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VERN FISHER/MONTEREY COUNTY HERALD Bray Armes hangs onin the steer wrestling at the California...

SALINAS -- The 103rd annual California Rodeo Salinas begins its four-day run Thursday at the Salinas Sports Complex.

Mandy Linquist, the rodeo's marketing manager, said she's been attending the event her whole life.

"There are people who've been coming here for 60 or 70 years," Linquist said. "It is great to be part of something that's got a legacy like that."

As an appetizer for rodeo fans, the 13th annual Professional Bull Riding Touring Pro Event will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Salinas Sports Complex, the same location as the rodeo.

The rodeo's main events begin 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the performance begins at 1:15 p.m.

Thursday's California Rodeo Salinas will begin with the grand entry and crowning of 2013 Miss California Rodeo. Bull riding will be the first event in the arena and one of this year's speciality acts, Cowboy Kenny's Steel Rodeo Tour, will also debut Thursday and continue for every performance of the rodeo.

Cowboy Kenny is a motocross champion from Oklahoma who will perform a motorcycle jumping act.
Other events include mutton busting, open-ranch doctoring and the traditional rodeo events such as barrel racing, team roping, tie-down roping, bull riding and bronc riding.

The Salinas rodeo hasn't always included such an array of events. When the event began, more than a century ago, it was known as the Wild West Show and mostly featured local cowboys and cowgirls riding bucking horses. Still, the show drew crowds of 4,000 strong.

This is the first year motocross has been part of the rodeo.

"We typically try to change up the acts each year to keep it new and fresh," Linquist said.

Linquist said she's expecting 45,000 spectators for the four-day event. Sunday usually draws the largest crowd, about 13,000.

Tickets range from $7 to $20.

Follow Sentinel reporter Ketti Wilhelm on Twitter at

California Rodeo Salinas
WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday Professional Bull Riding Touring Pro, 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 1:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
WHERE: Salinas Sports Complex, 1034 N. Main St., Salinas
COST: $7 to $20
California Rodeo Salinas Carnival
WHEN: 4-10 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday
WHERE: 295 Sun Way, Salinas
COST: $3 to enter, $25 for unlimited rides weekdays, $30 for unlimited rides Saturdays and Sundays