Amid the spectacle and sport and sweat, a tragedy occured at this year's Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
As Jessica Janner of KTNV-Las Vegas has reported, Indian country has tragically lost a young bronc rider at the Indian National Finals Rodeo. The event features the top Native cowboys and cowgirls annually.
On Saturday, 25-year-old J.D. Jones of Goodman, Missouri died when one of his feet fell out of its stirrup, leading his horse to drag him and step on him, eventually falling down on top of him, causing fatal injuries. The horse was injured and had to be put down.
AS KTNV reports, once the INFR organizers learned of Jones's death, they held a blanket dance in his honor, which raised $15,000 for the Jones family. Some contestants donated all of their earnings to the Jones family. Jones leaves behind a wife and a one-year-old son.
For information on how to help the family, please click here.
Also, Ute Elder Kenny Frost has been discussing this tragic event on his Facebook page. He writes: JD Jones...25 year old Indian Final National Final Rodeo Bronc Rider lost his life in a tragic freak accident in the 3rd go round of Saturday, November 10, 2012. The INFR has established a fund for his 1 year son. Contributions can be sent to JD Jones Fund, in care of INFR, P. O. Box 508, Browning, MT 59417. Thank you Jessica Janner of KTNV Las Vegas for her accuracy in reporting this heartbreaking story.