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February 5, 2023

King City Stampede draws 1,000-plus crowd

Rodeo events held over two nights at Rava Equestrian Center

KING CITY — King City Stampede returned to South Monterey County last weekend after years of absence, drawing an estimated crowd of 1,000 based on ticket sales.

The Feb. 25-26 rodeo took place inside the Rava Equestrian Center at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City.

Team roping takes center stage at the Rava Equestrian Center during the King City Stampede on Saturday night. (Sean Roney)

“We were excited to rebrand the Salinas Valley Wine Country Pro Rodeo to the King City Stampede this year to create a deeper connection within our community,” said Ashleigh Young, King City Stampede chair.

Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation teamed up with Lone Oak Western Productions to bring forth the PRCA Rodeo, and Young said the plans are to continue the Stampede as an annual event. 

The event takes over from the Salinas Valley Wine Country Rodeo with a return to the historic Stampede title. In addition to the live entertainment, 15 vendors joined the experience.

Spectators watch bareback riding at the Rava Equestrian Center during the King City Stampede on Feb. 26. (Sean Roney)

Between the two nights of action, the PRCA Rodeo ran eight main events along with two children events, Young said. Those included: saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, team roping, tie down roping, women’s breakaway, mutton busting and junior barrel racing. 

Young noted the PRCA Rodeo was a qualifying event for competitors to move onward to the National Finals Rodeo.

Maddie Black was named Miss King City Stampede on Friday, and she will now represent King City Stampede at rodeos around the state for one year. 

Maddie Black rides through the Rava Equestrian Center as the 2022 Miss King City Stampede on Saturday night after being crowned Friday. She will represent the Stampede at rodeos throughout the state for the next year. (Sean Roney)

Black said she has not held a rodeo queen title prior to this one and enjoys barrel racing when she rides competitively.

“She was awarded the Miss King City Stampede title, received a silver crown, a trophy silver belt buckle and a silver key fob by the Salinas Valley Heritage Foundation,” Young said. “Maddie also received a trophy breast collar, spur straps and custom tooled belt donated by Salinas Leather.”

Saturday’s opening ceremony included a pyrotechnic show with smoke and fireworks as the arena went dark to put a spotlight on Soledad High School NJROTC as color guard and Jeff Hinderscheid as singer of the national anthem.

Members of the Soledad High School NJROTC march through the smoke to present the colors during a pyrotechnic opening ceremony on Saturday night for the King City Stampede. (Sean Roney)

Young said the ticket sales went above expectations on Saturday with 1,000 tickets sold, and Friday was on track with expectations with an estimated 700 tickets sold.

“Our goal is to reinvent this space to allow more locals, as well as non-locals, to join us for years to come,” Young said.

Saturday evening included music by 8 Second Ride and dancing in an afterparty.

Steer wrestling was among the competition events at the Rava Equestrian Center during the King City Stampede on Feb. 26. (Sean Roney)
Sean Roney
Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.

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