Today’s rodeo world knows Cotton Rosser of Long Beach, Calif., by his spectacular opening ceremonies at rodeos on the West Coast and for many years at the National Finals Rodeo. This “P.T. Barnum” of professional rodeo searches out ideas from sources as remote from the sport as ice shows and circuses, looking for that special something he can add to his productions. The other side of Rosser is his history as a top cowboy, who started competing in all of rodeo’s standard events as a teenager and later as a member of his college rodeo team at Cal Poly University-San Luis Obispo. As a professional, he won buckles, saddles and trophies. Among his many titles, Rosser’s highlight was winning the all-around title at the 1951 Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco. Rosser purchased the Flying U Rodeo Ranch in 1956, which is now the oldest continuing rodeo livestock company in the United States. Flying U produces more than 50 rodeos a year, including the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo and the Grand National Rodeo, and operates a successful bucking horse breeding program. Flying U bucking stock show up perennially in the NFR chutes. In 1985, Rosser was named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year and was a longtime member of the PRCA Board of Directors.
Legend of ProRodeo: 2019
Born August 5, 1928 in Long Beach, California