The five team members include 22-year-old team captain Jace Rothlisberger of Beeville, 52-year-old Garry Rothlisberger of Beeville, 52-year-old Monte Sternadel of Refugio, 21-year-old Cody Oxford of George West, and 20-year-old Bob Clipper of Anderson.
Residing in small, rural South Texas towns, R&R team members are no strangers to the work and grind of ranching life. Whether they are raising cattle for themselves or working as day-hire cowboys, every one of the team members are experienced ranch hands, having worked ranches all across the South Texas region for more than 40 years. It’s not just a hobby; it’s a way of life for these cowboys.
Garry Rothlisberger said, “We’ve all worked cows together on ranches, so that’s how we met.”
Jace Rothlisberger, Gary’s son, said each of the team members have competed separately before in various events, but the five men decided to come together in 2013 to form a team.
“We’ve been doing a little bit here and there, but this was our first year to compete with the South Texas Ranch Rodeo Association.”
The R&R Cattle Company competed in seven out of nine ranch rodeos hosted by the South Texas Ranch Rodeo Association. They took first place honors at Laredo, Mercedes and Bandera, and placed in the top four of all other rodeos. After accumulating 47 points over the seven rodeos, R&R Cattle was awarded the first place title for the STRRA Series, winning cash and prizes. The win qualified them as one of the top six teams to compete at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Ranch Rodeo held on Feb. 23.
The San Antonio Ranch Rodeo is one of many activities held in conjunction with the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. It is organized and run by a large group of volunteers and sponsors hoping to help raise funds and promote awareness for education, learning opportunities and scholarships for students interested in horse and ranching related activities.
On Saturday, Feb. 22, John Moon, committee chairman, and the Ranch Rodeo committee hosted an awards luncheon for the top six teams. Team members were awarded jackets, various other prizes and tickets to Xtreme Bulls.
The Ranch Rodeo was held the following day and events included double mugging, wild cow milking, hide race, trailer loading and rescue race. It was close competition among the top six teams, and with only two points separating them from first, R&R Cattle took second place for the day, winning cash, prizes and an entry in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Ranch Rodeo Champions Challenge to be held March 8 in the Reliant Arena.
Jace Rothlisberger, Monte Sternadel and Bob Clipper are members of other qualifying teams that participated in the Houston County Ranch Rodeo, held the morning of the Champion Challenge.
“We competed in a series of rodeos and did pretty well, so we kept on going,” Jace said.
“We accumulated enough points to be in the top six, which gave us a spot in the San Antonio rodeo. We won second place in that, so we moved on to the Houston rodeo.”
The R&R Cattle Company team won the title of Reserve Champion Team at the Houston Ranch Rodeo Finals last Saturday.
Jace said the San Antonio rodeo will be considered an invitational meet next year, so the team won’t need to compete with the Ranch Rodeo Association to earn a spot.
“We might not do another series, but we may go here and there for some competitions,” he said.
Garry said he has no plans of slowing down. When asked what’s next for the R&R Cattle Company, he said, “We’ll probably go back and hit it again.”