1034 N Main St, Salinas, CA 93906
Come on out! There are more than 600 cowboys and cowgirls with more than $400,000 in prize money.
The California rodeo salons are among the most popular events of the summer for cattle ranches and horseback riders everywhere. This premier cattle event draws hundreds of people and families from across the nation to San Miguel, Chino and El Dorado. Many of those who attend the California rodeo are first time attendees, while others attend just for fun. Visitors are welcome to bring their own camera or binoculars to get a closer look at the beautiful and challenging competition during the rodeo. A trip to the local rodeo could include an afternoon of coffee and chocolate or a trip to one of the local wineries for a day of wine tasting.
There is a lot of history surrounding the tradition of the California rodeo Salinas. One of the most popular stories is the one about the legendary cowgirlhood of California, Ruby Rhapsody. She supposedly won a harness race in January of 1869 and retired to a small ranch in San Benito County, living out her retirement until the famous San Francisco Gold Rush arrived.
Ruby became known as the town where the first rodeo ever took place. The first rodeos were put on by an English bulldog named Rattlesnake who took up residence in San Benito County until his death in 1887. The local residents knew him as “Rattlesnake” due to the scars he left on his face after a lifetime of bull riding. Today, Rattlesnake’s legacy lives on as the name is often used when referencing to any type of western event or festival.
For years the tradition of rodeos was only in its infancy in California. It wasn’t until sometime around the middle of the twentieth century that it exploded into popularity and began to gain recognition as a major sporting event with local and regional television coverage. The California State Fair holds the largest rodeo in the world and is actually the third largest fair in the entire United States. Every year over four hundred thousand visitors come to the fair to celebrate this unique western tradition.
Although there are many different types of rodeos held annually in California, the tradition is best described as a contest between cowgirls to show off their best skills. They are known for riding “the American Bulldog” and competing in numerous beauty competitions such as barrel racing, polo, and roping. The first rodeos didn’t have anything to do with competitive riding at all; they were just celebrations of the women’s ability to cowgirl shop. The first events were held around the beginning of the decade to celebrate San Benito County’s wealth of rodeo’s activities and events. Later on throughout the twentieth century there were added divisions among the states, especially California, to create even more divisions in the tradition of cowgirl riding.
One division of the event is often the oldest one of them all, and that is the San Joaquin Valley Cowgirl Rodeo. This event is a time honored tradition dating back to the very early part of the 1900’s when women from the San Joaquin valley, Los Angeles and other areas of the state would travel to El Monte, California for the annual Cowgirl rodeo. It was then just a matter of getting a few items like saddle-straps and hats and other trimmings, which made it seem more authentic. Today, though, the event has taken a completely new turn and is now recognized as a competitive sporting event that requires the participation of many women from many different backgrounds and ages. The current women participating in this rodeo are known as the “Rodeo Queens”.
Cowgirls have always been at the forefront of equestrian events. The history of rodeos in this country goes all the way back to the very first rodeos organized by the North American Horse Show Association (NARSA). At that time it was simply called the Western Style Rodeo. The association today is known as the Western Association of Professional Rodeocers (WAPR). This association is governed by a governing board, and all the professional rodeos that are sanctioned by WAPR are held according to strict rules and discipline. The association holds national meetings and competitions during the same time period as the county and regional Cowgirl rodeos.
As you can see there are many differences between the two events. However, many of the traditions that were started by women of the early west are still alive and well. If you are interested in competing in cowgirl competitions or participating in the cowgirl shows that are held yearly, you will find that you have many options to choose from. There are many organizations in the San Diego area that host competitive rodeos throughout the year. You may even find that some of the best cowgirl riders in the world come from California.