Hundreds of cowboys enter qualifying runs for Clovis Rodeo

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Each one is a professional cowboy, and the horses they ride have experience, but that doesn't mean they have an easy ride entering the Clovis Rodeo.

Wednesday morning the first qualifying run took place at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds.

"Obviously you will have more people enter your rodeo than those who can make the individual performances," said Chuck Rigsbee, the director of Clovis Rodeo Association. "So they run slack every morning between now and Friday morning for the qualifying runs."

Only the top 24 over the next two days will go on to a final slack on Friday. From there only 12 will perform in the finals at the rode this weekend.

One of the hopefuls is Jordan Ketscher, the Valley native competes in rodeos across the country, and he's considered a top contender for the finals.

"To have family here that just comes to watch you and just to grow up in the community and to go school ten miles from here at Fresno State. It is just fun to have everybody here and to be so close to home," said Ketscher.

This year's Grand Marshall of the Clovis Rodeo, Earl Hall, is keeping a close on eye on the qualification.

"These younger fellows who are coming up they're faster than we were when we were that age. They're better horses, they work at harder," said Hall.

Hall is a rider himself with over 60 years of experience, he knows the hard work of these cowboys will soon payoff.

"Ninety percent of these guys are making a living with their rope and their horses. So they practice and they are good as just any other athletes in any other sport," he added.

The 104th Clovis rodeo kicks off with professional bull riding on Thursday night.
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