Do you play a musical instrument? Do you miss the camaraderie of playing in a band? Like to ride horses? Would you like to be part of one of the world’s most unique musical groups? Then the Pendleton Round-Up Mounted Band is the answer to your needs.
Founded in 1911 by R.W. Fletcher, the Cowboy Round-Up Mounted Band has been an iconic ambassador of the Round-Up, performing during the Round-Up and travelling across the northwest and to the Calgary Stampede.A Spokane newspaper in 1912 reporting on a major exhibition in that city noted, “27 bands will perform including the famous mounted band from Pendleton, Oregon.”A mural marking the band’s appearance at the Stampede in 1913 still graces a wall in Calgary.
After a hiatus, Judge Richard Courson, a much admired World War II Marine combat veteran, ably aided by the Pendleton High School Band Director Herbig, decided to revive the mounted band in 1985.Judge Courson recalled he was moved to bring back the band because one of his earliest memories was being thrilled by the band at the Westward Ho Parade when he was four years old.He wanted future generations to share the same exhilaration he experienced as a child.Thanks to Courson and his worthy successors, Pendleton has America’s only mounted band.
Despite the long association with the Pendleton Round-Up, the mounted band only became an official part of the Round-Up in 2018.As Round-Up President Dave O’Neill noted, “We are pleased to formally welcome the mounted band into the Round-Up family.The Pendleton Mounted Band has long been a great ambassador for the Round-Up and our fans love watching them perform.As the only mounted band in America, they are another example of what makes the Round-Up such a historic and unique experience.Noe that the band is an official part of the Round-Up, we will be able to better support and promote their activities.”