CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) --The 102nd annual Clovis Rodeo is one the Central Valley's most popular events. It's kicking off with the return of PBR bull riding, but there's a chance of showers by Friday night.
It's the calm before the storm as riders from all over the US saddle up for the Clovis Rodeo. Over the next four days more than 45,000 fans are expected to cheer on their favorite cowboys and cowgirls.
"Everybody feeds off of the energy. It's a great crowd-- I mean you can hear them when working the bucking shoots. I can hear them loud and clear, it's awesome," said Ron Dunbar, Clovis Rodeo Association Director.
With the chance for showers by the time Friday's PRCA Events start, Dunbar said they're ready for anything.
"You know in 2002 it rained like I've never seen it before, but it was packed and they hung in there as long as they can-- but rodeo fans are pretty tough."
As for the riders and livestock, precautions need to be taken in wet weather.
"You don't want them to slip or hurt themselves obviously, so you just do you best in terms of getting the ground prepared," said Tim Bridwell, stock contractor.
These athletes can train all year, but the arena conditions can make or break the ride. That's why riders love coming to the Clovis Rodeo.
"There's rodeo rain or shine, and lucky with this arena if it does rain the first couple inches are pretty muddy, but underneath that it's pretty solid," said Dunbar.
Though weather isn't always ideal for the outdoor arena, if it gets bad enough the sheriff's office helicopter has been known to assist like in 2014. Preparations are made for dry conditions as well, watering just enough to keep the moisture in the dirt. Shortly after tractors groom the arena ground.
"You want a nice even ground. No ruts-- nice and smooth. So again, we got roping horses coming down this thing, you want a nice smooth road for them," said Bridwell.
It's an all day process to make sure the arena remains in optimal condition for riders and their livestock.