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By Allison Jarrell

The 17th annual Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo took place Aug. 26-27 at the RMV Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano. Lauded as the “richest two-day rodeo in the world,” this year’s event awarded $175,000 in prize money. Each year, the top 30 cowboys travel to San Juan to compete in each of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) events: saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping.

With only one major rodeo left before the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December (the Pendleton Round-up in Pendleton, Oregon on Oct. 1), the RMV Rodeo gives the cowboys who are lower in the ranks a chance to jump into the finals.

Part of the Ranch’s rodeo tradition is donating money each year to local charities—a nod to the old cowboy tradition of “passing the hat” and helping friends and family when they need it most. Since the rodeo’s inception 17 years ago, about $1.9 million in rodeo proceeds have been donated to area charities. This year, organizations like the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center in San Juan Capistrano, CHOC at Mission Hospital and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley benefited from rodeo donations.

In addition to the main events in the arena, thousands of attendees also perused the rodeo’s 60 vendor booths and family activities. On Saturday night, local band Grand Junction performed country hits in front of a crowded dance floor.

(To check out our pre-rodeo interview with Tony Moiso, chairman and chief executive officer for Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC, and Gilbert Aguirre, executive vice president of ranch operations for Rancho Mission Viejo, click here.)

2017 RMV Rodeo Winners:

Bareback Riding
Jake Vold: $8,826.60

Bull Riding
Tim Bingham: $7,924.20

Saddle Bronc
Clay Elliott: $7,811.40

Tie-Down Roping
Tyson Durfey: $6,608.20

Team Roping
Clay Smith & Paul Eaves: $6,608.20 each

Steer Wrestling
Justin Shaffer: $5,536.60

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