By: Lani Hansen, Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– The 2019 Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) Hall of Fame inducted five outstanding cowboys with one being a Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen.
Howard Edmundson is the first Muscogee citizen to be inducted into the (INFR) Hall of Fame. Edmundson grew up in Dewar before moving in with his sister and brother-in-law at age 11.
“I learned to rope and do rodeo activities from my brother-in-law,” Edmundson said. “So I guess you can say I have been doing rodeo since I was 11 years old, and here I am 54 now.”
Edmundson has always had an interest in rodeo, when he was younger his brothers did bronc riding and bull riding. While living in Dewar he had some neighbors, Mike and Gary Johnson who were ropers in the rodeo. When he moved with his sister, his brother-in-law also was in the rodeo.
“When I was little I rode bareback broncs, tried bullriding and now I just calf rope, team rope and steel wrestle,” Edmundson said.
He has competed in every level of the rodeo. The top rodeo’s he has competed in are listed; Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA), and Indian National Finals Rodeo.
“I have qualified for Indian National finals about 17 or 18 times, won one world championship but have finished runner-up for several years and just always been successful,” Edmundson said. “I was runner-up in the IPRA for the calf roping championship in 1999, I have made various finals and won saddles and buckles over the years.”
Edmundson always enjoys coming back to Muscogee (Creek) Nation and competing in the Creek Nation Festival rodeo which he has won several times in the past years.
“Being inducted into the Indian Rodeo Hall of Fame made me feel real good,” Edmundson said. “It was something I never thought about, but it gave me confirmation because I went through some hard times in my life. I went through some spiritual trials and it was an acknowledgement of my accomplishments as a person, on how I try to help younger people. Instead of giving up I just kept on keeping on and there was someone out there that was actually watching me.”
The lady who nominated him is a commissioner of the INFR. When he talked to her, she had told him he was more than willing to be Indian when nobody else wanted to be and that he was well deserving of this award.
“I thought it was a real honor for her to think of me,” Edmundson said.
He was also the first MCN citizen to be inducted into the IRHF.
Edmundson had also stated he was proud of his son Bryton Edmundson. His son had qualified for the INFR the last three years then came back and won the championship for steer wrestling.