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Big purse, passion keeps Livingston Roundup a Cowboy Christmas staple

Posted: 6:30 PM, Jul 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-10 12:57:27-04

LIVINGSTON — The Livingston Roundup has been running for 95 years, but it wasn’t until about 26 years ago when current president Bruce Becker and the rest of the Roundup association decided that this rodeo could become something much bigger.

“The association decided we wanted to grow our rodeo. We increased each event by $500 per event per year until now. We’re about $104,000 added,” said Becker.

It was that stable growth that has boomed the Livingston Roundup into one of the top PRCA rodeos across the globe.

“As far as the PRCA goes, we are the 59th-largest PRCA rodeo by purse,” Becker added. “There’s 712 sanctioned rodeos by the PRCA, so we’re in the top 10 percent. So, we take pride in that. … We’re proud of what we’ve done.”

The bigger purses have attracted top talent from all over the world. But there’s also another reason you see the best of the best make their way to Livingston.

“I can’t explain enough about how much this town thrives on this whole atmosphere — you know, this arena, this production and this rodeo,” said PRCA media relations head Josh Homer. “Just the way the town kind of envelopes the entire atmosphere of this rodeo. I know the contestants really love coming here due to that hospitality they receive.”

“You look up at our mountains back there and probably have the best backdrop of any rodeo I’m aware of,” said Becker. “And we attract people. We had 12 people from Norway here on Tuesday night, and in February I got a call from a lady in the Netherlands who wanted tickets here because she wanted to come back to the rodeo in July.”

With bigger purses to be won, more room to be made and more memories to create, the Livingston Roundup is only going to get better from here.

“I continuously see this growing. I mean, as Livingston Roundup year after year, they get a better production together, they get more money added for the contestants,” Homer added. “In five more years it’ll be the 100-year anniversary, that’s a huge milestone for any rodeo. I mean, there’s not many who can say they’ve been around for a 100 years.”