Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Pendleton Round-Up

by Shanna Hatfield

This week marks the 118th Pendleton Round-Up

The world famous rodeo began in 1910 in the wild western town of Pendleton, Oregon. 

You might wonder what the fuss is about "another rodeo," but the Northwest Frontier Round-Up, or The Roundup as it was called in numerous newspaper articles, was such a huge event, they ran special trains from Portland just to bring attendees to see it.

From my understanding, the idea for The Roundup came into being that July and quickly gathered steam along with supporters. It was decided to hold an event which would "bring back the feel of the Old West" in conjunction with the Eastern Oregon District Fair taking place the last week of September.

Organizers wanted the first Round-Up to be a "frontier exhibition of picturesque pastimes, Indian and military spectacles, cowboy racing, and bronco busting for the championship of the Northwest.

For the initial performance all businesses in town were asked to close. People were asked to open their homes to out-of-town attendees since there weren't rooms enough at the area hotels to accommodate them.

The very first show went off with a bang, with a reported 7,000 people in attendance and hundreds left outside the gates, wanting in. Not about to miss out on an opportunity, organizers raced to build another 3,000 bleacher seats before the second performance began the following afternoon.

And the slogan heard throughout town that weekend was "Let 'er Buck" - a phrase still popular with attendees today. 

The rodeo arena’s grass floor is one-of-a-kind in the world of rodeo, adding a unique challenge for competitors. The Native American encampment is the largest in North America with more than 300 teepees annually joining in the event, just like they did during that first event so long ago. It was also the first rodeo to have rodeo royalty, starting with the very first Round-Up in 1910.

Souvenirs of all types were sold to the thousands crowding into the city and logo'd souvenirs continue to be popular with the modern crowds.

As the initial show drew to an end, one newspaper reporter wrote: "The words 'Pendleton' and 'Round-Up' are on the lips of thousands and will continue to be for months and years to come... The Round-Up is a whirlwind success."

Since 1910, the show has gone on every year except for two during World War II and continues to draw thousands of spectators the second full week of September.

I had a ball incorporating details of  the Round-Up's history into Dally, Pendleton Petticoats Book 8.

She’s ready to spread her wing and fly…
            He’s scrambling to set down roots.

Unconventional, Dally Douglas is as likely to be found wearing her brother’s britches and riding a horse as she is dressed in lace-trimmed finery sipping tea in the parlor. With no plans to wed, she convinces her family to allow her to stay at their ranch in Oregon. Free and unfettered, she plans to remain that way, even when the town’s beloved young doctor returns home and captures both her interest and her heart.

Charismatic, handsome, and dedicated to his work, Doctor Nik Nash finally makes his way back to Pendleton. After years of studying and gaining hands-on experience, Nik is excited to bring his skills and knowledge to the place he calls home. Focused on his career, he has no time for a woman, especially not one as lively, fascinating, and enchanting as Dally Douglas.

When a freak accident brings the two of them together, their stubborn determination may cost them the chance to know true love.

     Dally clenched every muscle in her body and held her breath as her brother eased onto the back of the blindfolded horse in the middle of the arena. In theory, the blindfold would keep the horse calm until the rider gained his seat on the saddle.
     The way the bronc tensed and his ears twitched, Dally had an idea the animal was anything except calm.
     Cautious yet determined, Hunter slid onto the stock saddle and took the rein in his hand. He hunkered down and grinned, then yelled, “Let ’er Buck!” and the man holding the horse tugged off the blindfold.

     The horse bucked and pitched, kicked and reared, putting on quite a show, but so did Hunter.


 USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

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