Get your cowboy hats ready Monterey, because the California Salinas Rodeo is back in town! Today I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the livestock program that makes the rodeo such a success. Cindy Rosser, a stock contractor with the Salinas Rodeo, gave me the run down on all the hard work that goes into a successful livestock program and what exactly makes a bucking bronco buck. Here are my top rodeo takeaways from my visit today.

California Rodeo Salinas

Who comes to the rodeo?

As one of the top 8 rodeos nation-wide, the Salinas Rodeo attracts cowboys and livestock owners from all over the country and the world. This year alone there are close to 100 horses and 80 bulls in the competition with about 750 riders. Riders traveled from places as far as Mexico, Brazil, and France looking to compete and earn a spot at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Rodeos are also a popular family event and Cindy told me she got her start in rodeos and livestock by working alongside her father as a young girl.

California Rodeo Salinas

What is the worth of the rodeo?

There is a lot of money invested in rodeos and the breeding programs. Bulls can range in prices from $20,000 to $60,000 and a champion bull once sold for $110,000 at the National Finals! There is also some serious cash on the line for riders who compete. From all the events in total at the Salinas Rodeo, there is about $400,000 in prize money to be won. Not to mention you have some great tales to tell the grandchildren about the time you rode the ball of muscle and horn known as “Big Naughty” for thousands of cheering rodeo fans.

California Rodeo Salinas

Last but not least, what makes the bucking bronco buck?

What makes the horses and bulls buck you ask? Cindy told me that a lot of it is in the heart of the animal, and that they are born to buck. Through careful breeding processes, babies are born wanting to buck. Then through years of training with detachable boxes as fake riders, the horses and bulls eventually work their way up to competing in rodeos with cowboys. With expanses in technology and the internet, rodeos have taken a much more competitive turn. Cindy said that breeding the ultimate rodeo bulls and broncos is a huge goal of a lot of livestock breeders and the internet and genetic technology advances has made that all the more easier.

California Rodeo Salinas

Visit the California Rodeo Salinas

The California Rodeo Salinas kicks off on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 with Professional Bull Riding. Thursday starts the traditional PRCA Rodeo and “Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night.” Friday through Sunday continues to bring all sorts of PRCA rodeo action like bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding and more.  Tickets are $7-$20 and can be purchased here.

California Rodeo Salinas