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EIRA competes in Indian National Finals Rodeo

A year ago the Eastern Indian Rodeo Association brought back a few first place finishers from the Indian National Finals Rodeo when Jacoby Johns (bareback riding) and Naha Jumper and Josh Jumper (team roping) won the short-go rounds.

Dayne Johns gets ready for the takedown as he competes in steer wrestling at INFR. (Photo Starlyn Smith)
Ashley Parks competes in the championship round of ladies barrel racing at INFR in Las Vegas. She finished fourth overall. (Photo Starlyn Smith)

This year the EIRA came back empty-handed from Las Vegas in October as none of its riders won rounds or championships, but there were a few close calls.

Johns had consistently strong performances in each of the first three rounds. He finished in the top five in all three, including second place in round two when he had a score of 79. He entered the final day in second place overall, but had a no score in the short-go and finished sixth overall with a score of 233 and three head.

Johns’ sixth place showing was the top finish among EIRA men.

Dayne Johns started strong in steer wrestling with a sizzling time of 5.06 seconds in the first round, good enough for second overall in the round, a fraction of a second behind Clint Bruised Head. Johns ended up finishing 27th overall.

Jobe Johns finished 17th overall in calf roping. His best time came in the round two with a time of 10.13, good enough for third place in the round.

Also in calf roping, Naha Jumper finished 26th overall. His top time also came in round two at 11.71 seconds, which was 14th in the round. He was 17th in short-go at 22.02.

Mackenzie Bowers and her horse make a tight turn around the barrel in ladies barrel racing at INFR. (Photo Starlyn Smith)

Naha and his brother Josh weren’t able to duplicate last year’s success in team roping. They finished 27th overall.

The team of Justin Gopher and Connor Osborn was 31st overall in team roping. Their best performance came in round two with a time of 11.84, which was the 15th fastest time of the day.

Norman Osceola competed in bull riding and did not record any points.

On the women’s side, Ashley Parks generated EIRA’s top showing with fourth overall in ladies barrel racing. Her times were: 15.75, 11th place in round 1; 15.660, 4th place in round 2; no time round in round 3; 15.461, 7th place in short-go.

Fellow EIRA member McKenzie Bowers also had a solid EIRA as she posted times in all three rounds. She finished 21st overall.

Ahnie Jumper competed in ladies breakaway roping. The Florida Gulf Coast University softball player finished 32nd overall. Her best time came in round three at 12.37, which placed her 17th in the round.

EIRA’s top performers in the Junior portion were Jaylee Wilcox in junior barrels and Norman Osceola in junior bull riding. Both finished sixth overall in their events.

Other EIRA youth who competed at INFR included Canaan Jumper (junior breakaway roping) and Justin Gopher Jr. (junior bull riding).

Norman Johns and Jeff Johns teamed up in senior team roping; Norman also competed in senior breakaway roping.

Canaan Jumper competes in junior breakaway roping at INFR. (Photo Starlyn Smith)
Ahnie Jumper competes in round three of ladies breakaway roping at INFR in Las Vegas. (Photo Starlyn Smith)
Former EIRA rider Howard Edmundson, of Oklahoma, carries the Seminole Tribe of Florida flag into the arena during an INFR ceremony. (Photo Starlyn Smith)
Connor Osborn, left, and Justin Gopher team up in team roping at INFR in Las Vegas. (Photo Starlyn Smith)
Jacoby Johns shows he’s in control in bareback riding at INFR. Johns finished sixth overall. (Photo Starlyn Smith)
Naha Jumper and Josh Jumper work together in team roping at INFR. (Photo Starlyn Smith)
Justin Gopher Jr. competes in junior bull riding at INFR. (Photo Starlyn Smith)
Norman Osceola competes in Las Vegas in junior bull riding at the Indian National Finals Rodeo in October. He finished sixth overall. (Photo Starlyn Smith)
Norman Johns is in good position for the lasso in senior breakaway riding at INFR. (Photo Starlyn Smith)


Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at

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