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Lisa Osceola takes the helm at EIRA

For the first time, the Eastern Indian Rodeo Association has a female president. Lisa Osceola was elected at the EIRA annual awards banquet this summer.

The 2018 Eastern Indian Rodeo Association season kicks off Feb. 3 with the Betty Mae Jumper Memorial Rodeo in Hollywood. Action from last year’s rodeo is shown here. (Kevin Johnson)

Osceola is no stranger to the rodeo. The daughter of Josiah Johns, an Indian National Finals Rodeo Hall of Famer and co-founder of the Florida Indian Rodeo Association which in 1995 became the EIRA, Osceola grew up in the rodeo and recalls the first rodeo held in the old Brighton arena.

“I remember when they asked workers to get their crazy horses and old bulls and cattle owners to put in a few calves for the rodeo,” she said. “I did rodeo from the day I could walk.”

In her role as president, Osceola wants to get more kids involved in the rodeo by offering more clinics. The youth rodeo has grown over the years and she wants to continue that trend.

“A lot of parents don’t know about rodeo,” she said. “The more you can get the kids involved in something that requires responsibility, the better. Rodeo is yearlong, not seasonal like basketball and other sports.”

Osceola has been part of EIRA leadership for years and has served as secretary and barrel racing director. EIRA’s directors are responsible for specific events; team roping header, team roping heeler, bareback, steer wrestling, calf roping, saddle bronc, women’s breakaway, barrel, bull riding, rodeo queen, fundraising and kids rodeo / special events.

“I rely on the directors,” Osceola said. “We have a pretty good team; they get in here and help. It’s all us putting on these rodeos, but it’s something we all enjoy.”

EIRA officers:
President- Lisa Osceola
Vice President- Mackenzie Bowers
Secretary- Melissa Gopher
Special Events- Moses Jumper
Rodeo Queen- Jimi Lu Huff-Jamison
Fundraiser- Jade Braswell
Bareback Riding- Joe Osceola
Saddle Bronc Riding- Rodney Osceola
Steer Wrestling- Blevyns Jumper
Calf Roping- Paul Bowers Sr.
Breakaway Roping- Trina Hipp
Team Roping Header- Josh Jumper
Team Roping Heeler- Naha Jumper
Lady’s Barrel Racing- Scooter Johns
Bull Riding- Paul Bowers Jr.

The 2018 EIRA schedule:
Feb. 3
Betty Mae Jumper Memorial Rodeo
Hollywood Rodeo Arena

Feb. 10
Bill Osceola Memorial Rodeo
Hollywood Rodeo Arena

Feb. 13
Brighton Field Day Tour Rodeo
Fred Smith Rodeo Arena

March 16
Junior Cypress Memorial Rodeo
Junior Cypress Rodeo Arena

April 21
EIRA Rodeo
Junior Cypress Rodeo Arena

July 7
Josiah Johns Memorial
Fred Smith Rodeo Arena

July 27 and 28
EIRA Regional Finals
Fred Smith Rodeo Arena

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at

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