How This Trailblazing Navajo Cowboy Made Professional Rodeo History

A look at the life of Derrick Begay, one of the first Navajo cowboys to qualify for pro rodeo’s national finals.

Feb 12 2019, 6:00pm

Growing up on a Navajo reservation in rural Arizona, Derrick Begay always dreamt of making it as a professional cowboy. But the idea of someone from his tribe hitting the big time seemed out of reach—though folks, including his own father, had tried to do it, no Navajo had ever managed to. After years of hard work, Begay finally succeeded, becoming one of the first Navajo cowboys to qualify for the national finals. He’s gone on to compete there six more times.

That’s made him a hero in his hometown of Seba Dalkai, and in the Navajo Nation as a whole, where he’s become an inspiration to young cowboys who want to break into the pro rodeo circuit just like he did. In this Yeti Presents Film, made in partnership with VICE Sports, Begay talks about his trailblazing career in rodeo, and we hear from his biggest supporters—from his family to his fellow pro cowboys—about his impact on the Navajo Nation and the sport at large.

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A Yeti Presents Film - In Partnership With VICE Sports