The Indian National Finals Rodeo annually draws the top cowboys and cowgirls from throughout Indian Country for an intense and energetic week of competition, but the arena and grounds in Las Vegas will be quiet this year.
The INFR board of commissioners announced Aug. 5 that INFR has been cancelled “due to the continued growing concerns of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The 45th annual edition was slated to be held Oct. 20-24 at the South Point Hotel & Casino Equestrian Event Center in Las Vegas.
“This was a tough decision by the board, but the health and welfare is our priority,” Donna Hoyt, INFR general manager, said in a statement. “It was necessary to keep our members, families, elders, fans, vendors,
sponsors, contractors, and any other person involved with holding a successful INFR safe.”
INFR serves as the culmination of the season for members of the Florida-based Eastern Indian Rodeo Association, which features several Seminole cowboys and cowgirls who compete on the Big Cypress, Brighton and Hollywood reservations.
EIRA began its season in February with the Betty Mae Jumper Memorial Rodeo and the Bill Osceola Memorial Rodeo on Feb. 8, but the season came to a halt in March due to the pandemic.
Hoyt said she looks forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas for the 2021 INFR. “Our prayers go out to those who have been affected by this pandemic in our rodeo family and throughout Indian Country.
Our hats off to all of those who have worked diligently in the front lines, working to help lessen the curve and save lives.” Hoyt said.