Silver Spurs Riding Club’s Rough Stock
The Silver Spurs Riding Club is famous for its Silver Spurs Quadrille team and being one of the most looked forward to rodeos in Florida for visitors and locals to attend every year. But, one thing that a lot of people don’t know, is that the Silver Spurs Riding Club is also a rodeo stock contractor.
All the broncs (or “horses” as some people call them), bulls, steers, and calves you see compete at the Silver Spurs Rodeo actually live on the Silver Spurs Ranch down in Kenansville, Florida. There are more than 100 bulls and broncs that live on the Silver Spurs Ranch and range from rough stock who haven’t started to buck, those that are currently registered with Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) as Silver Spurs Riding Club rough stock, and those that are retired from bucking.
From typical Florida thunderstorms to blazing hot heat waves, you can bet that our Silver Spurs Riding Club volunteers will be out at the ranch taking care of the rough stock. With acres of ranch land for the broncs and bulls to graze on throughout the day, there are still certain vitamins and nutrients that the rough stock need that can’t be found naturally. Because of this, our volunteers will visit the ranch each morning and give them a special feed.
FROM THE RANCH TO THE CHUTE
In an effort for the Silver Spurs Riding Club to provide their own stock for the rodeo, Doug Partin and Shang Bronson began breeding and raising bulls for the Silver Spurs Rodeo in the 1960s, creating the Silver Spurs Stock Committee. To increase the quantity of stock, many ranching families and members of the Club followed in their footsteps. To this day, a majority of the bulls you see at our events have Osceola County roots. Bred and raised on local ranches, Silver Spurs bulls are groomed to become the best of the best.
When a calf or foal are born, it’s almost like a new baby is born in the Silver Spurs Riding Club family. The stock contractors will usually wait until it is about one year old, also known as a pre-futurity bull, before it is ever bucked. After the first buck, the calf is bucked about two or three more times to see if the bull has the talent and wants to buck. After the calf shows the potential to be a good bucking bull, the calf is given six months to eat and grow. When the bull reaches about two years old, the bull is bucked about once a month until they become familiar with the bucking motion. There is no particular breed of cattle that has a reputation for producing good bucking bulls, though many of the bulls at our rodeos are a Brahman-crossbreed. Genetics play a huge role in helping produce a good bucking bull. With advances in technology, ranchers often look for the best cow and bull to mate in the hopes of producing a great bucker.
Before the first performance, the bulls are hauled from the ranch to the Silver Spurs Arena. Here they are put in the back pens, which are metal pens set up in the back of the rodeo arena until it’s time for them to make their way to the bucking chutes. After traveling through several holding pens they end inside the bucking chute. Once the rider is ready, he nods his head and the bull busts out!
After the ride, the bull is stripped of the bull rope and flank and sent down the pens to the holding area. After the rodeo is over, stock contractors will load their bulls onto the trailer and haul them back to Kenansville, where they’ll rest before the next Silver Spurs Rodeo. Life on the ranch is quite the dream for the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s livestock. They are fed regularly, graze on green grass at their leisure, and are surrounded by other bulls and broncs!
LIFE AFTER RODEO
The offseason looks similar to retirement for these athletes. Once bulls are retired from bucking, they are sent back to the ranch to live out their days. Depending on the bull, some contractors will use him as a breed bull for the upcoming season. Retirement can come at any age. As long as the bull still bucks and still wants to perform at rodeos, he will. The bulls at the Silver Spurs Rodeo live a luxurious lifestyle. Between performing for eight seconds roughly ten times a year to living full time on the ranch, stock contractors ensure they’re treated better than many household pets. Check out our event schedule so you can see the Club’s bucking stock perform at the next Silver Spurs Rodeo!