The 2009 incarnation of La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, with go-rounds through this Sunday, March 1, lists 684 pros ready to ride for rodeo glory and prize money.
Here are a few of those competitors whose roots lie close to the Old Pueblo.
Cesar de la Cruz
The 25-year-old Cruz is from Tucson and has been team roping all his life. Usually teamed with Marana’s Colter Todd, Cruz tied the team roping world record with a 3.5-second run in the semi-finals of the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour in Dallas on Nov. 9. Todd is taking a year away from competition, so during the Tucson Rodeo, Cruz will be teamed with Travis Tryan of Billings, Mont.
Marana resident Aros has been a professional rodeo cowboy since 1996, specializing in team roping. He is currently ranked 30th in the world by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as a heeler.
The 37-year-old Aros, who graduated from Desert View High School and attended Pima Community College, had a successful 2008 campaign with partner Derrick Begay, winning the Laughlin (Nev.) River Stampede, the Pioneer Days Rodeo in Clovis, N.M., and the Dodge Turquoise Circuit Finals Rodeo in Las Cruces.
The Parsons family
It would be hard to find a family that has more rodeo experience than Marana’s Parsons clan.
During the 84th Fiesta de los Vaqueros, the crowd will be treated to a hearty helping of the Parsons, with tie-down roper 24-year-old Joseph Parsons, his uncles Clay and Cutter competing in the same event, and sister Erin barrel riding.
The wife of Colter Todd, Cary is a successful barrel racer in her own right, most recently competing in the Bustin’ Out New Year’s Race in Buckeye, Ariz. Married to high school sweetheart Colter for five years, Todd has two daughters.