Raised in the Fort Belknap Indian reservation on the John and Madeline Colliflower
cattle ranch with seven brothers and sisters, John started his Western lifestyle very
young. As a young man, John was a member of the RCA (present-day PRCA) as a
bareback and saddle bronc rider, competing at rodeos such as Cheyenne Frontier
Days and The Pendleton Round-Up.
His rodeo career was interrupted by the Vietnam War, where he served honorably as a tank commander in the 1st Cavalry. Following his discharge, he met and married the love of his life, Sybil Sangrey and together had four sons. He began rodeoing again as a member of the PRCA and competed at the first annual INFR.
John is a three time INFR World Champion, winning the Steer Wrestling twice in 1988 and 1990, as well as the All-Around Cowboy title in 1989 working both ends of the arena as a saddle bronc rider and steer wrestler. During his illustrious rodeo career, John won the GPIRA and UIRA several times and qualified for the INFR virtually every year until injury forced him into semi-retirement in the late 90's.
Today, John is regarded for his world class bulldogging horses and his hazing. His horses, former INFR Horse(s) of the Year, have helped several cowboys earn their own INFR titles as Steer Wrestling and All-Around Champions. He spends his days on his own ranch, The Lazy JS, assisting local youth in their pursuit of rodeo careers. As a teacher, he has helped all four of his sons and grandchildren qualify numerous times to the INFR (two are World Champions, Lyman and Jesse). A role model and mentor for the youth, he is always helping the younger generation with advice or a mount on one of his horses.
- Levi Black Water Sr.
- Ed Holyan
- Julis Y Begay
- Traci Vaile
- Dee Keener
- Dave Best
- Sam Bird
- Kelvin Fox
- Carole Jackson-Holyan
- Jerry Small