08 30 2014
  5:14 pm  
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The Oregon History Museum will be hosting the largest exhibit ever of the Pendleton Round-Up, a 100-year-old western exhibition that broke down barriers of race and sex.
The museum is located at 1200 SW Park Ave. in Portland and the exhibit, Tall In The Saddle: 100 Years of the Pendleton Round-Up, will run from March 5 through July 4.

 

Jesse Stahl rides it out with "Grave Digger" at the Pendleton Round Up.

The Oregon Historical Society: 12526 "Grave Digger"

The exhibit features exceptional historic photography, video clips, memorabilia, vintage posters and advertising, round-up clothing and gear, prizes and other ephemera to tell the story of how one of the top 10 rodeos in the world came to take place in the small town of Pendleton, Ore.
"The Pendleton Round-Up is one of Oregon's treasures," Oregon Historical Society executive director George Vogt said. "This world class event broke down the barriers of racism and sexism long before the government passed such laws. We're honored to host this exceptional exhibit and provide our patrons with a glimpse into this iconic Oregon event."
Debuting on Sept. 29, 1910, to a crowd of about 7,000, the small town of Pendleton played host to "a frontier exhibition of picturesque pastimes, Indian and military spectacles, cowboy racing and bronco busting for the championship of the Northwest."
Two decades later, patrons showed up from 36 states and eight foreign countries. Following two years in which the Round-Up was not held because of World War II, attendance climbed again, eventually reaching 50,000 or more for the four-day show.

 

George Fletcher traveled at the turn of the 20th century from Missouri with his family, settling in Pendleton. In 1911, he competed in the Saddle Bronco Finals at the Pendleton Round-Up, which was the first time that a Native American (Jackson Sundown), a White man (John Spain), and a Black man (Fletcher), squared off for a world title in rodeo.

The Oregon Historical Society

Native American participation has also been a strong attraction in the Round-Up arena, at Happy Canyon, in the Indian Village and in the Westward Ho! Parade.
Long before women's liberation, female participants competed head-to-head with men at the Round-Up, competing with the same grit and determination as their male counterparts. In 1914, Bertha Blancett, wife of cowboy Del Blancett, came within 12 points of winning the all-around title.

To read other articles in The Skanner's Black History edition click here 

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