Racing mare that died at Red Bluff Round-Up was from Marysville

474 Swan Song was a seven-year-old mare owned by Cotton Rosser's Marysville, CA based rodeo company

Posted: Apr. 21, 2019 11:32 AM
Updated: Apr. 21, 2019 12:07 PM

RED BLUFF, Calif. - A seven-year-old horse from Marysville's Rosser Rodeo Company died at the Red Bluff Round-Up on Saturday as a result of a substantial neck/spinal cord injury that occurred during the Wild Horse Race.

474 Swan Song was the name of the horse. According to officials at the Red Bluff Round-Up, 474 Swan Song received the injury when she fell after stepping on her lead rope.

About Cotton Rosser & Flying U Rodeo Company

Cotton Rosser is a name that has become synonymous with quality rodeo production.The Marysville, CA company has operated for more than 60 years.

After a ranch accident in 1956 abruptly ended a promising career as a rodeo contestant, Cotton purchased the Flying U Rodeo Company. For the past several decades, Cotton and his family have worked to make the Flying U one of the most successful stock contracting firms in professional rodeo.

Cotton has long been known for his outstanding rodeo productions, including the flamboyant opening ceremonies presented at the National Finals Rodeo, the Houston Livestock Show and the Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco just to name a few. Rodeo is show business as far as he is concerned. According to Cotton, "You have to run the show, you can't let the show run you. If you don't keep the audience entertained they will go somewhere else."

Keeping his competition in mind helps Cotton's creative juices flow. He has been inspired in the past to bring such events to rodeo as Bull Poker, Roman Chariot Races, Bull Teeter-Totter and the "Wild Ride" - which has blown fans at the Red Bluff Round-Up away the past couple of years as some of the biggest names in bronc riding donned outrageous costumes and hopped aboard some of Flying U's best bucking horses.

Cotton recognizes Gene Autry as the person who most influenced the showman in him. During the 30's, 40's and 50's stock contractors had a lot of class, silver saddles, matched horses and a flair for showmanship. Every cowboy rode in the grand entry during the heyday of rodeo in such places as Madison Square Garden in New York, Chicago, Houston, Fort Worth and Boston. Cotton has always tried to bring some of that pageantry and color back to rodeo.

In addition to their responsibilities with the Flying U, Cotton and his wife, Karin, own and operate Cotton's Cowboy Corral, a Marysville, CA western wear store. Both Cotton and Karin have pilot's licenses and Cotton has served on the PRCA Board of Directors.

The Rosser family lives a life that revolves around professional rodeo. The spirit and showmanship of the old west is alive and well in the form of Cotton Rosser. Life on the rodeo trail is not easy, but he manages to make a living doing what he loves...living the life of a cowboy!

The Flying U Rodeo is a big operation and it requires many family members and employees working together to produce the successful and entertaining rodeos.

(This is from the website for the Flying U Rodeo Company - you can visit their website by clicking HERE)

The onsite rodeo veterinarian responded immediately and then told rodeo officials that the event resulted in substantial injuries that led to 474 Swan Song's death.

We are working to find out more details about what happened during the race that caused the fatal injury.

Rosser Rodeo Company (also known as the Flying U Rodeo Company) and the Red Bluff Round-Up both say they have numerous safeguards and provisions in place to ensure the safety of both cowboys and livestock who participate in rodeo events.

A statement from the Red Bluff Round-Up says they strive to "promote and preserve Western heritage in the safest manner for our animals, exhibitors, contestants and guests, while providing the community the opportunity to experience the sport of professional rodeo."

After a ranch accident in 1956 abruptly ended a promising career as a rodeo contestant, Cotton Rosser purchased the Flying U Rodeo Company. They owned the mare that died Saturday at the Red Bluff Round-Up. (See the article in the sidebar to read about Cotton Rosser and his rodeo family)

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