By Janene Scully

Noozhawk North County Editor

It might be the off-season, but Allan Hancock College’s Rodeo Team and its boosters have kicked fundraising into high gear with a goal of eventually hosting a hometown intercollegiate competition. 

Those efforts include selling booster club memberships now and hosting a dinner and auction later this summer.

“In order to get the seed money to get off the ground and get us going, we’re offering charter membership in the rodeo booster club,” club chairman Jim Glines said. 

The Hancock College Rodeo Team formed earlier this year as a club and has been approved as a member school with the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, prompting a campaign to rally support for the new sport.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the reception we’ve gotten in the community,” Glines said. “As we’ve gone places and mentioned this, there’s not been a negative word. Everybody has been very positive. 

“I’ve had a lot of people tell me, ‘What took you so long? Where have you been?’ I think it’s a natural progression.”

Faculty adviser Erin Krier said, “It’s a natural fit for the program.”

The area’s deep rodeo roots extend beyond hosting the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo for 76 years. Glines said the Santa Maria Valley has played a key role for professional rodeo athletes such as Gary Leffew, 1970 World Champion bull rider, and Luke Branquinho, a five-time World Champion steer wrestler.

Booster club charter memberships cost $1,000 and last for five years, with recipients receiving a jacket sporting the Hancock College rodeo logo and the donor’s name.

Additionally, the booster club has started selling tickets for a dinner and auction planned for Aug. 24 at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge, 1309 N. Bradley Road. The doors will open at 5 p.m. with a catered New York strip dinner by Billy Ruiz and his popular Cowboy Flavor to be served at 7:07 p.m.

Glines, an award-winning auctioneer, said the event will include a live auction along with a silent auction with an emphasis on rodeo memorabilia and related items. The event will be patterned after other successful fundraising dinners involving Glines, chairman of the board and co-founder of Community Bank of Santa Maria.

“Our goal is to be able to get enough seed money to be able to hire a full-time coach,” Glines said. 

A longer-term goal for the Hancock boosters calls for getting funding to produce a hometown intercollegiate rodeo. Funding also will help students with some expenses associated with the cost of competing.

Dinner tickets cost $60 per person, or $500 for a blue table sponsorship for 10 people and $1,000 for a gold sponsorship for 10 people.

Rodeo team members — numbering eight so far — include barrel racers, breakaway ropers and team ropers. 

Members participated in four competitions — at Fresno StateWest Hills CollegeCal Poly and Cuesta College — on the intercollegiate circuit, according to Krier, who also has been tasked with building Hancock’s agriculture programs.

“It was a first-time ever for a Hancock team to be present,” Krier said.

“We were proud of their participation,” Glines said. “They competed at a very high level.”

The team continues to recruit members.

“We need kids now,” Glines said. “We need kids that can rope, kids that can barrel race, kids that will ride saddle broncs, bareback (broncs) and bulls. I have no doubt that’ll come.”

Go to to learn more about the rodeo team or to purchase dinner-and-auction tickets or to become a charter member of the booster club; or call dinner-auction coordinator Jada Clark at 805-720-7493; or, for details about joining the team, call Erin Krier at 805-720-4928.


Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at