Sisters Rodeo buckle honors fallen firefighter

John Hammack was 4-time All-Around Cowboy

Sisters Rodeo honors fallen firefighter

SISTERS, Ore. - John Hammack, a Sisters Rodeo cowboy and logger raised in Sisters, will be honored by the Sisters Rodeo with a Bareback Riding buckle in his name as a permanent memorial. 

Hammack died in a fire west of Sisters on August 1, 2013, when a burning snag broke and fell on him.  As a firefighter, his assignment was falling dangerous timber in the fire zone to make the site safer for firefighting crews. 

A bareback rider and bulldogger, Hammack won All Around Cowboy at Sisters Rodeo in 1974, 1977, 1980 and 1984.  He won his hometown Bareback Riding Buckle several times, and also across the nation. 

He also won the Champion Bareback Rider title in Madison Square Garden, New York City, in "The Worlds' Toughest Rodeo." 

Hammack lived a life of logging and rodeo, cherishing the outdoors and raising children who followed in his footsteps.  His son, Johnny, is a Saddlebronc Rider who has won a buckle in Sisters.  His daughter, Kelli Jo, is a barrel racer. 

The memorial buckle is inscribed with Hammack's name, and will be prized by bareback winners who knew him as a rider and as the bucking chute boss at Sisters Rodeo after he retired from competition. 

Sisters Rodeo begins June 11 with Xtreme Bulls followed by four rodeo performances June 13-15. For tickets and information, call the ticket hotline at 541-549-0121 or 1-800-827-7522, or visit the ticket office at 220 W. Cascade Ave. in Sisters. For more information visit

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