KING CITY — This weekend’s Monterey County Ranch Rodeo, co-produced by the Monterey County Cattlemen’s Association and the Salinas Valley Fair, will raise funds for both nonprofits while offering a fun way for local buckaroos to compete in traditional ranching contests.
The annual fundraiser, which celebrates western heritage and recognizes skills needed for a working cattle ranch, is set for Sunday, Jan. 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the fairgrounds’ Rava Arena in King City.
More than 150 cowboys and cowgirls from the Central Coast are expected to compete this year in such events as cut and rope, ranch doctoring, single steer stopping and sorting, calf branding and more.
Children 10 years old and younger can sign up for contests in dummy roping, stick horse races and boot races that begin at noon.
“This event is possible because of our partnership with the Monterey County Cattlemen’s Association and the tremendous support from businesses and individuals,” said TJ Plew, CEO of Salinas Valley Fair, in a news release. “The event is a fundraiser for both the Salinas Valley Fair and Monterey County Cattlemen’s Association. Event proceeds will provide local scholarships and be reinvested into arena equipment to maintain the Rava Arena and Topo Event Center.”
Buckles will be awarded for first place in each category for adults and youth, in addition to the coveted All-Around Saddle given to the competitor accumulating the best scores throughout the day. This year’s saddle will be named in memory of Allan Wallace, carrying on the rodeo’s tradition of naming a saddle each year in honor of a Monterey County cattleman.
“The Monterey County Cattlemen’s Association and the Salinas Valley Fair are honored to recognize Allan at the 2019 Monterey County Ranch Rodeo,” Plew said.
Wallace, known locally for being the ranch manager at Topo Ranch in King City for nearly 30 years, was born and raised in the Salinas Valley. After attending Fresno State University and serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he bought a ranch in Reliz Canyon outside of Greenfield in 1964.
At that time Wallace was already working for Albert Hansen by tending to cattle in Spreckles near the Salinas River. At age 30, he became Hansen’s ranch manager for Topo Ranch, located about 10 miles east of King City, a position he held for 28 years.
In 1990, Wallace received the Monterey County Cattlemen of the Year Award. Following his career at Topo Ranch, he went on to work for Leighton Seed and Snow Seed companies.
Over a span of 50 years, Wallace volunteered his time at the California Rodeo Salinas. He served as the rodeo’s arena director for 14 of those years, and in 1974, he won the Gold Saddleman award.
In addition, he was instrumental in bringing the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Gold Card Team Roping to Salinas and received a lifetime PRCA Gold Card for his efforts.
Wallace died Nov. 3, 2017, at age 85. Last July he was posthumously inducted into the California Rodeo’s Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
A display with photos and memories of Wallace will be featured Sunday at the 2019 Monterey County Ranch Rodeo.