• WHAT: Ropin’ on the River CCPRA sanctioned rodeo
• WHEN: Today at 2 p.m. Other activities including Cowboy Church start at 10 a.m.
• WHERE: Dell’Osso Family Farms, Interstate 5, Manthey Road, Lathrop
• ADMISISON: Entrance to grounds is free. The actual rodeo is $20 for adults, $15 for children ages 3-12, and $15 for seniors.
LATHROP – Not even Mother Nature’s late spring curveball kept the true diehard rodeo fans home on Saturday afternoon.
Even with wind and rain scattered throughout the day, hundreds of
people came out for the first “Ropin’ on the River” rodeo at Dell’Osso Family Farms – an event organized to benefit Give Every Child a Chance – and took in everything from the mutton bustin’ youngsters riding sheep to the bravest cowboys taking on 2,000 pound bulls.
It was the first local rodeo held in the Lathrop-Manteca area in 15 years, and it brought fans like Cynthia Ramos who wanted to see her favorite events in person right in her own backyard.
“I love watching the barrel racing and the team roping, and I get to do it without having to drive to Oakdale or La Grange or somewhere else,” Ramos said. “I’m glad that the professional rodeo is back in this area again, and I can’t wait to come back out tomorrow and watch more of it.”
The planning and organizing for the event took more than a year – requiring the GECAC Board of Directors and the volunteers involved with the early staging to first secure the actual rodeo before working on any additional plans.
According to Susan Dell’Osso – who graciously donated use of her land for the event – the first weekend in June will now be a regular stop on the California Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association circuit.
“This is something that’s going to be here as many years as Give Every Child a Chance wants to do this,” Dell’Osso said. “We’re hoping that the event keeps getting bigger and bigger each and every year.
“It took a lot of organizing and planning by the GECAC board and their volunteers to get to this point today, and it’s great to see it all coming together and watch people in the stands enjoying the event. It’s something that’s great for this area.”
Down at the far end of the arena, Stacy Flaherty was taking in the action with her daughter Taylor – a First Princess with the San Joaquin County Horsemen’s Association.
And their day started early.
Flaherty’s other daughter, Taylor, competed in Merced in a Junior Rodeo event earlier in the day and then made the trek up to Lathrop to compete in the 13-and-under barrel-racing event.
For the local rodeo mom, a local event is a welcome addition to her busy schedule.
“It’s great to be here today, and it’s nice to have a rodeo back here in this area,” she said. “This is something that we’ll definitely be back to compete in next year.”
The event continues today with Cowboy Church beginning at 10 a.m. in the rodeo guest area. It is free to the public. The guest area will reopen at noon, and the rodeo grand entry will begin at 2 p.m. The awards ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m.
To get to Dell’Osso Family Farms, take the 120 Bypass west and merge onto Interstate 5 south. Take the first exit – marked Manthey Road – and make a right turn at the stop sign. The entrance to the parking is on the left.