This weekend’s Bares, Broncs and Bulls Extravaganza at Isleta Casino and Resort promises to be one of the greatest shows on dirt.
The rough-stock rodeo begins at 4 p.m. Saturday at an arena constructed just southwest of the casino. The event continues at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Cowboys from across the Southwest will compete for a piece of an estimated $20,000 purse with $6,000 in prize money added. While the cowboys will be contending for the big money, the cost to attend the show costs little. Admission is $10.
“It’s probably the best entertainment value you can find,” said John Horger, marketing director for Isleta Casino and Resort. “For ten dollars, you get a rodeo with some of the top cowboys in the Southwest, and a concert.”
Country music stars Shenandoah will perform following the action on Saturday. Rising star Mark McGuinn will be the finale on Sunday.
While the rodeo will be held outdoors, both concerts will be held indoors at the casino’s show club. Shenandoah takes the stage at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, while McGuinn performs at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
“It’s a nice way to spend the weekend with your dad,” Horger said, alluding to the fact that Sunday is Father’s Day. “You get a great concert and a great rodeo.”
The rodeo will feature bareback and saddle bronc riding as well as bull riding. “You’re going to have some of the best riders in the horse riding itself — that’s an event in itself,” said Casper Baca, who is providing the stock. “Combined with the rest, you can watch an action-packed performance from start to finish.”
Baca is well-known throughout Valencia County. For 13 years, ending in 1999, he brought the Baca Rodeo Series to Belen for weekend events throughout the spring. Competitors know they’re in for a challenge when they enter the chute on the back of a Baca bronc or bull.
“Casper Baca has some of the best stock in the world,” said Lino Baca, a native of Bosque who rides on the Professional Bull Riders Association (PBR) circuit. “It’s going to be some pretty good bull riding. Even though it’s not on the PBR circuit, it’s right up there.”
Lino Baca, 23, spent last weekend at rodeos in Utah and Fort Worth, Texas. The travel-weary cowboy said it’ll be nice to compete close to home for a change.
And though he’ll be well-rested and has experience as a pro, Lino knows anybody can win. “I have a good chance, but there will be some top riders there,” he said. “Everybody has as good a chance as I do. I’m just going to try to give it 100 percent.”
And you can bet the bulls and broncs will be giving it their all.
“Matching that kind of livestock with the cowboys that are coming, it’s guaranteed to be a good show,” Casper Baca said.