Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Rodeo, fair still bucking in 71st year

Citizen Staff Writer



SELLS – Rodeo fans and fairgoers braved a cold Sunday at the 71st Annual Tohono O’odham Nation Rodeo & Fair.

In addition to the rodeo, there were carnival rides, games and plenty of food.

It is the longest running Indian rodeo in Arizona, said Pete Delgado, spokesperson for the event. The four-day event started Thursday at the Eugene P. Tashquinth Sr. Livestock Complex, on state Rouste 86, 60 miles west of Tucson.

It’s also an event LaNoa Segundo never likes to miss.

Segundo, 62, was born in Sells and attended the event as a child. It has always been an event family members on and off the reservation traveled to and saw each other at, she said.

“It was always something you did,” she said.

Back then, people looked forward to the dancing and the music, but there has always been a Ferris wheel, she said.

Ki:hod Thomas, 13, and Conrad Williams, 15, both eighth-graders at Baboquivari Middle School in Sells, came for the rides.

Both said they had been going to the rodeo as long as they could remember.

Thomas said he liked being with friends and that it “wasn’t as expensive.”

Teresa Newberry, 51, a science instructor at Tohono O’odham Community College, went on Sunday to set up a school exhibit at the fair’s expo. She took her 10- and 12-year-old children with herand said she was enjoying it.

“I want to see the powwow,” she said. “The kids want to ride the rides.”

Frances Garcia, 6, a first-grader at Indian Oasis Primary School in San Miguel, thought the rides were the best thing at the fair too.

“The Zipper is the best because you get to go around four times,” she said.

The Zipper is a carnival ride where passengers sit in a cage that spins.

There is one thing she didn’t ride that may be even scarier than the Zipper – a real bucking bronco.

But that is what Shiloh Amiotte, 19, does for a living.

The native of Wanblee, South Dakota, said he has been on the road since November 2008 and does between 60 and 70 rodeos a year.

He said sitting on the horse just before it’s released from its stall for the bareback riding event is always a nerve-wracking experience.

“You’ve got a lot of adrenaline going on, you want to do good,” he said. “So you focus and pretty much you got to block everything out.”

He placed in second with 71 points on Sunday.

Parker Reed, 19, of Wickenburg wasn’t as fortunate at team roping. His team didn’t win its events, but it didn’t keep him down.

“It’s a great rodeo,” he said as he practiced lassoing with a plastic cow head on a bale of hay. “There is a lot of money to win.”

Rodeo fans brave cold at annual Tohono O’odham event

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