Pismo Beach native Aaron Williams took one of the top honors as the 78th annual Santa Maria Elks Rodeo wrapped up its four-day Labor Day weekend run Sunday at the Elks Unocal Event Center.
Williams won the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) bull riding championship as only two of the 16 bull riders completed successful eight-second runs over the course of the four days. Shane Proctor had the only other full run.
Kate and Stan Branco became the first wife/husband team to ride off with Santa Maria Elks Rodeo champions’ buckles at the same rodeo.
Kate Bronco won the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s (WPRA) breakaway roping while Stan Branco brought home the steer wrestling title.
The Xtreme Bronc Riding (XBR) championship went to Santa Ynez-based teamagin.com with brothers Wade and Trace Agin and DJ Stoneburner.
Megan Champion lived up to her name, winning the WPRA barrel racing championship.
The bareback riding title went to Clayton Bigelow while Blaise Freeman rode away with the saddle bronc riding crown.
In timed events, Trenton Smith won in tie down roping and the team of Dan Williams Jr. and Clayton Moore roped the team roping title.
The Elks weren’t able to hold the annual Minetti Mini Rodeo this year. Instead, they brought out some local ropers for junior breakaway roping.
Noah Cervantes took home the 12-and-under junior breakaway title with Haliegh Grant winning the 13-17-year-old competition.
Local riders also competed in Elks team roping with brothers Nick and Marcus Maldonado winning the championship.