Cherokee bronc rider dies at Indian National Finals Rodeo
LAS VEGAS – Justin Dahlgren Jones, a 25-year-old Cherokee bronc rider, died on Nov. 10 after an accident during the saddle bronc riding competition at the Indian National Finals Rodeo.
Rodeo officials said Jones, of Goodman, Mo., his horse fell on him after his foot slipped through a stirrup. It was Jones’s first time competing in the INFR.
After INFR organizers learned of Jones’ death, they held a blanket dance in his honor, which raised $15,000 for his family. Some contestants donated all of their earnings to the family. Jones leaves behind a wife and an 11-month-old son.
“J.D. was a favorite of the rodeo because of his passion and respect of the sport and he died doing something he loved. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of J.D. at this difficult time,” said INFR officials. “Thanks to the Indian Nations who have rallied behind J.D.’s family with support both financially and personally.”
The INFR has been in contact with Jones’ mother and an account has been set up for his family and son. Contributions can be sent to the J.D. Jones Fund, in care of INFR, P.O. Box 508, Browning, MT 59417. Memorial donations can also be made to the J.D. Jones/Clancey Jones Memorial Fund c/o Grand Savings Bank, P.O. Box 451809, Grove, OK 74345-1809 or P.O. Box 690, Jay, OK 74346.
Jones’ funeral service was set for 2 p.m. on Nov. 16 at the Flying Cow Arena in Afton, Okla.
Jones was born May 15, 1987, in Oklahoma City to John Jones and Sharon Louise (Voss) Martineau. He attended Neosho (Mo.) Schools where he graduated high school.
Jones’ death marks the first time in INFR history that a competitor has died. Officials said they are investigating whether changes can be made to make the rodeo safer.