Indian National Finals Rodeo

Indian National Finals Rodeo

Hall of Fame

Bud Connelly

Bud Connelly, a phenomenal rodeo legend and all-around champion, was born May 31, 1934 to Brian and Ida Connelly and was the youngest of eleven children. Bud was truly an all-around hand as he could rope, wrestle steers, and ride broncs with the best of them. His versatility and skill set whether it is in the arena or out on the range were honed growing up on the Connelly Ranch located on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. This is never more evident than his efficiency as a pickup man in the rough stock events saving many a rider. Today most rodeo contestants specialize in a single event, but Bud competed in five events in multiple circuits winning year-end awards and all-around titles in the same year.

60 years this outstanding athlete has been competing in rodeo. A strong competitor in High School in 1951 Bud won the all-around in the Montana High School Rodeo Association. In 1953, he qualified for the 5th Annual National High School Rodeo Finals in Spearfish, SD (Bareback). A 16-time holder of the Indian Rodeo Cowboys Association Championship title, together with 7 more titles in the United Indian Rodeo Association. He also won an all-around, bareback, and saddle bronc championship in the Northern Rodeo Association, in addition Bud qualified for the Indian National Finals 7 times. This "Great" Champion has won over 400 rodeo belt buckles and 80 plus saddles throughout his illustrious career.

A past president of the United Indian Rodeo Association, Bud was recently inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame February 2, 2012 in the “Living Legacy” category and the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame on December 12, 2009.
Bud retired from the rodeo game hazing his last steer at the INFR in 2008. Bud's legacy in Indian rodeo is still very much evident in his son's, and all the rodeo hands that he has influenced throughout the years. Many who are now participants at this year's Indian National Finals Rodeo. Bud Connelly Hall of Fame Bud Connelly Hall of Fame Bud Connelly Hall of Fame Bud Connelly Hall of Fame

2016 Inductees

  • Levi Black Water Sr.
  • Ed Holyan
  • Julis Y Begay
  • Traci Vaile
  • Dee Keener

2015 Inductees

  • Dave Best
  • Sam Bird
  • Kelvin Fox
  • Carole Jackson-Holyan
  • Jerry Small

2014 Inductees

2013 Inductees

2012 Inductees

2011 Inaugural Inductees