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The Folsom Pro Rodeo has a rich tradition of excellence and hard working volunteers and staff who have dedicated their talents to the success of our rodeo. We proudly present our “Legends of the Rodeo” a tribute to those whose unwavering passion and incredible feats have shaped the Folsom Pro Rodeo into what it is today.

Dan Russel Sr.

Dan Russell Sr., owner of the Russell Ranch which was established in the 1860s, was a founder of the Folsom Pro Rodeo in 1960.


For 35 years, everyone knew it was rodeo time when Smitty rolled into town. A true cowboy, Smitty was a “jack of all trades” with getting the rodeo arena prepped for action.

Steve Beneto

Steve served as chairman of the Folsom Pro Rodeo from the very beginning. Under his leadership, he built a strong foundation for the rodeo’s success.

Michael Riedinger

Do you enjoy the “Saloon under the Stars?” Then you can thank Mike who created the venue originally named “Mike’s Golden Spike Saloon.”

Jim "Digger" Williams

Known as the rodeo’s “Arena Boss,” “Digger” spent every waking moment bringing the Folsom Pro Rodeo to life for nearly its entire history. Digger loved rodeo!

Sharon Williams

Sharon embraced her role as Digger’s side kick and “Mutton Busting” mama. She took care of as many as 20 little cowpokes each night as they rode sheep to glory.

Michael Nunes

Michael was Digger’s right hand man in the success of the rodeo. He later took over as Arena Boss and directed an important “posse” of volunteers who helped prep the arena both before and during the event

Joe Gurnsey

Joe was an amazing volunteer willing to do whatever needed to be done from hanging banners to being night watchman after the last firework faded in the sky.

Pat Christianson

Mutton busting cowboys and cowgirls were in the safe hands of Pat as they competed nightly in the event. Every year, after the rodeo, she brought brownies to keep the energy up of the rodeo staff.

Cotton Rosser

There wouldn’t still be a successful rodeo without Cotton Rosser of the Flying U Rodeo Company. He brought his quality stock and professionalism while handling the important “details” of the rodeo such as the competitors, clowns, animals and side acts. The rodeo’s success is a direct result of Rosser’s dedication to the sport of rodeo.

marshal crossan

Marshal, former owner of Folsom Chevrolet, was an amazing supporter of the rodeo from the moment he came to Folsom in the 1980s until his retirement in 2021. He was a presenting sponsor for all of those years and volunteered his time and energy to its success.

Rich Fiutko

Rich carried on Michael Riedinger’s legacy of the Saloon for many years helping redesign the venue and each year building it from the ground up. He has also volunteered in many different roles from working the gates to helping with beverage sales.

karen west

If anything needs to be handled, big or small, Karen has it handled. From making sure staff and volunteers have plenty of snacks and beverages, to tracking down last minute needed supplies, Karen is amazing. During the event, she can be found handling the lower entrance gate – named in her honor.