It was a long wait for Cash Robinson coming into the final day of the 79th annual San Benito County Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo at Bolado Park on Sunday.
The 16-year-old Hollister native waited a “long time” to be in the hometown rodeo amongst his friends. In his first year eligible to contend, Robinson made sure his wait was worth it. The teenage sensation, who despite his height and strength looks like he should be in high school instead of wrestling a bull, was the star Sunday.
Robinson won the bull riding competition with 76 points, finished third in the wild cow milking with a time of 51.66 seconds and was rewarded the all-around senior arena award after the competition ended.
“At Bolado Park, it was my first time,” Robinson said. “It feels pretty good. I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time. This is my first year I can compete. It was fun, I did high school rodeos so it’s not that different. There is a little more build up because it’s hometown so everybody notices I guess.”
In the bull riding competition Sunday, Robinson stayed on the bull the longest but failed to meet the qualifying time of eight seconds. He won the competition because of his 76 points that he tallied Friday night. In his final competition of the weekend, Robinson joined one of the nine teams that tried the newly re-configured wild cow milking. And once again, he found success.
Partnered with Wyatt Bourdet and Lacy Bourdet, Robinson’s team placed third overall.
Under the new rules, the three team-members were horseback as they tired to tie down the cow to milk it. The new rules attracted more participants, but it was easier, Robinson said.
Overall, the rodeo was a roaring success. Spectators filled the stands as the rodeo highlighted some of the best young and experienced cowboys in the area.
In the track competitions, 30-year veteran Ramona Koch stole the show with a second place finish in the hackamore and a first place finish in the open stock horse competition. She, for the second time in 30 years competing at the San Benito County Rodeo, was selected the senior all-around track winner.
“It’s so wonderful,” she said. “I love our little show and our rodeo. The whole county is a wonderful county and a wonderful place to live. It’s extremely special because I love all the people here, the whole county and I’m so happy I am part of it.”
But the infusion of youth was the most notable part of the weekend, said Koch, who trained many of the junior competitors.
“It’s wonderful to see the young kids coming up,” Koch said. “On Friday and Saturday, I spent time helping everyone. I had a lot of students to help the other days. It was a very good show for me this year.”
Koch took their success as her own, she said.
“They are equal,” she said. “It’s a good show. I love the county and love being a part of it. Love being here.”
Many new winners were crowned in events. In tie-down roping, DJ Parker ended the three-year winning streak of Chad Zgragen. Dally team roping champions Jim Hawkins and Randal Brooks were aided by a one-leg tie from Brendon Clark to clinch a come-from-behind victory. And Elliot French took home the buckle for figure-8 roping.
Only the wild horse racing champions Paul Bianchi, Scott Naccarato and Adrian Gonzalez could continue their success from last year into the arena Sunday. For the third time in four years, the threesome took home the prize of the rodeo’s final competition.
After a chaotic start, where horses are spun in opposite directions, Gonzalez once again claimed a spot on top of his horse for the fastest time at 1:47.11.
“It’s always a good thing, because it is a hometown, and you have bragging rights all year,” he said. “This is my third time winning at Bolado Park. It’s good each time. The team is feeling pretty good about it.”
SENIOR ARENA CHAMPIONS:
MIXED RIBBON ROPING: Danielle Craig & Shannon Arzie, 16.34 sec
BULL RIDING: Cash Robinson
SENIOR BARREL RACE: Becky Ford, 35.867 sec on two goes
WILD HORSE RACE: Paul Bianchi, Scott Naccarato & Adrian Gonzalez
SADDLE BRONC RIDING: Michael Maher
BAREBACK BRONC RIDING: Zach Brown
FAMILY DALLY TEAM ROPING: Judy Wiersma & Al Wiersma, 11.25 sec
WILD COW MILKING: John Donati, Dean Bell & Ross Ketcham, 40.06 sec
DALLY TEAM ROPING: Jim Hawkins & Randal Brooks, 20.95 sec on two goes
TIE DOWN ROPING: DJ Parker, 47.16 sec on three goes
SENIOR TRACK CHAMPIONS:
BEST APPEARING COW HORSE WITHOUT A SADDLE: Shannon Renz
LADIES WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP: Allison Clark
FIGURE 8 ROPING: Elliot French
CATTLE SORTING: Audra Naccarato, Scott Naccarato & Dana Aviles, 38.36 sec
LADIES STOCK HORSE: Susan Modic on Miss Mighty Lena
NOVICE STOCK HORSE: Melissa Dassel-Weis on Missy
TWO REIN STOCK HORSE: Kyla Rianda on Miss Hickory Play
OPEN STOCK HORSE: Ramona Koch on Tucker’s Smart Okie
HACKAMORE HORSE: Lacy Bourdet on Wild Little Mate
MERCHANT’S EVENT: Santa Barbara Bank & Trust
JUNIOR ARENA CHAMPIONS:
JUNIOR BARREL RACE, 6 – 11 YEARS: Kelsee French, 35.327 sec for two goes, a new record
JUNIOR BARREL RACE, 12 – 15 YEARS: Madison Hawkes, 35.516 sec for two goes
JUNIOR SINGLE STEER STOPPING: Taylor Hurley, 14.60 sec on two goes
JUNIOR RIBBON RACE, 6 – 11 YEARS: McKenna Wood & Sierra Stelling, 9.477 sec
JUNIOR RIBBON RACE, 12 – 15 YEARS: Lacey Bourdet & Dawson Bell, 9.523 sec
MUTTON BUSTING: Kohen Nelson
JUNIOR TRACK CHAMPIONS:
JUNIOR KEYHOLE RACE, 6 – 11 YEARS: Lilla Bell, 21.112 sec for two goes
JUNIOR KEYHOLE RACE, 12 – 15 YEARS: Emily Brewen, 22.655 for two goes
JUNIOR BEST GIRLS WORKING OUTFIT, 4 – 7 YEARS: Jodi Fields
JUNIOR BEST GIRLS WORKING OUTFIT, 8 – 11 YEARS: Kelsee French
JUNIOR BEST GIRLS WORKING OUTFIT, 12 – 15 YEARS: Emily Brewen
JUNIOR BEST BOYS WORKING OUTFIT, 4 – 7 YEARS: Tryan Hurley
JUNIOR BEST BOYS WORKING OUTFIT, 8 – 11 YEARS: Clay Hubbell
JUNIOR BEST BOYS WORKING OUTFIT, 12 – 15 YEARS: Wyatt Naccarato
JUNIOR WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP, 6 – 11 YEARS: Kelsee French on Milk Chex
JUNIOR WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP, 12 – 15 YEARS: Avrie Hubbell on Peggy
JUNIOR REINED STOCK HORSE, 6 – 11 YEARS: Kelsee French on Milk Chex
JUNIOR REINED STOCK HORSE, 12 – 15 YEARS: Dawson Bell on Quigley
JUNIOR COW HORSE, 12 – 15 YEARS: Averie Hubbell on Peggy