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Jackson Sundown








Photo courtesy of Matt Johnson
Howdyshell Collection
Pendleton,Oregon
Jackson Sundown,who claimed to be the nephew of Chief Joseph,was the first and only full-blooded indian to ever win a major rodeo championship: at the Pendleton Roundup in 1916,at age 53,he won the saddle bronc riding event. When asked what inscription he wanted on the trophy,he replied,"Please put wife's name." Sundown,with indian style braids,was proud of his heritage and wore beaded fringed gauntlets,had feathers in his hat,and wore colorful silk ribbons to hold his hat down tight. On occasion,he would dress in complete traditional Nez Perce costume. Throughout his short and colorful rodeo career,these orange Angora chaps with black spots that you see in the picture remained this buckaroo's trademark.



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