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Marysville rodeo legend Cotton Rosser dies at 93

Cotton Rosser was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2019, he was named the Legend of ProRodeo.
Credit: Jeff Berlin
Rosser was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2019, he was named the Legend of ProRodeo.

MARYSVILLE, Calif. — Cotton Rosser, a ProRodeo legend from Marysville, died at 93 years old on Wednesday.

Rosser was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2019, he was named the Legend of ProRodeo.

According to the Reno Rodeo, Rosser won the saddle bronc riding at the rodeo in 1950. However, his career ended after a ranch accident left him with two broken legs.

"Rosser has said it was the best thing that ever happened to him," Reno Rodeo wrote in a statement.

Following his ranch accident, Rosser bought the Flying U Rodeo Ranch in 1956, which is the oldest continuing rodeo livestock company in the United States.

He and his son Reno operated the Flying U Rodeo and Rosser Rodeo stock contracting companies based in Marysville which produce nearly 50 rodeos a year.

"I would want people to remember my dad for the love he had for the sport [of rodeo] and entertaining the crowd," said Rosser's son, Reno. "Everything to him was a show. A lot of people used to coin him as the P.T. Barnum of rodeo."

The Reno Rodeo General Manager George Combs described Rosser as an "absolute legend" who will be greatly missed by the entire rodeo community.

"The legacy that he leaves behind and the impact that he’s made is truly immeasurable," Combs said. "He was a pioneer in the rodeo industry who was ahead of his time in developing the entertainment side of rodeo."

Credit: Sam-Sin Photography
Reno Rosser, Cotton's son, during a tribute to Cotton at the Reno Rodeo on Wednesday evening.

With great sadness, the Reno Rodeo Association acknowledges the passing of Cotton Rosser, age 93. “The Reno Rodeo - and...

Posted by Reno Rodeo on Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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