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July 13, 2024

Saddle up for Ranch Rodeo competition

Metro Photo


SOUTH COUNTY — Monterey County Cattlemen’s Association (MCCA) and the Salinas Valley Fair (SVF) have teamed up to produce a Ranch Rodeo competition. The event will take place Sunday, Jan. 14, in the Rava Indoor Arena located at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City.

Cowboys and cowgirls of all ages are encouraged to participate with events for the seasoned ranch hand and for youngsters with cowboy dreams. MCCA and SVF Ranch Rodeo events include: Open Cut and Rope, Open Ranch Doctoring, Single Steer Stopping and Sorting. Entry fees are $45, and each participant is entered into a drawing for a Las Vegas prize package.

The Ranch Rodeo is not just for adults. Organizers have fun western-themed contests open to ranch kids and city kids, too. Every participant earns a treat with the winners receiving a commemorative buckle. This year’s contests are Dummy Roping, Stick Horse Races and Boot Races for kids up to 10 years of age.

Local businesses and service clubs can support the Ranch Rodeo with a special contest — the Merchant Boot Race. A buckle will be awarded to the fastest man or woman in this friendly competition. Entry fee is $100, but the winner will walk away with a one-of-a-kind award and bragging rights for their efforts.

Winners of the MCCA and SVF Ranch Rodeo individual contests will be awarded buckles and other prizes. The top female competitor will be awarded a prize and the All-Around Winner for the day will earn a saddle from Running P Saddlery.

As is the tradition of the MCCA, the All-Around Saddle is dedicated, in memoriam, to an individual that has supported the cattle industry. This year’s saddle is dedicated to Henry Martinus, who grew up in Lockwood where he attended grammar school and then on to King City High School.

After graduating from high school, Martinus joined the Navy.

Following his Navy service, he was accepted into the Cal Poly school of Agricultural Engineering. Two years later, he married his wife, Sally Thwaits. The couple built their home in Lockwood, where they raised their two boys, Jan and Eric.

Martinus built his career around ranching and cattle — a life he loved. He was very involved in MCCA, and elected president back in 1977. He and a few of his fellow Cattleman were the catalyst for the first-ever Monterey Ranch Rodeo. The original group organized the event as a Cattlemen’s fundraiser and social event, which is now an annual tradition that is enjoyed by folks from throughout the Central Coast.

In honor of Martinus, MCCA and SVF will continue this amazing event he originally organized and has now become an annual fundraiser for the Monterey County Cattleman’s Association and the Salinas Valley Fair.

Event sponsors help to provide all the awards that are won by cowboys and cowgirls at the MCCA and SVF Ranch Rodeo. These awards recognize the skill of both the horse and rider as they compete in the kind of ranch activities that are done every day on working cattle operations.

The 2018 Ranch Rodeo award sponsors are Denise Grigory, Borjon Auto Center, LA Hearne Company, American Door and Gates, Nino Homes, Pacific Valley Bank, Sturdy Oil, Steinbeck Equine Clinic, Margaret Duflock, Toro Petroleum, Rabobank, Visalia Livestock Market, Christensen and Giannini, James and Lora Eade and Neil Bassetti Farms. The MCCA and Salinas Valley Fair are still seeking sponsorships and would like to thank the businesses and families that have guaranteed their support for this year’s Ranch Rodeo.

The Ranch Rodeo is an annual tradition that celebrates western heritage and recognizes the skills necessary when working a cattle ranch. No admission fees are charged for spectators of the Ranch Rodeo, and the public is encouraged to attend.

The Salinas Valley Fair will also host a western art paint night on Saturday, Jan. 13. The activity is another way for western enthusiasts to celebrate ranch life and western traditions.

For entry forms, sponsorship, paint night details or MCCA and SVF Ranch Rodeo event information, call 831-385-3243 or visit The Salinas Valley Fair Facebook page will have all of the latest information for the MCCA and SVF Ranch Rodeo.