Top bull riders drawn to Ramona, Pala contests
In rodeo what looks like a conflict can actually be a synergy.
Multiple rodeos in nearby locations allow cowboys multiple opportunities to win money, and thus a nearby rodeo helps both rodeos attract top competitors. Although the Ramona Rodeo May 21-23 will include all seven events and the Professional Bull Riders competition May 22-23 across the parking lot from the Pala Casino will only have bull riders, the proximity of the two venues is attracting bull riders to Ramona.
The Ramona Rodeo, the only Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association competition in California that weekend, received 282 total entries including 55 Bull Riding entries.
“It is good,” said Ramona Rodeo Director Joani Georgeson.
The Professional Bull Riders competition will have 70 bull riders in what PBR calls the Touring Pro Division. Thirty-five of those will ride in the Saturday afternoon performance while the other half will ride Sunday afternoon. The riders with the top 10 scores over both days will return for a “short go” late Sunday afternoon.
That Sunday afternoon performance is the only audience conflict between Ramona and Pala. PBR shows will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Ramona Rodeo will have 7 p.m. performance starts on Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. start Sunday.
“I think it’s going to bring up especially our Friday night performance,” Georgeson said.
Rodeo contestants pay entry fees, and, while a small amount of that is used to help pay for support personnel, most of the entry fee revenue becomes a jackpot that provides payouts to the highest-placing competitors. Sponsor contributions provide “added money,” which supplements the jackpot funding to account for the total prize money. Ramona Rodeo has added money of $4,000 per event.
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