two other Seminoles in the championship short go.
Bull rider Kelton Smedley, who started INFR in good shape with Round 1’s fourth best score (77), had no score in the short go. His chances were hurt when the bull he was on stumbled after taking a few steps out of the gate. He wasn’t alone with a ‘no score.’ Only two of the 10 riders stayed on for the eight seconds.
Steer wrestler Blevyns Jumper, who produced Round 2’s third fastest time (4.35), never got a chance to wrestle in the short go as the steer stopped right after the gate opened. He finished 11th in the overall standings.
On the women’s side, Ashley Parks, a Choctaw from Davie who races in the Eastern Indian Rodeo Association with the Seminoles, finished second in the ladies barrel racing short go. Her time was 14.932, a fraction behind 9-year-old INFR world champion Rocksie Marchand. Parks finished seventh in the overall standings.
Trina Hipp, ladies breakaway roping; Boogie Johns, ladies barrel racing; Ahnie Jumper, ladies breakaway roping; and the team-roping team of Jason Baker and Catlin Tommie competed in the first three rounds of INFR, but did not advance to the final round.
In the senior division, Norman Johns made it to the championship short go and finished ninth overall in sr. breakaway.
Jaylen Baker also competed in the final round short go and finished ninth overall in jr. bull riding.
Other juniors from the Tribe who competed at INFR but didn’t advance to thef finals included: Budha Jumper (16th, jr. barrel racing), Madisyn Osceola (25th, jr. barrel racing, and 20th in jr. breakaway), and Norman Osceola (tie-20th, jr. bull riding).