Rough stock contractors strive for the eight-second ride

Elliot French, Slash Cross Bucking Horses LLC and Chuck Morris, Rockin M Rodeo to supply top-quality bucking horses at the 2018 San Benito County Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo.
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For many bronc riders, eight seconds is more than enough time on a bucking horse. They’re mean. They’re furious. They're stars in their own right.

The organizer of an exciting rodeo like San Benito’s County’s annual Horse Show and Rodeo—which comes to Bolado Park Event Center June 22 to 24—is looking for a great performer. Generations of breeding and years of preparation make these rough stock animals into mighty creatures and their reputations precede them.  

Chuck Morris, three-time Sierra Circuit Saddle Bronc Champion, owns and operates Rockin M Rodeo. Morris competed in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association for 20 years, was a two-time National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association National Champion, and a California High School Rodeo Association State Champion. Morris has provided rough stock to rodeos across the state since 1997.

This year, Morris will make stops at California Cowboy’s Pro Rodeo Association and even Bishop for the CHSRA State Finals. But this year, the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo could be his biggest event ever.

“I want to congratulate Elliot French and the entire board of directors for really stepping it up big time at this year's rodeo,” said Morris about the rodeo's decision to bring top performers.

“Rockin M Rodeo will be the main contractor once again,” said Elliot French, who owns Slash Cross Bucking Horses LLC. Slash Cross Bucking Horses resides on the Historic French Ranch in the Diablo Mountain Range in Tres Pinos. French helps arrange for the rough stock and helps plan an exciting show for the rodeo crowd.

“Chuck Morris has had several horses go to the National Finals Rodeo under professional stock contractors,” French said. He hopes to get some of the PRCA riders as they will be  competing at Reno Rodeo around the same time.

“With the added money–$5,000 each for saddle bronc and bull riding and $3,000 for the wild horse race–we decided to do this not because the local talent wasn’t there, but because we need more of it,” said French. “Few people realize how many good rough stock riders have come out of this county and I wouldn’t be surprised if a local rider wins one of the three events, if not all of them.”

Morris said with better cowboys he feels they’re going to have to step up the bulls and broncs to make sure everybody has a good chance of winning. They need to make sure they have a tough, but even field when planning the event. It may even mean they have to bring in additional stock contractors.

Local Slash Cross business owners Elliot and Emily French will supply some broncs as well.

“We are a young company, but we've bought proven genetics from famed contractors like Calgary Stampede, Flying 5, Burch, and Sankey,” French mentioned.

He said San Benito County is a bucking horse paradise.

“Our rugged hills build strength and endurance in our athletes,” French continued. “The rocky terrain keep their feet trim and teach them to watch their every step, and our climate produces feed and nutrients so they grow and sustain.”

Rockin M Rodeo's Morris has been a rodeo cowboy his whole life and during retirement he wanted to stay involved in a sport that he truly loved.

“I always had a passion for bucking horses and raising them just seemed like the natural next step,” Morris said. "Horses get a reputation just like bucking bulls, some for being rank and hard to ride. Others get a reputation for being rider-friendly and easy to make a good ride on. Bucking horses are the same as race horses or jumping horses. They are bred to buck just like race horses are bred to run.”

To learn more about the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show visit



Blaire Strohn is a graduate student at Oklahoma State University focusing on International Agriculture. Blaire also graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Communications. Born and raised on a cow/calf operation ranch in Paicines, she is passionate about the agriculture community and western way of life.