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80 Years of Tradition

A female student in jeans and a cowboy hat holds a green flag that says "Cal" while riding a brown horse in the Cotton Rosser Rodeo Complex

Photo by Eyasu Betwos

The annual Poly Royal Rodeo commemorated eight decades of history this spring. Agricultural education master’s student Hannah Steagall helped lead the rodeo team’s procession into the Cotton Rosser Rodeo Complex at the beginning of the event.

“This is our big comeback event,” Coach Ben Londo said before the rodeo. “These students have been working hard behind the scenes for the last two years while COVID-19 precautions limited their ability to compete. Now, they get to shine.”

The Poly Royal Rodeo is the marquee event on campus during Cal Poly’s annual Open House. The event features the top collegiate rodeo athletes from around the West Coast who have advanced to the championship performance from the weekend’s earlier rounds.

Athletes will compete for a championship title in events such as barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, tie down roping, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding and steer wrestling.

Since Poly Royal, the Cal Poly Rodeo team advanced to the national finals. Eleven members of the Cal Poly Rodeo Team qualified to compete in the 73rd annual College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming on June 12-18, following their performance at the West Coast Regional Finals held May 13-15 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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