Clell Warner & Cliff Michel - 1949
of the Othello Rodeo Assoc
Justin Reno, Clayton
Finkbeiner, Ralph Nygren,
A.J. Loiselle, Miss Jennie Leach, P.P. Herman,
Edwin Rorvik, William Gunnell, C.R. Wilson,
Homer Reno, Clayton Michel, Joe Camarata,
Cliff Michel, Mrs. A.B. Dye, Gordon May,
Leon Haase Ban St. Luis, Robert Roloff,
J.R. Edson, O.F. Kenfield, Jake Stevens,
Jack Mulligan, Frank Cox, E.N. Michel,
Johnny Mercer, G.W. Finkbeiner, Clyde Matthews,
Milford Terry, Elmer Roloff, Claude Campbell,
Bob Vietzke, Wally Haight, Bill Gattus,
Mitch Nimey, C.D. Lombard, Al Perrault,
Robert C. Lewis, Mike Jacoby, Harold Coffman,
Freddie Eng, Bud Steele, Lowell Prevo,
Bob Hale, L. Jumper, John Steele,
Kenny Ramm, Ed Snyder, Charles Wilson
Officers & Board Members
of the Othello Rodeo Assoc.
Vice President: Will Fleshman
Secretary: Skyler Reichert
Treasurer: Rosie Dockins
Mark Van Landingham
Click any thumbnail below to view a
During the summer of 1948 Mr. Cliff Michel built the first
Rodeo Arena, on the site where the Hiawatha School now stands.
This rodeo was started for the sole purpose of bringing
a fall celebration to Othello . The first amateur rodeo
was Sat., Oct. 3, 1948. Fifty-six cowboys entered in seven
different events, for a total purse of $500.
cowboys that entered in the first rodeo were: Dick Donley,
Rube Emerson, Leon Haase, Phil Herman, Norm Kruse, Perry
Larson, Kenny May, Clayton Michel Cliff Michel, Claude Moore,
John Para Jr., Larry Crider, Bob McCourtie, Chet Phillips
(Lind), Darrow (Darrel?) Rorvik, Harold Hodges, Harold Swabb
Kenfield was the first rodeo announcer. He announced the
Cliff Michel started, sponsored and financed the Othello
Rodeo from 1948 thru 1951. During this time the Othello
Rodeo was amateur and had some outstanding cowboys…Dean
Oliver, who has won the World Championship in calf roping
in 1960, 61, & 62, won 3rd place in calf roping at your
Othello Rodeo in 1951 as an amateur. Paul Templeton, who
is 4th bareback rider in the world today, won 2nd place
at Othello in 1950. Jim Roeser, who has won over $7,000
riding saddle bronc…Jerry Anderson, Ellensburg calf
roper, roped at Othello in 1950.
August 8, 1952, a meeting was called to form the Othello
Rodeo Assn. The association was formed and incorporated,
as a non-profit organization. The first officers elected
were: Cliff Michel, president; Lyle Menser, vice president;
Homer Reno, secretary; Bernice Matthews, treasurer; Clyde
Matthews, director; Mark Leighton, 2nd director.
1952 the Rodeo Assn. took over the annual rodeo celebration,
which has grown each year.
the Othello Rodeo Assn. had to move their arena to make
way for the new Hiawatha School. They purchased 60 acres
(or 80 acres) of land west of Othello from W.C. Ralston.
On this new site a completely new rodeo arena was constructed.
Rodeos were held on this new site from 1954 thru 1958. The
first year, 1954, water had to be hauled in for dust control.
The following years water kept raising; finally the arena
was covered with two feet of water. After pumping water
off the land for the 1958 rodeo, the Rodeo Assn., finally
gave up and moved again.
new site was chosen and 40 acres of land purchased from
the U.S. Government. On this new land southeast of Othello,
they again built a completely new rodeo arena. There was
no rodeo in 1959. In 1960-61 amateur events were held on
the new site. Othello was chosen in 1961 for the Northwest
Amateur Trails Rodeo.
had its first world championship rodeo, RCA approved, in
1962. Othello rodeo fans saw the top cowboys, including
Benny Reynolds, world champion all around cowboy in 1961;
Kenny McLean, world champion saddle bronc rider for 1961
and again in 1962; Wiston Bruce, #2 saddle bronc rider in
the world; Pete Crump, #3 bull rider; Warren Wuthier, #6
calf roping standings; and many others.
are proud of our rich heritage. From our humble beginnings
to the present day, our goal was and is to produce one of
the best Rodeos anywhere. That is exactly what we have done.