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:



New book on its way

Just finished the first draft of my new book, Red White Black, a true story of race and rodeo … and now the real work begins with layers of Bondo, sanding, more sanding, polishing, priming, sanding once again with 300 grit, and finally a coat of paint gets applied and the words are set in book form. 

Geronimo poses driving a 1904 Locomobile

Geronimo poses driving a 1904 Locomobile

Excerpt from Red White Black:

The Wild West was dying. Hell, maybe it was already dead. The evidence of its passing was everywhere. A full generation had come and gone since the Native People were rounded up and confined to reservations. Forty million buffalo were slaughtered and the open range was steadily disappearing under the relentless assault of barbed wire fencing. Railroads connected all points of America. The telephone and telegraph were in common use. And mass produced automobiles were fast replacing the horse and buggy. At the dawn of the Twentieth Century everything was changing: nothing was ever going to be the same.

Over one hurdle but many hours of hard work yet in front of me.

Rick Steber