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Livestock matters at 101st Snake River Stampede

Posted at 10:30 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 00:30:29-04

The 101st Snake River Stampede is underway in Nampa, but it wouldn't be much of a rodeo without the animals.

"The livestock business is our livelihood, and if we don't have good animals and don't take care of them then they're not going to take care of us,” Binion Cervi says.

He's one of the owners of the Cervi Championship Rodeo Company, but, in the rodeo world, you can just ask for the Cervi Brothers.

The Cervi Brothers have been providing stock animals for the Snake River Stampede for the last 49 years.

"You put so much money, time and effort into it,” Cervi says. “You've seen these colts from the time they're babies until they're old enough to buck. I mean, you would never jeopardize anything with an animal like that."

Taking care of the livestock is a 24-hour job. The crew is up before sunrise making sure the 140 bucking horses, 75 bulls, 110 steers, 55 calves, and 12 saddle horses are fed, watered, washed and ready for their rodeo appearance.

"The animals eat before the crew," Cervi says.

Though the animals provide the entertainment at the rodeo, you might want to do the math before you call them “work-horses”.

"On average, a bucking horse bucks 12 times a year and they buck eight seconds,” Cervi says. “So you're looking at 96 seconds there. An animal performs less than two minutes a year, and the rest of the time they're either turned out at the ranch or in-between traveling rodeos where they get fed."

When it's show time, whether it's bucking, running or bringing in the ones that got away, Cervi says he hopes the animals do their best at the job they came to do.

"In your mind, you care about your animal,” Cervi says. “You've seen them from babies up. They're your kids." 

The Snake River Stampede continues through Saturday, July 23.