By JOE NAIMAN
Marcus Battaglia won $2,567 during California Rodeo Salinas.
The Ramona cowboy was a team roping header and partnered with Jordan Ketscher of Squaw Valley at the July 18-21 rodeo. They each earned $2,221 for sixth place in the average, $253 for sixth place in the short go, and $93 for splitting eighth and ninth place in the fourth go-round.
“That’s a really good job, especially in the circuit,” Battaglia said. “We didn’t win it, but we got money out of it.”
The Salinas money increased Battaglia’s 2013 season earnings in California Circuit rodeos to $5,302, which ranks sixth among headers. The top 12 earners will qualify for the California Circuit finals.
California Rodeo Salinas is the highest-paying rodeo in California, with a total payoff this year of $408,472. The times for events out of the chute don’t look as impressive as those from arenas with shorter chutes.
“It’s a long arena,” Battaglia explained.
All team ropers were given four steers, and the teams with the best averages advanced to the short go.
“My game plan was to go do my job and catch all my steers,” Battaglia said.
Battaglia and Ketscher made their first run the morning of July 18 and were one position away from earning money. They also had qualified runs, but not fast enough to place, on their July 19 and July 20 runs. Their fourth run was on the morning of Sunday, July 21.
“On Sunday we had a good steer,” Battaglia said. “We had two really good ones on Thursday and Friday.”
Their fourth go-round time of 8.3 seconds split eighth and ninth place and earned them $93 each.
“It all counts, I guess,” Battaglia said of splitting the final go-round paying position. “It paid big money in the average.”
The short go was held on the afternoon of July 21. Their sixth-place time of 8.8 seconds gave Battaglia and Ketscher the final paying place.
Eight places in the average earned money. Battaglia and Ketscher had an average of 48.3 seconds. The cowboys who shared seventh and eighth place each had averages of 48.6 seconds.
“To place at Salinas out of 100 teams is something else,” Battaglia said.