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Mandaree All Indian Rodeo brings out many

Submitted Photo Angel Little Shield shows the new style of rodeo – with a mask. Photo by Karen LoneFight.

MANDAREE – Rodeo contestants and spectators gathered at the On The Slant Arena at Mandaree for an All Indian Rodeo this past Sunday.

The rodeo was done for all residents of the Fort Berthold Reservation who are members of the Three Affiliated Tribes. It was also a “trial run” for a rodeo on Fort Berthold following the COVID-19 rules and guidelines of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

“We’re trying to get back to some type of normalcy,” said Lloyd “Charlie” Vigen, president of the Mandaree Rodeo Committee. He said as a community, the rodeo is something everyone can do together.

The rodeo was sponsored by Randy Phelan, West Segment council representative to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation business council. The rodeo committee organized and presented the event.

Vigen said they followed the PRCA’s COVID-19 rules and regulations by having an event outdoors, sanitizing the chutes, etc. Everyone attending – contestants and spectators – had to go through a wellness check. Each person had his or her temperature taken at the gate and filled out a medical questionnaire to sign, or they had to leave.

Submitted Photo Maelee Heart, winner of the ladies barrel racing, also came in second for ladies breakaway and competed in the team roping. Photo by Karen LoneFight.

“Mandaree did a wonderful job at screening everyone,” said Karen LoneFight, a rodeo photographer from White Shield, who attended the event.

“Most were thankful to just be at the rodeo and didn’t mind the wait,” she added. She said the rodeo finished well before sunset.

About 150 contestants competed in the rodeo. A total of about 400 people – contestants and spectators – attended. A list of the rodeo contestants and their prizes can be viewed at the Mandaree Rodeo Committee’s Facebook page.

Vigen said the rodeo committee made a decision at its meeting earlier this week to move forward with the same venue as last Sunday’s all Indian rodeo for those who reside on the Mandan, Hidatasa and Arikara Nation. He said the next rodeo will be June 27 at the On The Slant Arena. West Segment representative again will sponsor the rodeo.

Upcoming association rodeos

Several Northern Badlands Indian Rodeo Association rodeos are scheduled for this summer. They include:

– June 21: Healing Horse Ranch, Parshall.

– July 4: New Town Rodeo Grounds.

– Aug. 1: Fort Yates Rodeo Grounds.

– Labor Day Weekend: Mandaree On The Slant Arena.

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