War Bonnet Round-Up (1912)
Early rodeos were local attempts at re-creating the thrills of touring “wild west shows,” and also opportunities for Western communities to celebrate their heritage and local talent. This one was held in Idaho Falls, and remains Idaho’s longest-running rodeo. Happily, someone had the presence of mind to bring a camera to its inaugural session. We see clips from the initial parade (actually people galloping down main street on horseback, to the thrill of children and dogs), a pageant of dressed up children, some samples of the prizes given (mostly handcrafted saddles, by the look of it), a Ben-Hur style chariot race, and a female sharpshooter, no doubt inspired by Annie Oakley. There’s no bucking bronco, no rodeo clowns, no calf-roping, but it still looks like a fairly fun event. Another thing that’s notable by its absence is any kind of “war bonnet.” Apparently, the original plan was to climax the event with a staged battle between cavalry and Native Americans, but the local tribes declined to participate, leaving the event with somewhat meaningless nomenclature.
Run Time: 3 Min
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