HAWAIIANS DEFEAT AMERICAN COWBOYS
For a dozen years back there has been held in Cheyenne, Wyo., what is called Frontier day, which calls together thousands of people from many states, and involves wild west performances of the most interesting and expert character. There is wild horse riding, steer roping, and a cowboy carnival in general. For the first time in the history of these contests the championship for steer roping has been taken away from the United States. Three Hawaiian cowboys were on hand, and one of them carried off the highest honors. He had met the former American champion, Angus McPhee, at Honolulu in July, and there defeated him. Ikua Purdy, the full-blooded Hawaiian cowboy, promised to come to Cheyenne and make good his defeat of McPhee against all comers. He brought only his saddle and heavy rawhide lariat, which equipment provoked smiles among the local cowboys. Purdy was accompanied by a fellow-Hawaiian, Archie Kaaua, and he too, made a record. There may be a few cowboys among our readers, for whose benefit we extract from the Denver Republican the story of the Hawaiian victory as follows:
At first the Americans laughed at the Hawaiians. The laugh was changed to admiration, however, when Archie Kaaua roped in the fast time of 1:09, defeating the best previous performance of 1:11 by Peter Dickerson of Arizona. Then came the champion, Purdy, and when he had tied his steer securely, the judges announced his time as 1:03 2-5. A mighty cheer greeted him. By this time the Americans had not only the greatest respect for the dark-skinned visitors, but they feared them and predicted they would win. The next day Purdy, Kaaua, Hugh Clark of Cheyenne and Peter Dickerson, the only men qualifying for the finals, roped. Kaaua roped in the slow time of 1:48 1-5, and the Americans took hope. Then Dickerson fell down and got no time. Then Hugh Clark roped in 1:20. This left Champion Purdy with the best time of 1:03 2-5, but he had to rope another steer. Excitement was at fever heat, for Clark had attained the best average for the three days up to this time. Finally Purdy’s steer was turned out of the corral, and with a dash Purdy was after him. Purdy made a perfect throw, “busted” his steer, and, slipping from his horse, ran quickly to the fallen animal and in a twinkling had “hog-tied.” A great shout went up when the time was announced at 56 seconds, and Purdy was declared the winner and retainer of the championship title, Clark was second, Kaaua third and Dickerson fourth.
(Salt Lake Tribune, 9/1/1908, p. 10)