The First Pendleton Round-Up


The idea for the Pendleton Round-Up originated in 1910 when a group of men from Umatilla County were gathered in Portland for the Rose Festival.

It was proposed that Pendleton should hold a community event and that a western show was the answer. The men formed a company, sold stock, and that September the first Round-Up was held.

It was so popular the City of Pendleton purchased the company stock and made the Round-Up a civic event complete with cowboy and cowgirl competitions and entertainment depicting what life was like in the days of the Wild West.

Pendelton Roundup1

Each September since, the call goes out, “Let ’er Buck,” and the Pendleton Round-Up kicks off.


Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo The 2013 Pendleton Round-Up takes place September 11th – 14th. Rick Steber will be in various locations in Pendleton, Oregon, September 10th – 14th, signing copies of his new book: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo. View his book signing schedule here: 

Red Black White tells the true story of the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up. Three men of different skin colors – Jackson Sundown, John Spain, and George Fletcher – are brought together during the finals of the Northwest Saddle Bronc Championship. What happened that September day, the judges’ decision and the reaction of the crowd in the aftermath, forever changed the sport of rodeo, and the way the emerging West was to look at itself.about the 1911 Pendleton Roundup and how it forever changed the sport of rodeo, and the way the emerging West was to look at itself.

You can purchase of Red Black White online at:



Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo

vintage_western_cowgirl_miss_annie_oakley_poster-r5d73c0eb2516456cad90a9c6bb93696d_1dt_8byvr_512I am now in the process of having people read and make corrections to the manuscript for my new book — Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo. Next week I will be swinging through NE Oregon for some final research and then a rewrite.

Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction:

What little remained of the Wild West was now being portrayed by hucksters and showmen like Buffalo Bill Cody and his traveling circus-like extravaganza: cowboys and Indians riding in mock battles, a woman, Annie Oakley, putting on shooting exhibitions to show men how it was done, and even old Geronimo, the once proud war chief of the mighty Apache nation, had been reduced to selling photographs of himself for a nickel a pop. Audiences across the nation, and even internationally, were thrilled by these gaudy performances. The Wild West had met its end, destroyed by an industrial revolution that swept across the nation like an out-of-control wildfire pushed by the brawny winds of “Progress.” Progress at any cost.

Visit my website at Writing the West, for more tales of the Wild West, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs. My books are now available for purchase as ebooks.