The nation’s largest collegiate rodeo is celebrating its 80th anniversary with country superstar Carly Pearce headlining the second night. 

Pearce was nominated for Country Music Association’s Artist of the Year in 2019 and her hit “Every Little Thing” was number one on the Billboard Country Airplay in 2017.

On Friday, April 17, the Poly Royal Professional Bull Riders Classic will take place in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. The Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour brings the top bull riders from around the world for a one-night-only competition. 

On Saturday, April 18, the Cinch Chute Out will bring top collegiate rodeo athletes from around the West Coast who have advanced to the championship performance from the weekend’s earlier rounds. Events include barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, tie down roping, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding and steer wrestling. The rodeo will also feature extreme motocross stuntmen the Flying Cowboyz. 

“It’s an explosive, one-of-a-kind event,” bioresource and agricultural engineering junior and member of the rodeo team Shasta Banchio said. 

Diego Rivera | Mustang News

Cal Poly’s Rodeo program has won 45 national titles, more than any other collegiate rodeo program. 

This will be the fourth year the rodeo has been in Spanos Stadium during Open House Weekend. The event has previously attracted more than 20,000 spectators across the two nights. 

Proceeds from the event support the 80-student rodeo team. The money funds scholarships, rodeo ground improvements and travel funds for team members, according to agricultural communications senior and Rodeo Sponsorship Coordinator Jane Wood.

The “Poly Productions” class helps plan all aspects of the weekend, from rodeo production to concessions and entertainment. 

“Many people assume we have a large state funded budget — not the case,” head coach Ben Londo said. “It’s myself, the College of Agriculture, and 80 students passionate about what they do in and out of the arena. We couldn’t be more proud of this puppy.”

Tickets start at $25 for students and $30 for general admission. All proceeds will benefit the Cal Poly rodeo program. 

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