Ready for a little time travel, to the early days of Sisters Rodeo? Put yer feet up and sit a spell….
It is 1940, when life moved more slowly than today. Local residents of Sisters produced the first rodeo on land that is now the Sisters Airport. Events included bull and bronc riding, calf roping, bulldogging, wild cow milking and wild horse races. With high stakes prizes, the cowboys dubbed Sisters Rodeo “The Biggest Little Show in the World”. The first rodeo was an all volunteer event except for the announcer and the stock suppliers, a tradition that has continued to the present. Partly due to the high stakes prizes, the Sisters Rodeo attracted world champion cowboys.
EARLY RODEO QUEENS
Rodeo Queens used to compete for the title by selling raffle tickets for a steer. The young woman selling the most tickets became the Rodeo Queen for that year. The first Rodeo Queen was Mary Saxon from Terrebonne.
After several years when the Sisters Rodeo was sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars, the rodeo reorganized in 1963 with Mert Hunking, Clifford Ray, Fred Ferrian and Homer Shaw as officers. There was another reorganization in 1977, when the rodeo was held on land behind the current Sisters Elementary School, then it was held on the Topping Ranch on Harrington Loop for two years.
SISTERS RODEO FINDS A HOME.
Finally, in 1979, the rodeo purchased 33 acres from Carl and Virginia Campbell and installed stands and fencing, joining the International Professional Rodeo Association. The Sisters Rodeo association became a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys in 1988, a highly sought after distinction.
RODEO OF THE YEAR
In 2009, Sisters Rodeo was named the Rodeo of the Year and has been featured in the New York Times and on The Late Show with David Letterman. The beloved western theme evident everywhere in Sisters was inspired by the Rodeo.
“It’s the ropes and the reins, and the joy and the pain. And they call the thing rodeo.” Garth Brooks