Marguerite (Martins) & Marvin Roberts
Marguerite & Marvin Roberts impacted the California Rodeo Salinas in many ways. They were not only on-site groundskeepers, but they also gave horsemanship lessons to many children in the Salinas area who went on to become participants and contributors to the event. They were true ambassadors to the western way of life and passed that love on to the younger generations. Marguerite and Marvin helped create the Monterey County Junior and Senior Horsemen’s Association, allowing participants to ride in the Big Week Parade each year. They also coached many Hostesses and Sweethearts who ran for titles at the Rodeo. Marvin competed in the Working Cow Horse Event, Bull Riding, Steer Roping, Hackamore Class and Reining Class and was a Parade Marshall. Marguerite organized flags in the horse parade in addition to being a Horsemanship and Best Dressed Judge at the Rodeo.
Ty Murray is a seven time Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association All-Around World Champion. He dominated the sport in the ‘90s, competing in Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding and Bareback Riding. At Salinas, Ty earned All Around Champion buckles in 1990, 1991 and 1994. He won the Saddle Bronc title here in 1990 and the Bull Riding buckle in 2000. Ty’s picture was also featured on one of our commemorative posters in the ‘90s and he participated in some public relations endeavors for the California Rodeo Salinas as well. He continues to be involved with the Professional Bull Riders and was a founding member of that organization, seeking mainstream attention for the sport of bull riding. Ty now lives in Texas with his wife, Jewel, and their son, Kase. Many cowboys strive to win just one buckle at Salinas as a career goal, but Ty has five of them in his trophy case-that is quite a feat.
There was no tunnel vision for George Richardson. He started his 60 plus year Rodeo career under Doc Leach on the Announcer’s Stand and continued on this tradition for many years. He then served on the Track Committee for 12 years, eventually as Chairman and was elected President in 1979. George was largely responsible for getting the Museum accomplished along with Past President Homer Hayward. George was the driving force behind the Director’s Patio, a place for planning and camaraderie among volunteers. George also aided in Amanda Blake’s donation of the Long Branch Saloon, a replica of the bar as it was shown in the TV series ‘Gunsmoke.’ George was the recipient of the Gold Saddleman award in 1972, has been involved in Public Recreation Unlimited and continues to attend meetings. A true heart and passion for the Rodeo, this organization has been lucky to have George for so long.
Dr. E.J. ‘Doc’ Leach
E.J. ‘Doc’ Leach began his involvement with the California Rodeo Salinas as an usher in 1911. He became a Director in 1926 and served on several committees, becoming the Track Director, Vice President and President from 1953-1956. Doc helped to put the California Rodeo on the map in the rodeo industry as a member of the Rodeo Association of America, the International Rodeo Association and the Rodeo Information Committee of the Rodeo Cowboys Association. A dentist by trade, Doc would get to his office early during Big Week, but not to see his normal, paying customers. He would have a line of cowboys out the door and he would offer his services making sure they all had time to get back to the Rodeo Grounds in time for the performance. Doc was the first committee member to receive the Golden Saddleman Award in 1961 and continued to be involved with the Rodeo until he passed away in 1974.
Bob & Nancy Cook
Bob and Nancy Cook came to Salinas more than 12 times, Nancy as the Rodeo Secretary from 1978 to 1990 and Bob as a Stock Contractor. Nancy was a no nonsense Secretary credited with being accurate yet kind to all the contestants. Past President Gene Nielsen approached Nancy in 1977 about taking on the secretary duties at Salinas and she held that job until a tragic horse accident caused a severe traumatic brain injury in 1991. Nancy passed away in 1993 following complications form a surgery to improve her recovery. That same year, the California Rodeo Salinas awarded the first Nancy Cook Memorial Award to the Arena Committeeman of the Year. Bob Cook got into the stock contracting business working with Christensen Brothers and later forming a partnership with Jack Roddy and Jack Sparrowk to create Rodeo Stock Contractors (RSC). The RSC Rodeo Company continued with Bob after Jack and Jack sold their interest back to him in 1971 and one of his favorite rodeos to bring stock to was the California Rodeo Salinas. The Cook Family, specifically Nancy and Bob, contributedgreatly to the legacy of the California Rodeo Salinas and we are honored to induct them into the Hall of Fame this year.
#16 Oscar was the great bucking bull owned by RSC Stock Contractors Bob and Nancy Cook. Oscar, unlike many great bucking bulls, was small, weighing only about 1300 pounds. His bucking style was characterized by a violent spin to the left. In Oscar’s first five years as a bucking bull, more than 100 cowboys tried to ride him and every one failed to make the eight-second whistle. As Oscar’s unridden career continued, a bronze “Oscar” was created and offered by RSC to the first man to ride him. That trophy wasn’t collected until the final performance of the California Rodeo Salinas in 1975 when John Davis made it to the whistle, winning the gold buckle in the bull riding! Oscar went his entire career with only a hand full of cowboys ever making a qualified ride. Oscar retired to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979 where he remained until his death in 1983.