Cherokee family lives rodeo lifestyle

BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
07/28/2017 08:45 AM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Wendall Stanley competes in a team roping competition at the 2017 Miami (Oklahoma) Rodeo. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Seven-year-old Tripp Stanley and his 5-year-old sister Taya wait for their turns to enter the family’s roping arena on July 20 in Wagoner, Oklahoma. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen and breakaway roper Randi Stanley wears her “ROPE LIKE A GIRL” cap during roping practice at the Stanley home arena on July 20 in Wagoner, Oklahoma. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
WAGONER, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizens Wendall and Randi Stanley, along with their 7-year-old son Tripp, were slated to compete in the July 29 Cherokee Nation All-Indian Rodeo in Tahlequah.

The Stanley’s 5-year-old daughter, Taya, is waiting for her chance to compete in a rodeo when she is old enough. In other words, rodeo is a way of life for this Cherokee family.

“Yeah, my wife competes in breakaway roping, and I’m in the team roping this weekend. Tripp is entered in the mutton busting (sheep riding),” Wendall said.

Both Wendall and Randi were on the Bacone College Rodeo team and have won their share of rodeos and prizes during the years. Some of Wendall’s accomplishments include a 2017 All-Star Team Rodeo 16 Invitational win, being a five-time Indian National Finals Rodeo qualifier, a 2016 INFR Go Round win, being a 10-time International Finals Rodeo qualifier, being a 16-time American Finals Rodeo qualifier, being a 14-time Central Region Rodeo Association qualifier, a 2004 National Intercollegiate Heeler championship, being a 2014-16 American Cowboys Rodeo Association champion heeler and 2015 CRRA champion heeler.

Randi’s accomplishments include being a 2008 and 2014-16 American Finals qualifier, a 2008 ACRA Breakaway Roper champion, being a three-times CRRA qualifier and winning the 2016 CRRA Breakaway Horse of the Year and 1999 All-Indian Rookie of the Year.

“I’ve been rodeoing since I was 7,” Wendall said, “first with my dad and my granddad. Since then it’s been a way of life. Now my son is eaten up with it (rodeo). And it won’t be long before our daughter Taya starts competing in barrel racing.”

As for Randi, she believes the lifestyle is “heavenly.”

“Getting to be in a rodeo family is probably the neatest thing ever because growing up with my parents and grandparents I had so much influence with rodeoing. They took me to all the high school rodeos and all the junior rodeos. They developed my passion for it. Being able to now have that with my own family, it really pulls at your heart. We all enjoy it so much,” she said.

The Stanleys and nearly 200 more Native Americans (including nearly 130 Cherokees) will take part in the CN All-Indian Rodeo. The slack, which is for the “overflow” contestants who do calf roping, team roping, barrel racing and steer wrestling but didn’t fit in the nightly rodeo performance, was set to begin at 8 a.m.

The night performance was set for 7 p.m. and free to the public. For more information about the CN All-Indian Rodeo, call 918-453-5340 or 918-458-7438.
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏙᏆᎴᎷ , ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏁᎳ Wendall ᎠᎴ Randi Stanley, ᎠᎴ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᏧᏣ ᎤᏂᎧᎯᎢ Tripp ᏧᏙᎩᏓ, ᎨᎪᏪᎳᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏰᏉᏂᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏐᏁᎵᏁ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᏩᎦ ᏗᏂᏍᏜᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎾᎿ ᏓᎵᏆ.

ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂStanley ᎯᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᎨᏳᏣ, Taya, ᎠᎨᏘᏯ ᎤᏟᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎢᏳᏛᏗ ᏩᎦ ᏓᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᎵ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ. ᏐᎢ ᏱᎧᏁᏣ, ᏩᎦ ᏓᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᎦᏔᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏁᎭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ.

“ᎾᏍᎩ, ᎠᏆᏓᎵᎠ ᎠᏓᎪᎾᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᎾᏓᎾᏫᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᏓᏯᏍᏜᏗᏍᎪᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎵᎪᎯ ᏙᏥᏍᏜᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬ ᏒᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ. Tripp ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏖᎳᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏂᏃᏕᎾ ᏓᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Wendall.

ᎢᏧᎳ Wendall ᎠᎴ Randi ᎾᎿ Bacone ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏩᎦ ᏗᏂᏯᏍᏜᏗᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᎯ Ꭰ. ᏧᎾᏓᏠᏒ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏓᏠᏏ ᏧᎶᏒ ᏓᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒᎢ. ᎢᎦᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ Wendall’s ᎤᏍᏆᏛ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏓᏒᏅ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎦᎵᏆᏚ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏧᎾᎵᎪᎯ ᏗᏂᏯᏍᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎠᏥᏯᏅᏓ ᎤᏓᏠᏒᎢ, ᎯᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᏩᎦ ᏗᏂᏍᏢᏗᏍᎩ ᎡᎵᏋ ᏯᏛᏁᎯ, ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ INFR ᎠᏂᎩᏍᎩ ᎠᏕᏲᎯ ᎤᏓᏠᏒ, ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏚ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏗ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏩᎦ ᏗᏂᏯᏍᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᎵᎪᎯ ᎡᎵ ᏯᏛᏁᎯ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏅᎩ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ Intercollegiate Heeler ᎤᏍᎦᏎᏍᏗ, ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏓᎳᏚ ᏚᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᎠᎹᏰᏟ ᏗᏂᏍᏜᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏈᎬ ᎤᏂᏍᎦᏎᏗ heeler ᎠᎴ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏍᎩᎦᏚ CRRA ᎤᏍᎦᏎᏗ heeler.

Randi’s ᏚᏍᏆᏛᎢ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏂᎦᏚ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᏗ ᏚᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎵᏍᎪᎸᏓᏁᎯ, ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏓᎳᏚ CRRA Breakaway ᏐᏈᎵ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ 1999 ᏂᎦᏓ--ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ Rookie ᎾᎿ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ.

“ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎲ ᎨᏙᎲ ᏩᎦ ᏗᏅᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏯᏆᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏂᎨᏒ ᎠᏆᎴᏅᎲᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Wendall, “ᎢᎬᏱ ᎠᏆᎴᏅᏓ ᎡᏙᏓ ᏥᏍᏓᏩᏕᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎡᏚᏓ. ᎾᎯᏳ ᏂᏓᎬᏩᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᎴᏂᏙᎲᎢ. ᏃᏊ ᏥᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎰ ᏂᎪᎯᎸᎢ. ᏃᏊ ᎠᏇᏥ ᎠᏧᏣ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ (ᏗᏂᏍᏜᏗᏍᎩ). ᎠᎴ Ꮭ ᏱᏓᎪᎯᏣ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎠᏇᏣ ᎠᎨᏳᏣ Taya ᏛᎴᏅᎯ ᎨᎳᏗᏙᎲ ᎾᎿ ᏓᎾᏙᎩᏯᏍᎬ ᎡᏙᏂ ᎠᎾᏕᏲᎲᎢ.”

ᏃᎴᏍᏊ Randi, ᎤᏬᎯᏳᏐ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᎴᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ “ᎢᎦ ᎣᏍᏓ.”

“ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎨᏒ ᏩᎦ ᏗᏂᎨᎯᏙ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎨᏒ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏆᏛᏏᏗᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎩᎦᏴᎵᎨ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎬᎩᎵᏏ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎣᏤᏙᎲ ᎠᏆᏛᏒᎢ. ᎬᏆᏘᏁᎬ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏩᎦ ᏓᏂᏍᏝᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏌᏚᏏᏁ ᏗᏂᏂᏙᎲ ᎾᏍᏊ. ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎲᎢ ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏛᎢ. ᏃᏊ ᏥᎩ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏃᏣᏛᏁᎰᎢ ᏓᏆᏓᏘᎾᎥᎢ, ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏛ ᎦᎷᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏰᎸᏗ. ᏂᎦᏓ ᎣᏥᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎣᎩᎸᏉᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏲᎦᏛᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

About the Author
Roger began working for the Cherokee Nation in 2005 and joined the Cherokee Phoenix staff in 2008. After 25 years in broadcast news and production, Roge ...
roger-graham@cherokee.org • 918-207-3969
Roger began working for the Cherokee Nation in 2005 and joined the Cherokee Phoenix staff in 2008. After 25 years in broadcast news and production, Roge ...

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