Thousands gathered at the Bohna Arena last weekend to enjoy one of the Mountain Area’s longest running traditions - The Coarsegold Rodeo.
Ringing in its 63rd year, the three-day event brought together professional cowboys and cowgirls from across the state to compete for prize money in events from steer roping to saddle bronc riding, and plenty more. But they weren’t the only ones getting in on the action, as children competed in the sheep-riding sport of mutton busting.
Rodeo officials estimated more than 2,000 people attended the event throughout the weekend. While some came to watch their friends and family compete, and others to enjoy the rodeo action, or partake in some food from one of the many vendors, one of the best things about the rodeo for attendee Kaitlyn Redmon was the sense of community the rodeo brings.
“We came out here to have a good time with all of the people,” Redmon said.
This year’s Grand Marshal for the event was Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler, a 1961 graduate of Sierra High School who has attended the Coarsegold Rodeo many times over the years.
“The rodeo was really great and it’s still hard for me to think the rodeo committee picked me for Grand Marshal ... It’s quite an honor,” Wheeler said. “I just want to thank the Coarsegold Rodeo Committee so much, not only for picking me, but for putting on such a great rodeo for everyone. From the Heritage Day for our area schools children, the queen royalty contests, all the booths, the rodeo, and for all the volunteers who put this together. It was a great weekend in Coarsegold.”
The event is put on by The Coarsegold Rodeo Association, a nonprofit that has handled the rodeo for the past decade. Each rodeo aims to make enough money to finance the next one, which cost around $25,000 to put on. However, last year the association was able to earn a profit of $8,000 which was put toward community organizations like area schools, Valley Children’s Hospital and different youth programs - something this year’s event seeks to replicate.
To Jill Satterfield, president of the Coarsegold Rodeo Association, the rodeo beckons back to the community’s past while providing a fun time for the whole family.
“The rodeo brings a sense of history and togetherness,” she said. “It’s a family function - it’s a family weekend.”
2015 Coarsegold Rodeo results