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Mid-state fair rodeo draws big crowd 


Paso Robles hoopin’ and hollerin’ cowboy fun at state fair rodeo

–Saturday night at the Mid-State Fair Country Rodeo was a hit, if the crowd was any indication. The rodeo held at the Chumash Grandstand Arena in Paso Robles started off with a tribute to America with a stunning opening as a skydiver descended over the fair grounds dressed in red, white, and blue, and blowing in the wind was a huge American flag. The flag was then spread out in all its glory as the armed forces stood proudly holding the flag for all in the grandstands to see.

The night’s show included many events, some of which were bronc riding, bull riding, team penning, barrel racing, match roping, ranch rope and branding, double mugging and mixed ribbon roping. Cowboy clown Matt Merritt, from North Carolina emceed the rodeo and kept the crowd in stitches while rodeo contestants readied for performance.

Cowboy Clown

Matt Merritt Cowboy Clown

The biggest event of the rodeo was roping calves as that event seemed dominant over the others in several formats. The bronc riding was touch and go, as the bronc rider impersonating MC Hammer in gold lame pants had a very close call after falling from his horse and had to be escorted off the field. He came out just fine during winner’s call, joking boisterously and animatedly with the audience. The winner of the bronc riding event was Cal Poly student Taylor Peters. He won by audience preference, Merritt having involved the audience by asking them to scream the loudest for the contestant they thought should win.

The events were constructed by Cotton Rosser and his Flying U Rodeo organization. Since 1956, Rosser and his Flying U Rodeo have been formatting rodeos across the country. Rosser, the entrepreneur and the brains behind the company, has been a part of the rodeo all his life. He’s the reason rodeo shows run smoothly and successfully.


Beauty Queens

Victoria Humphrey, crowned Miss California Mid-State Fair Queen, was proud to represent Paso Robles at the rodeo. Alongside her stands first runner up Carley Cockrum and second runner-up Tahnee Bray.

Millionaire Cowboy Bobby Kerr put on a spectacular show with his dogs Bert and Ernie and Trigger, the golden mustang, as his dogs performed cutting skills as good as any cowboy. Kerr trains mustangs and, in poetic form, told of the great days when cowboys used to wrangle mustangs from the wild. They still do, according to Kerr, however the mustang population is dwindling because open land is rapidly dwindling so pastures, fields, hills and mountains are becoming less and less a habitat for wild animals. Kerr trains the wild mustangs and claims they are very smart animals that perform beautifully in rodeos and are wonderful animals for pleasure riding, as well. Dogs and horses work well together and Kerr set out to prove it, quite successfully. The audience showed their enthusiasm for Kerr and his talented trio of Bert, Ernie and Trigger, the golden mustang.

Singer Taylor Peterson gave a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem.

Rodeo attendee Patti Lucas and her boyfriend Rory Depalma were among thousands that attended the rodeo. “I love the rodeo, especially the barrel racing and bronc riding. It’s a lot of fun and exciting,” said Patti. ” We wouldn’t miss it. And the deep-fried oreo cookies are fabulous!”

Bobby Kerr and Trigger

Bobby Kerr and Trigger.


The winners of Mid-State Fair rodeo events won Weatherby rifles. Below are the winners of the events and the Weatherby Gun Winners of the Mid-State Fair of Paso Robles of July 30, 2016.

  • Mixed Ribbon Roping: Jason Johe and Sara Bilderback
  • Barrel Race: Fallon Ruffoni
  • Match Roping: Chad Krainock and Make Gomes
  • Ranch Rope and Brand: Vincent Pascoe, Keith Pascoe, Ryan Pascoe, and Joey Arnold (winners for several years in a row)
  • Team Penning: Rick Machado, Jana Lee Johnsen and Bryan Bobsin
  • Wild Ride: Tim Deitrich
  • Bull Riding: Eran Rubio
  • Double Mugging: Vincent Pascoe and Ryan Pascoe


For more information on Cotton Rosser and the Flying U Rodeo visit: For more information on The Mid-State Fair Paso Robles visit:



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