Rodeo Stock Contractor  What They Do

Just the Facts


Insider Info

dotRodeo stock contractors supply all the animals that you see at rodeo competitions. They supply the animals for events like steer roping and calf wrestling.

When the rodeo is finished, contractors take the animals back to the ranch until the next rodeo.

dotIt is rare that a single stock contractor supplies horses, calves and bulls. Usually, a different contractor brings in each group of animal.

dotThey often raise their own cattle or horses. Besides taking care of the stock itself, contractors also have to spend a little time getting rodeo contracts.

"Probably one of the most important things is to know livestock a little bit," says Jim Sutton. His family has been raising and selling stock for five generations. "And then it's just economics again. Everything's got to fall together and work. It's a pretty tough racket."

dotOne of the biggest parts of the work is keeping stock strong and healthy. "Basically, they are sort of athletes and they have to be trained to do what they do," says Karen Foster. She is a rodeo stock contractor.

Keeping animals healthy means that a contractor will have to be able to perform routine medical tasks. Animals occasionally have to be vaccinated or treated for mild illnesses.

dotGood business practices are also essential. Rodeo stock contractors often produce the rodeos they supply, which adds to their workload.

You have to know a lot about raising farm animals and about working on a farm in general to be a stock contractor. Many people in the field learn this from having been raised on farms and working around livestock.

dotContractors do a lot of traveling. The farm work is, of course, done on a farm. Rodeos occasionally come to the city -- the biggest one in the U.S. is in Las Vegas -- but contractors typically live in rural communities.

dotRanching is a solitary life. Most stock contractors are self-employed.

dotStock contractors often break livestock. This makes it particularly physically demanding work and unsuitable for people with special needs.

At a Glance

Supply the animals for rodeo competitions

  • Contractors have to work at getting rodeo contracts
  • You have to know about raising animals
  • There are no training programs for stock contracting, but business school could help