VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — The annual Santa Rosa Roundup in Vernon begins Friday, May 14 and continues Saturday, May 15.
Thousands of pounds of dirt, hundreds of cowboys, and the smell of horses and bulls are all back in Vernon for the 75th year.
After 2020’s event fell victim to COVID-19 cancellations, organizers said they’re ready to get back on the saddle for this beloved Vernon tradition.
Weldon Hawley, Chairman of the Santa Rosa Roundup, said the event will have the seven major Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association events as well as barrel racing.
“It’s the nostalgia, keeping this rodeo going,” Hawley said. “We love it. Of course I’ve worked for the ranch for years and years.”
Hawley said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Mr. E Paul Wagner, the owner of W.T. Wagner estates, started this,” Hawley said. “They started building it in 1945, and the first rodeo was in 1946.”
Larry Drennan, a Santa Rosa Roundup annual organizer, said he has felt a connection with the roundup since his very first rodeo.
“When I was probably 9 or 10, my grandfather bought me and his youngest son, my uncle who is just a year older than me, bought us a pair of new Levi 501’s and a pear of leather moccasins and brought us to the rodeo,” Drennan said. “And we sat in that big grandstand and the thing I remember most about it was the Palomino Club.”
Making their grand entrance again this year, the Palomino Club Riders join cowboys and cowgirls from all over the world, embracing tradition and each other.
Sponsored by the Santa Rosa Roundup Association, the rodeo runs on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15.
The Santa Rosa Rodeo Grounds are located a few miles south of Vernon on U.S. 183.
Tickets are $12 at the gate. For more information, call (940) 552-6868.