Behind the Scenes of Redding Rodeo: Bridwell Pro Rodeo
As rodeos try to figure out the new normal and continue on as before, the CLN team wants to highlight some of the folks that ensure rodeo keeps going and play a BIG part in the Redding Rodeo in Redding, California. I would like to introduce you to Bridwell Pro Rodeo, Redding’s main stock contractor company that provides the stock for the performance. Putting on a rodeo is like running a well-oiled machine, everyone has their part and each part needs to run in order for the show to go off without a hitch. I was beyond thankful to snag a few minutes of owners, Tim and Haley Bridwell’s time before they loaded up and headed out. But first, let me do a quick introduction to the Bridwell’s background in rodeo.
Thursday, May 13 – Saturday, May 15
715 Auditorium Drive, Redding, CA 96001
About Bridwell Pro Rodeo
Based in Northern California, Bridwell Pro Rodeos was established in 2017 as a full-service professional rodeo company providing top-quality livestock, production, and personnel to rodeos throughout the West Coast and Pacific Northwest. However, the foundation of Bridwell Pro Rodeos is their homegrown bucking horse breeding program, which began long before the establishment of the company itself. Owner, Tim Bridwell, started the bucking horse and breeding program in 2005 and sub-contracted the bucking horses for Growney Brothers Rodeo from 2005 through 2016. He used his evolving knowledge to grow his bucking horse herd into one of the nation’s most renowned programs in rodeo.
CLN: Can you tell me a little bit more about what you/your team’s feelings are coming back to rodeo full force after last year?
Tim Bridwell: Well, first of all, it’s a blessing because we really need to get our lives back, get moving forward, and get everything rolling again, not only for our business but also the western way of life, especially out here on the west coast. Then on top of that, I think it’s good for everybody, you just get that energy going and that momentum flowing, not just with rodeo but sports for the kids and all events, rodeo is just part of that. Rodeo coming back is huge for us, this is how we make our living, we don’t do anything else so if the rodeos didn’t come back with such a high percentage, we would be looking for something else to do, quite frankly. For us, we’ve been really lucky and really blessed. Of all the rodeos we have, I guess about 22, we’ve only officially lost two, other than that, we still have a really full schedule which is a blessing.
CLN: What is one of the most rewarding thing about what you do?
Haley Bridwell: I probably would have answered this differently two years ago, but since the pandemic happened and now that we are entering what people like to call the “new normal”, one of the most rewarding things is being able to encompass that cheerleading and motivating role to our committees and other stock contractors. We wanted to really lead a charge that would get rodeos going again, part of that was being able to help write a blueprint for the counties to use to reopen rodeos. Right now, the most rewarding thing is just knowing that all the things we’ve done behind the scenes to push back and to continue fighting to get rodeos opened back up, is working. We want to keep moving forward with this “can do” spirit to ultimately be stronger together. All of those sleepless nights and longs days are coming together to see the rodeos reopening and seeing the impact it has on communities, all economically, emotionally, and spiritually. Which are things that the contestants need, the communities need, and the committees need. It’s great to know that we’ve been able to fill that role, step in, and just be that voice that says “You can do that!”, but ultimately, we can do it all together.
CLN: Can you tell me a little bit more about your history with Redding Rodeo?
Haley Bridwell: We have multiple paths to Redding Rodeo. It’s been pushing about 17 years ago, I started there as the rodeo secretary. Based on our background, it’s cool to see how we’ve evolved. Now we are the primary stock contractor for Redding Rodeo and lead a great group of other stock contractors that we take in there with us. As rodeo has evolved, so have we. I am a third-generation member of a stock contracting family and have been in rodeo all my life so the natural progression to the stock contracting production side of it is in my blood.
We have ties to Redding well beyond the rodeo itself. Tim and I have been friends with many members of the committee for several years. On top of that, Redding is only 40 minutes from where we live now, which makes it our hometown rodeo too so we spend a lot of time there. It’s a great rodeo, we have a historical past there and sentimental ties to friends so, at the end of the day, that’s why we rodeo. We rodeo because we love the animals, the history, but it’s really the people that keep us going. We want to grow and continue to make Redding Rodeo as good as possible.
CLN: Do you have a favorite part about the rodeos you produce?
Haley Bridwell: I have so many favorite parts of rodeo. Because we raise our own bucking horses, we get to watch them be born, nurture them, grow them, teach them, and love them, so to see them come into the arena and be successful is a favorite emotional part of mine. I was also involved in college rodeo for a long time in Texas, so now a lot of the kids I had in college are now in the professional ranks doing well. It’s sentimental for me as I watch those kids, and a part of me has that mom instinct as I cheer them on because I’ve seen them start as college kids. Another thing is when I see fans in the stands, whether they are new fans or have been coming to 80 years worth of Redding Rodeo and they still have that joy and that excitement as they watch the performances. I love that we also get to interact with school-age kids that maybe have never been out of the city. We get to give them a feel of the dirt and a taste of the cattle industry. There are so many different things that I love about what we do, I’m not sure I could ever just pick one.
CLN: Do you have any closing thoughts that you’d like our audience to know?
Haley Bridwell: I will say, that I’m very thankful that going down the rodeo road, we have crossed paths with so many great people and Redding Rodeo is definitely one of our favorites because it’s close to home and really, is home. We are all on this journey together after this crazy year and we are excited to be bringing it back.
About Redding Rodeo
We hope you are ready for three full days of rodeo action! Thursday, May 13 – Saturday, May 15 you can catch all the PRCA rodeo action at the Redding Rodeo Arena. Each night the gates will open at 5 pm, pre-rodeo will start at 6:45 pm and the Grand Entry kicks off at 7 pm! Ticket information will be available soon so make sure to follow Redding Rodeo on Facebook or Instagram for event updates! You can expect to see all of your favorites including Bull Riding, Bareback Riding, Barrel Racing, Tie-down Roping, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Mutton Bustin, Chuck Wagon Races, and other specialty acts like the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls. Make sure to snag your tickets now because they will go fast! You can find more information by visiting their website: https://www.reddingrodeo.com/p/tickets–deals