Ennis Fourth of July Rodeo has a long history | TSLN.com

Ennis Fourth of July Rodeo has a long history

Bill Brewster

Photo by Bill BrewsterJohnny France of Ennis, MT was the parade grand marshal. France, the Madison County sheriff from 1980-1986, was the Montana Rodeo Association all-around champion in 1965 and 1966. He also won the bareback title in 1967 and the bull riding title in 1957 when he was 17-years-old.

The Ennis Rodeo’s long-standing history was spotlighted on July Fourth during the matinee performance with several past champions recognized before a jam-packed crowd. The popular rodeo has been held on the Ennis Rodeo Grounds since the early 1950s. In the mid-1900s, the first rodeos were held on Main Street which was then a dirt road.

Max Robison of McAllister, the 1953 Montana Rodeo Association (MRA) all-around champion, was among those riding in the parade for the grand entry. Joining Robison was the 2010 parade grand marshal, Johnny France of Ennis. France, the Madison County sheriff from 1980-1986, was the MRA all-around champion in 1965 and 1966. He also won the bareback title in 1967. In 1957 he won the bull riding title when he was 17-years-old.

The Montana Rodeo Association’s name was eventually changed to its current name, the Northern Rodeo Association. For a few years starting out, it went by the Montana Amateur Rodeo Association.

“It’s wild and western and a true Montana rodeo,” France said. “Others liked it as well and that’s backed by the size of the crowds on Main Street for the parade. Many of them stayed for the actual rodeo.”

Arlene Haugland of Belgrade, a timer at the annual Fourth of July rodeo since 1978, competed in her first barrel racing event in 1954 at Ennis. From 1955-1958 she captured the association’s barrel championships each year. She won other barrel crowns in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1964.

Haugland recalls the first time she was there with her late husband, Bob, in 1953.

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“Ennis is always fun because I know most of the older people who are involved and their kids, grand kids and even their great-grand kids are coming up to rodeo,” she said.

“When the rodeo first started,” Haugland said, “contestants competed in two go-rounds and an average, so we always stayed overnight and we danced and had fun.

“Now contestants compete and then they are off to another one so they are missing the good old times.”

Pokey Armitage, president of Ennis Rodeo, said community support is the main reason for the rodeo’s success. Others on the board include Mike McKitrick, vice president, Jack Coffman, Jess McGuinness, Colin Rice and Michael Doud.

McKitrick also serves as president of the separate Ennis Rodeo Association that works on the rodeo each year. David Clark and Creyton Hughes are directors.

Pat Hamilton is secretary of both organizations.

Before the rodeo began, a crowd of nearly 7,000 people lined Main Street for the traditional Fourth of July parade.

The Ennis Rodeo’s long-standing history was spotlighted on July Fourth during the matinee performance with several past champions recognized before a jam-packed crowd. The popular rodeo has been held on the Ennis Rodeo Grounds since the early 1950s. In the mid-1900s, the first rodeos were held on Main Street which was then a dirt road.

Max Robison of McAllister, the 1953 Montana Rodeo Association (MRA) all-around champion, was among those riding in the parade for the grand entry. Joining Robison was the 2010 parade grand marshal, Johnny France of Ennis. France, the Madison County sheriff from 1980-1986, was the MRA all-around champion in 1965 and 1966. He also won the bareback title in 1967. In 1957 he won the bull riding title when he was 17-years-old.

The Montana Rodeo Association’s name was eventually changed to its current name, the Northern Rodeo Association. For a few years starting out, it went by the Montana Amateur Rodeo Association.

“It’s wild and western and a true Montana rodeo,” France said. “Others liked it as well and that’s backed by the size of the crowds on Main Street for the parade. Many of them stayed for the actual rodeo.”

Arlene Haugland of Belgrade, a timer at the annual Fourth of July rodeo since 1978, competed in her first barrel racing event in 1954 at Ennis. From 1955-1958 she captured the association’s barrel championships each year. She won other barrel crowns in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1964.

Haugland recalls the first time she was there with her late husband, Bob, in 1953.

“Ennis is always fun because I know most of the older people who are involved and their kids, grand kids and even their great-grand kids are coming up to rodeo,” she said.

“When the rodeo first started,” Haugland said, “contestants competed in two go-rounds and an average, so we always stayed overnight and we danced and had fun.

“Now contestants compete and then they are off to another one so they are missing the good old times.”

Pokey Armitage, president of Ennis Rodeo, said community support is the main reason for the rodeo’s success. Others on the board include Mike McKitrick, vice president, Jack Coffman, Jess McGuinness, Colin Rice and Michael Doud.

McKitrick also serves as president of the separate Ennis Rodeo Association that works on the rodeo each year. David Clark and Creyton Hughes are directors.

Pat Hamilton is secretary of both organizations.

Before the rodeo began, a crowd of nearly 7,000 people lined Main Street for the traditional Fourth of July parade.

The Ennis Rodeo’s long-standing history was spotlighted on July Fourth during the matinee performance with several past champions recognized before a jam-packed crowd. The popular rodeo has been held on the Ennis Rodeo Grounds since the early 1950s. In the mid-1900s, the first rodeos were held on Main Street which was then a dirt road.

Max Robison of McAllister, the 1953 Montana Rodeo Association (MRA) all-around champion, was among those riding in the parade for the grand entry. Joining Robison was the 2010 parade grand marshal, Johnny France of Ennis. France, the Madison County sheriff from 1980-1986, was the MRA all-around champion in 1965 and 1966. He also won the bareback title in 1967. In 1957 he won the bull riding title when he was 17-years-old.

The Montana Rodeo Association’s name was eventually changed to its current name, the Northern Rodeo Association. For a few years starting out, it went by the Montana Amateur Rodeo Association.

“It’s wild and western and a true Montana rodeo,” France said. “Others liked it as well and that’s backed by the size of the crowds on Main Street for the parade. Many of them stayed for the actual rodeo.”

Arlene Haugland of Belgrade, a timer at the annual Fourth of July rodeo since 1978, competed in her first barrel racing event in 1954 at Ennis. From 1955-1958 she captured the association’s barrel championships each year. She won other barrel crowns in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1964.

Haugland recalls the first time she was there with her late husband, Bob, in 1953.

“Ennis is always fun because I know most of the older people who are involved and their kids, grand kids and even their great-grand kids are coming up to rodeo,” she said.

“When the rodeo first started,” Haugland said, “contestants competed in two go-rounds and an average, so we always stayed overnight and we danced and had fun.

“Now contestants compete and then they are off to another one so they are missing the good old times.”

Pokey Armitage, president of Ennis Rodeo, said community support is the main reason for the rodeo’s success. Others on the board include Mike McKitrick, vice president, Jack Coffman, Jess McGuinness, Colin Rice and Michael Doud.

McKitrick also serves as president of the separate Ennis Rodeo Association that works on the rodeo each year. David Clark and Creyton Hughes are directors.

Pat Hamilton is secretary of both organizations.

Before the rodeo began, a crowd of nearly 7,000 people lined Main Street for the traditional Fourth of July parade.

The Ennis Rodeo’s long-standing history was spotlighted on July Fourth during the matinee performance with several past champions recognized before a jam-packed crowd. The popular rodeo has been held on the Ennis Rodeo Grounds since the early 1950s. In the mid-1900s, the first rodeos were held on Main Street which was then a dirt road.

Max Robison of McAllister, the 1953 Montana Rodeo Association (MRA) all-around champion, was among those riding in the parade for the grand entry. Joining Robison was the 2010 parade grand marshal, Johnny France of Ennis. France, the Madison County sheriff from 1980-1986, was the MRA all-around champion in 1965 and 1966. He also won the bareback title in 1967. In 1957 he won the bull riding title when he was 17-years-old.

The Montana Rodeo Association’s name was eventually changed to its current name, the Northern Rodeo Association. For a few years starting out, it went by the Montana Amateur Rodeo Association.

“It’s wild and western and a true Montana rodeo,” France said. “Others liked it as well and that’s backed by the size of the crowds on Main Street for the parade. Many of them stayed for the actual rodeo.”

Arlene Haugland of Belgrade, a timer at the annual Fourth of July rodeo since 1978, competed in her first barrel racing event in 1954 at Ennis. From 1955-1958 she captured the association’s barrel championships each year. She won other barrel crowns in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1964.

Haugland recalls the first time she was there with her late husband, Bob, in 1953.

“Ennis is always fun because I know most of the older people who are involved and their kids, grand kids and even their great-grand kids are coming up to rodeo,” she said.

“When the rodeo first started,” Haugland said, “contestants competed in two go-rounds and an average, so we always stayed overnight and we danced and had fun.

“Now contestants compete and then they are off to another one so they are missing the good old times.”

Pokey Armitage, president of Ennis Rodeo, said community support is the main reason for the rodeo’s success. Others on the board include Mike McKitrick, vice president, Jack Coffman, Jess McGuinness, Colin Rice and Michael Doud.

McKitrick also serves as president of the separate Ennis Rodeo Association that works on the rodeo each year. David Clark and Creyton Hughes are directors.

Pat Hamilton is secretary of both organizations.

Before the rodeo began, a crowd of nearly 7,000 people lined Main Street for the traditional Fourth of July parade.

The Ennis Rodeo’s long-standing history was spotlighted on July Fourth during the matinee performance with several past champions recognized before a jam-packed crowd. The popular rodeo has been held on the Ennis Rodeo Grounds since the early 1950s. In the mid-1900s, the first rodeos were held on Main Street which was then a dirt road.

Max Robison of McAllister, the 1953 Montana Rodeo Association (MRA) all-around champion, was among those riding in the parade for the grand entry. Joining Robison was the 2010 parade grand marshal, Johnny France of Ennis. France, the Madison County sheriff from 1980-1986, was the MRA all-around champion in 1965 and 1966. He also won the bareback title in 1967. In 1957 he won the bull riding title when he was 17-years-old.

The Montana Rodeo Association’s name was eventually changed to its current name, the Northern Rodeo Association. For a few years starting out, it went by the Montana Amateur Rodeo Association.

“It’s wild and western and a true Montana rodeo,” France said. “Others liked it as well and that’s backed by the size of the crowds on Main Street for the parade. Many of them stayed for the actual rodeo.”

Arlene Haugland of Belgrade, a timer at the annual Fourth of July rodeo since 1978, competed in her first barrel racing event in 1954 at Ennis. From 1955-1958 she captured the association’s barrel championships each year. She won other barrel crowns in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1964.

Haugland recalls the first time she was there with her late husband, Bob, in 1953.

“Ennis is always fun because I know most of the older people who are involved and their kids, grand kids and even their great-grand kids are coming up to rodeo,” she said.

“When the rodeo first started,” Haugland said, “contestants competed in two go-rounds and an average, so we always stayed overnight and we danced and had fun.

“Now contestants compete and then they are off to another one so they are missing the good old times.”

Pokey Armitage, president of Ennis Rodeo, said community support is the main reason for the rodeo’s success. Others on the board include Mike McKitrick, vice president, Jack Coffman, Jess McGuinness, Colin Rice and Michael Doud.

McKitrick also serves as president of the separate Ennis Rodeo Association that works on the rodeo each year. David Clark and Creyton Hughes are directors.

Pat Hamilton is secretary of both organizations.

Before the rodeo began, a crowd of nearly 7,000 people lined Main Street for the traditional Fourth of July parade.

The Ennis Rodeo’s long-standing history was spotlighted on July Fourth during the matinee performance with several past champions recognized before a jam-packed crowd. The popular rodeo has been held on the Ennis Rodeo Grounds since the early 1950s. In the mid-1900s, the first rodeos were held on Main Street which was then a dirt road.

Max Robison of McAllister, the 1953 Montana Rodeo Association (MRA) all-around champion, was among those riding in the parade for the grand entry. Joining Robison was the 2010 parade grand marshal, Johnny France of Ennis. France, the Madison County sheriff from 1980-1986, was the MRA all-around champion in 1965 and 1966. He also won the bareback title in 1967. In 1957 he won the bull riding title when he was 17-years-old.

The Montana Rodeo Association’s name was eventually changed to its current name, the Northern Rodeo Association. For a few years starting out, it went by the Montana Amateur Rodeo Association.

“It’s wild and western and a true Montana rodeo,” France said. “Others liked it as well and that’s backed by the size of the crowds on Main Street for the parade. Many of them stayed for the actual rodeo.”

Arlene Haugland of Belgrade, a timer at the annual Fourth of July rodeo since 1978, competed in her first barrel racing event in 1954 at Ennis. From 1955-1958 she captured the association’s barrel championships each year. She won other barrel crowns in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1964.

Haugland recalls the first time she was there with her late husband, Bob, in 1953.

“Ennis is always fun because I know most of the older people who are involved and their kids, grand kids and even their great-grand kids are coming up to rodeo,” she said.

“When the rodeo first started,” Haugland said, “contestants competed in two go-rounds and an average, so we always stayed overnight and we danced and had fun.

“Now contestants compete and then they are off to another one so they are missing the good old times.”

Pokey Armitage, president of Ennis Rodeo, said community support is the main reason for the rodeo’s success. Others on the board include Mike McKitrick, vice president, Jack Coffman, Jess McGuinness, Colin Rice and Michael Doud.

McKitrick also serves as president of the separate Ennis Rodeo Association that works on the rodeo each year. David Clark and Creyton Hughes are directors.

Pat Hamilton is secretary of both organizations.

Before the rodeo began, a crowd of nearly 7,000 people lined Main Street for the traditional Fourth of July parade.

The Ennis Rodeo’s long-standing history was spotlighted on July Fourth during the matinee performance with several past champions recognized before a jam-packed crowd. The popular rodeo has been held on the Ennis Rodeo Grounds since the early 1950s. In the mid-1900s, the first rodeos were held on Main Street which was then a dirt road.

Max Robison of McAllister, the 1953 Montana Rodeo Association (MRA) all-around champion, was among those riding in the parade for the grand entry. Joining Robison was the 2010 parade grand marshal, Johnny France of Ennis. France, the Madison County sheriff from 1980-1986, was the MRA all-around champion in 1965 and 1966. He also won the bareback title in 1967. In 1957 he won the bull riding title when he was 17-years-old.

The Montana Rodeo Association’s name was eventually changed to its current name, the Northern Rodeo Association. For a few years starting out, it went by the Montana Amateur Rodeo Association.

“It’s wild and western and a true Montana rodeo,” France said. “Others liked it as well and that’s backed by the size of the crowds on Main Street for the parade. Many of them stayed for the actual rodeo.”

Arlene Haugland of Belgrade, a timer at the annual Fourth of July rodeo since 1978, competed in her first barrel racing event in 1954 at Ennis. From 1955-1958 she captured the association’s barrel championships each year. She won other barrel crowns in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1964.

Haugland recalls the first time she was there with her late husband, Bob, in 1953.

“Ennis is always fun because I know most of the older people who are involved and their kids, grand kids and even their great-grand kids are coming up to rodeo,” she said.

“When the rodeo first started,” Haugland said, “contestants competed in two go-rounds and an average, so we always stayed overnight and we danced and had fun.

“Now contestants compete and then they are off to another one so they are missing the good old times.”

Pokey Armitage, president of Ennis Rodeo, said community support is the main reason for the rodeo’s success. Others on the board include Mike McKitrick, vice president, Jack Coffman, Jess McGuinness, Colin Rice and Michael Doud.

McKitrick also serves as president of the separate Ennis Rodeo Association that works on the rodeo each year. David Clark and Creyton Hughes are directors.

Pat Hamilton is secretary of both organizations.

Before the rodeo began, a crowd of nearly 7,000 people lined Main Street for the traditional Fourth of July parade.

The Ennis Rodeo’s long-standing history was spotlighted on July Fourth during the matinee performance with several past champions recognized before a jam-packed crowd. The popular rodeo has been held on the Ennis Rodeo Grounds since the early 1950s. In the mid-1900s, the first rodeos were held on Main Street which was then a dirt road.

Max Robison of McAllister, the 1953 Montana Rodeo Association (MRA) all-around champion, was among those riding in the parade for the grand entry. Joining Robison was the 2010 parade grand marshal, Johnny France of Ennis. France, the Madison County sheriff from 1980-1986, was the MRA all-around champion in 1965 and 1966. He also won the bareback title in 1967. In 1957 he won the bull riding title when he was 17-years-old.

The Montana Rodeo Association’s name was eventually changed to its current name, the Northern Rodeo Association. For a few years starting out, it went by the Montana Amateur Rodeo Association.

“It’s wild and western and a true Montana rodeo,” France said. “Others liked it as well and that’s backed by the size of the crowds on Main Street for the parade. Many of them stayed for the actual rodeo.”

Arlene Haugland of Belgrade, a timer at the annual Fourth of July rodeo since 1978, competed in her first barrel racing event in 1954 at Ennis. From 1955-1958 she captured the association’s barrel championships each year. She won other barrel crowns in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1964.

Haugland recalls the first time she was there with her late husband, Bob, in 1953.

“Ennis is always fun because I know most of the older people who are involved and their kids, grand kids and even their great-grand kids are coming up to rodeo,” she said.

“When the rodeo first started,” Haugland said, “contestants competed in two go-rounds and an average, so we always stayed overnight and we danced and had fun.

“Now contestants compete and then they are off to another one so they are missing the good old times.”

Pokey Armitage, president of Ennis Rodeo, said community support is the main reason for the rodeo’s success. Others on the board include Mike McKitrick, vice president, Jack Coffman, Jess McGuinness, Colin Rice and Michael Doud.

McKitrick also serves as president of the separate Ennis Rodeo Association that works on the rodeo each year. David Clark and Creyton Hughes are directors.

Pat Hamilton is secretary of both organizations.

Before the rodeo began, a crowd of nearly 7,000 people lined Main Street for the traditional Fourth of July parade.

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